If, while hunting, you feel you are being harassed, you must respond reasonably and ethically to reduce tensions and conflict, prevent escalation, and mitigate adverse media exposure. Above all, work to assure public safety.
It is illegal in Colorado for anyone to "willfully prevent or interfere with the lawful participation of any individual in the activity of hunting, trapping, and fishing." (Full text of the statute follows, below.) Penalties upon conviction for this misdemeanor include a fine between $500 and $1000, twenty license-suspension points, damages, and court costs.
It is not your responsibility to enforce the law. If a person is engaging in harassing behavior, or clearly intends to do so, you should seek assistance from law enforcement personnel. Contact the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, the Colorado State Patrol, or the local police or sheriff’s department.
Remember that your behavior is representative of and reflects upon all hunters. So:
- Show strict observance of all gun safety rules.
- Don’t do anything that could be considered threatening.
- Remain calm and composed, avoiding confrontation or arguing.
- Report the incident immediately or as soon after as is reasonable.
- Remember your commitment to hunting.
- Show the utmost respect for all wildlife.
(The suggestions above are adapted from the National Rifle Association of America brochure, Hunting’s Future? It’s Up To You.)
Interested in learning more? Read the Colorado statutes pertaining to hunter harassment, statute #C.R.S. 33-6-115.5.