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Conservationists Call to Shut Down New Coyote-Killing Contest

October 29, 2012
Wendy Keefover (505) 988-9162 x1162
In This Release
Monday, October 29, 2012
Conservationists Call to Shut Down New Coyote-Killing Contest

Los Lunas Gun Shop Promotes Bloodshed for Assault Rifle Prize
Contact: Wendy Keefover (505) 988-9162 x1162

Additional Contacts:

Mary Katherine Ray | SierraClub | 575.772.5655
Guy Dicharry | LosLunas Resident |

Los Lunas, NM. Wildlifeactivists are calling for an end to a high-body count, coyote-killing contest inNew Mexico that has no relation to hunting, involves no fair chase, and amountsto animal cruelty. GunHawkFirearms, the second business to attempt to sponsor a contest hunt in NewMexico this year, charges $50 for an entry fee to all contestants and then willaward an assault rifle to the person who brings in the most coyote bodiesduring a two-day event in November. GunHawk Firearms claims that killingcoyotes will help ranchers and farmers.

“Despite widespread misbelief, killing coyotes simply doesnot result in fewer coyotes,” said Wendy Keefover, Director of Carnivore Protectionfor WildEarth Guardians. “For decades, biologists have demonstrated throughresearch that coyotes make up for their losses by changing their behaviors.”

Despite the war on coyotes since the 1850s, coyotes’ range has expanded three-fold. They nowroam east of the Missouri River, north into Canada and south to Central America– even as they face a constant barrage of poisons, guns, traps, and aerialshooters directed at them. When their populations are exploited, more femalesbreed, litter sizes grow, and coyotes immigrate from other areas to fill anyvacancies. Adaptable, they can live as solitary individuals, as mated pairs, orin packs. Capable of hunting, scavenging or eating plants, coyotes mostlyderive their diet from rodents and rabbits.

“This is not about aproblem animal, this all about a business promotion that leads to the mass,statewide killing of coyotes,” said Guy Dicharry, a Los Lunas resident.

Coyotes actually benefit farmers and ranchers because theyprey primarily on rodents and rabbits, which compete with livestock for forageor damage crops. Despite the pervasive myths, the U.S. Department ofAgriculture has documented for decades that coyotes kill miniscule numbers oflivestock, and that most unintended causes of livestock mortality comes fromdisease, birthing problems, and inclement weather, including drought.

The basic tenets of ethical hunting are to give for fairchase, not to use as animals as live targets, and to protect mothers and theirdependent young.

“Contest hunts raise alarming ethical and conservationissues for all New Mexicans,” stated Mary Katherine Ray of the Sierra Club, “Mindless,random, body-count killing contests benefit neither nature nor livestockowners. They serve only to feed human blood lust and ego.”

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View Livestock LossesData from the USDA


Other Contact
Mary Katherine Ray | Sierra Club | 575.772.5655Guy Dicharry | Los Lunas Resident |
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