Animal-rights groups have petitioned the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create rules that would prohibit wildlife contests for furbearers and small game, and to pass a separate rule to ban all traps, including live traps. The two citizen’s petitions are scheduled for hearings in the coming weeks.
On Thursday, April 30, at 1 p.m., the commission will hold a video conference meeting to vote on the petition to prohibit wildlife contests through agency rulemaking. The commission is expected to vote on an HSUS-backed petition to outlaw all traps on May 6 or 7.
Take Action Today! Colorado members should email the wildlife commissioners listed below and ask that they VOTE NO on any proposal to change current wildlife contest regulations and VOTE NO on any proposal to change current trapping regulations:
Michelle Zimmerman- email@example.com
Marvin McDaniel- firstname.lastname@example.org
James Vigil- email@example.com
Charles Garcia- firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke B. Schafer- Luke.Schafer@state.co.us
Marie Haskett- email@example.com
Robert William Bray- firstname.lastname@example.org
Taishya Adams- Taishya.Adams@state.co.us
Eden Vardy- Eden.Vardy@state.co.us
Carrie Besnette Hauser- email@example.com
Betsy Blecha- firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Colorado law allows for wildlife contests to take place so long as no more than five animals are harvested by an individual. The five-animal limit is already a sufficient government regulation for wildlife contests, and is even lower than some legal bag limits. Colorado’s contest laws in their current form are among the most restrictive in the U.S. and any further regulation or a prohibition on wildlife contests is completely unnecessary to conserve healthy wildlife.
While the petition seeks to ban any contest for small game and furbearers, they single out coyotes and prairie dogs. Both of these species are so abundant in Colorado, there are no bag limits for them, and they can be legally hunted year-round. Coyotes specifically, can adapt to a variety of habitats, which has made them a terribly efficient predator of livestock, wildlife and even pets. Prairie dogs are widely abundant, and their colonies can wreak havoc on natural sage and grassland habitats, agricultural lands and livestock, and overpopulation can endanger other animals through disease.
Colorado’s current contest restrictions actually create a more stringent bag limit than a regular hunt would entail.
“This petition makes no sense any way you look at it. Colorado’s regulations actually place a bag limit on species where one normally wouldn’t exist. Clearly, this isn’t about saving the lives of animals, but rather advancing an agenda at all costs,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We urge Colorado hunters to contact your commission members and express your concerns.”
Trapping continues to be the number-one target of animal-rights activists. Even though trapping is managed through scientifically based regulations that are strictly enforced by conservation officers in every state, activist groups and politicians continue to push their radical agenda.
In 1996, a ballot initiative in Colorado amended the state constitution to outlaw recreational trapping and all lethal traps, even live cage traps were banned for recreational purposes. Ten years later, in 2006, sportsmen in Colorado scored a major victory when the Colorado Wildlife Commission voted to open a recreational cage trapping season for bobcats and furbearers. This trapping petition would ban the use of even these live traps.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.