Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game

Victory for Wildlife in Maryland!

From Project Coyote:

Maryland has become the eighth state to ban Wildlife Killing Contests, joining Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington. Last Friday, Governor Larry Hogan allowed HB 293/SB 200—which passed the state legislature in April—to become law.Thanks to all of our Maryland supporters who took action on this bill and to our coalition partners who collaborated in enabling this momentous achievement for wildlife.

Breaking news: Maryland lawmakers ban wildlife killing contests

April 9, 2021 0 Comments

Breaking news: Maryland lawmakers ban wildlife killing contests

Wildlife killing contests have increasingly come under the scrutiny of Americans after we began to expose the carnage with undercover investigations in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Texas. Photo by the HSUS20.9KSHARES

Maryland legislators have just passed a bill banning wildlife killing contests—cruel events where participants compete to win cash and prizes for killing the most or the heaviest animals.

The vote comes just over a year after we did an undercover investigation of such contests in the state that targeted foxes, coyotes and raccoons. Our investigators documented participants bringing in red foxes, their mouths zip-tied shut and their tiny bodies riddled with bullets from high-powered rifles. They tossed the dead animals into piles for weighing or counting.

To lure the animals to their death, contestants used digital technology that mimics the sound of prey or even young animals in distress.

Our footage outraged Marylanders and soon after the House of Delegates passed a bill to ban these killing contests by a landslide vote. But before the Senate could take up the bill, the legislature shut down for the year due to the pandemic.

Fortunately, the bill’s author, Del. Dana Stein, quickly reintroduced it in the 2021 legislative session, with Sen. Ron Young as the Senate sponsor. The bill moved forward with lightning speed, guided by HSUS Maryland state director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel and the group Maryland Votes for Animals, and passed both chambers this week. Organizations including the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, the Animal Welfare Institute, In Defense of Animals and Project Coyote provided support.

The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Larry Hogan. We expect he will either sign it or let it pass into law without his signature.

Maryland is on track to become the eighth state to ban wildlife killing contests in just the last seven years—the others being Vermont, New Mexico, ArizonaMassachusettsColorado, California and Washington. These events have increasingly come under the scrutiny of Americans after we began to expose the carnage with undercover investigations in Maryland, New YorkNew JerseyIndiana and Texas.

These events, with names like “Moondog Madness Coyote Tournament” and “Good Ol’ Boys Fall Predator Tournament,” glorify wanton killing and are not that much different from dogfighting and cockfighting, which have been outlawed in all U.S. states. Children are often present and are even encouraged to participate, inuring them to the violence at a young age. In Maryland, we found children playing among the dead animals and even helping to drag them to the judging area.

Wildlife killing contests are still held in nearly all of the 43 states where they are legal, but that is changing rapidly. Americans increasingly view animals like coyotes and foxes, who have long been persecuted because of misconceptions and are typically targeted in these events, with compassion. They also recognize the important role that these native carnivores play in a healthy ecosystem, and are acknowledging the wide variety of humane, effective strategies that are available to help them coexist with our other wild neighbors. Many more states are now considering similar bills to prohibit wildlife killing contests, including New York, New Jersey and Oregon.

We are grateful to Maryland lawmakers for acting decisively to end this cruel practice. We have incredible momentum in this fight right now and we need to keep it up and end these contests wherever they exist. If you live in a state where wildlife contests are still being held, please visit humanesociety.org/wildlifekillingcontests and download our toolkit to learn how you can help end them.

Colorado becomes sixth U.S. state to outlaw cruel and unsporting wildlife killing contests



Parks and Wildlife Commission votes to end competitive killing of coyotes, foxes, prairie dogs and other species for prizes

DENVER, CO—A coalition of leading wildlife protection organizations is applauding the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission for their vote today to ban wildlife killing contests for furbearer and certain small game species in the state. Colorado is now the sixth state in the country to ban these cruel events.

The proposal, advanced by Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff and approved today by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, prohibits killing contests that target species including mink, pine marten, badger, red fox, gray fox, swift fox, striped skunk, western spotted skunk, beaver, muskrat, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, coyote, bobcat, opossum, ring-tailed cat, raccoon, as well as Wyoming ground squirrel. Species also include white-tailed, black-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dogs.

Upon enactment, this new regulation will put an end to events such as the High Desert Predator Classic in Pueblo, the Song Dog Coyote Hunt in Keenesburg, and the San Luis Valley Coyote Calling Competition. Winners of wildlife killing contests often proudly post photos and videos on social media that show them posing with piles of dead coyotes and other animals, often before disposing of the animals in “carcass dumps” away from the public eye.

“Participants of wildlife killing contests often use unsporting and cruel techniques—such as calling devices that mimic the sound of prey or even pups in distress—so that they can lure shy coyotes and other animals to shoot at close range,” said Aubyn Royall, Colorado state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We thank[http://?] Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Commission for taking decisive action to ensure that Colorado no longer supports such barbaric and wasteful killing of its treasured wildlife.”

“Colorado’s ban, which is supported by the best scientific data available, is one of the strongest in the country,” said Johanna Hamburger, wildlife attorney for the Animal Welfare Institute. “The state has now joined multiple fish and wildlife agencies and commissions in concluding that these contests compromise the effective management of wildlife populations, fail to increase game populations and harm ecosystems.”  

Colorado joins five other states—California, Vermont, New Mexico, Arizona and Massachusetts—that have taken a stand against cruel, unsporting and wasteful wildlife killing contests. California banned the awarding of prizes for killing furbearing and nongame mammals in 2014; New Mexico and Vermont outlawed coyote killing contests in 2019 and 2018, respectively; and Arizona and Massachusetts prohibited killing contests that target predator and furbearer species in late 2019.

“Wildlife killing contests are a bloodsport just like dogfighting and cockfighting, which have been outlawed nationwide,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “We commend Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Commission for relegating these ecologically and ethically indefensible events to the history books.”

“The majority of Coloradans respect and value wildlife and this step forward by our state wildlife department in line with those values,” said Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians.  “We look forward to seeing CPW to continue to advance policies that reflect the importance of wildlife protection to all people in Colorado.” 

“Recognizing that all species play an important role in their ecosystem,” said Stephanie Harris, senior legislative affairs manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, “we commend Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Commission for this forward-thinking, science-based decision to prohibit the senseless slaughter inherent to killing contests.”

“We’re thrilled that Colorado is banning these wasteful wildlife killing contests,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Coyotes and other carnivores play such important ecological roles but had been mercilessly targeted by these barbaric events. Today’s decision by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is a big win for Colorado’s coyotes, and we’re celebrating.”

Delia Malone from the Colorado Sierra Club said, “All native wildlife species are essential. Ecology and ethics require that we protect all native species–including species that have historically been vilified or dismissed as unimportant. Natives such as coyotes and prairie dogs contribute to healthy, viable, resilient ecosystems, and deserve our respect and our protection. We are gratified that Colorado Parks and Wildlife has chosen conservation.”

Wildlife agencies and professionals across the country have expressed concerns about killing contests because they reflect poorly on responsible sportsmen and sportswomen. In 2019 alone, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board voted to prohibit these gruesome killing contests, citing the grave damage that such events could inflict on the image of hunting in their states. Wildlife management professionals have also noted that wildlife killing contests contravene modern, science-based wildlife management principles. In 2018, more than 70 renowned conservation scientists issued a statement citing peer-reviewed science that refutes claims that indiscriminately killing coyotes permanently limits coyote populations, increases the number of deer or other game species for hunters, or reduces conflicts with humans, pets or livestock. In fact, randomly shooting coyotes disrupts their pack structure, leading to increases in their populations and more conflicts. Nonlethal, preventive measures are most effective at reducing conflicts with wildlife.

Wildlife killing contests are also destructive to healthy ecosystems, within which all wildlife species play a crucial role. Coyotes and other targeted species help to control rabbit and rodent populations and restrict rodent- and tick-borne disease transmission. And prairie dogs are an important keystone species in Colorado’s ecosystem, providing essential food and digging underground tunnels used by other native wildlife.

How America Declared A War on Wildlife

Wonder why wildlife is disappearing? The government is killing cougars, bobcats, bears, wolves and coyotes to protect cows, pigs and chickens.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own reports, it has killed over 34 million animals in the last decade alone.

Most of those animals were native, wild animals. The rest were accidental killings of domesticated animals.

Shocking numbers

In 2017 alone, the agency killed more than 1.3 million native, wild animals.

Coyotes face heavy times in the USA. Every respect for wildlife seems to be gone in regions of the continent.

That figure includes:

  • 319 mountain lions
  • 357 gray wolves
  • 552 black bears
  • 1,001 bobcats
  • 3,827 foxes
  • 69,041 coyotes
  • 15,933 prairie dogs
  • 675 river otters
  • 23,646 beavers
  • 624,845 red-winged blackbirds

These figures are almost certainly far smaller than the actual number of animals killed, as whistle-blowing former employees of the ironically named “Wildlife Services” program of the USDA have claimed they killed far more animals than they were instructed to report:

While livestock protection is its primary charge, Wildlife Services also “kills animals for eating flowers and pet food, digging in gardens, frightening people, and other concerns that could easily be addressed using nonviolent methods,” according to wildlife advocacy group Predator Defense.

“That killing is carried out with a vast arsenal of rifles, shotguns, small planes, helicopters, snowmobiles, leg-hold traps, neck snares and sodium cyanide poison,” writes Tom Knudson, a reporter who’s been investigating the program for years.

Special contest are organized to kill coyotes in mass numbers.

“A list of birds and mammals trapped and poisoned by mistake by Wildlife Services would fill a small field guide: great blue herons, porcupines, river otter, mule deer, pronghorn, snapping turtles, raccoons, family pets, federally protected bald and golden eagles, a wolverine – the list goes on and on.”

“This war on wildlife can’t be tolerated anymore,” attorney for The Center for Biological Diversity Collette Adkinstold Newsweek. “This idea of killing wildlife any time there is a conflict is just barbaric.”

The environmental organization is suing the federal government over its Wildlife Services program.

“The Department of Agriculture needs to get out of the wildlife-slaughter business,” she added.

“There’s just no scientific basis for continuing to shoot, poison and strangle more than a million animals every year. Even pets and endangered species are being killed by mistake, as collateral damage.”

Mountain Lions also face a difficult time, and get killed in big numbers by Americans

“The barbaric, outdated tactics Wildlife Services uses to destroy America’s animals need to end. Wolves, bears and other carnivores help balance the web of life where they live. Our government needs to end its pointless cycle of violence.”

Source: ReturnToNow

Oregon Hunters Say Banning Coyote-Hunting Contests Would Violate Their First Amendment Rights. Thanks to Strip Clubs, They May be Right.

“Just because someone doesn’t like something,” says the Oregon Hunters Association chairman, “doesn’t mean it can be prohibited.” 

Coyote hunting contest in Harney County (Photo courtesy the Humane Society of the U.S.)

A bill to ban coyote-hunting contests in Oregon has reignited conflict between conservationists and ranchers.

The battle dates back decades. Conservationists say mass coyote killings throw off ecosystem balance and violate hunting ethics. Ranchers say exterminating the predators is an act of preservation because coyotes attack their livestock.

The contests received renewed scrutiny this year after an undercover video shot by the Humane Society of the United States in January showed hunters at a competition in Burns, Ore., piling dozens of dead and bloody coyotes into the beds of pickup trucks.

So state lawmakers aimed to put a stop to such contests. Sens. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Jeff Golden (D-Ashland) sponsored Senate Bill 723, which would outlaw “organizing, sponsoring, promoting, conducting or participating in contest, competition, tournament or derby that has objective of taking wildlife for prizes or other inducement or for entertainment.”

But that last clause—entertainment—has created an unexpected roadblock for the bill.

The Oregon Hunters Association argues that SB 723 violates its members’ First Amendment rights.

“Just because someone doesn’t like something,” association legislative chairman Paul Donheffner says, “doesn’t mean it can be prohibited.”

Donheffner’s legal argument is straightforward: The bill doesn’t ban coyote hunting, or even limit it. It merely outlaws contests for entertainment.

And Oregon’s free speech laws offer broad protection for entertainment—thanks to a court ruling that protects strip clubs and adult video stores.

In 1987, in the case of State v. Henry, the Oregon Supreme Court decided under Article 1 Section 8 of the state constitution that state law could not criminalize forms of entertainment deemed socially unacceptable. That ruling enshrined legal protections for nudity at strip clubs in Oregon.

Lake Perriguey, a Portland lawyer with expertise in constitutional law, says, “Oregon’s constitution limits what the government can regulate.”

He adds: “The broad language has been interpreted to mean things people find unsavory. That’s why you can have a porn shop across the street from an elementary school.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which typically defends free speech cases, declined to comment on the bill.

Several lawmakers are trying to change the bill. The Senate Judiciary Committee, controlled by Democrats, is offering an amendment that removes the word “entertainment” from the bill’s language.

Meanwhile, Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) penned her own amendment, which would change the penalty of participating in a wildlife-killing contest from a misdemeanor to a violation.

Portland conservation group Oregon Wild supports SB 723. Arran Robertson, the group’s communication manager, says, “Killing derbies go against what the vast majority of the hunting community considers to be fair. They’re cruel and unnecessary.”

Legislative testimony—signed by the Humane Society, Oregon Wild and 14 other statewide conservation groups—adds another argument: “Persecution of coyotes disrupts their social structure, which, ironically, encourages more breeding and migration, and ultimately results in more coyotes.”

But the bill applies only to contests. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations say it’s legal to hunt and kill coyotes year-round with an appropriate furtaker’s license.

Donheffner says there are over 25 Oregon Hunters Association chapters with more than 10,000 members statewide and that coyote-hunting contests have been their tradition for “years and years.”

“It’s nothing like the mass murder that’s been described,” Donheffner says, referring to the Humane Society videos.

Ranchers say the contests help them make ends meet. “I’ve had tough times when work was slow or I was injured and unable to work,” wrote Seth Franklin, a rancher in Harney County who opposes the bill, in Senate testimony. “But one thing that’s kept me afloat time and time again is fur, particularly coyotes.”

George Coniglio on Holley NY coyote-kill contest

Image result for Holley NY coyote-kill contest
“Today, I’m embarrassed to be a human being.
I’m amazed at the depths some of us can sink to, all in the name of good, clean fun for the whole family.
I’m perplexed at how some of us can rationalize our deviant behavior regardless of how much pain and suffering results from it.
And I’m disgusted that some of us will attempt to justify the invalidation of the sanctity of all life in order to satiate an appetite for blood drawn by their own hands.
What happens in Holley, New York later today isn’t about hunting. Nor is it about guns or Second Amendment rights or nuisance abatement or the industrial agriculture vs. living off the land debate or feeding the hungry.
What happens in Holley, New York later today is about the sad fact there exists in a certain segment of our society a mindset that derives a perverse pleasure from needlessly preying on the weak and defenseless. for no good reason other than it’s fun to kill them.
i can’t imagine seeing the world through their eyes.
What an ugly place it must be.
Where we see the miraculous beauty of all living things, they instead see unfeeling objects there for the plundering, whose life value can be minimized to the point where it’s worth little more than prize redemption in a killing contest.
Be mad.
Or be sad.
But be something.
If we’re indeed the superior species on this planet (as so many seem to think), isn’t it high time we act the part? If not for their good, at least for our own?”

NM Land commissioner bans killing contests on state property

Prohibition impacts coyote killing contests on 9 million acres of state land

Many hunters abhor killing contests and the carcasses they leave behind. | Matt Grubs | Matt Grubs

Calling animal killing contests “brutal, barbaric and inhumane,” new State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard banned the practice on state trust land Thursday.

She made the prohibition by executive order, signed at a news conference.

“If you want to hold a contest to see who can accumulate the most coyote carcasses … from today forward, you will not be able to do that on state trust land,” Garcia Richard, who took office Jan. 1, said to a small group of staff and advocates.

Her office oversees more than 9 million surface acres of state trust land. Much of it is checkerboarded among private property and other government agencies, which will likely present a challenge for enforcing the ban. Garcia Richard said the office’s legal team can file action against those who violate the ban. She told reporters she’s also considered implementing a fee structure for hunters who are caught participating in the contests. Any new criminal penalities would likely have to be adopted by the state Legislature.

The ban impacts “unregulated” species like coyotes, and does not impact animals which hunters need a permit to pursue. Those hunters fall under the purview of the state Department of Game and Fish and its officers.

Animal advocates with Animal Protection Voters, Project Coyote, WildEarth Guardians, the Sierra Club and others applauded the order. Many members  stood behind the land commissioner as she made the announcement.

“She knows that healthy ecosystems and sustainable land use rely on robust interconnected wildlife populations,” said Jessica Johnson of Animal Protection Voters.

“This is not to say that NMSLO does not support hunters; hunters who hunt ethically, hunters who use practices that follow the law and include fair chase, hunters who use what they kill,” Garcia Richard said during the news conference. “This is not to say that our 3,000 agricultural lessees are going to be dissuaded from humanely combating depredation on their land to livestock and other companion animals. That’s not what today is about.”

Tiger Espinoza, vice president of the New Mexico chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, tells SFR the group has purposely avoided taking a stance on political issues like the contests.

“We don’t either support or not support this ban,” he says over the phone from Farmington. “I will say that Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife 100 percent supports predator control. And if that involves killing a few coyotes, then that’s what it involves.”

The lifelong hunter says there are “thousands upon thousands” of coyotes in the state and that sometimes the public misunderstands their place in the food chain. “People think that they are not little baby deer, fawn killers. In all reality they are. I have seen that with my own eyes. It’s not just mountain lions. I’ve seen coyotes take down a buck deer with my own eyes.”

Opponents of the contest agree with people like Espinoza, who says the events don’t put a dent in coyote populations.

“There is no documented scientific evidence that coyote killing contests permanently reduce coyote abundance, increase populations of deer or other game species, or prevent conflicts between predators, humans and livestock,” Dave Parsons of Project Coyote said in a statement Thursday.

The anti-contest group plans to hold screenings of “Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs” tonight in Las Cruces and Saturday afternoon at the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Both shows have panel discussions planned after the film.

The order isn’t the first such ban on state trust lands. Former commissioners Ray Powell and Jim Baca also implemented such a prohibition during their terms.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors (AZ) Passes Proclamation Condemning Wildlife Killing Contests

Unanimous vote follows Dewey-Humboldt Town Council resolution

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. — The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday in favor of a proclamation that opposes wildlife killing contests. Arizona citizens belonging to a coalition known as I AM WOLF NATION in partnership with Project Coyote and other wildlife and animal protection organizations have been working to end wildlife killing contests in Yavapai County and other Arizona localities. Yavapai County’s proclamation follows on the heels of a similar Dewey-Humboldt Town Council resolution that passed in November.

Wildlife killing contests are cruel events in which participants compete for fun and prizes by killing the greatest number or the heaviest of the target species. Last week, dozens of coyotes were slaughtered in the Santa Slay Coyote Tournament in Yavapai County and on public lands throughout Arizona. Manufacturers and sellers of firearms, predator-calling devices, and hunting gear were among its sponsors. Though the public at large remains largely unaware of these contests, killing contest social media posts often show photos of participants piling up and posing with the corpses of wildlife they have killed.

Increasing public outrage has led to several national newspapers editorializing against wildlife killing contests. Last week, on December 14, Pulitzer Prize-nominated columnist Linda Valdez wrote in The Arizona Republic: “The wildlife in Arizona belongs to all the people of Arizona. Did anyone ask you how you feel about contests [that] put a dollar value on killing as many wild animals as possible? Is that how you want your wildlife treated?”

Yavapai County’s proclamation recognizes that coyotes and other native carnivores play a key role in maintaining healthy ecosystems—which includes controlling rabbit and rodent populations. Just as importantly, the County proclaims that wildlife killing contests serve no genuine ecological or wildlife management purpose. The County proclamation further acknowledges that wildlife killing contests threaten the safety and well-being of hikers, dog walkers, bird watchers, hunters, horseback riders, and other outdoor enthusiasts who use public lands where killing contests take place.

“We applaud the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors for taking a strong stance against wildlife killing contests in Arizona,” said Matt Francis, Prescott, Arizona resident and a Project Coyote Program Associate. “The Arizona State Legislature should recognize that Arizona citizens will no longer tolerate these barbaric contests and should ban wildlife killing contests statewide.”

“Our team recognizes and appreciates Yavapai County making a statement against killing contests, which are blood sports and should never be compared to hunting as contest proponents try to do,” said Betsy Klein, Sedona, Arizona, resident and co-founder of I AM WOLF NATION™. “As an organization, we recognize the long-standing tradition of hunters and hunting in Arizona. In fact, hunters who practice fair chase principles have called these contests ‘inhumane’ and have openly opposed them, knowing there is a distinct difference between hunting and senseless slaughter.”

Currently, there is a contest slated to take place in Flagstaff in March of 2019 that will target bobcats, coyotes, and foxes.

Coyote killing contest organizers often justify the slaughter by claiming that by reducing the coyote population they are helping to reduce conflicts with coyotes. “There is no documented scientific evidence that coyote killing contests permanently reduce coyote abundance, increase populations of deer or other game species, or prevent conflicts between predators, humans and livestock,” said Dave Parsons, MS, retired career wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, former hunter, and Project Coyote Science Advisory Board Member. “Wildlife killing contests are symptomatic of a broader problem of misguided wildlife governance by state wildlife agencies that fail to recognize and value the crucial ecological roles of native predators.”

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) itself recognizes that killing coyotes doesn’t reduce their numbers, stating on their website: “Removing coyotes from one area generally results in other coyotes moving in from surrounding areas and breeding faster.” There is no way to know the effect that wildlife killing contests have on coyote populations in Arizona because AZGFD does not monitor the contests or track the number of coyotes killed in these events.

U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva of the 3rd Congressional District of Arizona, who serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources, recently weighed in on the issue: “Do you want a coyote-killing contest on your public lands this Saturday? Neither do we. Neither do Arizona locals in the threatened area. Let people know this is happening.”

Earlier this year, the city council of Albuquerque, New Mexico, unanimously passed a resolution calling for a state legislative ban on killing contests. Tucson and Pima County have passed similar resolutions in recent years. Vermont and California outlawed killing contests in 2018 and 2014, respectively. The National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, a growing alliance of more than 30 state and national wildlife and animal protection groups, along with local citizens, will pursue similar policy changes at the state and local levels across the nation in 2019.

* * * * *

I AM WOLF NATION — The power of the collective, working to protect the wolf and other persecuted wildlife in Arizona. For more information about joining the local effort to end wildlife killing contests, please visit our website.

Project Coyotea national non-profit organization, is a North American coalition of scientists, educators, ranchers, and citizen leaders promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy. Visit ProjectCoyote.org for more information.



The first leg of a new, nationwide wildlife killing contest, the “United States Predator Challenge,” began this month. This gruesome competition, which bills itself as “the first contest series ever started to truly crown the first ever US champion coyote calling team,” encourages participants to slaughter coyotes in three regions and bring them to check-in points in Virginia on January 11 to 13, 2019; and in Nebraska on February 1 and 2, 2019. (The first leg of this horrific event has already taken place, with a check-in point in central Utah on December 7 and 8.) You can read more at www.uspredatorchallenge.com.

Please join wildlife advocates across the country in opposing the United States Predator Challenge!

Here’s how you can help:

Urge your state legislators to support a ban on wildlife killing contests in your state. Locate your state legislators here. Ask them to support legislation to ban cruel and unsporting wildlife killing contests in your state. Find more guidance on passing local and state bans on wildlife killing contests at this link.

Urge your city and/or county council to pass a resolution condemning wildlife killing contests and calling for a statewide legislative ban. This year, the city councils of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, passed similar resolutions.

Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
a. For tips and tools about writing letters to the editor, click here.
b. Talking points (it’s important to be polite and personalize your message):
°  States should follow the lead of California and Vermont and ban the killing of coyotes and other wildlife for prizes and fun.
°  Wildlife killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.
°  No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not hunted or trapped form stable family groups that naturally limit populations. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability, resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here and here.
°  Coyotes play an important ecological role helping to maintain healthy ecosystems and species diversity. As the top carnivore in some ecosystems, coyotes provide many benefits including providing free rodent control and regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as skunks and raccoons), which in turn helps to boost ground and song bird abundance and biodiversity. Read more here.
°  Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that animals are disposable.
°  Wildlife killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk.
°  Killing as many animals as possible conflicts with traditional fair-chase hunting values and contravenes science-based wildlife conservation principles and practices.

Post this sharegraphic on social media, accompanied by the requests above.

Help raise awareness about wildlife killing contests by distributing this educational postcard and this factsheet.

Help sponsor a screening of KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife In The Crosshairs in your community. Contact Project Coyote at info@projectcoyote.org about sponsorship opportunities.
For more information about wildlife killing contests, please visit the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests’ website here.

Thank you for speaking out against cruel wildlife killing contests!


March 1 marked the beginning of the annual coyote challenge. For the 2nd year in a row the state is sponsoring the co…

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 11:10 AM
Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 11:41 AM

March 1 marked the beginning of the annual coyote challenge. For the 2nd year in a row the state is sponsoring the competition to allow the hunter who brings in the most coyotes to be entered into drawings for a chance to win a lifetime hunting license or prize of similar value.

Trapper Jason Chapman is among this year’s participants.

“This is our trapping pack basket, it’s got all of our equipment, it’s got our traps ready to go,” said Chapman is also with Predator Control Services, a company that provides wildlife removal for a wide range of animals. That day Chapman was once again in search of what he calls nuisance coyotes. “The population has just exploded in the last five years even in these urban environments and that’s just not good to have,” added Chapman.

The wooded area behind homeowner Kim Waldrop property is the focus of Chapman’s trapping expedition. The property is sandwiched between a school and a residential neighborhood and Waldrop says it isn’t uncommon to see a coyote roaming the area. “Just three or four nights ago we saw them cut across the back area in front of our storage area and into that wooded lot right there. They just trotted right around like obviously this is his home as much as it is ours, but it’s just not.

State of Georgia also recognizes the problem and say the Coyote Challenge is an effort to control the coyote population. As part of the effort citizens throughout the state can trap and kill coyotes, then send a picture of their kill to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to be entered into the drawings that will take place every two months between March and August. Champion, has already submitted a coyote to the competition and he’s hoping his latest trapping efforts will add to his submissions.

“We use live catch foot restrains which hold the animals in place, the best way to describe it is think of it as handcuffs for a coyote, it hold them until we can come remove them, it’s the safest for the animal and it’s the most humane way to handle them,” added Champion.

But not everyone is in support of the effort, “The Georgia Coyote Challenge is something that our organization has been very outspoken against, we do not agree with” said Dr. Chris Mowry a biologist from Berry College.

Mowry is also the Founder of the Atlanta Coyote Project and he says we need to find a way to co-exist with the coyotes because killing them will only have an adverse effect. “Killing coyotes often times leads to unintended consequences and that is more coyotes. It may knock the population down for a little while but what happens, is you will free up individuals to breed who weren’t breeding before.”

Mowry says as the new coyotes breed their population will soar. In addition, he adds coyotes are helping to balance the ecosystem by controlling the rodent population. But, beyond that Mowry says the process is just inhumane. He also pointed out the timing of the challenge coincides with breading season, he says in many cases parent coyotes are killed and their cubs are left to roam the area in search of food, a process that once again increases the possibility of human contact. But, for Waldrop who hire Chapman to remove the coyotes because her family is already having negative interactions with the animals and she says something has to be done. “I’m very nervous because they are just so active and all over the place .

Sentiments Chapman echoed, “There are way too many coyotes out there right now the population has just sky rocketed and when I’m pulling 10 or 15 out of a small subdivision we know we have a problem.

As of Tuesday only 17 coyote entries had been turned into the challenge.