Colorado legislators introduce bill to protect wild cats from trophy hunting


Currently, bobcats and mountain lions in Colorado are managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the agency establishes quotas, harvest limits, license numbers each year. Trophy hunters kill about 2,000 bobcats and 500 mountain lions annually, typically chasing them down with packs of dogs.

Senate Bill 22-031, which was introduced last week by four Democratic lawmakers, proposes to stop the trophy hunting and trapping of mountain lions, bobcats, or Canadian lynx. The bill has been sent to the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for its comments.

Conservation and sporting groups have come out against the bill while environmental groups and animal rights groups pledged support.

Brian Lynn, vice president of communications for the Sportsmen’s Alliance said:

Colorado hunters have been under attack by animal-rights activists for years. This bill isn’t just a Colorado issue, and it’s not just a predator-hunting issue. Senate Bill 22-0331 is an issue for every deer and elk hunter in Colorado, and for every non-resident hunter who has dreamed, saved money for, and plans to hunt the state in the future.

Aubyn Royall, Colorado state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said:

We applaud the introduction of S.B. 31 to protect our state’s wild cats from trophy hunting. It’s time for this archaic, inhumane, and scientifically unsupported practice to end in our state. There is no scientific justification for trophy hunting of wild cats and it can actually lead to increased conflicts in our human communities. Preventing the needless killing of these animals is critical now more than ever before, as Colorado’s wild cats are increasingly threatened by climate change and exploding human development in our wild spaces.

In 2019, the Colorado wildlife commission rejected a citizen petition to outlaw the trapping and trophy hunting of bobcats.

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