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JAN 20, 2022

Colorado Bill - Mountian Lion - THEINSIDESPREAD

Category: Policy

In this day and age, it seems like we are confronted daily with anti-hunting agendas throughout much of the country. This week, it is no different as Colorado legislators have proposed a bill SB22-031. If the Colorado bill is passed, the bill would eliminate Mountain Lion, Bobcat, and Lynx hunting in the state.

Why is this threat to hunters everywhere?

The more recent strategies of anti-hunting groups are to go after trapping or predator hunting first because they see it as an easy target. We have seen New Mexico ban trapping on public land in the last year, even though the state game & fish did not recommend it. There is a petition ongoing in California to ban bear hunting, and Washington state has stopped the 2022 Spring Bear Hunt. Now they are working on a ban on cougar hunting in Klickitat County.

These hunting infringements are just getting started across much of the country are seeing very little slow down in 2022. There are approximately 15 million hunters in the United States of America. People who enjoy the outdoors by hunting and fishing are the minority but are attacked by anti-hunting groups like hunters are majority of adults. People who support these endeavors need to speak to their state representatives to ensure that these bills and petitions get squashed as soon as possible. Anti-hunting groups will come for your favorite hunting activity next if they don’t.

As hunters, what can we do about these changes?

The number one thing you can do is reach out to your state and federal representatives about protecting the right to hunt. Right now, 23 states have a right to hunt. These state constitutional amendments are a great place to start. Still, we as hunters need to continue supporting these amendments and ensuring there is enough clarity that politicians can skirt the law. We need to hold out representatives accountable.

After you take care of step one, look into supporting Hunting Conservation Groups, there are many great options. Whether it is the Rocky Mountain Elk FoundationDuck UnlimitedSportsmen’s Alliance, or Pheasants Forever, get involved in a meaningful way through becoming a member, joining a local chapter, or giving a financial gift, we urge you to do what you can in 2022 to conserve you hunting passions.

Additionally, we as hunters need to step up our game in ethical hunting practices, treatment of other hunters, hunting education, and understanding & following the regulations.

Ethical hunting is a no-brainer, but sometimes it gets put on the back burner. It can happen no more; we are being watched like hawks by non-hunter and anti-hunter alike to see what we will do. If there is poor news story after news story of illegal hunting activities hunters treating others poorly, how can we expect to gain ground in the fight against hunting?

We as hunters must stay within the law, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have higher standards for ourselves. A few quick examples of this might be taking the quarry you need, using only a particular type of weapon, or making it 100% certain your shot will be lethal. Sure we make mistakes, but we must take responsibility and are accountable for those mistakes.

The Guard the Gate Philosophy

The Guard the Gate Philosophy is us as hunters doing what we can to ensure that we put up the gate for all hunters and anglers across the country, helping protect our outdoor activities. We don’t want to give anti-hunting groups an inch because they will and have taken a mile.

If we protect predator hunting and trapping across the United States, we will protect White-Tailed Deer hunting, Elk hunting, Duck hunting, and more. Whether you hunt in Arizona or Michigan or across many of the 50 states, you must build your gate. If we all build our gate together, we will see a future where hunting is protected from generation to generation.

Is the hunting news all bad?

The good news is the answer to that question is no. Missouri is looking to provide more hunting opportunities soon. Utah recently kept the OTC Elk tags for 2022 and added new hunting opportunities for big game.

As you see, there is a lot of good work to help Hunters continue hunting in 2022, but for us to expand on that and stop idea like the Colorado bill, we must do what we can to get involved on the local, state, and national stage that hunting opportunities will only expand. The North American conservation model is working, so it must continue so our children and our children’s children can enjoy the resources available to us.