Colorado lawmakers reject bid to ban mountain lion hunting

Colorado lawmakers on Thursday rejected a controversial measure that would have banned the hunting of bobcats, Canadian lynx and cougars in the state.

Senate Bill 31 was defeated by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in its first hearing on Capitol Hill, which lasted several hours due to the number of opposing and supportive testimonies. The vote to kill the legislation was 4-1.

The bill has stoked the ire of Colorado hunters, fishers and farmers, but was backed by the Humane Society and prompted by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s decision in January 2021 to allow hunters from certain areas to attract cougars with electronic calling devices.

Opponents of the measure have flooded lawmakers’ inboxes with comments on the legislation. The debate has become so contentious that three of the four main sponsors of the legislation – all Democrats – have withdrawn their support.

Only Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis of D-Boulder County remained a primary sponsor of the bill. She was the only one to vote in favor of advancing the measure on Thursday.

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