Support Petition to Ban Coyote Killing Contests in NV!‏

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

From Project Coyote:

Coyotes in Nevada need your voice! On March 20th, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will vote to accept or reject a petition to ban coyote-killing contests in the state. You do not have to be a Nevada resident to express your support and have it count! Encourage the Commission to accept this petition; there are four ways to do so:

  1. Testify at the Commission meeting on Friday, March 20th. You do not need to be an “expert” or have detailed information! Since these contests involve the unnecessary destruction of a public “resource” (wildlife, including coyotes, belongs to everyone per NRS 501.100), your opinion and related comments are pertinent. Please see “talking points” below to guide your testimony and remember, anyone can testify – kids included (and encouraged).
  2. If you can’t make it to the meeting, email or write to the Commission at the address below to express your support for a ban and to encourage the Commission to accept the petition. See “talking points” for guidance on what to say.
  3. In addition to the above, submit letters to the editor of Nevada papers in support of a ban on coyote-killing contests. See “talking points” below, but as always, the more you personalize your letter, the more effective.
  4. Spread the word! Pass this alert on to others in Nevada and encourage them to take action.

    P.S.- read this recent article in the Reno Gazette-Journal about this issue.

Commission Meeting Information:
When:  Friday, March 20, 2015.
Meeting starts at 8:30am. Petition hearing should begin around 9:30-10:00am but arrive early to get a seat and to sign up to testify.
Where: TMCC, 7000 Dandini Blvd (Parr Blvd exit off 395), Sierra Building, Room 108 (auditorium), Reno.

There will also be a video conference connection in Las Vegas and Elko.

In Las Vegas:
College of S. Nevada, 3200 Cheyenne Ave., Main Building, Room 2638.

In Elko:
Great Basin College, 1500 College Parkway, High Tech Center, Room 137.

What to expect: The petition will be presented including a short summary of the issue and supporting documents. Those wishing to testify need to put their name on a yellow card (provided). Following public comment, the Commission will discuss the issue and make a decision.
Commissioner Contact Information (for sending letters and emails):
Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners
1100 Valley Road
Reno, NV 89512

Send email addressed to Commissioners to:
Suzanne Scourby sscourby@ndow.org and please cc info@projectcoyote.org (Project Coyote is tracking letters sent) and Governor Sandoval Hunt cthunt@gov.nv.gov

Talking Points (please personalize your letters!):

Please be sure to state that you encourage the Commissioners to accept the petition to ban coyote-killing contests in addition to outlining your arguments against such contests.

  • Coyote-killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.  In December 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to close the loopholes that allowed the killing of wildlife for prizes and inducements – becoming the first in the nation to ban the practice for coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other species. Nevada should follow California’s lead.
  • Coyotes are often baited and lured with distress calls of pups or wounded prey, placing coyotes at an even greater and unfair disadvantage. Read more here.
  • No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (e.g. hunted or trapped) form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here.
  • Coyotes have been shown to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans, including the control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with diseases such as plague, hantavirus, tularemia and Lyme disease. Read more here.
  • Coyote-killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.
  • Coyote-Killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk.
  • A ban on coyote-killing contests in Nevada will not restrict the ability to protect property including livestock, will not undermine Second Amendment gun ownership rights, nor will it limit hunting in any other way.

Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

 

Dead coyotes in a cage on top of a truck at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

Standing in a West Texas sporting goods store parking lot on a recent Sunday morning, Margaret Lloyd felt like she’d wandered onto the set of a gory movie. The lot was packed with trucks full of dead coyotes, foxes and the occasional bobcat; one pickup had a cage welded to its bed, and it was crammed with carcasses. “It was one wave of fur, tails on top of ears and ears on top of tails,” she said. “It was just horrifying.”

Around back, participants in the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest were weighing their kill in a competition to see who had shot the biggest bobcat and the most coyotes, gray foxes and bobcats in a 23-hour period. Some $76,000 in prize money was at stake — more than $31,000 went to the team that bagged a 32 pound bobcat. Other jackpot winners were a four-man team that killed 63 foxes, a team that killed 8 bobcats, and another that killed 32 coyotes.

Photo of Geoff Nemnich of Coyote Craze with his sons

Lloyd, a retired lawyer who lives in Galveston, grew up in the South among hunters and says she’s not opposed to killing animals for food or to protect a herd.

“This is not hunting,” she said. “This is a blood sport, plain and simple.”

Contests like these — often called coyote calling contests, varmint hunts or predator hunts — have become popular events, especially in the Midwest and West. The website CoyoteContest.com lists 21 states with upcoming or recent killing contests, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota and Utah.

The Big Bobcat competition in San Angelo, Texas started in 2008 with just 21 teams, but drew 380 teams to the contest last month. “They’re growing exponentially,” said Geoff Nemnich, a champion coyote hunter who is cashing in on the phenomenon. His website, Coyote Craze, exhorts visitors to “Feed Your Addiction” and offers videos of coyotes being dispatched by high-powered weapons, along with t-shirts that read “Coyotes Fear Me,” and depict dead coyotes hanging by their feet. “Almost every weekend you can find [a contest] somewhere within driving distance,” he said.

Dead coyotes at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

But as these contests proliferate, efforts to stop them are, too. In December, California Fish and Game Commission outlawed contests that award prizes for killing wildlife (the ban takes effect in April). Legislation to bar such contests passed the New Mexico state senate but died in the house. In Nevada, a petition to prohibit predator-killing contests is pending before the state Board of Wildlife Commissioners. And protesters blasting the events as indiscriminate slaughter have been demonstrating outside of contests and related events, like the Predator Masters convention in Arizona in January.

Wildlife defenders cite research that suggests killing adult coyotes may actually increase the population, since it allows more pups to survive. Predators like coyotes also fill an important role in the ecosystem by helping keep the population of rodents in check.

Jeremy Harrison, a fifth-generation rancher, organized the Big Bobcat contest in Texas. He said coyote contests do a public service by reducing the number of livestock predators and protecting the public from rabies. “This is not bashing baby seals in the head,” he said.

To those who are offended, he has simple advice: Butt out. “It’s none of their business. It has nothing to do with them,” he said. “It’s one of the best things about this beautiful state of Texas. We have 100 percent support from Texas and from the local people. If they don’t like it, they can just stay away from it.”

Opponents of these events call people like Harrison “thrill killers.” And there is a jarring sort of gleefulness that surrounds the slaughter — one Arizona group holds a Santa Slay hunt in December each year. Nemnich posts excerpts from his videos, which are sold at Cabela’s and similar stores, on YouTube. Set to stirring martial music, one sizzle reel shows coyote after coyote being called and then gunned down.

Photo of Margaret Lloyd

Nemnich, who said his videos portray hunting “in the best light possible”, encourages others not to post “distasteful” images because it will provoke animal rights groups or turn people who are neutral against hunting. “You don’t go and post a video of a coyote with his guts blown out on Facebook,” he said. “It just fuels the fire.”

Nemnich, who boasts on his website that two of his sons bagged their first coyotes at the age of five, said he gets a steady stream of hate mail. One message said his kids should be “gut shot” like the coyotes in the video. (“And I’m the barbarian?” he said.) He thinks the critics of coyote killing contests have a bigger agenda — to ban hunting altogether. “We’re killing animals for money and prizes. That’s the easiest way for them to get their foot in the door,” he said.

Both Nemnich and Harrison pointed out that the federal government kills thousands of coyotes each year. They said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division uses much less “sportsmanlike” means, such as poisons and leg-hold traps.

Contests are completely legal, Nemnich said. “Some may consider it ethically wrong, but hunting has been around forever, it’s who we are out in this part of the country.”

Lloyd stopped to take pictures of the bobcat contest while driving from New Mexico back to Texas.

She said the spectacle was sickening, not a source of pride. With a breaking voice she said, “It was a sight and a situation that I’ll never shake for the rest of my life. I will never forget what I saw. A parking lot of absolute death at the hands of a civilized society.” She paused, and then corrected herself: “A supposedly civilized society.”

Photos of the winners of the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest, February 2014

Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein contributed to this story.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the Santa Slay event is in New Mexico. It takes place in Arizona.

– See more at: http://www.fairwarning.org/2015/03/mowing-down-coyotes-bobcats-and-foxes-for-fun-and-profit/#sthash.uqKtzwU2.dpuf

Critics try to ban coyote hunting contests

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

“They’re going to try it in every Western state,” he said. “These anti-hunters will stop at nothing.”…

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/02/17/critics-try-ban-coyote-hunting-contests/23525621/

by Jeff DeLong, RGJ 6:25 a.m. PST February 17, 2015

Critics of coyote hunting contests hope to ban the controversial practice in Nevada, insisting it amounts to little more than wanton slaughter of wildlife.

Hunters counter that it is a legally protected sport that may help keep in check a soaring coyote population increasingly posing threats to livestock, pets and people.

Don Molde of Reno and Fred Voltz of Carson City have petitioned the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners for regulatory changes that would outlaw contests awarding cash or other prizes for killing coyotes.

Molde, of Nevadans for Responsible Wildlife Management, moved to change Nevada regulations after a “coyote calling contest” was conducted in the North Valleys outside Reno in December, generating controversy and drawing national media attention.

“Somebody has to do something. These contests are outrageous,” Molde said. “It is the willful killing of wildlife just for the fun of it. It’s just not right.”

Across the West, the coyote is classified as an unprotected animal. They can be hunted without a license or permit, shot on sight, and there’s no limit on the number that can be killed at one time.

Last December’s coyote call in the North Valleys was a small affair, with only 10 coyotes killed, according to organizers. Others are huge. During the 2013 World Coyote Calling Championship in Elko, 110 two-person hunting teams killed more than 300 coyotes.

Jason Schroeder, a heavy equipment mechanic who organized December’s contest, called controversy over the event unjustified and predicted efforts to ban such contests in Nevada will “never fly.”

“They are entitled to their opinion, and we’re entitled to ours,” Schroeder said. “The law says you can hunt coyotes on public land and that’s what we’ve done.”

Coyotes clearly pose a mounting problem, Schroeder said, adding that three dens of coyotes are now living on his Lemmon Valley property.

“Coyotes are moving out of the wild and into town,” he said. “Coyotes are biting people right now. They are attacking people’s animals.”

But hunting contests are not an effective method of controlling coyote populations, said Camille Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, the organization that successfully petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to ban coyote hunting contests. California law still allows hunters to shoot as many of the predators as they wish year-round but outlaws the awarding of prizes.

Fox points to studies indicating that coyote hunts have only short-lived effectiveness at best in controlling coyote populations due to the animal’s natural resiliency. Other non-lethal steps can protect livestock and other animals from coyotes, including better fencing and use of guard dogs, she said.

Hunt contests should be outlawed simply as a matter of decency, Fox said.

“Like dogfighting and cockfighting, killing contests are an archaic tradition that really should be left to the history books,” Fox said. “We’re increasingly seeing a backlash against these contests. I do think the American public is fairly outraged by this practice.”

Rick Gipson, who shot his first coyote at age 6, is observing the debate unfold from his home in Boise, Idaho. Gipson has participated in numerous coyote hunting contests over the years, including three world championships like the one held in Elko in 2013.

“The contests are getting larger and the take is getting larger but it’s not getting close to controlling them,” Gipson said, adding that the contests account for a only small percentage of coyotes being killed.

Coyotes are trapped, poisoned and shot from the air by government hunters, yet numbers continue to grow, Gipson said.

“These animals have survived persecution for 200 years and they’ve flourished,” Gipson said. “We’ve been doing this for decades and we’re not even coming close to slowing them down. They just keep coming.”

The successful ban in California and proposals now being discussed in Nevada and New Mexico are bound to be followed by other states, said Gipson, describing the effort as part of a larger anti-hunting agenda.

“They’re going to try it in every Western state,” he said. “These anti-hunters will stop at nothing.”

Fox acknowledges the proposed ban will likely face steep opposition in Nevada.

“It’s not going to be an easy process there,” she said.

Maybe so, said Molde, who said he wants the discussion to occur in any case.

“This board of wildlife commissioners is not going to get into this unless they are forced to,” Molde said. “Either way, we get them on the record.”

COYOTE CONTEST BAN PROPOSAL

WHAT: Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. March 20.

WHERE: Sierra Building, Room 198, Truckee Meadows Community College, 7000 Dandini, Blvd., Reno.

Another New Contest Hunt?

First the bad news–New Coyote Derby in announced in Montana

MT contest hunt

Then the terrific News! Bill to Ban Coyote Killing Contests in New Mexico Passes First Hurdle Today!

Today SB 253, a bill sponsored by New Mexico Senator Mark Moores and Representative Jeff Steinborn to ban coyote killing contests passed out of committee with a vote of 6-3.

This contest-hunt ban effort is work that WildEarth Guardians is doing with coalition partners Animal Protection Voters, @Southwest Environmental Center, and others who are committed to improving treatment of wildlife in New Mexico through changes in state legislation.

More Coyote Killing

Coyote hunt begins Wednesday

Published: Monday, January 19, 2015 12:49 PM MST

Central Montana’s Coyote Hunt is slated to begin on Jan. 21.  The contest was initiated, when hunters saw more coyotes in the field than deer and antelope during hunting season.  The hunt has been successful in the eyes of many ranchers who have commented on previous years’ hunts. For hunters in the field this year, many noticed the coyotes seemed to be running in packs even sooner, and for many in the field it seemed as if a dent had not even been made in  the population of predators.

The cost of being on the poster and helping to fund the contest is $100. All money raised goes to the hunters who bring in their entries. The contest will be run the same as last year with the drop offs at Don’s Store and the Sport Center in Lewistown.

During last year’s contest there were hunters entering coyotes from all over Central Montana’s trade area including Harlowton, Ryegate, Jordan, Winnett, Grass Range, Big Sandy, Winifred, Geraldine, Denton, Stanford, Geyser, Hobson, Moccasin, Utica, Moore, Judith Gap and Lewistown.

No hunter or trapper is able to enter more than 50 in the contest. Each entry is given a ticket and at the end of the hunt on April 1 tickets are drawn for the prize money. Holding the drawing in this manner lets the hunter who enters once have as good a chance at the prize money as the rest of the hunters, except a hunter who shoots more coyotes gets more entries into the contest.

Sponsors this year are PJG Motorsports, Custom Cut Meats, Fleet Supply, Judith MTN Meats, Utica Rod and Gun Club, Lewistown Plumbing and Repair, Doc’s OK Corral, Yogo Inn, Lewistown Taxidermy, Big Dry Saddlery, Ace Hardware, Hilger Meats, Advanced Electric, Lewistown Propane, Lewistown Honda-Polaris-Kawasaki, Sport Center and Don’s Store. To be listed or be anonymous as a sponsor contact Dale or Charlie Pfau at Don’s Store 538-9408 or John Tognetti  at the Sport Center 535-9308.
Slaughter the Earth...

“Hunting of coyotes is pretty wide open.”

10616612_10152350306096218_4761797786719948975_n

Coyote Kill Contest Draws Ire From Wildlife Groups

OPB | Jan. 16, 2015 2:09 p.m.

http://www.opb.org/news/article/coyote-kill-draws-ire-from-wildlife-groups-/

Show Hide Article Extras

Contributed By:

A coyote hunting contest scheduled in Burns this weekend has drawn criticism from wildlife advocates.

This is the second year of the Coyote Classic which awards prizes to those who shoot the most coyotes during a three day period. Wildlife advocacy groups are protesting the event through social media.

The contest is legal under state law since coyotes are classified as an unregulated predator.

“Hunting of coyotes is pretty wide open.” says Rick Swart, spokesperson for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Swart says coyotes can be hunted year-round, and there’s no limit.

“If people want to have a derby to hunt coyotes under current laws they’re allowed to do so,” says Swart. “At the same token we understand that not everybody buys into that.”

The organizers of the Harney County Coyote Classic could not be reached for comment.

Comments

List of all 2015 Predator hunts by State

http://coyotecontest.com/contests

2015 Predator Hunting Expo

2015 Predator Hunting Expo

Use this form to contact or inquire about:

2015 Predator Hunting Expo

Coulee Region Coyote Hunters will be holding our 2015 Predator Hunting Expo at Silent Outdoors in Sparta,Wi Jan. 10th and 11th.

Activities include:

Raffles- Mens, Womens and Children Raffles with all proceeds from raffles going to Wounded Warriors United.

Vendors- Come check out our vendors at this event.

Wounded Warriors Hunt- CRCH staff will be taking out some Wounded Vets during this event.

Coyote Tournament- Two divisions- Houndsmen- callers/trappers open to anyone.

Groups Denounce Eastern Oregon Coyote-Killing Contest

http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20150115/news-briefs/groups-denounce-eastern-oregon-coyote-killing-contest

The second annual Harney Coyote Classic is scheduled to kick off Jan. 16, and animal rights groups and conservation organizations are fighting to stop the coyote-killing contest that takes place in Eastern Oregon near Burns. “It’s horrific, blatantly slaughtering wildlife for no reason,” says Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense. “You don’t eat coyotes.”

The contest runs Jan. 16-18, and one- to three-person teams are given prizes for the most coyotes killed in that span of time and for “heavy dog,” “light dog” and average weight. Fahy says no location is given on the flyer for the contest because in the past, contests taking place on public lands have been protested and even stopped for lack of permit.

Scott Beckstead of the Humane Society of the United States says the contest is “terrible and these killing contests evoke an era where people were encouraged to go out and slaughter wild predators.” He calls the contests “out of touch with mainstream Oregon values” and says he is looking forward to the days they’re finally banned. The California Fish and Game Commission recently banned killing predators for prizes.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Spokesperson Michelle Dennehy tells EW, “ODFW does not have the authority to cancel the event. Coyotes are classified as predatory animals in statutes set by the Oregon State Legislature.” She cites a statute that says the State Fish and Wildlife Commission “shall not prescribe limitations on the times, places or amounts for the taking of predatory animals.”

Beckstead says he contacted Les Schwab tires, which is listed on the contest’s flyer as a sponsor, and was told, “A customer asked us to make Harney County Coyote Classic registration forms available. Les Schwab is not sponsoring the event, is not distributing forms and does not plan to participate in the event in the future.” The tire center says, “Each store aims to sponsor organizations and events that reflect the community’s interests; this includes our Burns store.”

Both Beckstead and Fahy are concerned these contests, if left unchecked, could result in deaths of Oregon’s slowly recovering wolf population. They cite the instance of a wolf that was shot last month in the Grand Canyon by a Utah hunter who said he thought it was a coyote. While wolves are protected in Oregon, there is no limit on killing coyotes.

Fahy says that “The broader issue here is, should we be killing coyotes and other predators at all?” He says there is a “huge body of science that says ‘No, we shouldn’t be killing these animals,’” and that killing them actually upsets not only the pack structure, but also the equilibrium of the ecosystem and causes damage to prey and even other predators.

The bloody contests are a “glaring example” of how out of control the killing of coyotes is, Fahy says.

No Wolves Killed in Contest Means Too Many Wolves Already Killed

Hunters here need to get a life. For over a week now, I’ve been receiving comments about the wolf/coyote contest hunt addressed in the January 2nd article, “ID Gun Nuts Start New Year With Three-Day Mass Slaughter Of Wolves And Coyotes.”   

I don’t know if it’s the insinuation that they might be “gun nuts” (I would think they’d gladly fess up to that) or what, but long after the derby has played itself out, they’re still trying to get their vitriolic comments approved. So far, over 500 of their 180,000+ viewers have left comments that will never see the light of day (except in the occasional post like this one, meant to expose just how malicious they really are).

And they really do all sound alike—believe me when I say you’d never want to sit through 500 of their repetitive statements, such as the ever-popular catch phrase:

“Smoke a pack a day!”NT wolf bumpr stickr

It wasn’t funny the day the first guy blurted it out and it just gets more tedious—and more carcinogenic—with each repeated use. However, it does point out their universal sentiment about doing away with wolves at every chance they get. With all the anti-wolf mawkishness it’s hard to imagine there are many wolves left in Idaho. Each licensed hunter there can legally kill up to five wolves per season and trap and an additional five individuals, so recovering wolves would conceivably have suffered considerable losses by now.

But these would-be commenters seem keenly concerned about controlling the wolves’ population (as if they need it) while at the same time, indifferent about their own. Here are some of their views on the subject of overpopulation:

“There is nothing wrong with the killing of these animals it’s a all in an order to control population.”

“Their numbers are unsustainable. Wolves will kill for the thrill and not just because they are hungry.”

“haha kill them all! Wolves are one of the biggest problems we have in Idaho, wyoming and Montana!”

“if we don’t thin out these packs it could turn bad for everyone they are already over populated…” 

And yet, according to post-contest articles like, “Wolf Population Unaltered By Controversial Hunt,” “Nobody even saw a track. We had fresh snow, and we were just in shock,” Alder said. “No sightings, no tracks.” He noted that there was an increase in coyote captures this year—30, compared with 21 during last year’s derby.

Not to give them credit for achieving anything whatsoever, but it would seem wolf-killers have been proactive about gettin’‘er done well before the contest’s start date.

The article goes on to say, “One team of hunters killed 12 coyotes over three days and sold their pelts to a fur buyer who attended the event. The team walked away with a $1,000 cash prize for most coyotes killed.

“Thirty coyotes were killed during the three-day hunt, and—for the second consecutive year—zero wolves.”

The derby, organized by executive director of Idaho for Wildlife Steve Alder, was created to help curb predator populations.

Considering the burgeoning human population, Alder and his ilk would do well to look in the mirror before calling any kettles black. Are they blissfully ignorant of the fact that another human is born every eight seconds in this country alone? Meanwhile, 350,000 humans are born each and every day worldwide.

How many of them will grow up to be predator hunters? Talk about “unsustainable” numbers. This isn’t just about them or their rancher buddies. This is about a world-wide loss of biodiversity—their part in the sixth mass extinction. It’s really not something to be glib over or proud of.

world-population-through-history-to-2025