Colorado Hunting Violations: 20 Point Violations

If you have questions regarding a violation you received from a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer for a hunting offense, you should prepare to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  On this page is information regarding which violations in Colorado qualify as 20 point violations.  For more on Hunting License Suspension Points, see our page on Protecting Your Hunting Licenses.

There are several ways that you can lose your hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado.  If you receive any combination of offenses totaling 20 points or more in any five year period, you will be given notice of a possible suspension by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.  While there are several offenses that, when taken together, could mean your hunting and fishing privileges would be suspended, there are certain other offenses that mean an assessment of 20 points all on their own.  These offenses are the type that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, obviously take the most seriously.

CRS 33-6-127: Hunting with artificial light, night vision, or thermal imaging devices.

  • This statute prohibits the use of artificial light of any kind when used as a hunting aid.  Additionally, the statute prohibits electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering optics, or thermal imaging devices as an aid in hunting or taking wildlife outside legal hunting hours.
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CRS 33-6-117: Willful destruction of wildlife

  • This particular statute refers to the taking of wildlife solely for the purpose of collecting what the State deems the “trophy portions” of the animal, such as antlers, hide, or claws.  Unlike the more common, “wanton waste” offense where a portion of the meat of an animal is not harvested, this offense is actually a felony and carries 20 points rather than the 15 points of wanton waste.

CRS 33-6-130: Explosives, toxicants and poisons not to be used

  • This statute specifically prohibits the use of: toxicants, poisons, drugs, dynamite, explosives, or any stupefying substances for the purpose of hunting, taking, or harassing any wildlife.

CRS 33-6-123: Hunting Under the Influence

  • While certain drugs may be legal in Colorado, hunting while under the influence of any controlled substance or alcohol to a degree that renders such person incapable of safely operating a firearm or bow and arrow is illegal. 

CRS 33-6-132: Hunting in a careless manner

  • Hunting in a careless manner is defined as discharging a firearm or releasing an arrow in a careless manner which endangers human life or property.  Careless means: failing to exercise the degree of reasonable care that would be exercised by a person of ordinary prudence under all the existing circumstances in consideration of the probable danger of injury or damage.

CRS 33-6-118: Killing of big game animals in contest prohibited

  • Specifically, no big game animal contest may be held in Colorado.  Contest is defined as: monetary payment or awarding of any other prize when the object of the contest or competition involves the killing of any big game or the display for comparison of any big game or any part thereof.

CRS 33-6-116: Hunting, trapping, or fishing on private property or posting of public lands

  • Trespassing onto any property in order to hunt is illegal in Colorado.  Even where lands are not posted with any sign indicating that the property is private, hunters or fishers trespassing onto private property will be prosecuted.
  • Any person who posts any signs that indicate private ownership of state controlled lands, such as public hunting areas or state leased ground, can also be cited under this statute and be punished with 20 points on their hunting and fishing license.

CRS 33-6-115.5 Hunting, trapping, and fishing—Intentional interference with lawful activities

  • No person in Colorado may interfere with hunting or fishing activities so as to ruin or otherwise spoil a hunt or fishing opportunity for another hunter.  Specifically, the statute provides the following guidelines as far as qualifying interference:
  1. Acts with intent to alarm, distract, or frighten prey and causes prey to flee by:
    1. Use of any natural or artificial source of noise or light;
    2. Giving chase to prey on foot or by use of any vehicle;
    3. Throwing objects or making movements;
  2. Intentionally harasses any person lawfully participating in the activity of hunting, trapping, and fishing by use of threats or actions;
  3. Erects barriers with the intent to deny ingress to lawfully designated hunting, trapping, and fishing areas;
  4. Intentionally interjects himself into the line of fire;
  5. Engages in any other conduct with the intent to disrupt or prevent lawful hunting, trapping, and fishing activities.

CRS 33-6-115 Theft of wildlife

  • This statue prohibits an individual from taking any wildlife lawfully taken by another hunter or fisher without the express consent of the taking individual.

CRS 33-6-113.5 Illegal business on division property

  • Unless otherwise permitted by commission rule, it is illegal to conduct any business on commission controlled property.  Activities such as guiding or commercial dog training are subject to this statute.

CRS 33-6-113 Illegal sale of wildlife

  • Any taking of wildlife or the solicitation of any other person to unlawfully take wildlife or the offering of wildlife for sale constitutes illegal sale of wildlife.  Additionally, providing or offering unregistered outfitting services in Colorado is deemed the illegal sale of wildlife.  With respect to big game, endangered species or eagles, this is a felony punishable by suspension of hunting privileges for life.  For all other game, it is a misdemeanor and an assessment of 20 licenses suspension points.

If you are charged with any Colorado Hunting Violations, especially any worth 20 license suspension points, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to fight the ticket or charges, or just pay and plead guilty.  Colorado Hunting Violation Lawyer Nathaniel Gilbert has helped hunters, fishers, guides, and outfitters with their Colorado and Kansas Hunting Violations and can help you make the best decision for your unique matter.