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CPW Wildlife Commission bans wildlife contests in Colorado

Posted at 3:35 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 17:35:08-04

DENVER — During a virtual meeting this week, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a ban on organized wildlife contests.

The vote was 8 - 3 .

The decision prohibits contests for black-tailed, white-tailed, and Gunnison's prairie dogs, as well as Richardson's ground squirrels and all furbearers. The estimated effective date of the ban is June 30, 2020.

According to CPW, wildlife contests are privately organized competitive contests where participants compete for cash or other prizes for taking animals in a specified location during a specified time period, often to alleviate damage caused by the animals.

Colorado already had a partial statutory ban on wildlife contests, prohibiting contests for big game. Prior to this action, restrictions on wildlife contests for small game and furbearers were already being imposed, CPW said.

Five other states also currently have similar bans on wildlife contests, according to CPW.

  • 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

“I believe we’re still leaving the opportunity for private landowners to manage their properties,” said Commissioner Marvin McDaniel. “At the same time, I believe that for these hunting contests, the staff recommendation [to ban] is a good one.”

This ban does not apply to the lawful hunting of predators or furbearers.