How Has the Pandemic Affected Hunting in Colorado?

Colorado Flag

2020 was a tough year for people and places and the hunting industry. The coronavirus pandemic meant that plenty of people stayed home and “quarantined,” rather than going out of the house, doing things people normally do, like hunting trips or going to movies, etc.

Meanwhile, wildfires didn’t help the whole situation either-– in Colorado, for instance, there were the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires, especially bad in mid-October. 

Between fires and coronavirus fears, a lot of hunting that would have taken place just didn’t– to the tune of $2 million in refunded hunting licenses and tags in an unprecedented year.

There was some good news, though… for instance, Colorado did see an increase in over-the-counter hunting and fishing licenses. That said, as with most organizations and businesses, there were/are lots of deficits happening– rather than profits. 

Outdoor recreation businesses had a challenging 2020. There were changes in animals’ behaviors– and the wildfires forced animals to flee to certain places. Meanwhile, there was a statewide drought, too, so that made it harder and harder for animals to find food and water just to survive.

Basically, the coronavirus pandemic meant more hunters than usual wanted to hunt (and had the time to hunt) while the fires and drought meant fewer animals to hunt. Normally, for instance, you’d see huge herds of elk migrating in Colorado, but this past year you might have seen groups of three or less at a time!

Because of fires and/or the pandemic, Colorado has had to essentially shut down certain areas, which include camps and outfitter businesses. Some of these closures were for several months, while some could last for… the next few years. 

In general, the pandemic hasn’t been good for hunting or Colorado in general… but it’s not all doom and gloom. Soon enough we’ll be back doing the things we love…and with hunting an outdoor sport, it’s much safer than indoor activities. And let’s be honest–we could all use some fresh air and excitement that hunting naturally brings after the tumultuous year we’ve had.

Do you want to plan an elk hunt in Colorado? Samuelson Outfitters can help make this a reality. Please call 970-726-8221 for more information.