Take Action Today! Colorado sportsmen need to contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and let them know to oppose any petition that would ban bobcat trapping or hunting. Colorado members can contact the commission using this email: DNR_CPWCommission@state.co.us.
On Jan. 10, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will hold a hearing on a citizen’s petition that would ban the recreational and commercial trapping and hunting of bobcats. The petition claims that allowing the trapping and hunting of bobcats poses a serious threat to Canada lynx, as both cats geographical habitat overlap.
“The use of a federally protected species – Canada lynx in this case – is a favorite tactic of animal-rights groups who want nothing more than to shut down hunting and trapping,” said Luke Houghton, Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services. “They have tried numerous times to ban all trapping in Maine and Minnesota using litigation dealing with federally protected populations of Canada lynx, and in Maine their arguments were rejected by the courts.”
Colorado already has some of the most restrictive trapping laws after Initiative 14 passed in 1996. The initiative banned commonly used trapping methods, including: snares, leghold and conibear traps. Currently, trappers are only able to use box, cage or other live traps to take bobcats. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a free guide to help sportsmen distinguish between species so that accidental take of lynx are reduced even more.
The author of the petition goes further, claiming that there are more wildlife watchers in the U.S. than there are hunters and trappers. However, she fails to mention that millions of those wildlife watchers are also hunters and trappers, and that sportsmen provide the bulk of the revenue states receive for the conservation and management of wildlife through the sales of hunting and trapping licenses and tags, along with excise taxes on equipment. Sportsmen also provide real-time data to state biologists on the health and wellbeing of bobcats in Colorado pursuant to state regulations.
“This petition ignores sound science and uses tactics by the extreme animal-rights community to end the harvest of a healthy and abundant species,” continued Houghton. “It’s nothing but a backdoor attempt to shut down a hunting and trapping season. What is ironic, though, is this petition fails to recognize that hunters and trappers are the very reason that bobcat numbers continue to flourish in Colorado, and why the lynx population has a sustainable environment to grow its population.”