Last Spring, when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several bills into law that restricted magazine capacity and mandated stricter controls on gun sales, there was a cry for a boycott of the Colorado big game industry. Hunters, outfitters, and proponents of the Second Amendment called for both residents and non-residents alike to boycott the big game hunting season to show the State how they felt about the new laws. After the dice fell, the results are in and Colorado sold more licenses this year than they had in 2012. The boycott missed its mark.
According to the Denver Post, Colorado Parks and Wildlife sold about 6,000 more deer and elk licenses than 2012 and about 1,400 more bear licenses than in 2012. This was an overall increase of about 4% in the number of limited license applications since the previous year. The Colorado hunting and fishing industry brings in roughly $1.8 billion a year.
So why was the boycott ineffective? While it is impossible to know exactly why the boycott failed on the individual level, some other trends have shown up. The legislature signed Hickenlooper’s bills into law only just before the deadline for big game licenses. This timing may have made some hunters choose between standing up for themselves or missing an entire season. Further, nonresident licenses make up about 80% of the licenses sold in the State. The nonresidents may have been unaware or apathetic to the changing laws and boycott.
So what does this mean for the hunters of Colorado? It means that a change came and went, without too much backlash on the State itself. It means that Colorado hunters are being restricted in their Second Amendment rights without being able to voice their concerns. It means the State can keep rolling, with or without, the hunters of Colorado.
If your Second Amendment rights have been infringed upon or if you need to talk to a Wildlife Law Expert, contact Welsh Law, LLC. toll-free at 888-458-0991.