Authority to regulate taking, possession, and use of wildlife
(1)In order to provide an adequate, flexible, and coordinated statewide system of wildlife management and to maintain adequate and proper populations of wildlife species, the commission shall have authority in this state, by appropriate rules and regulations, to:
(a)Determine under what circumstances, when, in which localities, by what means, what sex of, and in what amounts and numbers the wildlife of this state may be taken and, further, to shorten, extend, or close seasons on any species of wildlife in any specific locality or the entire state when it finds after investigation that such action is necessary to assure maintenance of adequate populations of wildlife or to preserve the proper ecological balance of the environment. In no event, however, shall the commission adopt any regulation concerning the taking of black bears which is in conflict with the provisions of section 33-4-101.3.
(b)Provide for the disposal of the usable portions of wildlife confiscated, abandoned, or unclaimed at meat processing and storage facilities or by taxidermists or otherwise obtained under the provisions of articles 1 to 6 of this title;
(c)Control the exportation, importation, transportation, release, possession, sale, transfer, and donation of wildlife;
(d)Establish requirements for persons who are engaged in the business of buying, selling, processing, or otherwise handling wildlife for the keeping of records of such transactions and to make such records available for inspection;
(e)Provide for the issuance of and require persons to obtain licenses for the purpose of hunting, fishing, trapping, taking, or possession of wildlife in accordance with the provisions of articles 1 to 6 of this title and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto;
(f)Authorize fishing without a license on a statewide basis for up to two days during the calendar year.
(2)The commission shall adopt rules which regulate the conduct of fishing contests in public waters of the state. Such rules may prohibit the holding of such a contest on specific waters and at specific times of the year, but such rules shall not unreasonably restrict persons conducting such a contest from charging an entry fee, awarding prizes to participants, or using marked or tagged fish.
(3)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The state agricultural commission shall review the rules concerning captive wild ungulates submitted by the division and make recommendations to the parks and wildlife commission concerning the rules. The parks and wildlife commission shall not pass nor implement rules concerning captive wild ungulates without the approval of the state agricultural commission. If the parks and wildlife commission makes the possession of red deer unlawful in this state, the division shall compensate any person who owns or possesses any red deer on the effective date of the prohibition for the cost to replace such red deer with a legal elk of the same sex and comparable age.
(b)For purposes of this subsection (3), “captive wild ungulates” means wildlife which are ungulates lawfully acquired and held in confinement for breeding for agricultural purposes, production of meat, or other animal products; except that “captive wild ungulates” does not include wildlife held or used for the purpose of hunting or domestic elk or fallow deer held by persons licensed pursuant to section 35-41.5-104, C.R.S.
(c)Captive wild mammals and alternative livestock which have escaped from an owner’s control may be removed from the wild by the division of parks and wildlife at the owner’s expense, but not sooner than seventy-two hours after the division has given the owner or his designee actual notice of such escape, or the owner has notified the division of such escape. The amount the division of parks and wildlife may charge an owner shall be limited to actual costs incurred by the division to accomplish such removal, subject to further limitation by the following maximum caps:
(I)For native wildlife and for nonnative or exotic wildlife, one thousand dollars per animal not to exceed in the aggregate five thousand dollars per incident; and
(II)For prohibited species, no maximum cap per animal and no maximum cap per incident.
(4)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The commission may propose rules concerning:
(I)Hunting of alternative livestock as defined in section 35-41.5-102 (1), C.R.S.;
(II)Maintaining the purity of the native species of elk in the elk herds of Colorado by preventing the introduction of red deer or hybrid nonnative species, whether by the importation of untested live animals, gametes, eggs, sperm, or other genetic material, into Colorado. For purposes of this subparagraph (II), “native species of elk” includes those subspecies native to North America including cervus elaphus roosevelti, cervus elaphus nannodes, cervus elaphus nelsoni, cervus elaphus manitobensis, cervus elaphus canadensis, and cervus elaphus merriavi.
(III)Requirements that owners of alternative livestock have samples taken for the purpose of identifying individual animals;
(IV)Perimeter fences for alternative livestock farms, licensed pursuant to article 41.5 of title 35, C.R.S., to prevent ingress of big game wildlife and egress of alternative livestock.
(b)The state agricultural commission shall review any rules proposed by the commission and may make recommendations to the commission concerning such rules. The state agricultural commission shall approve all rules promulgated pursuant to this section prior to adoption by the commission.
(c)For purposes of carrying out the rules promulgated pursuant to this section, at any reasonable time during regular business hours, the director or the director’s designee shall have free and unimpeded access upon consent or upon obtaining an administrative search warrant to:
(I)All buildings, yards, pens, pastures, and other areas in which any alternative livestock is kept, handled, or transported; and
(II)All records required to be kept and to make copies of such records.
(5)Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the commissioner of agriculture from authorizing, pursuant to section 35-40-101, C.R.S., the taking of depredating animals.
(6)The commission may adopt rules governing wildlife sanctuaries.
Section 33-1-106 — Authority to regulate taking, possession, and use of wildlife - rules,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-33.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).