Wildlife contests banned

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission recently approved a ban on organized wildlife contests. The decision prohibits contests for black-tailed, white-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dogs, Wyoming (Richardson’s) ground squirrels and all furbearer species. The estimated effective date of this ban is June 30.

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. In a related action, the commission denied a citizen petition that was submitted after the commission’s decision to consider changes to contest regulations. The petition similarly sought to ban contests, but the proposal contained conflicting regulatory language that would have been difficult for people to understand.

Colorado already has a partial statutory ban on wildlife contests. Colorado Revised Statute C.R.S. 33-6-118 prohibits contests for big game. Commission regulation prior to this action imposed restrictions on wildlife contests for small game and furbearers in addition to the statutory big game contest prohibition. This action further restricts contests for small game and furbearers.

This ban does not apply to lawful hunting of predators or fur-bearing animals.