Dear Members and Expired Members,
I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the reasons why you are a member, why you should continue to be a member and why you should join today or renew your membership to the Colorado Bowhunters Association if it has expired.
Also, I will show you the accomplishments of the CBA and share our goals and plans for the upcoming year.
Most of you are well aware of the large increase in the number of bowhunters in Colorado. It has expanded over the 40,000 mark recently. In El Paso county alone, there are over 1,500 bowhunters taking to the field August through December. As the numbers increase, so do the number of animals harvested, and bowhunting becomes more of a management tool rather than a recreational opportunity. Archery licenses may become limited for all species, seasons may be shortened, and opportunities may be lost.
Who is the only voice there for the bowhunter – the CBA. Increasing pressure from the anti-hunting groups, including the USHS, target our hunting rights in Colorado.
Who is there to protect those rights – the CBA. We have a paid lobbyist in the Legislature, a liaison to the Legislature, a liaison to the Division of Wildlife, and spokespersons testifying before the Wildlife Commission and Legislature on a regular basis. We have forged strong relationships with the DOW, legislators, the U.S. Forest Service and the Wildlife Commission because of our passion, commitment, and pro-active stance when it comes to bowhunting in Colorado.
This is also our commitment to you, a member of the CBA. However, each and every bowhunter in the region and the state benefits from the actions of the CBA. That is why we need to encourage all bowhunters to share in the commitment by becoming a member. And, yes, this comes with a price – the membership fee.
Often, as representatives, directors, and board members, we hear the statements from prospective, current, and expired members, “Well, what’s in it for me?” or “What do I get for my money?” or “All you want is my money.”
Let’s take a closer look at what your money is used for. The membership fee is $30 for an individual/family. Over half of that goes to the printing of the bi-monthly CBA magazine. The remainder goes to operating costs, youth activities, liaisons to the Legislature and DOW, a lobbyist, the funding of the Banquet and Jamboree, scholarships, storage, merchandise, targets, meetings, shoots, marketing/promotions, taxes, insurance, a Web site, a reserve fund for future expenditures including legal battles with the Anti’s, and the assurance that the CBA is looking out for the best interests of you, the bowhunter.
Are we going to win every battle? Probably not, but we’re going to be there fighting. Therefore, yes, we want and need your money to continue those efforts.
Being a member does give you certain privileges and benefits beyond representation and the magazine. The annual Awards Banquet and the Jamboree give members the opportunity to experience the camaraderie and unity within the CBA. Also, there is a members-only access to a portion of the CBA Web site.
Regional directors and representatives are there for you to contact with concerns and to inform you of any issues or upcoming events, such as the local Polar Bear and Feed the Hungry Shoots. We have established an e-mail tree to disseminate information quickly to our members. Unfortunately, not all have e-mail, so I encourage all who have not given us their e-mail address to do so. If you have one and have not given it to us, please send it to my e-mail address below.
As for the accomplishments of the CBA throughout the years, the CBA is wholly or partially responsible for the following:
- Bi-monthly magazine/newletter.
- More liberal seasons than pre CBA seasons.
- Opened many previously closed areas.
- Opened antelope statewide.
- Opened the first archery-only bighorn sheep season in the United States.
- Opened first archery-only goat season.
- Re-opened eight elk areas previously closed.
- Bear season concurrent with archery deer and elk.
- Early and late antelope seasons.
- Late whitetail seasons.
- Hired a full-time lobbyist to help protect bowhunting at the state legislation.
- Created and funded a wildlife legislation committee to increase the legislative activities in protecting bowhunting.
- Maintained the primitive nature of bowhunting by developing, and having approved, equipment regulations making illegal, electronic and battery powered devices attached to both bow and arrow.
- Increased hunting opportunities by recommending that bowhunters with a valid license for the area be able to harvest an additional doe deer in various GMUs in northwestern Colorado.
- Increased the number or bowhunting goat licenses in G-5 by 100%.
The CBA defeated these proposals:
- Mandatory blaze orange – twice.
- No elk hunting during the rut.
- Many various attempts to shorten our seasons to as little as ten days.
- A split elk season – 15 days north of I-70 and 15 days south of I-70.
- Legalization of crossbows for archery big-game seasons.
- An “Either/Or” Proposal for the deer and elk seasons.
- Retained the 30 day (Early season) for the next five years rather than allowing alternative shorter seasons proposed in discussions for the past Big Game Season Structures.
While many of these appear general in nature, a large amount of time and energy has been spent to negotiate, testify, gather data, survey, and lobby for the results seen above. Again, this is your money in action.
Encourage your friends to join and renew. We need all of you!
Craig E. Kimball
CBA East Regional Director