Wildlife killing contests losing ground

States are increasingly considering bans against controversial coyote killing contests. ©GD Tabler

Since California outlawed predator hunting contests in 2018, other states have followed suit. Vermont ended coyote (Canis latrans) hunting contests last year. New Mexico ended them last month. Arizona may follow suit, and other states, including New Jersey, New York and Oregon, may do the same, the Washington Post reports. “As a hunter myself, I am proud of the key role the hunting community plays in conserving our state’s wildlife,” Mike Finley, chair of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, wrote in a letter urging state lawmakers to ban the practice. “These killing contests, however, are not responsible hunting. They glorify killing for its own sake and cast Oregon’s entire hunting community in a bad light.”

The Washington Post notes The Wildlife Society’s own recent issue statement on wildlife killing contests. “Killing contests are viewed in widely different perspectives,” the statement says. “Some people view them as making a game of killing animals, thus demonstrating disrespect for and devaluing animals; others view them as a potential management tool to be used to control predators and increase prey populations, or as entertainment without a perceived legitimate use of the harvested animals. In some cases, particularly for predators, justification for the killing contests is often based on flawed use of science.

Read more here in the Washington Post.