Tagged: agritourism, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Costilla County, CPW, elk, firearm, game warden, GMU, hunting, hunting lease, hunting license, liability, Mountain Home Reservoir, ordinance, permission, private property, rifle, San Luis Valley, Sanchez Reservoir, Smith Reservoir, state wildlife area, trespassing, Wild Horse Mesa, zoning
April 5, 2019 at 11:01 AM #685
There are thousands of elk in the San Luis Valley. It is prime hunting area. Costilla County is in Colorado Game Management Unit (GMU) 83.
This YouTube video shows a huge herd of elk crossing Highway 159 south of Fort Garland.
huge elk herd crossing Highway 159 in Costilla County
See the SLV Web Links, Section 15, Hunting and Fishing, at SLV Web Links. Item 9 is an elk hunting map showing summer and winter ranges.
Because Costilla County originated with Spanish land grants, all land is private property, except state wildlife areas, and some federal land along the Rio Grande River. Check hunting and discharge of firearms regulations for minimum safe distance from a residence.
Carry written permission or a hunting lease from the landowner in case a game warden or neighbor asks you.
Most lots at Wild Horse Mesa are 2.5 acres. The far north end has 40-acre lots, south end lots are 35 acres. Most lots are vacant, but there are a few residents.
Chose a spot where there is cell phone reception in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
To encourage agritourism, Colorado law CRS 13-21-121 releases the landowner from liability for death or injury suffered by an authorized participant engaged in “agricultural recreation or agritourism activity”, including hunting, if the landowner includes prescribed liability release wording in a written agreement or a conspicuous sign on the property.
The law only refers to agricultural, farm and ranch land, not residential zones. WHM lots from 1 to 35 acres are Estate Residential. Lots over 35 acres are Rural Residential. Ag zoning is 160 acres minimum.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has an article on how to ask permission to hunt on private land. They suggest asking the landowner to sign a permission card which can be obtained at the local CPW office. They do not have any sample hunting request letter or hunting lease.
Hunting is prohibited at Sanchez Reservoir State Wildlife Area, but not prohibited at Smith Reservoir and Mountain Home Reservoir, all in Costilla County.
Laws regarding discharge of a firearm vary by city and county ordinances and subdivision covenants. I did not find the Costilla County firearm ordinance online. Ask the Sheriff’s Office. Local stores that sell hunting licenses are another information source.
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