Over the weekend, people in Wyoming took part in a worldwide rally against trophy hunting for the first time.
Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH) aims to raise awareness against killing animals just for their pelts or heads. The rally took place in Jackson Hole on Saturday and was organized by the nonprofit Wyoming Wildlife Advocates.
Lisa Robertson, the president of Wyoming Untrapped, a group that promotes wildlife trapping law reform, participated in the rally. She said the past year's debate over whether to allow grizzly bears to be hunted helped raise awareness of trophy hunting in the state. She said plus social media is pushing the dialogue forward.
"Social media is showing some of the most brutal and gruesome aspects of hunting, if you can call it that," said Robertson. "And it's really changing the perspective of the public. They are seeing what happens out there."
Robertson said the rally was successful and a lot of discussion was initiated between participants and observers, including hunters and Wyoming Game and Fish Department employees.
"They had very peak conversations about the status quo of hunting," said Robertson. "What could be done better? What could be done to save hunting?"
Robertson said around 75 people participated in the rally. She hopes the discussion will continue, including about alternate ways to fund wildlife conservation in the state, so as not to depend so much on funds from hunting licenses.