March 22, 2024

Coloradans—You can Help Stop Trophy Hunting.

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Thank you to Elephant Journal for being so enthusiastic about doing a podcast on Cats Aren’t Trophies (CATs), which is a citizen-led effort to put to the voters come November a measure that bans all trophy hunting of mountain lions and fur trapping of bobcats in Colorado.

Today we are out and about in the state gathering signatures to get this measure on the ballot. We need a whopping 125,000 signatures, so this is a heavy lift!

We could really use more help and volunteers, as we are relying on volunteers to build community and get the word out about what is going on in our wild lands that is so cruel, unethical, and unsporting, targeting majestic mountain lions and bobcats who have done nothing wrong and harmed no one.

Please go to our website to learn more and sign up to help! We are building community and protecting our precious wildlife for future generations.

We want to shine some sunlight on this issue. Most Coloradans have absolutely no idea that we allow recreational killing of 500 mountain lions and even more bobcats every year in our state.

Trophy hunts start with dog packs—up to eight—fitted with GPS radio collars that flush out a mountain lion, chase the animal through the forest, and contain the cat up a tree. The outfitter and/or trophy hunter finds the location with a handheld directional antenna and shoots.

Bobcats are live trapped then killed by strangulation from a “choke stick,” poison, or by bludgeoning to death, because trappers say they like to preserve the cleanest pelt. Any rifle, handgun, shotgun, handheld bows, crossbows, or any air gun pre-charged can be used to kill a trapped bobcat on site, according to state guidelines. But there are clear allowances today in Colorado for trappers who wish to bludgeon a bobcat to death and keep the pelt clean from blood that spills after the cat is shot. There is zero oversight of the process in the field. The “bag limit” so to speak is unlimited.

What we are finding while gathering signatures goes right along with the polling results on this issue—the majority of Coloradans have consistently voiced their distaste for trophy hunting wild cats in Colorado. In 2023, doctorate-level wildlife carnivore researchers with Colorado State University released a preliminary report that is in the process of publication. The report found that 80.6 percent of Coloradans opposed killing of lions or bobcats for their hides or fur and 77.9 percent for trophies. In terms of hunting methods, 88.2 percent opposed the use of hounds in hunting lions, while 75.2 percent oppose the use of electronic calls to lure lions within shooting range.

Our mission is to end the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats because it is cruel and unsporting—a highly commercial, high-tech head-hunting exercise that doesn’t produce edible meat or sound wildlife management outcomes but only orphaned cubs and social chaos among the surviving big cats.

So please, the time is urgent. Help us gather signatures to put this issue to the voters and to finally end this forest of horrors!


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