US Air Force Academy: In the November 1998 issue of U.S. Hunting Report (see page 13), I told you about two big game hunting opportunities on military bases in Colorado. Both of those bases (Fort Carson and the Pinyon Canyon Maneuver Site) have many more permits than the area I am about to describe, but they certainly do not provide as unique an opportunity as the Air Force Academy does. The academy grounds, of course, are near Colorado Springs, and they comprise some 18,000-plus acres. Turns out 12,000 of those acres are open to controlled mule deer hunting. Last year 20 doe permits and 10 buck permits were issued for the Academy. The hunts were two days in length and occurred the weekend before or the weekend after Christmas. What makes this hunt unique is that the hunter success is always near 100 percent (last year it was 97 percent), and for a $20 Academy hunt fee you get a fully-guided hunt. That's right. Every hunter is accompanied by either an Academy employee from their Natural Resources Department or a Colorado Division of Wildlife employee. It's one of the easier mule deer hunts in the West, and the people I spoke to in the Natural Resources Department were friendly, enthusiastic and sounded like they truly enjoyed helping hunters.
For more information, contact the US Air Force Academy; or the Colorado Division of Wildlife. As for a permit to hunt the grounds, you'll have to be drawn for that. So, tuck this hunt suggestion into your planning and keep watching our Permit Application Calendar box for advance warning of the application deadline.