HUNTING ON FORT CARSON & PIÑON CANYON MANEUVER SITE
Hunting on Fort Carson (FC) and Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) is in accordance with Fort Carson Regulation 200-6 (Wildlife Management and Recreation), and Colorado State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regulations. Fort Carson Conservation Law Enforcement Officers (CLEO) are authorized to enforce federal and state laws and Department of Defense (DoD) and Army regulations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and USFWS Law Enforcement Officers are authorized to enter Fort Carson and PCMS to enforce federal and state fish and wildlife laws. The information provided here is a summary or rules and regulations found in FC Regulation 200-6.
WHAT YOU NEED TO HUNT
To hunt on Fort Carson or PCMS you need to (in no particular order for 1 through 3): (1) purchase an annual recreational permit, (2) attend an annual downrange safety briefing, (3) register firearms (unless using bow), and after 1 through 3 are complete, (4) obtain a daily downrange pass.
**EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY** Instructions for YOUTH RECREATIONIST GOING DOWNRANGE: There are changes for those desiring to bring youth, 11 years of age or younger, downrange with them, as follows:
- Mentor/Parent/Guardian may bring children, 11 years of age and younger, with them when going down range and must be 18 years of age or older.
- Children, 11 years old and younger are NOT REQUIRED to attend the annual Down Range Safety Brief. But, the mentor/parent/guardian must attend the brief and are responsible for those children in their care while downrange, at all times.
- Children, 11 years old and younger DO NOT need to get Down Range Passes.
- Mentor/Parent/Guardian getting a Down Range Pass must accept the Acknowledgement Instructions when bringing children onto FC and/or PCMS.
- Signing (checking box) the Hold Harmless Agreement when obtaining a Down Range Pass, also applies to all children you bring and are responsible for when down range.
- Children, 11 years old and younger, must stay with mentor/parent/guardian at all times, when down range.
- Mentor/Parent/Guardian must follow instructions given when obtaining Down Range Pass (i.e., write names of youth in your care on Down Range Pass).
Children 12 to 17 years of age going down range must follow all procedures for adults/mentors that go with them:
- Children 12-17 years old must have mentor/parent/guardian with them when going downrange.
- Mentor/Parent/Guardian must be 18 years of age or older.
- Children 12-17 years old must complete all requirements to go downrange, to include
- Purchase Annual Recreation Permit
- If hunting, register weapon
- Attend Annual Range Safety Brief
- Get Down Range Pass when going downrange with Mentor/Parent/Guardian
AREAS AVAILABLE OR CLOSED FOR HUNTING
The training lands of Fort Carson are divided into 56 training areas that are available for recreation when not reserved for military training, range maintenance, or other management activities. Approximately 94,000 acres are available for hunting and other recreational pursuits. On Fort Carson, a downrange pass is generally available for 1-8 training areas termed a “block.” Range Control determines Block composition.
Because of proximity to Butts Army Airfield and training flight routes, waterfowl hunting is prohibited at the fishing reservoirs (i.e., Northside, Haymes, West Haymes, Townsend, or Womack reservoirs) due to increased risk of an aircraft-bird strike. In the event that waterfowl hunting is available at a fishing reservoir, all other activities at the reservoir are prohibited. Reservoirs open for waterfowl hunting will be posted on iSportsman. For safety, waterfowl hunters may be required to hunt in firing lines established by Range Control. Note: Waterfowl are not common on Fort Carson or PCMS and therefore hunting opportunities are limited. The cantonment, ranges, and impact areas are not open to hunting. Hunting is prohibited in the Outdoor Recreation Management (including Bird Farm and Turkey Creek Ranch Recreation Areas), or training areas having an active Golden Eagle eyrie.
Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site is divided into 23 training areas and approximately 224,000 acres are available for hunting. When hunting is allowed at PCMS, generally the entire installation is available, unless the ranges or training areas are in use. For information specific to hunting on PCMS, please go to PCMS site tab.
RIFLE AND LOW VELOCITY HUNTING AREAS
Fort Carson training areas 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 14 are available for low velocity hunting only year-round. Low velocity hunting is limited to archery, muzzleloader, or shotgun. The remainder of the training areas, when open, are available for hunting with any legal weapon for the species hunted, unless restricted by Range Control. Range Control makes the final determination regarding the type of firearms allowed in each training area.
At PCMS, hunting by any legal method is generally the rule and low velocity restrictions are a rare occurrence at PCMS. However, Range Control makes the final determination regarding the type of firearms allowed in each training area at PCMS.
Non-participants are not allowed, except personnel who are not fishing, boating, hunting, or dog training can accompany a permit holder at Womack, Townsend, Haymes, West Haymes, and Northside reservoirs. Click HERE to download FC Form 2026-E.
Scouting of training areas prior to the hunting season is permitted when areas are available for recreation. The same rules for access apply, e.g., downrange pass, etc. Non-participants cannot accompany scouters or other recreationists downrange.
DAYLIGHT FLUORESCENT ORANGE
Hunters and recreationists must wear daylight fluorescent orange when accompanying a big game hunter during rifle or muzzleloader seasons conforming to the State requirement for big game hunters. Small game, waterfowl, and turkey hunters are no longer required to wear daylight fluorescent orange during big game seasons.
HUNTING BLINDS/TREE STANDS
Use of hunting blinds and tree stands that are not self-supporting or attaching them to trees with nails or screws is not permitted. Self-supporting hunting blinds may be left in the field for the duration of a hunting season when owner contact information is affixed to it. No other recreationist may use the blind without owner permission. Placing a tree stand in an area does not guarantee or reserve that site for the hunter. Fort Carson is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged stands. Hunting from range towers or other range structures is prohibited.
ATTENTION: Night Hunting is prohibited!
DEER & ELK HUNTERS ON FORT CARSON (GAME MANAGEMENT UNIT 591)
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Testing is Mandatory for Deer and Elk at Fort Carson.
Transport sample or animal to the CPW office located at 4255 Sinton Road, just off Garden of the Gods Road on the east side of I-25. CPW personnel will remove the sample for you.
Call CPW for additional information, (719) 227-5200. Instructions are available online at the CPW website. Click Here for online CPW Chronic Wasting Disease information page.
Do not bring heads/specimens to the Directorate of Public Works Wildlife Office for processing. Contact the Wildlife Office for additional information, (719) 526-8006 or 524-5393.
Testing is free for Game Management Unit (GMU) 591 deer and elk hunters.
HUNTING WITH DOGS
A downrange pass is required for dog trainers shooting blanks at any location on FC and PCMS. The control of dogs on Fort Carson and PCMS is the sole responsibility of the owner/handler. Fort Carson is not responsible for any injuries sustained by the dog while on Fort Carson or PCMS. Dog owners/handlers cannot enter closed areas or private lands to retrieve a dog. Contact the Police Desk (526-2333) and request the assistance of a Fort Carson Conservation Law Enforcement Officer.
DOG TRAINING AND CONTESTS
A downrange pass is required for dog trainers shooting blanks at any location on FC and PCMS. Using live animals for training dogs or contests is prohibited. The Wildlife Demonstration Area (WDA) is open for dog training and training dogs without firing blanks/caps is permitted without a Down Range Pass. However, you do need a Recreation Permit.
WOUNDED BIG GAME
Hunters must make every effort to trail and recover wounded game. Hunters tracking wounded game may not, however, violate the required return time specified on the downrange pass or enter closed areas. Hunters should mark the spot they last saw sign contact the Police Desk (526-2333) and request the assistance of a Fort Carson Conservation Law Enforcement Officer. If wounded game goes off Fort Carson or PCMS, it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the landowner.
Fort Carson has New Visitor Access Policy
Beginning 1 May 2015 Fort Carson (FC) will change its access control policies and procedures. The purpose for these changes are to increase the installation's security posture and conform to regulatory guidance. The changes will impact all non-Department of Defense (DoD) ID card holders requesting unescorted access to the installation. The following changes will take place:
- All non-DoD ID card holders requesting unescorted access will be required to undergo a NCIC III (criminal history background) check prior to accessing the installation.
- A new pass format will be implemented that is tied to the individual and contains a photo of the individual and a bar code.
- Personnel who do not pass the NCIC III check will be denied access to the installation.
All non-DOD ID card holder personnel requesting access will need to report to the Visitor Control Center (VCC) located at Building 6012, with a valid state or federally issued photo ID (driver's license if driving), vehicle registration, and proof of insurance (if applicable). All personnel must have a valid reason for accessing the installation.
If requesting re-occurring access, as most recreationists will be, you will need to follow the process below.
- Purchase Recreation Permit from this web site and Print out the permit. Go to Buy Permits tab above or click HERE.
- Take your printed Recreation Permit to the VCC. They will conduct an NCIC III background check and if approved will issue you a 120-day pass.
- Show the 120-day pass to security guard when passing through the manned gates to recreate on Fort Carson.
- When your current 120-day pass expires you will have to go to the VCC and get a new 120-day pass issued.
Questions may be directed to:
- VCC at (719) 526-2332
- Security & Access Control Office at (719) 526-5543.
- Any other problems with the process, you may call (719) 526-8006.
NOTE: This new policy does not apply to Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) visitors. To enter PCMS, all recreationists must use the main gate, located on US 350, north of Model, CO and 32 miles northeast of Trinidad.
All Fort Carson recreationists are prohibited from driving off the designated recreation roads, but hunters may drive two-track roads and off-road only to retrieve downed big game. Designated recreation roads are identified on the FC recreational map. Off-road driving may be prohibited during wet soil conditions.
At PCMS, recreationists may drive on any road. Hunters may drive off-road only to retrieve downed big game. Off-road and two-tracks may be prohibited during wet soil conditions.
At PCMS, access into Bent, Stage, Welsh, Lockwood, and Red Rocks canyons is restricted to foot traffic, but hunters may drive two-track roads into these canyons to retrieve downed big game. Red Rocks canyon is closed to vehicular traffic at all times.
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES (ATV)
Off-highway, all-terrain, and unlicensed vehicles will not be operated on Fort Caron and PCMS, except in designated areas. Recreationists are required to park within 100 feet of a designated recreation road, so the vehicle is clearly visible from the recreation road. When a road separates training area boundaries, parking is allowed on either side of the road.
The use of equines (e.g., horses, mules, donkeys, etc.) is now allowed with a downrange pass on Fort Carson (outside Turkey Creek Ranch) and PCMS. Also, hunters or recreationalists may also transport their horses through PCMS to the Pickettwire Canyon area of the U.S. Forest Service (Comanche National Grassland). See Below.
ADJACENT PRIVATE/PUBLIC LANDS
A recreationist will not enter private or public lands adjacent to Fort Carson or PCMS. Exceptions are recreationists possessing a valid Fort Carson recreation permit and downrange pass may cross the eastern boundary of PCMS to enter Game Management Unit 147 (U.S. Forest Service property).
TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS
On Fort Carson and PCMS, firearms used for hunting may be transported in the passenger compartment or trunk of a vehicle as long as they are unloaded and cased, and only while the possessor of the firearm(s) is actively engaged in hunting in accordance with Fort Carson Regulation 210 -18 (FC Reg 210-18) dated 15 Jan 2010. A loaded firearm means a firearm that has ammunition inserted into the firearm, even if a round is not chambered. As an exception, muzzleloaders may be transported with a round in the chamber as long as the firing cap or priming powder is removed rendering it unable to fire. When transported, all ammunition shall be in a container, separate from any firearm. Chapter 2 of FC Reg 210-18 details transporting and using firearms on Fort Carson. Click HERE to see more information in FC Reg 210-18.
TARGET PRACTICE AND SIGHTING WEAPONS
Target practice and sighting weapons are allowed only at Fort Carson designated ranges. Contact Range Control for additional information.
Recreationists will not shoot a firearm within 100 yards of the installation boundary, Turkey Creek Ranch Recreation Area and other non-hunting recreation areas, buildings, camps, or any training area occupied by soldiers. Recreationists will not shoot from, across, or within 50 feet of the centerline of a designated recreation road, Main Supply Route (MSR), or numbered road or route on Fort Carson or PCMS.
Shooting, trapping, or hunting prairie dogs or swift fox is prohibited.
At Fort Carson, falconry is prohibited in training areas 32, 33, 38, 39, 41, and 45.
Unless prohibited, guides seeking to operate on Fort Carson are subject to the requirements of AR 210-7, FC Regulation 210-3, and any state licensing requirements.
Mentors must accompany a recreationist 17 years old and younger. Mentors must be 18 years old or older and must have a current Recreation Permit and Down Range Pass.