While Colorado already prohibits hunting contests for larger species of wildlife, yesterday, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a ban that restricts wildlife hunting contests for smaller animals, as well as fur-bearing species. The ban will go into effect on June 30, 2020.
As per a statement released by the Commission, black-tailed, white-tailed, and Gunnison’s prairie dogs, as well as Wyoming (Richardson’s) ground squirrels are among the animals protected under the ban, as are all fur-bearing species such as: coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and bobcats.
The motion was the result of a process that began at the November 2019 Commission meeting in Wray, Colorado, when the Commission directed Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff to provide information about how other state wildlife agencies regulated such contests.
As previously reported by WAN, wildlife hunting contests are privately organized competitive events during which participants compete for cash or other prizes for killing animals in a specified location during a specified time period.
In a related action, the Commission denied a citizen petition that was submitted after the Commissions’ decision to consider changes to contest regulations. The petition similarly sought to ban contests, but the proposal contained conflicting regulatory language that would have been difficult for people to understand.
“We are committed to sound wildlife management in Colorado, and we always strive to review wildlife-related issues,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “We studied the issue over the past several months and staff brought forward a thorough recommendation for the Commission to consider, culminating in our decision.”
Contests to kill sentient beings should be banned worldwide, period.
An analysis by CPW staff found that five other states currently have some form of a ban on wildlife killing contests:
Arizona: banned predator and furbearer killing contests in 2019
California: banned predator and furbearer killing contests in 2014
Massachusetts: banned predator and furbearer killing contests in 2019
New Mexico: banned coyote killing contests in 2019
Vermont: banned coyote killing contests in 2018