Denver – On March 8th, the Colorado Wildlife Commission postponed its decision to rule on the mandatory hunter education until its May 3rd meeting. If passed, the program will be the first of its kind in the country — setting an enormous precedent.
In August 2005, both Sinapu and the Colorado Outfitters Association petitioned the Colorado Wildlife Commission and requested that lion hunter education become mandatory. In November 2005, the Wildlife Commission ordered the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) to advance a mandatory hunter education course. Colorado Outfitters’ Association, Sinapu, and others participated with the DOW in developing the hunter education program. Many groups applaud the outcome of the DOW’s efforts.
“We were concerned with the fact that nearly half of the total mountain lion hunter kill in Colorado was comprised of females, which meant too many kittens were being orphaned,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring. “It’s essential for the long-term conservation of a slow-breeding species that the females are protected.”
Female lions spend between 11 to 24 months raising and provisioning their kittens. In their first months of life, kittens rarely travel with their mother – so lion hunters could not know if they were unintentionally killing mother cats and orphaning dependent young. Most mountain lions give birth to their young during the summer and fall months, and with Colorado’s lion hunting season commencing in mid-November, it meant that cats with dependent young were vulnerable.
The Colorado Outfitters Association also wanted mandatory hunter education to reduce hunting violations, which includes illegal trespass and hunting with guides and outfitters that are not licensed or bonded in Colorado.
Contact: Wendy Keefover-Ring, Sinapu
Office: 303.447.8655, Ext. 1, #