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Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

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Old 08-14-2012, 12:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

I've been searching all over the internet for a definitive answer on this. Some say no, and some say yes. I couldn't find anything definitive on Co DOW website but I did find an on-line brochure put out by them that implies red-dot scopes are "good to go" for hunting elk in dark timber. To me this indicates CO has no problem with them since they are battery driven (except for many of the Trijicons), but I'd like to see something definitive.

Can someone point me to a definitive CO regulation that says you can use illuminated reticle scopes, such as the Nightforce NXS, in Colorado for big game?
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Washington
Posts: 123
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

I cant speak for sure about your State, but I ran into the same thing in WA when I was trying to figure out if I could have an illuminated reticle. I think a lot of people get hung up on the language, especially around the word "illuminated" because the regs here say something to the nature of you cannot have a scope that illuminates the target. Well what they mean by that is you cannot have a scope that projects any sort of light source onto your target. So having your crosshairs light up is perfectly legal. You should also make sure there is nothing against using any battery operated devices.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

Thanks, Beardog. I think I read that thread in my searches. I'm actually not in Colorado, I'm in neighboring New Mexico. But I was thinking about hunting the OTC elk season up there in October with my Nightforce NXS scope and thought I would be okay until I read some threads elsewhere saying couldn't use illuminated reticles in CO.

I do think that some of these states that say you can't do it are going too far. I can understand they don't want you to send out a beam to illuminate the game animal...that's too much like spotlighting, but to say you can't use an illuminated reticle...come on, get real. All the best optics come that way these days.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:15 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

I had also asked this question to Burris because I knew they make, among other things, the Eliminator. Since they are headquarterd in Colorado, I figured they'd know. Here's the answer I received:

"The Eliminator scopes do not project a laser onto a target. It is simple a range finder, which handheld range finders can be used anywhere. The illumination is another story in some states. You can use illumination/battery assisted sights only during rifle seasons in Colorado. Also during rifle season in Colorado you can use any means of take example( Muzzle, bow, cross bow, rifle).

Any battery powered products are prohibited during Archery and Muzzle loader seasons this includes illuminated knocks, sight lights, red dot sights or anything battery powered that is attached to the weapon. Both of these seasons are labeled as primitive seasons."

I already knew the lighted knocks were prohibited so this answer jived with what I thought I already had figured out.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 4,604
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

Agree with BearDog! I suggest you get clarification directly from the proper authority (i.e., game warden) that will enforce the laws and regs of the state where you are going to hunt.

When I asked a game warden here in MT about scopes with illuminated reticles, he said it was OK but when I asked about scopes with built in RF, I was told NO for any big game hunting (wolf included) ... OK for varmints, coyotes, etc ...

The bottomline, get confirmation from the proper authority of enforcement.

I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

"I am always proud of my country!"

"Leadership Rule #2: Don't be an @zzhole." - Maj Gen Burton Field.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 867
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

The answer is yes you are allowed to hunt with illum. ret. in Colorado. 2 years ago it was my second trip to same outfitter and i mentioned to one of his guides about my new nightforce and showed him the illum. ret. He of course said he thought it was illegal and i thought he was full of crap. On the last day of my hunt my outfitter told me to grab my backup gun he knew where some cow elk was he seen the night before my edge might be to heavy since i might have to shoot quick. I grabbed my 25 WSM with a nightforce mounted on and going down the road he told me the real reason he told me to switch that my scope was illegal. He than asked me if this gun the scope lighted up. I was pissed and said no he wouldnt of known a nightforce from a simmons. I took my cow elk and daylight and never said a word. I came home and called Denver office and spoke to a man name Bob Thompson and asked if they was legal. He siad they was and i went farther and he left me know he knew what a illum. reticle was along with a nightforce scope. To bad my outfitter didnt know the law i wanted to connect with my edge. Bottom line they are legal in Colorado but some states there not. At worst just take out the battery.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:15 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CO
Posts: 35
Re: Are Scopes with Illuminated Reticles Legal in Colorado

They are unequivocably legal without any doubt or question in Colorado. Don't take my word for it: Colo Division of wildlife 303-291-7227
They will confirm what I've said.
And just for the record, you can also use a can on your rifle in Colorado.
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