Tomorrow, during the Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Commission’s March meeting, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is expected to give a presentation aimed at undermining the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and directly threatening Colorado’s hunting heritage.
By attempting to show that mountain lion hunting negatively impacts population numbers, community dynamics and conservation efforts and can actually increase human-lion interaction, HSUS will be contradicting state biologists’ data and will directly attack hunters in the process.
Biologists from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) show that conservative estimates indicate mountain lion harvest mortality rates fall somewhere between 10-12 percent annually, well within the state’s approved management plans. Their figures even show that the number of adult female lions harvested, 16 percent, is a direct indicator of a strong population with high reproductive potential, providing for stable population trajectory.
According to CPW, the availability of hound hunting as a tool in lion management is particularly valuable because it enables hunters to determine age and gender prior to harvest. This allows a harvest that is targeted toward mature males, reducing the number of immature and female lions taken by 10-15 percent. Mature female survival is key to sustaining populations in the long term.
This push may be the first of many by HSUS in The Centennial State over the next few years in an attempt to outlaw hunting through legislation, ballot initiatives and public perception - and sportsmen and women should plan to keep a close eye on this.
Safari Club International will monitor this situation as it develops because SCI is dedicated protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation.