Big Game

Handling hunting mistakes

Every year hunters make mistakes in the field. Hunters might: shoot the wrong animal, accidentally kill more than one animal, hunt in the wrong Game Management Unit, etc.
Most of these mistakes can be avoided, although some are truly accidental.
Officers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife understand that mistakes occur. If you make a mistake, your best course of action is to contact an officer as soon as possible to report the problem. While you will still be subject to penalties, they could be less severe if the officer determines that you are cooperative, that the error was not intentional, or that it was unavoidable given the circumstances.
Hunters who make errors can be penalized with fines, suspension points against license privileges, felonies and misdemeanors, loss of meat, license suspension or confiscation of equipment. Penalties can be much more severe against those who purposefully attempt to hide mistakes from wildlife officers.
Many errors can be prevented by carefully reading the Colorado Big Game brochure. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know the rules and regulations of hunting. The brochure provides a variety of important information that hunters must know.
“Ignorance of the regulations is not a defense,” says J Wenum, area wildlife manager in Gunnison. “There is a difference between a legitimate mistake and a careless error.”
Familiarize yourself with CPW’s regulations at cpw.state.co.us.

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