I hope you don’t think I go out of my way searching for awful cases of animal exploitation and abuse to blog about. I come across shocking stories of cruelty to animals nearly every time I open the paper or visit the websites of local news stations. Many of the most shocking stories are about brutal activities considered to be perfectly legal, condoned and even institutionalized.
A prime example is the increasingly popular wildlife contest hunt, the kind of backwards barbarity that earned “Buffalo Bill” (the celebrated nineteenth century mass murderer of bison, not the fictional serial killer in Silence of the Lambs) his nickname. Buffalo Bill Cody killed 67 of the gregarious, benign beings during the 12-hour contest. Within a couple of decades, the once-abundant species was all but extinct.
It’s hard to believe that contest hunts were not relegated to the distance past long ago, along with bison hunting, trapping and the vilification of wolves, but all these atrocities are making a comeback and find their way into the news with disturbing regularity.
Just today I stumbled onto the following Associated Press article about a contest coyote hunt slated to take place this weekend in New Mexico (You can’t make this kind of shit up).…
“The terms of the competition are simple: Hunters in New Mexico have two days this weekend to shoot and kill as many coyotes as they can, and the winners get their choice of a free shotgun or a pair of semi-automatic rifles.
But the planned two-day coyote hunting contest has sparked an online petition that has generated tens of thousands of signatures worldwide. The FBI is investigating a death threat to the gun shop owner who is sponsoring the hunt. And one protester has even vowed to dress like a coyote to trick hunters into accidentally killing a human.
But none of these episodes will likely stop the owner of Gunhawk Firearms from holding the scheduled two-day coyote hunting race this weekend, despite the international attention the idea has garnered. “I’m not going to back down,” said Mark Chavez, 50, who has faced two weeks of angry phone calls and protests — and even a threat to his life. ‘This is my right to hunt and we’re not breaking any laws.’
Under the rules of the contest, the winning team will get its choice of a Browning Maxus 12-gauge shotgun or two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles…”
A contest to see who can kill the most animals—with two free assault weapons for the winners—but they’re “not breaking any laws”? It appears we’ve reached a new historic low point in regards to wildlife protection laws,…or the lack thereof.