Anti-coyote hunt petition inspires angry letters, veiled threats from hunters

More than 161,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the end of “wildlife killing contests,” a sportsmen’s hobby that turns killin’ coyotes into an arcade-style game, where the winner piles up the most corpses, and everyone else helps the state get rid of a nuisance animal.

Coyotes are “unprotected” in Minnesota, meaning their hunting is more or less unregulated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). That allows for such kill-for-fun events as the “Save the Birds” Coyote Hunting Tournament, scheduled for February 19-20 in Marshall. Petitioners were hoping to get it derailed before its “shotgun start.”

“The piles of carcasses at the ‘finish lines’ of these events show that this is not hunting, but thrill-killing on a staggering scale,” reads the petition authored by White Bear Lake native and animal lover Scott Slocum.

Slocum’s petition notes that such prize-awarding shooting sprees have been banned in California, with proposals to prohibit hunting contests introduced in New York, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Citing a study conducted in Colorado, Slocum says aggressive hunting of coyotes is a temporary fix to overpopulation, and will only require future killing parties. In Colorado’s case, an open hunt culled up to three-quarters of the coyote count in one area. It was back up to the previous level in about eight months.

The appeal is aimed at Gov. Mark Dayton and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. But many respondents took more of a local approach, contacting public officials in Marshall, and alerting the local newspaper, the Marshall Independent.

In a follow-up story on what some of its letter writers called a “barbaric” and “blood-thirsty” event, the Independent interviewed organizer Ty Brouwer, who pointed out their contest had no public opposition last year. Brouwer said the petition’s graphic description of the hunt is “misconstrued” and inaccurate. All participants are avid sportsmen, he says, and are trying to take the most ethical kill shot possible, resulting in a quick and painless death.

Another of Brouwer’s comments caught the eye of Slocum, who immediately shared it with the document’s many signers.

“Some of these people, they don’t like hunting at all,” Brouwer said. “I’ve had some people say, ‘Well, why don’t you just shoot off their legs and see how long they survive?’ That’s not what we’re about.”

Maybe not, but Slocum took the half-threatening statement seriously enough to warn supporters not to take any “local action.” That is, don’t show up at Friday’s hunt and try to disrupt the contest or confront a hunter, lest some angry shooter take aim at one of your legs.

“The best advice at this point is ‘be safe,'” Slocum writes, adding that Brouwer’s statement has been brought to the attention of the Marshall Police Department. “Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t confront these potentially dangerous people in a way that might expose you to harm.”

Brouwer, for his part, is hoping the turnout is even better this year than last, when three dozen two-person teams registered. (The contest gets its name because proceeds from the $50 registration fee go toward turkey habitat restoration.) The two-man winning squad in 2015’s hunt brought in a total haul of 56 pounds’ worth of coyote; this year’s winners will walk with a $500 cash prize.

On Saturday, Marshall Independent editor Per Peterson wrote in favor of the previously not controversial event. He hears coyotes, “the little bastards,” howling at night from his country home. “It ticks me off,” Peterson writes. “Scares me a little, too.”

Peterson thinks petition signers are blinded by snobbish perceptions of who’s taking part in the shoot. The contestants are serious outdoorsmen doing their part to cut down on an animal that menaces area livestock and pets, not “tobacco-chewing, beer-swilling mountain men hootin’ and hollerin'” like some city folks assume.

“Move on to the next cause,” Peterson writes. “Or make another one up.”

coyote contest kill


33 thoughts on “Anti-coyote hunt petition inspires angry letters, veiled threats from hunters

  1. There really isn’t a positive spin anyone can put on this outdated, aberrant behavior that is a remnant of when we were more reliant on farming and has no place in modern life. Now, we aren’t as reliant on protecting farms, but yet we still have the urge to kill and nothing to do about it. All dressed up and no place to go. The results speak for themselves, and always will, and will speak louder as time goes on. .

  2. To me this is big news, and these are not the ‘serious outdoorsmen with ethical kill shots and quick and painless deaths’ we hear about? People like these guys are making you
    all look bad then. I’m so impressed with Tennessee:

    “They were getting on top of the deer and doing all sorts of things,” TWRA information officer Doug Markham told The Tennessean. “They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off. They were high-fiving each other after showing the hole where they had shot one at nighttime. I didn’t see all of the videos, but the officer said some of it was just really grotesque.”

  3. The frustrating issue is: we are constantly “reacting”– on the defensive– to what is going on. I am sick of it. There is no way wildlife can be protected against these people, unless ALL the so-called wildlife groups, and pro-wildlife people start an Offensive campaign. Everyone is blindly following Bernie Sanders now–yet how many people have protested his stand for hunting? I have said this before: while most people don’t hunt, don’t do coyote killing, trapping, etc., the Majority just are not ANTI-hunting, trapping. This is the AGE of Comprise, of “not rocking the boat” of not wanting to look too “radical.” Well, the coyotes, wolves, & other non-humans are losing. Coyotes, as well as wolves, & more, will go the way of the Passenger Pigeon—do not believe the “managers” when they say “oh, there will always be plenty of coyotes.” Bull, in many areas they have been wiped out. That is what people said about the pigeons, who are now EXTINCT. We should stop standing quietly, like good little girls and boys, at any more “rallies,” holding meaningless “polite” signs, and obeying the powers that be. I will not attend any more of these weak-minded, “let’s be respectful” rallies which are not doing anything for wildlife, but make the Enemy Stronger.

  4. While it’s always good to see a campaign against wildlife killing, I cannot agree with the petitioner’s mission statement to find some some sort of middle ground among the trappers and other hunters who have been threatening him:

    > I want to give moderates on the issue of trapping regulations some of the attention that extremists currently enjoy. Unfortunately, extremists on both sides of the issue (free-trapping vs. anti-trapping) are preventing us from finding good solutions by angering their opponents with personal attacks, distorting scientific facts, and proposing unworkable solutions. As long as this continues, the powers that be will not risk making improvements.

    > I want to invite people on both sides to join me in the middle.

    > I want to make the world a safer place with the help of reasonable, well-informed people including responsible trappers, trapping associations, wildlife-management experts and officials, conservationists and conservation societies, sportsmen and sporting associations, dog owners and dog clubs, parents and advocates of green time for children, etc.

  5. Our native predators are some of the most valuable and necessary species on Earth. Native predators carry large and heavy ecological roles and jobs for planet Earth and all of mankind’s lifelines for life itself. When Earth has “her” coyotes, Earth has more birds and more of a diversity of songbirds, more and more strands in the webs of all life, and mankind’s existence is safer in the big picture. Only wild, native species are the creators and saviors of planet Earth’s very existence. After all planet Earth is a wild, natural landscape, created, supported and sustained by all wild, native species, including native predators!

    • Very true, Tess. Native predators are so important to the balance of nature. We MUST protect them. I will NOT stand for these sick killing contests. Time to hunt the hunters!

    • Yes, and when Earth has her coyotes, Earth has more of her diversity of small mammals (all of her richness of mice and voles, rats and moles, etc.) and although I don’t have a literature reference to supply, yet, on this topic, her diversity of insects and other invertebrates, reptiles, etc., etc., etc.

      Henke, Scott E., and Fred C. Bryant. 1999. “Effects of Coyote Removal on the Faunal Community in Western Texas.” The Journal of Wildlife Management 63 (4): 1066–81. doi:10.2307/3802826.

  6. No veiled threats would stop me from protesting this sick behavior! These asshole killers don’t scare me. I’m sick and tired of seeing people attack animals out of ignorance, ego, fear or plain cluelessness. Quoting the Marshal Independent editor here: “I hear the little bastards howling at night from my country home. It ticks me off. Scares me a little too”. —- Um. WOW!!!!! — If that is not a statement of pure ignorance from a man so disconnected with nature, life, native wildlife and his immediate surroundings I don’t know what is! What a complete cretin! If this man hates hearing them howl at night he should move to the big city, then he can hear sirens howl. What a douche bag!

  7. I suggest we use different terms to describe trophy hunting and people who kill animals for fun. For example, trophy hunters should be called animal killers, trophy hunting sadistic killing, sport hunting murderous activity. Eventually these terms will be accepted and used in daily language. Just think of the term ‘selfie’.

    • “Wildlife-Killing Contests” is a widely-accepted term now. Of course, the contestants don’t like it, but it’s so direct and descriptive that they can’t logically deny it. I don’t know who coined it, but I’ll we should probably give a nod to the people of Project Coyote, Predator Defense, Defenders of Wildlife, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Humane Society of the United States; the people of each State’s chapters of the above organizations, each State’s organizations (e.g. Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico), etc.

  8. Those animal killers are not sport men as nothing is sport in killing animals with guns and bows! If they want to call themselves sport men; they should run after animals on foot, tackle them with their bare hands, and bite animals back with their teeth if they are bitten.

  9. This makes me so freakn angry words I cannot even explain. Its not enough that some wildlife already are extinct the most recent one the black rhinos and many are in the near extinction list AND many already in the endangered species list and they let this go on????? Why is the president allowing this as well? Guess he just doesn’t care about animal life that fukn sux. I hope somebody that have the power to stop this wake up and realize that this is totally bizarr, barbaric, sick, NOT NORMAL. These animals are not targets they are a life, they are sentient and they have families. These animals are not here for you guys to be playing a murderous game with them. Why can’t you just stay out of their territory and let these animals live their life and you live yours?

  10. Really, the term “predator” (constructed by humans), applies to the human species. We are a destructive, biased, ignorant species, which is destroying the whole planet. Those animals like coyotes, wolves, bears, and others just want to be left in peace, to have some habitat to themselves, so they can raise their families and have shelter and food. But, humans hate them, perhaps out of jealousy, because they are far more intelligent and perfect than we are.

    • I wish the ecological term “predator” applied better to the human species. Predators are critical to healthy, plentiful, and well-balanced ecosystems. Intelligent humans can be, too; but not often enough, and with far too many only engaged in destruction.

  11. “All participants are avid sportsmen, he says, and are trying to take the most ethical kill shot possible, resulting in a quick and painless death.” PLEASE PLEASE let’s NOT call these crazed killers sportsmen. They are not “sportsmen”. They are sadistic killers, who get high on spilling blood. Please let’s call them what they are, depraved sadistic killers.

    • This slaughter campaign against coyotes and other wild animals, is comprised of the hunting lobby and the Livestock Industry, often both one and the same. As long as wildlife groups & individuals continue to ignore, or who compromise with, the ranchers who graze livestock all over public land, nothing meaningful will happen for the poor wild animals. Usually, the state game commissions are loaded with hunters & ranchers, so any pro-wildlife legislation is shot down (pardon the pun!)

      Wildlife groups (& people who support them) must realize that Nothing Will Happen to Save Wildlife in The West until we systematically remove livestock grazing off most (if not all), National Forests, wilderness areas, BLM lands, Nat’l Wildlife Refuges–and state lands.

      Grazing Permits should be Cancelled, period. But too many groups, like Defenders (I was once a member), continue to Pay Ranchers for not killing coyotes/wolves, and ranchers also get federal subsidies for any alleged “losses” regardless of cause of death. Most livestock die on the range due to weather and disease.

      We are dealing with a very dangerous and destructive industry, which began its slaughter in earnest against wild animals even before the 1860’s, and it continues today.

      Where will wildlife live, as their habitat (home) is grazed & hunted to the bone?

      We must recognize that yes, there is An Enemy, and we Cannot Continue Sleeping with This Enemy.
      The monumental challenge is how to ever accomplish this with a Trump/Bannon anti-wildlife appointees to Interior, Fish & Wildlife, EPA and other agencies which deal with wildlife issue–, who have deep ties with the Big Oil/Gas, NRA, USDA, pro-grazing, anti-wildlife zealots

  12. I just wonder how these same hunters would feel if they were standing over their own children, spouses, nieces/nephews, sisters/brothers, parents, aunts/uncles, cousins, friends, who have just been hunted, killed, and lined up????????????

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