California Assemblywoman Creates Bill To End Bobcat Trophy Hunting

CDFW file photo

California Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) recently introduced Assembly Bill 1254, which would ban trophy bobcat hunting in California.  Currently, California’s season runs between Oct. 15 and Feb. 28, with a statewide of limit of five bobcats per season. Trapping is already banned for bobcats in the state.

Here’s some of Kamlager-Dove’s rationale to the bill from her website: 

“California paves the way and shows the country that residents in this state won’t tolerate cruelty,” said Kamlager-Dove. “California is a leader in wildlife protection, and the time is ripe to lead by putting an end to the trophy slaughter of bobcats. Like their larger cousins, the mountain lion, nobody consumes bobcats for sustenance. These iconic creatures deserve protection for future generations to appreciate their beauty and contribution to the ecological health of the planet.”

California – through ballot measures, legislation, and the regulatory process – has been a leader in bobcat protection. In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 4 by a 57 percent majority. This measure banned the use of steel-jawed, leghold and other body-gripping traps used to capture and hold wildlife, including bobcats.

In 2012, the Legislature passed a bill that banned the use of hounds to track and kill bobcats and black bears. In 2013, the Legislature passed the Bobcat Protection Act, which limited bobcat trapping, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife banned commercial and recreational bobcat trapping altogether in 2015.

“Trophy hunting results in the unnecessary and cruel deaths of California’s majestic little carnivores,” said Crystal Moreland, California State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. “Few can argue that spotting an elusive bobcat is a wondrous thrill, and California’s beautiful little bobcats are far more valuable to its citizens alive than dead.”

Hunting groups like the Sportsmen’s Alliance are obviously opposed to the bill. Here’s some of its argument against the proposal:

California is already the most hostile state in the country for hunting and trapping, and has been fertile ground for animal-rights groups and their agenda. It was the first state to ban mountain lion hunting in 1990, voters passed a trapping ban initiative in 1998, and bear and bobcat hunting with hounds was outlawed in 2011. Bobcat numbers have steadily grown throughout the state and country, and the anti-hunting lobby has responded by attacking the remaining seasons and opposing new ones in California as well as in states such as Illinois, New Hampshire and Ohio.