When purchasing a big game hunting property in the West, the availability of landowner tags can be an important factor. Landowner programs were established to acknowledge the contribution of private lands to support wildlife and provide a form of compensation to landowners for resources used by wildlife. Permits or tags are typically available to landowners, family members and others designated by the landowner based on the acreage owned. In most cases, the recipient may only hunt on the property for which he/she is registered. Landowners who are absentee owners can greatly benefit from these tags especially when a property is in a game management area that is hard to draw permits. Different states have varied landowner programs that include what qualifies a landowner, property qualifications, acreage requirements, species requirements and other factors. Since all states are not the same, before assuming what the landowner tag program is in a particular state, it is important to research the state’s laws and contact the state’s wildlife regulatory agency. In most states 15% of deer, elk and antelope licenses in limited units are reserved for landowners.
It is also important to remember that there are land registration requirements and application deadlines that apply to landowners. Landowners must comply with all state laws and requirements to be successful in acquiring tags. Some states provide a Landowner Preference Program that allows landowners to build preference points to increase the odds in drawing a tag. For example, a Colorado deeded landowner who registers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, may be eligible for landowner tags if the property is used primarily for agricultural purposes, is inhabited by the species applied for, and they own a contiguous parcel of at least 160 acres. In addition, based on the number of deeded acres registered, the landowner may be eligible for multiple tags. Tags are issued based upon the population of each specific animal in a landowner’s game management unit and tags will not be issued unless it is deemed that there is enough of that species to warrant a tag. Colorado also has a voucher system that allows a landowner to transfer a tag to a third party.
Posted on October 26, 2017 By Mallory Boyce