Ranching for Wildlife Program

Ranching for Wildlife (RFW) started as a pilot program in 1986 with the intent to improve public hunting access to private land and to form a wildlife management partnership with participating landowners.?

The program ?provides Colorado residents a unique opportunity to hunt on priva?te ranch land normally closed to the public. Participating ranches provide public hunting recreation access to their land free of charge to those who draw licenses.

Public licenses on each ranch are available through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) draw process. The number of licenses on each ranch is determined by negotiations between the landowner and CPW.  

Through this program, hunters can play an important role in assisting CPW and landowners manage wildlife populations on private land. In addition to providing public hunting access to successful applicants, participating landowners are required to improve habitat on their ranch for both game and non-game animals. These efforts help preserve and enhance open spaces for wildlife to live and thrive and?? keep the hunting heritage alive for you and future generations. 

For a more detailed description of information relevant to hunters interested in the RFW program, visit Hunter Information??

Program Impact

  • 27 ranches currently enrolled.
  • ?Over 1.2 million acres of public access are provided. 
  • More than 50,000 acres per year have active wildlife habitat improvements applied. 
  • Improved livestock grazing systems on about 85 percent of the lands enrolled.  
  • Seasons and license allocations to improve game movement and enhance hunter harvest both on and off ranches. 
  • About one third of the ranches actively participate in exceptional youth hunting opportunities. 
  • About one third donate hunts to conservation organizations for auction or raffle to help raise funds to improve habitat on private and public lands elsewhere.?

Contact Ranching for Wildlife Program

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
1313 Sherman Street
6th Floor
Denver, Colorado  80203
Phone: 303-291-7470


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Colorado

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator