A contingent of folks who want to see trophy hunting ended and other types of hunting regulations reformed will gather in protest in Jackson this weekend.
The 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday gathering is part of a circuit of protests occurring under the Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting moniker, and organized by Compassion Works International. The main event is happening in Reno, Nevada, in conjunction with Safari Club International’s annual conference, but the local protest is taking place on Town Square and is being organized by the Wyoming Wildlife Advocates.
“The goal is to bring about awareness,” Wyoming Wildlife Advocates Program Director Kristin Combs said, “and let our government agencies in the state know that we don’t agree with the way our wildlife is being treated.”
Combs said the protest isn’t calling for a blanket ban on hunting. Hunting for “sustenance,” she said, is OK, but other pursuits she perceives as unethical.
“If you’re going to go out and hunt down a black bear and eat the meat, great,” Combs said. “But baiting them and shooting them over a barrel of donuts is certainly not fair chase.”
Coyote-killing derbies and trophy hunting predators like wolves or grizzly bears, she said, are other examples of practices worthy of scorn.
Besides the Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, the Center for Biological Diversity and Wyoming Untrapped also figure to have a presence at the protest. Combs said she expects representatives from some pro-hunting groups will show up to counterprotest.
Rob Shaul, the founder of a new Jackson Hole-based hunting advocacy group dubbed Mountain Pursuit said he’ll be there. He said he’ll have a “hug a hunter” table at the gathering.
Wyoming Wildlife Advocates is inviting people to join in making posters ahead of the protest. People will assemble at 9 a.m. at the group’s office at 80 E. Pearl and then walk to the Home Ranch parking lot at 10:45 before marching to the square.