Tossing Your Pumpkins? Don’t Feed Them To Colorado Wildlife – Here’s Why
Halloween is officially a thing of the past (for 2022, that is). Now that it's November, it's a good time to start taking down old decor and start decorating for other upcoming holidays.
As such, if you're looking for a way to properly dispose of your Halloween decorations - particularly your pumpkins - here's one way to not do it.
While there are multiple for ways to properly dispose of their pumpkins in Colorado, posts and memes have been reportedly making their rounds on social media, suggesting that people intentionally feed their pumpkins to wildlife.
Here's a prime example of why you probably shouldn't listen to everything you hear or see online:
Did You Know?
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), intentionally feeding wildlife in Colorado is illegal.
Under state law, the prohibition applies to deer, elk, pronghorn, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and bears. CPW says that any and all violators face a $100 fine if caught breaking this truly simple-to-follow rule.
“Do not do this,” CPW said in regard to these reports, according to KDVR.
“We want our wildlife to be sustained by the resources that naturally occur in their habitat,” CPW Wildlife Pathologist Karen Fox noted in a press release via CPW. “Our policy is definitely to not provide supplemental food to big game in any form.”
Not only is intentionally feeding wildlife illegal in Colorado, it can also be dangerous.
Here are just a few examples of what could happen if pumpkins are fed/left out for wildlife:
- Deer eating pumpkins could attract predators, like mountain lions.
- Bears preparing for hibernation could also be attracted to the pumpkins, which could lead to unnecessary human-bear conflicts.
- Could cause wildlife to congregate and spread disease.
In addition to not feeding your pumpkins to wildlife, CPW also says you should avoid dumping your pumpkins on public lands.
“We do see pumpkins tossed out in the forest. Please don’t do that,” CPW Assistant Area Wildlife Manager Steve McClung says. “It can be viewed as baiting.”
“As far as in-town pumpkins go, bears are still around and haven’t gone to bed yet. Other animals such as raccoons that may carry distemper or other diseases could also get into those pumpkins, and you don’t want potentially sick animals hanging around your home, especially if you have pets. Please find appropriate ways to discard your pumpkins after Halloween.”
For more information about where to properly discard your pumpkins, visit your town or city's local website; you can also visit cpw.state.co.us for more info.
Photos: 10 Reminders to 'Leave No Trace' in Colorado
Colorado's Wild Big Game Populations