Annual big-game sales day at Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Courtesy Photo – Colorado Parks & Wildlife

DENVER – The big (game) day is almost here! Hunters mark their calendars for the first Tuesday in August each year to take a shot at any big game hunting licenses remaining after the primary and secondary draws. These remaining licenses are placed on the leftover list, now available on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, and become available for purchase on August 3 at 9 a.m. Mountain Time. New this year, over-the-counter licenses for elk, bear, pronghorn, and deer will also go on sale at this time.

CPW highly suggests hunters purchase their leftover licenses online this year. If you must go into a CPW office or a sales agent location to purchase a license, remember to bring a mask, respect public health orders and all staff requests.

Additionally, hunters who are used to going into a CPW office location should be aware that the licenses now go on sale online, over the phone at 1-800-244-5613, in our offices and at our sales agents all at once. If you’re on a computer or mobile device at home, you have the same shot as someone standing in a CPW office.

Licenses that will become available include:

  • Limited licenses left over after the primary and secondary draws for elk, deer, pronghorn and bear
  • Limited licenses that were drawn in the primary or secondary draw, but not paid for by the payment deadline for elk, deer, pronghorn, bear, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and moose
  • Limited licenses that were returned for refund/preference point/surrender prior to July 26 and took fewer than 5 points to draw
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) licenses for elk, pronghorn, deer, and bear

Changes to Purchasing a Leftover License in 2021
Starting in 2021, CPW is implementing a process called “Inventory Hold,” which is similar to how tickets for events are sold online.

When you enter a hunt code and confirm it, that hunt code is “held” for you in the cart for 15 minutes or until you process the transaction, whichever comes first.

On, there will be a timer in the upper left corner of the screen that will let you know how long you have to finish processing your transaction, as well as pop-ups with 5 minutes left and when the time has expired. If the time is allowed to expire, another customer can hold/purchase that hunt code.

Please note that you may still see the quota available on the leftover list, even if all the quota for that particular hunt code has already sold out. That is because the leftover list only updates every 5 – 10 minutes.

Queuing system for license purchases
As in past years, CPW’s licensing vendor Aspira will be utilizing a virtual queuing program, called Queue-It, to mitigate the load on the system. While products go on sale at 9 a.m., customers who are on the site and logged in prior to 9 a.m. can begin their purchases as long as they are no farther in the process than the residency page.

Purchasing process
Head to and get logged in to your account before 9 a.m. on August 3 so you’re ready to purchase when the licenses go on sale. You can also call 1-800-244-5613, but know that there may be long wait times.

More information on the leftover list and over-the-counter licenses is available on the CPW website.

Filed Under: Consumer Issues

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