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A proposed bill that would ban mountain lion hunting has stirred opposition from the hunting and wildlife communities. (Provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Colorado lawmakers on Thursday voted down a contentious measure that would have banned the hunting of bobcats, Canadian lynx and mountain lions in the state.

Senate Bill 31 was rejected by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during its first hearing at the Capitol, which lasted several hours because of the amount of testimony in opposition and support. The vote to kill the legislation was 4-1.

The bill stoked anger among Colorado hunters, anglers and farmers, but was supported by the Humane Society of the United States and driven by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s decision in January 2021 to allow hunters in some areas to lure mountain lions with electronic calling devices.

Opponents of the measure flooded lawmakers’ email inboxes with comments about the legislation. The debate became so contentious that three of the four prime sponsors of the legislation – all of them Democrats – pulled their support. 

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

Jesse Paul

The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 Jesse Paul is a political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is...