Parks & Recreation

Provided below is information and links regarding benefits and services potentially available to you. We strongly recommend, if you are considering requesting services or submitting an application to the VA, that you contact your County Veterans Service Office. Their Service Officers specialize in assisting veterans and their family members with claims, applications, and appeals to the VA.

Please visit our County Veterans Service Offices web page to obtain your County Veterans Service Office's contact information.

Parks and Recreation

Hunting and Fishing License

Under the Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Parks and Wildlife offers the following benefits:

  • Free lifetime combination small-game hunting and fishing license for a resident veteran with a permanent service-connected disability of 60% or more (see below). A fishing license only option is also available.
  • No fee for a fishing license to a member of the armed forces who is a resident patient at a military hospital or convalescent station, any resident patient at a USDVA hospital located within the State, or any veteran who is permanently and totally disabled.
  • Free admission to any state part or recreation area for those veterans with a Disabled Veterans License Plate.

In order to obtain the free hunting and fishing license, disabled veterans must supply a proof of disability letter from the VA. This can be obtained online via eBenefits or by calling the VA at 800-827-1000. The application for the license and application instructions can be found online on the CPW website or by calling 303-291-7235.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife Application

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the State of Colorado are pleased to offer several programs to active duty members of the military and to those who served our country and are disabled. Colorado has the best hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities and the CPW wants to make those opportunities available to as many people as possible. Thank you for your service.

Learn more and get an application on the CPW website

Parks and Recreation Pass

Free admission to State Parks in August. Service members and Veterans may obtain a free Military August Pass allowing free entry to any Colorado State park or recreation area during the month of August annually. Free access covers admission only and does not include fees for campgrounds, yurts, or other amenities and services.

All active duty, reserve, and CONG members other than dishonorably discharged Veterans are eligible for free entry during August. Valid verification applies. The service member must be int he vehicle to use the pass.

Beginning in July annually, eligible applicants may obtain a free August Pass at every CPW office and park. Passes are not issues through license or pass agents or by phone.

Call 303-297-1192 or visit the CPW website for more information.

Free admission on Veterans Day to all State Parks, annually on November 11th.

Active duty and Veterans are admitted free to Colorado State parks. Proof of military service is required i.e DD214, in uniform, Colorado ID etc.). All other parks fees are still charged.

Free Admission to State Parks for Resident Disabled Veterans.

Colorado Residents with current Colorado Disabled Veteran license plates may access Colorado State Parks free without a pass on the windshield. The vehicle must have the plates and the Veteran must be present.

Free Admission to State Parks

Free admission to all state parks is available to veterans with Colorado Disabled Veterans or Purple Heart license plates. Colorado residents with current Colorado Disabled Veterans or Purple Heart license plates may access Colorado State Parks free without a pass on the windshield. These plates are obtained through the Division of Motor Vehicles. The law for individuals with Disabled Veterans license plates provides free entrance to state parks and does not provide special camping rates. The veteran must be present in the vehicle

Independence Parks Pass

Colorado resident disabled veterans may apply for the free Independence Pass here: Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Independence Pass, Disabled Veterans Plates, and Purple Heart Plates (state.co.us). Pass holders over age 64 qualify for discounted camping in state parks Sunday through Thursday, excluding holidays.

Resident Fishing on Temporary Leave

Colorado residents who are on active duty and permanently stationed outside of the state may fish without a license while in Colorado on temporary leave. The military member must carry a copy of their leave papers with them while fishing and cannot use this exemption for more than 30 days a year.


Military personnel stationed in Colorado on active duty and their family members can qualify to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the Colorado resident rates. Personnel (and their dependents) qualify for residency if they are on active duty in Colorado under permanent orders. This includes people who were Colorado residents when they entered the armed services and maintain Colorado as their home of record (unless they change their home of record to another state). Military personnel here on active duty must show proof by presenting official military documentation (military orders) when purchasing resident licenses. Active duty does not include reserve status or National Guard.

Preference Points

Any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces stationed at any military facility in Colorado and actively deployed outside the United States or any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is a Colorado resident and is deployed outside the United States during the license application deadline period can apply to receive a preference point for a future hunt. A military preference point application must be completed and restrictions apply.

Active duty members of the military are exempt from the $25 preference point fee. Members must pay the $25 preference point fee, and then submit a refund request form to receive a fee refund. To receive a refund for the preference point fee, please submit a refund request form along with a copy of current military orders OR a copy of a current military ID.

License Refund and Point Return if Deployed After Application

Active duty service members who are deployed overseas and cannot use a license that they applied for and received can get a refund of the license purchase and get any preference points returned by returning the license with a copy of deployment orders. For information, contact Limited Licensing at 303-291-7381.

Wounded Warrior Program

In 2010, the governor of Colorado signed a bill authorizing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to issue licenses for the US Armed Forces Wounded Warrior program. In response, the Wildlife Commission set aside a number of free licenses for members of the Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor program. While there are limits on the number of licenses that can be issued (100 each female deer, elk and pronghorn and 100 total male deer, elk and pronghorn), the goal of the CPW is to issue as many of these licenses as possible to qualified members of the Wounded Warrior program.

Wounded Warrior Program requirements include:

  • Must be a member of the US Armed Forces and a Colorado resident or stationed in Colorado.
  • Must be returning from post-Sept. 11, 2001 overseas contingency operation.
  • Must be assigned to a military medical treatment facility at the time of application.
  • Must be a qualifying member of the United States Armed Services Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor Program. Applications for the Wounded Warrior program are available from the CPW Limited Licensing Unit at 303-291-7380.

Veteran's Lifetime Combination Small Game Hunting/Fishing License (VA Combo License)

For Colorado residents who are also disabled veterans, theCPW offers a FreeLifetimeVA Combo License. To qualify for this license, a disabled veteran must provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of a service-connected disability of 60% or more, as rated by the Department of Veteran's Affairs.
  • Any person born on or after January 1st, 1949, must have completed a hunter's safety course before applying for the VA Combo License.
  • Purple Heart recipients, who can provide documented proof, are also eligible for a VA Combo License.

For more information about the small game/fishing license, or to obtain an application, please call 303-291-7235.