2 months ago
First, there is this from The Gazette:
Hunters who threatened to boycott Colorado if gun control legislation was approved may have been shooting blanks.
Indeed, so far, numbers are up about 4 percent on draws and sales of leftover licenses have been on target with expectations, said Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Actual numbers, however, won’t be available until about mid-November, he cautioned.
“The majority of non-resident hunting occurs during our second or third rifle seasons,” Hampton said.
The second season runs from Oct. 19-27 and the third season runs from Nov. 2-10.
The biggest negative impact on license sales may come from flooding in northeastern Colorado.
Then there is this from Red State, albeit a couple of months ago:
The recent gun control measures approved in Colorado have already taken a toll on local individuals, businesses, and communities throughout the state. Those who work in the outdoor recreation industry, along with entire towns and counties that center around hunting and fishing, have been the first to experience the real economic effect of the new firearm regulations.
Tom Bowers is an outdoor recreation guide and the owner of Colorado’s High Lonesome Outfitter & Guides located in Yampa. Bowers shared with Media Trackers Colorado how the new gun legislation has already affected his business.
“Many of my hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and rafting clients are choosing to recreate in other states because of the new laws. Before the [gun control] legislation passed I got 15-30 calls from potential clients a day, now I get less than 5.”
Eric Layman with Western Colorado Outfitters in Montrose experienced the same drop off in business bookings, reservations, and correspondence as Bowers.
In a normal year, Bowers and his High Lonesome Outfitters guide between 35 and 40 big game hunters. This year, he said he would be lucky to get 20-25. One big game client, whom he has served as a guide for 15 years, told Bowers that he will not be rebooking or coming back to Colorado. Bowers recalled the conversation with the client, who told him: “It is not because of you, it is because of your Governor. I am not giving any money to that state”.
Bowers’ clients who booked before the new laws still plan to come this season, but many of them have told him it will be the last time they come to Colorado for any kind of outdoor recreation, even beyond hunting.
As such, Bower’s losses are not limited to hunting, as he attests to the fact that many of the fisherman and rafters he guides will no longer be returning to Colorado to recreate either. He explained: “Now we are a gun control state. My type of clients think if they come to the state of Colorado they are going to be violating gun laws.”
Layman, from Western Colorado Outfitters, echoed the fact that the boycott is spreading far beyond the hunting crowd, saying that while “the hunter forums show comments indicating that the boycott is in full effect, even summer visitors and skiers are joining in.”
I wouldn’t otherwise even bring this up, except that the Gazette article comes off as so snarky, superior and insulting that it caught my attention.
It might be difficult to tell at this stage of the season, but I would appreciate any input from readers (in the comments or send me an e-mail) with either anecdotal evidence or statistical information concerning the boycott.