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How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Colorado

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Bounty hunters, also known as bail recovery agents, track and arrest fugitives who failed to appear for court appointments. Bounty hunters mostly work for bail bonding companies, and they earn a percentage of each arrested fugitive's bail amount, typically 10 percent. To be a bounty hunter in Colorado, you cannot have a felony conviction within the last 15 years, and must be at least 18 years old. The state does not require licensing; however, you must complete a certification course, submit fingerprints and undergo a background check.

Study the profession. It's one thing to watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter" where Duane "Dog" Chapman and his family posse track and arrest fugitives sometimes in Colorado during a TV show, and another to understand the qualifications and risks in the profession. To learn more about bounty hunting, research articles, books, equipment and bail recovery associations, such as the ones listed at

Take a course in bail recovery. Various Colorado bail recovery agents offer bounty hunter courses, such as and Bobby Brown, the bail bondsman on "Dog the Bounty Hunter." These courses are Colorado Department of Insurance-approved certification courses, and cover such topics as bail fugitive apprehension, interview techniques and skip tracing.

Submit required documentation. To practice bounty hunting in Colorado, you must provide proof of a completed bail recovery certification course to the Insurance Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Also, you must submit your fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which forwards them to the FBI for processing.

Refine your investigative and self-defense skills. As with any profession, it is important to continually update and sharpen your expertise. Study and practice investigative techniques such as skip tracing, negotiating, researching phone numbers and interview methods. Because it is critical to protect yourself while safely apprehending fugitives, take courses in handcuffing, self-defense, martial arts and nonlethal weapons training.

Purchase necessary equipment. Most bounty hunters have chain-linked handcuffs, handcuff key and case, as well as a belt to carry them. For self-defense, some bounty hunters carry pepper spray or a stun gun, as well as a bulletproof vest. Basic office equipment includes a cell phone and laptop computer.

Market your services. Most bounty hunters work for bail bond agencies, so contact local bail bond agencies through letters or emails to introduce your business and its services. Also consider conducting cold calls, which gives you an opportunity to meet bail bond personnel face to face. Wear business casual clothing, keep conversations brief and professional and leave a business card. Also, it is helpful to build a website or launch a blog to attract clients.


In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.