News

Colorado Hunting Boycott Loses Steam

A young hunter scouting for pronghorn in Colorado with his father and Huntmaster. Pronghorns are one of many reasons hunters frequent the state.

A young hunter scouting for pronghorn in Colorado with his father and Huntmaster. Pronghorns are one of many reasons hunters frequent the state.

When Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law several gun control bills, the state experienced a great period of restlessness as gun owners and sportsmen lent voice to the opposition with a much dreaded boycott of the state. At the time, Outdoor Channel producer Michael Bane announced that he will not be filming in the Centennial state and he called for other hunters to likewise take their trips elsewhere.

In March, the number of groups asking for a boycott of Colorado reached such a high amount that the state’s smaller towns, which depend on the revenue generated by out-of-state hunters, began to have serious worries. It had, in fact, prompted the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department to issue an informative pamphlet explaining more about new gun bills and how hunting would be affected. Roughly 15 percent of the state’s licensed hunters come from outside the state. The number may not sound large, but it could very well doom rural towns that depend on this seasonal income.

Now two months later, is the state’s hunting industry bracing for the worst?

Not exactly.

Rather than dusting off cobwebs and playing solitaire, the employees of the Parks and Wildlife department are busy handling over 468,000 applications for its 2013 big game season. Instead of experiencing a loss, applications have increased by 17,000. According to Denver Post columnist Scott Willoughby, the influx of online applications actually crashed the department’s servers.

“We’ve got 17,000 more customers interested in our product. That makes us feel very good right now,” said department director Rick Cables. “I just hope people realize we have a great product and that Colorado is open for business, and that’s the message going out.”

There are several reasons for this apparent lack of impact. The first is that several of the groups calling for a boycott, especially those in the state, had a change of heart when the debate turned more to how the boycott would hurt the state’s economy and small businesses. One of these groups, the Tea Party Gun Owners of Colorado, canceled their boycott after evaluating how the boycott could be potentially be disastrous for all elements of the state’s hunting industry, which went against their pro-business standpoint.

Secondly, groups that did continue to support the boycott eventually focused more on overturning the legislation, which was the boycott’s end goal. Colorado manufacturer Magpul joined 53 state sheriffs in filing a lawsuit against the new gun control measures, which they believe is unconstitutional.

Along with that court action, residents are signing petitions to recall the legislators who penned the firearm-related bills. A campaign by Colorado gun owners have already submitted a 16,000-signature petition to oust state Senate President John Morse, who according to the The Washington Times is expected to be appear on a recall ballot following an announcement by the end of this week. Several other lawmakers have also been named by the petitions, and gun owners are drawing increasing support through social media.

For now, it seems that those who enjoy and support hunting in Colorado can breathe a sigh of relief. The state’s new gun laws however, are still hotly contested. Starting July 1, the state will begin limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds, expand background checks, and require firearm purchasers to pay a fee for those background checks.

Image courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • AZDave

    I know I’ll never hunt there again nor visit at all. There are too many other states that have great hunting without gun grabbers in control.

    • Douglas Riva

      But why punish the little guy that was against the laws in the first place?
      It sounds like to me that Colorado is handling the people that pushed the laws through very quickly and using their own system against them.
      I’m willing to bet the gun laws won’t last long and an anti gun politician won’t be elected again for some time.
      Don’t punish the little guy. Just vote out the politicians that go against what the people want for self gain.

      • Charles

        Until things change, people need to boycott, to make a point.

      • TexasLady

        These people elected these idiots. It’s called reaping what you sow. I skied there for 30 years but no more. There are other states where people are not such Nazis. They can be happy with their Gestapo and are welcome to them.

      • AZDave

        When the little guys get rid of those that they put in office I will gladly return to Colorado. It’s called incentive and just might convert those that support gun control when they see their bottom line effected.

      • Stagester

        The problem is when you give your hard earned dollars to those little guys, they in turn, pay taxes to the same government who has abridged their 2nd amendment rights. One of the ways this country works is the power of the purse.

        When the pain becomes large enough, even the gun grabbers will buckle.

  • ElderAmbassador

    I hunted there every year for many years. Over the years I became friends with a lot of the local people. But now, the State has seen the last of my $$, and that is really too bad for my friends. As far as I am concerned, they need to regain control of the legislature, or learn to earn a different living. As to a visit, not in this lifetime!

  • Gregory Hager

    It is easy to report that you have an increase in a number of applications. When you acutually do not. I guess what I am saying is that these people are lying to make it appear that the gun control laws have no effect. I know I will never spend another dime of my money on anything anyway associated with the state of colorado. Fishing , Hunting, Beer, Food, Clothing.ETC.

    • VT Patriot

      Yep, and add skiers to that too.

      Utah’s great….

    • Big Game Movin On

      I with you…. just, wy. Is my next hunt, Colorado in my rear view mirror.

  • machodog

    I live in Colorado and am trying to sell my home and leave. Well, the market’s not very good so I may have to leave before it sells, but I’m leaving regardless. I can no longer stand the politics and the demoncrats in this state.

    • Charles

      That is because yuppies from the big cities have come there and screwed everything up.

    • DenverKitty

      macho: Me too. I’m saving for a move to Texas or Florida. “Chickenpooper” and his coke/heroin/marijuana-addled cronies (especially in Boulder) have ruined this state. I’ll vote every one of these idiots out, but I ENCORAGE the American People to boycott Colorado until we get it back in Conservative hands. And, folks, keep praying; “the Lord moves in mysterious ways”!

      • machodog

        This state is so corrupt with Hickenlooper and Bloomberg in bed together doing 69. There are a lot of fires around the state and I wish that the entire state would burn to the ground. That would improve the country. I used to love Colorado and all of its beauty when I moved out here in 1971 but since the obama administration it has become very ugly to me and it’s not just Hickenlooper that made it that way. I’m still waiting for Romer to “do his duty and die to make room for the next generation”…idiot, brainless, moron.

      • DenverKitty

        macho: I could not agree more! But, I’ve chosen to call “chickenpooper” “chickenpooper” due not only to his stand on gun and drug laws he has/has no right to make but also on his re-setting of a execution date for a court-convicted murderer to a date after chickenpooper leaves office…definitely a coward’s move. Chickenpooper is a DISGRACE to humanity and the “Colorful State of Colorado”. That’s my opinion.

  • Sivispace

    Applications don’t prove anything. Just because someone fills out an application, it does not follow that he or she intends to hunt. Moreover, those who deny our civil rights must suffer the consequences for their betrayal. When the dust settles, Colorado will suffer economically for the arrogance of their government as will any group or individual who would deny the civil rights of another citizen. In case anyone missed this, the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller established the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is an individual right. So for those who would infringe upon that right listen up! We will not ride in the back of the bus.

  • scrambo

    mile high has gone to their heads … there more interested in legalizing pot than protecting their constitutional rights there fore I will go north to Montana and Wyoming …

    • COwboy

      Good luck with that. The reintroduction of wolves have taken a huge toll on elk and deer populations in those states!

  • Rafael

    Is up to hunters to boycott Colorado!!! It is a personal decision!!!

  • mtmountainman

    No doubt the boycott would have hurt innocents but it was needed to drive the point home to the communist leaders in Denver. Hitting them in their wallets is the only thing politicians understand.

    • DenverKitty

      mt: The businesses who are being hurt the worst are the Obama voters. Personally, I don’t shop with them any more, and I don’t feel a bit sorry for them. They got what they voted for.

  • JustSayin

    Do you really think 15 rounds is not enough? How many rounds were firearms able to fire when those rights were won? I believe it was one at a time. And that took 4 skillfull steps per shot! Granted, it is hard to swallow when someone takes liberties with our freedoms. But 15 rounds! Come on! Honestly, how many of you yelling ‘foul’ even own a firearm that can hold 15 rounds? And as for boycotting a privilege like hunting, isn’t that considered a misplaced loyalty? As for purchasing a firearm, so the requirements are greater for that privalige. And pay a dollar or a thousand to keep undesirables out of our sport. Didn’t some pay more? I agree with you when you say ‘they don’t have the right to do this to us’. But use your God given ability to reason, before following the ‘ner-do-wells’ into an open act of treason against those who have and are protecting our freedoms of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. The time may come when we must ‘through down the gauntlet. But don’t do it over a 2 or 5 or 15 round magazine.

    • handgunnar

      “Honestly, how many of you yelling ‘foul’ even own a firearm that can hold 15 rounds?”

      Every Glock 17 ever made holds…wait for it….!7 rounds. As do all AR-15s, Ak-47s, Springfield Armory M1As, FN/DSA LARs, Heckler and Koch models 91s and 93s…getting the message yet?

      • Charles

        I own many firearms that hold more than 15 rounds,

      • sandlynx

        Me too.

    • Charles

      You are a really stupid individual, arn’t you? If you put your brain to use, before you put your mouth in gear, you would know that the Federalist Papers explains that the individuals show be armed EXACTLY as the military, so that a tyrantical government cannot take over. This has already been screwed up by the National Firearms Act, The 1968 Gun Control Act, and many laws inbetween. Enough is enough. Idiot.

    • RufusAlmighty

      JustSayin – You are one of the appeasers. Let’s give up a little to keep the peace, or be politically correct, or to buy a little security. You sound like one of e politically correct crowd that says we should go along to get along.. Why do we need them? Because they have them. If you believe the government is your protector, then just give them your guns and let them take care of you, like the politicians that believe they know better than we what is good for us. If they proceed to legalize all the illegals, they get a guaranteed voting base that will keep them in power for decades and our rights become what they will give us. Recall??? Not enough natural borns to hold up against the invaders. Get ready to become a third world country.

    • CJS3

      If they limit the cops, and military, then no foul. Our muskets matched theirs one for one. Our magazines and weapons should match theirs now. With all the “Big Brother” allegations in the news, why would you want the government putting restrictions on anything.

      • HappyClinger

        They’d have to limit the bad guys too, but we all know the bad guys won’t comply; that’s why they’re “bad guys.”

    • HappyClinger

      Some handguns hold 30 rounds. As long as bad guys have modern guns with large-capacity magazines, I want the largest capacity magazines I can get. Also, your liberal talking points are based on lies so they don’t work here. Oh, and just for the record, rights are not “won.” They are bestowed by our Creator when we are born; they are ours by virtue of our existence. Anyone who tries to interfere with them (SOME of which are enumerated in our Bill of Rights, but not all) is in the wrong and subject to consequences. As a matter of fact, you have these rights too. Get an education; a real one.

  • kunner

    I rerouted a summer trip to the western states to avoid CO. I will not give the State Government one cent in gas tax or sales tax.

  • 2fishandhunt

    As a Colorado Native, I am embarrassed and angry about the laws that were passed. I take every opportunity to express my ideas about Hickenlooper and the Obama followers who passed these laws. I also believe these laws were basically “midnight laws” as the citizens of Colorado did not know-of or have any input to these laws until about 2 days before signature, and even then, the Governor had no regard to the hunting/sporting public. I would like to see the whole swarm recalled.

  • Robby777

    I may visit relatives there – when and if the politicians can get their shit straight!!!

  • Charles

    There are 468,000 sorry individuals, in this nation. How can people expect things to change, when they reward unacceptable performance? I for one, will never hunt Colorado, unless they repeal the stupid laws.

  • SJvet

    Most people abandon principles they swear they’ll uphold when it becomes too inconvenient to hold to their word.

  • Joseph Russo

    As a dual resident of Texas and Colorado for the past 30 years, I am put out by the affect that the front range votes outnumber all rural votes combined. The idiots from blue states that move to Colorado (Denver,Fort Collins,Boulder etc) and bring their liberal views to bear on the citizens of Colorado should be emigrated to their home states. A boycott would hurt the small towns initially but it would convince them to out the democrat majority in Denver one way or another. It may mean unloading truckloads of coyotes in downtown areas and see how the idiots feel about gun control then. May sound drastic but it just may work.

  • Todd

    Don’t have the stones to stick with the boycott then keep your mouth shut for some its all about money

  • john4637

    Boycotts, marches, so what. Just buy and keep ammo. Keep weapons clean and dry and peacefully go about your lives knowing that God forbid something happens your are equipped to protect your family and hunt for food and other necessities!!!

  • justsayin

    I guess I spent to much time on my rebuttal. It has disappeared and I cannot find it. I will have to bow to all those with superior intellect. I do wish I could have posted.

  • H8 The Left

    This sounds like your typical Usama, “Let’s make something up. Everyone buys our lies”. At least the ignorant libtards do.

  • Douglas Down Under in Sydney

    Boycotts create collateral damage.
    Australian gun owners are slowly learning that one needs to be aware of who your real friends are. It is essential that law abiding gun owners the world over spend their time and efforts fighting the anti-gun enemy. Debating with other fire arm owners about the benefits of one strategy compared to another has limited benefits.
    For example, how many have written the Governor of Colorado immediately after posting here?

    • HappyClinger

      Actually, we did it well before posting here. Over and over again. I have a recurring monthly donation to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. I volunteered to help with the recall efforts. I have my own economic stimulus plan that benefits the gun industry – I buy guns and ammo. I post comments encouraging people not to come to Colorado, and correcting lies when I come across them. AND I’m always looking for more ways to have an effect. It’s practically impossible to affect legislation with a dem house, senate, and governor, but perhaps I will stumble across other ways to resist this tyranny being thrust on us. Peacefully, mind you.

  • HappyClinger

    It is actually 55 sheriffs who are suing. The thing is the democrats don’t respond to anything except denying them revenue, which these boycotts surely would have done. I applaud Magpul and others for pulling out of Colorado and I would love to see other businesses flee. Yes, people will lose their jobs, but they stand to lose a lot more if we don’t push back this evil that is attacking us.

  • DenverKitty

    If we could just get rid of the democratic influence, here in Colorado, we could be a great state. I can’t wait to see “chickenpooper” out of the “mansion”…he’s a DISGRACE.

  • Moby Dick

    I’m so disgusted with this state I’ve decided I won’t even go to visit old college friends there.

  • Jeff Price

    I call Bull Shit on this story. Its a press release from the State Gov. Did you do any fact checking before publishing it?