Nonresident Colorado big-game hunting licenses may be going up again next year. And the year after, and the year after, and the year after that. ... But the price hikes will come in small, easy-to-swallow installments.
Hunting and fishing licenses bring in $55 million annually, accounting for two-thirds of the Division of Wildlife revenue. Federal excise-tax makes up a large part of the difference.
Most likely, nonresident hunting fees will go up by 5.4 percent, according to DOW administrators.
The cost of a nonresident elk license, therefore, could increase to $475. A proposed bargain-basement cow-elk tag, conceivably could go from $250 to $264. Deer licenses could go from $270 to $285.
The cost of nonresident permits made a dramatic leap last fall. All elk licenses went from $250 to $450; deer licenses went from $150 to $270. The increase was the first in a decade, and brought Colorado costs in line with other Western states.
The fee increase undoubtedly had a role in a 40 percent drop in nonresident hunters.