As a cool, autumnal breeze descends into the Animas valley, hunters everywhere prepare for another great big game season. 

With both mid and high-elevation access to mule deer and elk herds, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep, Durango is an ideal headquarters for all southwestern big game activities. Find everything you need for your hunt, from guides and outfitters to the necessary gear and equipment, right in Durango. 

Why choose Durango as your big game headquarters? 

This is awesome Colorado elk country

With 2 million acres of national forest and wilderness land at your doorstep, the hunting experience from Durango is incredible. For a truly wild experience out in the timbers and aspens, big game hunters go to Durango. The pack experience alone will make the trip worthwhile. 

There are a number of local outfitters to support your trip

Over the Hill, East Creek, Peak to Creek, and the Split Fork Outfitters are just some of the outfitters local to Durango. You can lease packhorses for your trip, find the perfect guide, hire a camp cook, and learn from the local experts directly.

You’re supporting Wildlife Conservation

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife does not benefit from general tax dollars. Rather, programs are funded through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses.

Likewise, by choosing to hunt in Colorado, you will be directly supporting some of the most diverse wildlife populations in the country. Population management offers a critical benefit, ensuring herds do not grow to unsustainable sizes.

The tag process can be easy and painless

There are a number of different licenses and ways to purchase them, depending on the type of hunt and availability. First, decide if you will be hunting during archery, muzzleloader, or rifle season. For a comprehensive guide and Colorado Parks and Wildlife official Big Game Hunting Planner, check here. Note that the pricing is different for out-of-state and in-state residents. Make sure you prepare the necessary prerequisite information beforehand and follow the steps as prescribed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Tags generally go on sale in August of that year.

You’re supporting the local economy

Beyond conservation and population management, hunting also serves to benefit the local town. By hunting in Durango, you’re entering a community of nature-loving, sport enthusiasts who love the experience as much as the actual hunt.

Nothing tastes better than a hard-earned kill

When it is all said and done, you’ll walk away with locally grown, natural meat and a great story to share. With a number of taxidermists in town, including Wildlife Expressions and Moringstar, you can walk away with both a trophy for the wall and a new appreciation for the southwest.


By Alex Gulsby