golden colorado
An elk herd in the city of Golden, Colorado. Credit: City of Golden/Facebook

One Brazen Hunter Causes Colorado City To Ban Hunting Within City Limits

Most people would see hunting in a space surrounded by neighborhoods and playgrounds as a no-go, but there's always one.

The city of Golden, Colorado, closed a legal loophole earlier this month that allowed hunting within city limits. The new ordinance comes about eight months after an incident in which police stopped a bowhunter staked out near a residential area. The city council adopted the measure in a unanimous vote on May 14.

According to the ordinance, the measure defines hunting as "to pursue, stalk, capture, or lie in wait for, with the intent to shoot, wound or kill wildlife for sport or food."  Those who violate the law could face a fine or up to six months in jail. Additionally, the law excludes wildlife officers or birdwatchers.

The Elk Hunting Incident that Sparked the Ban

The city council reportedly considered the ordinance after Golden Police Cmdr. Marcus Williams said his department didn't have an adequate tool last year when officers confronted a bowhunter looking for elk. "We didn't have anything to specifically address hunting specifically on any of these properties," Williams said during a May 14 city council hearing, as reported by CBS News Colorado.

In September 2023, the department received calls concerned about the man's bow as he walked in an open space near a neighborhood. During an interview, the hunter told officers that he was using a phone app called onX, which shows users public space and legal hunting grounds.

For many hunters, like Taylor Rahmann, hunting near a neighborhood seems like something you shouldn't do. "If I saw animals on this that I wanted to hunt," he said while pointing at an open space surrounded by houses and playground equipment, "I would contact the city of Golden to see if I could hunt on that land."

Still, when police contacted Colorado Parks & Wildlife, they learned that the hunter was correct as wildlife officials said he was abiding by state regulations. Despite the state's approval for hunting, police said that the hunter did violate the city's open carry law, which prohibits the carrying of bows as well as firearms.

The city council also passed the measure near Colorado's deadline for applying for big game tags. The primary draw closed on May 2 and the secondary draw closes June 28. The city ordinance went into effect on May 19.