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Prairie dog hunting, and all other wildlife regulation, fall under the Colorado Division of Wildlife's jurisdiction. Regulations are set forth to license hunters, set dates and fees and address the destruction of private property. The prairie dog is an entertaining mammal that can also destroy large portions of farmland. Three species of prairie dog--black-tailed, white-tailed and Gunnison--can be found in the state, with habitats from the Eastern grasslands to the San Luis Valley. They are hunted for sport and property protection.
A small game license is required for prairie dogs and other game that fall under Article 300 of the Colorado's Division of Wildlife regulations. A license has to be applied for annually; the season dates are set each July. License fees for the 2009/2010 season are $21 for residents and $56 for nonresidents. For property owners hunting prairie dogs for damage control, a small game license is not needed.
Prairie dogs can be hunted year-round in Colorado on private land, many open to walk-in access. The season can vary each year for hunting on public land, but the last season ran from June 15, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010.
Hunting of small game is restricted from a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Trapping can be at day or night, but traps must be visually checked each day.
Means of Hunting
The Colorado Division of Wildlife limits what weapons, traps and chemicals can be used on prairie dogs and other small game. Rifles, handguns, shotguns, pellet guns and crossbows can be used for hunting. Use of chemical explosives and toxins, as long as not restricted by federal law, is limited to protection of private property. Lethal traps can be used on prairie dogs, but must be in accordance with division regulations.
Richard Ludwig has been a writer for over eight years and has had his work published in "Co-Ed Magazine," the "East Manatee County Observer" and the Disaster and Recovery e-magazine. He received journalism and sociology degrees from the University of South Florida.