Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge was created to help offset the loss of wetlands throughout the prairies of the Midwest and today provides important habitat for waterfowl in Colorado. To create wetlands, water is diverted from the Illinois River and directed through a complex system of ditches to irrigate meadows and fill ponds. The wet meadows and ponds provide important breeding habitat for many duck species. These shallow wetlands also provide good hunting, particularly for Colorado's first waterfowl season. Since the refuge is at an 8,000-foot elevation, the ponds can be frozen by the end of October. As many as 8,000 ducks will be on the refuge in the fall and hunters can expect to see a variety of species, with gadwall and lesser scaup being especially abundant.

Congratulations on being selected for the 2023 cow/antlerless elk hunt at Arapaho NWR! 
Below is all the information that you need. Remember, you MUST watch the video orientation and download, fill, and return the Hunter Info page by emailing it to arapaho@fws.gov or mailing it to Arapaho NWR, c/o Keely Lopez, 28111 Highway 125, Walden, CO 80480 

  • To access the video orientation, click here  
  • To access a copy of the hunter letter, click here and to access the hunter access map, click here
  • To download the fillable hunter info page, click here 

If you have questions, please call us at (970) 723-8202 or email us at arapaho@fws.gov