Senate Bill 1182 is currently before the Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee and could prove damning for sportsmen in the Grand Canyon State.
The legislation proposed by Arizona State Senator Steve Farley (D-Tucson) sets out to categorize both mountain lions and bobcats as protected, thus prospectively banning the hunting of these animals.
“This is nothing more than an anti-hunting legislator acting as a pawn for the animal-rights movement,” said Brian Lynn, vice president of marketing and communications of Sportsmen’s Alliance. “When anti-hunting groups identified five states to ban mountain lion hunting in last year, and then this year legislation is introduced, you have to ask if the people of Arizona are truly being represented in their legislature. Playing politics with wildlife management has dire consequences for everyone in the state, not to mention the environment.”
As with other wildlife, mountain lions and bobcats are managed as game animals by the state’s Fish and Game Department and hunts are highly regulated and controlled. All data retrieved from mandatory reporting and skull inspection are used to accurately assess population numbers, set harvest quotas, schedule seasons and more.
Following in the footsteps of states such as California, who banned mountain lion hunting in 1999, anti-hunting and animal rights groups are hopeful to see the same across many western states.
Arizona Sportsmen and women are advised to promptly contact their State Senator and let them know the harmful repercussions of Senate Bill 1182, and ask them to oppose SB 1182.