While most hunters in Colorado prefer to be off the beaten path when hunting, anyone who has hunted for long enough will find themselves in close proximity to a public and often driven road. Hunting near these roads, whether walking ditches for pheasant or hunting adjacent properties for whitetail deer, requires hunters to be extra vigilant in their shooting.
Colorado Revised Statute 33-6-126 states that it is illegal to shoot from, upon, or across any public road. This statute applies to both firearms and bows, but what exactly does the statute prohibit?
There are plenty of times when roads come into play while hunting, especially in the front range and eastern plains of Colorado where upland hunting often finds hunters walking road-side ditches looking for pheasant or quail. Hunters must be careful not to shoot toward any particular road they may be walking next to as the statute has a very clear definition for the prohibited behavior. For example, while walking 20 yards away from the road, a rooster pheasant flushes and flies towards the road. Even if the hunter swings and shoots, and knocks down the pheasant before it reaches the road, if the shot from the hunter’s gun crosses the public road in question, he may be found in violation of the statute.
Additionally, shooting from a road is a strict liability crime, meaning it does not matter if you meant to, or even knew you were violating a statute when you shot.
Shooting from a road is a little more self-explanatory. If you are hunting near a road, such as walking in a ditch row or sitting under power lines for dove hunting, it is imperative that you not be on the road at all when you discharge your firearm. Even having one foot on the road may subject you to receiving a ticket and subsequent fines and penalties.
If you are charged with shooting from a public road, or any other Colorado hunting or fishing ticket, it is very important that you consult with a lawyer in order to help resolve your issue and find your best options and defenses. Colorado Hunting Violation Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert helps hunters, guides, and outfitters with defense of hunting charges and can help with your ticket.