Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Colorado [No]

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Pigeons are probably the most common pest in the USA. Abundant food and shelter attract them more to the urban areas. Unlike other birds, pigeons like to build a nest inside tall buildings with nearby food sources. Killing pigeons is the easiest and most recommended method. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in Colorado?   

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Colorado. The state does not protect the birds that cause harm to humans and their properties. Therefore, it is legal to remove or kill the pigeons that are destroying your home, harvest, and workplace.   

Pigeons are not only the cause of destruction. They carry and can spread many diseases. This article will guide you all about the rules and laws on killing pigeons in Colorado.   

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Colorado?  

In Colorado, you can hunt all the pigeon species but cannot eat them. The wildlife authorities of the state do not protect pigeons. It is legal to hunt pigeons, during the hunting season, except for Migratory birds

Pigeon and dove species living in Colorado state are Mourning doves, Band-tailed pigeons, Eurasian collared doves, White-winged doves, Common ground doves, and Inca doves. The Eurasian collared dove is the most common and annoying pigeon species. It is legal to hunt them all year, even without a license.  

Another exception is Band-tailed pigeons, many states across the USA do not allow harming or hunting Band-tailed pigeons. But you can freely hunt band-tailed pigeons during the gaming festival each year.  

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Colorado?  

In Colorado, it is not illegal to hunt pigeons, but it is unlawful to eat pigeon meat. Pigeons carry multiple disease-causing organisms, including Salmonella, toxoplasmosis, E.coli, and toxoplasmosis. All of these microorganisms are a threat to human health. Eating pigeon eat brings more diseases than benefits. Plus, hunting wildlife solely for the purpose of eating is inhumane.   

Even though it is legal to hunt pigeons, in Colorado but the wildlife authorities do not allow the hunting of migratory pigeons off-season. Typically migratory bird hunter season begins in September and ends in January. Harming, hurting, and forcefully removal of Migratory pigeons is forbidden.

Migratory pigeons are part of the Migratory bird act treaty of 1918. It is the treaty between the USA and other foreign countries to protect endangered species and migratory birds. Hunting these birds off-season is a crime.   

Can You Shoot Pigeons On Your Property In Colorado? 

Yes. You can shoot pigeons on your property in Colorado. Pigeons are sky rodents that can destroy your property and spread many diseases. It is legal to shoot pigeons damaging your crops and living inside your property even without a hunting license. Property owners may and may not require a hunting license depending upon the situation.

If pigeons are nuisance creatures causing you damage financially, emotionally, or physically, you can shoot them even without a hunting license. However, if you are shooting pigeons for leisure on your property, you must possess a hunting license and abide by all the hunting rules. Additionally, you cannot hunt Migratory pigeons off-season, even on private land.  

How Many Acres Do You Need To Own To Hunt In Colorado? 

You must possess land of a minimum of 50 acres to 160 acres to hunt in Colorado. The area must be at least 40 acres away from the dwellings and the barns. There are public properties designated solely for hunting purposes in Colorado.

Hunters can hunt there after registering themselves. If you own large property far from the residential areas, you can list it as private hunting land. The private hunting land registration is at the Colorado wildlife office. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Colorado State 

The hunting laws in Colorado are to ensure the safety of wildlife and hunters. Hunting rules are very similar across the USA but can have slight changes according to each state. Below are some laws you must know before pigeon hunting in the state. 

Hunting License  

All hunters in Colorado, residents, and outlanders, must possess a hunting license. Anyone living in Colorado for more than six months is considered a resident. People aged 18 to 64 can purchase a hunting license online on the wildlife Colorado website or through an agent.

A youth hunting license is for people from 12 to 16. Unlike other states, Colorado does not offer a separate hunting license for senior citizens. But, there is a separate hunting license for people with physical disabilities, active-duty military members, and veterans.  

Hunter Education Certificate  

All hunters must complete a hunter education program to purchase a hunting license in Colorado. To enroll in the course, hunters can sign up online. Registration for the class must be done a few days ahead as all hunting classes are online except for the conclusion class.

The hunters must pass the online class and the conclusion class in order to complete the course. There is no minimum age for this course or residency requirement. A non-resident can also take this course.  

Hunting Weapons  

For hunting pigeons, shotguns cannot be larger than ten gauges and must not be capable of holding more than the three shells in the magazine. It is unlawful to use shotguns that can hold more than three shells. Rifles and handguns are allowed on the field, but you cannot shoot pigeons with BB and pellet guns.

Another weapon the Colorado state allows is a bow and arrow for the people that know archery. The use of poisonous arrows or bullet is illegal, or you will be banned from hunting in Colorado. 

Daily Bag Limit  

The daily bag limit is the number of single pigeon species you can harvest in one day. It is absolutely essential not to cross the bag count. The daily bag count also includes your possession limit.

If the daily bag count is nine and you have two pigeons already at home, you cannot hunt more than the seven pigeons of that species. There is no bag count of Eurasian collared doves in Colorado. However, there is a limit of only 15 birds daily for White-winged doves, Common ground doves, and Band-tailed pigeons.  

Safety Requirement 

In Colorado, all hunters must wear blaze orange or fluorescent pink vests and caps when hunting and carrying firearms. Hunters need to have a similar color backpack. When you do not have the same color backpack, conceal it with a matching cloth so you can be identified from behind. The rule is for hunters’ safety, so it’s easy to recognize them on the field.  

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Colorado State? 

Pigeon hunting and shooting are not complicated if you follow all the rules and regulations. To guide you in safe pigeon hunting, I have summarised all the laws in the pointers below. 

  • Complete the online hunter education certificate course. There is no age limit for the hunting course or any expiry duration. 
  • Purchase the hunting license online or through an agent. People below the age of 12 cannot participate in gaming festivals.  
  • Pre-register yourself for hunting on public land. For hunting pigeons on private property, hunters must obtain a permit from landowners.  
  • People below sixteen must be under the direct supervision of an adult hunter. 
  • The weapon must be legal, and the hunter must carry the weapon license. 
  • The permits and licenses can be in digital form. You must show them upon asking. 
  • Hunting hours begin in the early morning, thirty minutes before the sun rises, and end thirty minutes after sunset.  
  • Hunters must know all details on the daily bag count of each pigeon species.  
  • Register the harvest count to the wildlife authorities by filling out a forum online. 


Pigeons are a pest, and their removal is essential. Shooting pigeons might sound inhumane, but it is necessary as pigeons are the source of annoyance and disease. You can kill pigeons damaging your home, but you cannot shoot them when living in residential areas. To remove pigeons near dwellings, look for alternate ways like poison and traps.  

The state authorities are slightly linnet and allow shooting pigeons when they are destroying your harvest. However, your land must be a minimum of fifty acres. The local government also organizes hunting festivals for hunters that enjoy hunting as a leisure activity.