After years of threats by animal-rights groups to pursue a ban mountain lion hunting in Colorado, legislation has been introduced to do just that – and then some. Senate Bill 22-031 would ban all recreational hunting and trapping of mountain lions, bobcats and Canada lynx. Currently, Canada lynx are a federally protected species with no hunting seasons; SB 22-031 would preemptively preclude them from hunting in the event of delisting. The bill has been sent to the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
If passed, the only way a cougar, bobcat or lynx could be killed would be if a person is in immediate threat of harm, or if the animal presents an immediate threat to livestock. In the case of a rancher protecting livestock, records and evidence must be kept for examination by the government. Instead of using hunting as a wildlife management tool, the bill’s authors appear to envision trapping and transferring problem animals as the predominant method of recourse.
Act Today! Sportsmen need to contact their senators and oppose Senate Bill 22-031, which would have detrimental ramifications for elk, deer and other wildlife, as well as personal safety for citizens. Sportsmen can find their legislators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
“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,” said Brian Lynn, vice president of communications for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “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.”
Violators of the bill face significant penalties, including a fine of $500-$2,000, plus restitution of up to $1,000, plus a potential year in jail and suspension of hunting licenses for up to five years.
Senate Bill 22-031 will result in increases in public safety concerns as mountain lion and bobcat numbers grow unchecked. In addition to concerns about the wellbeing of people, the predators will also target pets and, of course, livestock. And finally, the legislation would impact other wildlife that would be killed in ever-increasing numbers by the newly protected and proliferating big cats.
Colorado sportsmen must draw the line here and let their state senators know they oppose SB 22-031 because it is harmful to people, pets, livestock and wildlife. Let them know you oppose the transferring of problem predators because it doesn’t solve the problem, but only relocates dangerous animals that will cause other people and animals to suffer.
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.