To stop once and for all the slaughter of coyotes across the West and nationally, in so-called contests by some sportsmen clubs, some hunting stores and even in New Mexico, by a girls High School basketball team. Groups such as- Coyote Craze, Predator Masters, Predator University and New Mexico Desert Dogs all enjoy and sponsor this blood lust.
To change their status from varmint as described by many Game and Fish Department’s and to ensure they are not shot on sight by the very magisterial nature of the ranching community. This also involves education and making sure people understand the value of this animal as a predator.
Stop the legal trapping of these animals- forever.
Perhaps no animal is the target of such violence by humans as the coyote (Canis latrans). Often shot on sight by ranchers, the animal has shown an amazing resilience and ability to adapt. One of the more interesting relationships can be found in areas where wolves and coyotes co-exist. What you will find is coyotes living in the margins of wolf country being killed by wolves and adapting to areas between wolf ranges and caring out the job of keeping our forests or grasslands thriving.
In state after state we are seeing the rise of coyote killings, by a group of sick individuals. Using portable coyote callers, the animals are lured in and shot at close range by high powered rifles. On some of the websites and shows developed to this blood-lust rock and roll music accompanies the killing. Some joke about head shots.
This small-dick, macho circus has been steadily growing in recent years, with a World Championship held in Elko, Nevada, awarding cash and other prizes. Recently, coyotes used in a Utah killing, were trapped, tagged then released, only to be called in and shot dead. The trapper was paid $1000.
These often young, rural pseudo sportsmen show a level of ignorance and cruelty that is hard to match. When the event finishes, the helpless animals are thrown into piles and later dropped at the dump and often set ablaze. Such hillbilly mentality needs to be put in check. These are wild and beautiful animals and to allow groups in California, Utah, New Mexico and other states to condone this barbaric activity must stop. We are a civilized society, one that still has a long way to go to reconcile the cruelty we have dissed out to wildlife since coming west.
Call and Write Game & Fish.
The Sly Coyote Becomes a Bounty Hunters’ Target in Utah
Coyote Hunting in Utah: A $50 bounty to control the coyote population in Utah has hunters excited, environmentalists crying foul and state wildlife administrators stuck somewhere in the middle.
By MELENA RYZIK
March 22, 2013
OGDEN, Utah — Spencer Glauser, who started hunting as a boy perched on his father’s shoulders, is an unabashed coyote hater. “One’s too many” to have roaming the mountains and encroaching on towns, he said.
Mr. Glauser is not alone in his aversion or in his desire to do something about it. Last year, the Utah Legislature enacted a “Predator Control” incentive program as a way to jointly curb coyotes and safeguard their occasional prey, the mule deer. Under the law, the state now pays civilians to hunt coyotes.
So this winter, when Mr. Glauser, 18, spotted a coyote on a patch of ice, he ably called it to him, and shot it. Then he made his way with the carcass to a Division of Wildlife Resources office here, where a government pickup truck served as a repository for parts. Ears, jaws, scalps and nose-to-tail pelts were deposited in an iced-over flatbed as hunters pulled up with garbage bags carrying the animals’ remains. In orderly fashion, their hauls were documented.
One veteran trapper came with a cargo of a dozen skins. Others, like Mr. Glauser, proudly carried one capture. They lined up to qualify for their bounty: $50 per coyote.
Coyotes are considered a persistent menace in the West, where they and a highly adaptable neighbor, humans, have been encroaching on each other’s territory for decades.
“I’ve seen them pull down animals, and they’re vicious,” said Chase Hufstetler, 29, who has been hunting coyotes for 15 years. “I think they are a nuisance.”
He arrived at the collection point here, one of dozens around the state, with numbered brown paper bags containing the remains of eight coyotes.
The new bounty program represents one of the nation’s largest hunter-based efforts to manage predatory wildlife. Though no one knows how many coyotes there are in Utah, the law allows for as many as 10,000 animals to be killed. (The state is also home to the country’s only coyote research facility financed by the government.) By early March, six months into the collection, the remains of 5,988 coyotes had been turned in.
Utah residents pride themselves on the state’s natural beauty, its wildlife and the acumen of its hunters, and so the bounty program also represents an experiment in managing the competing agendas of conservation and culture, scientific and economic development. So far, hunters are enthusiastic, environmentalists are crying foul, and state wildlife administrators are stuck in the middle.
“I want to have these predators on the landscape,” said John Shivik, the mammal program coordinator for the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources. “We’re not trying to kill them all off, but we’ve got to figure out ways to manage the damage they do, to keep them tolerated.
“Is it going to work? We don’t know,” he added. “But what we’re doing is, we’re giving it the best shot. Nobody’s tried anything this big before.”
Officially, the aim of the program is to protect the mule deer, a symbol of Utah. Larger than white-tailed deer, with distinctive oversize ears and impressive antlers, the mule deer is a favorite of hunters and hikers here. Coyotes prey on the fawns, so the Mule Deer Protection Act allots $500,000 for bounties. Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, signed the bill last March at a shop that manufactures hunting bows, as a way to emphasize the $2.3 billion that hunting and wildlife appreciation bring to the state economy.
But environmentalists argue that there is little scientific evidence that curbing the number of coyotes actually helps mule deer rebound. (A six-year study published in 2011 found that coyote removal did not effectively increase the mule deer population in neighboring southeastern Idaho.)
The argument that coyotes have much impact on mule deer populations is speculative,” said Mark Clemens, the manager of the Utah chapter of the Sierra Club. His organization, along with the state Humane Society and the Western Wildlife Conservancy, opposed the bill. “It was a terrible bill, we’re really distressed by it,” Mr. Clemens said. “It’s mainly about protecting livestock owners.”
Carl Arky, a spokesman for the Humane Society, went further, suggesting that the program was an economic boondoggle with an intentionally misleading name.
“It’s just a way to sell it,” he said. “And honestly, who’s going to care? The coyote is not an animal that a lot of people have a lot of sympathy for.”
Ranchers are keen to swap stories of coyotes taking out an entire herd of young sheep or cattle, and some have complained to legislators about coyote attacks. But the animals are unpredictable creatures, and not all prey on livestock, said Julie K. Young, a supervisory research biologist for the federal Department of Agriculture.
Count Dr. Young, who has spent her career studying coyotes, as a defender. She runs the coyote research facility in Logan, Utah, where 100 adult coyotes are studied in every aspect from behavior and reproduction to whether they are right- or left-footed. (It is relevant for trapping, and they are about half and half.) Along with scientists from Brigham Young University, Dr. Young, who is also a professor at Utah State University, is involved in a four-year study, independent of the bounty program, on how curbing coyotes affects mule deer. The study is largely financed by the Division of Wildlife Resources, which is also separately collecting data from hunters.
Though coyote populations are notoriously hard to track, estimates put the number of mule deer at about 300,000, a decline from a generation ago, said Anis Aoude, the big-game program coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. Aside from factors like weather, the biggest threat to mule deer is not predation, he said, but changing habitats.
Still, hunters relish the opportunity to eliminate coyotes to give mule deer a better chance.
“We’re just doing what we can to help the deer population and be responsible stewards of the land,” said Blake Downey, 28, a hydrogeologist who came to the collection point in Ogden toting the jaws, ears and scalp of a coyote he bagged while bird hunting with his dog.
Mr. Hufstetler, who sold the pelts of his eight coyotes to a fur company, is keen to get them off the land — except, he said, “I love to hunt them.”
And Mr. Glauser, who is involved with Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a nonprofit lobbying group, saw the coyotes’ natural predation on fawns as a threat to a Utah way of life. “At some point, I want my kids to be able to hunt deer, and be able to kill big deer,” he said.
The incongruity of killing one animal to spare another, only to kill the second animal for sport (or food), is not recognized here. More confounding are studies that suggest that coyotes are so hardy, and so reproductively able, that they will rebound even from large-scale slaughter. Killing coyotes may not result in fewer coyotes. As Dr. Young put it, “The only truth about coyotes: they’ll make a liar of you every time.”
By and large, though, the public does not seem to want more coyotes. “The public wants more deer,” Dr. Shivik said. Nature may not cooperate, but authorities parsing legislation must.
Wildlife management, Dr. Shivik said, “is as much about managing people.
“And sometimes,” he added, choosing his words with care, “what people want isn’t easy to do, biologically.”
Coyote hunt brings chorus of protest Modoc County
San Francisco Chronicle
By Peter Fimrite, February 4, 2013
A coyote hunt scheduled this month in Modoc County has triggered outrage from conservation groups that launched a statewide campaign this week to stop what they characterize as a bloodthirsty canine killing contest held for no other reason than the fun of watching a predator die.
More than 20 wildlife conservation organizations wrote letters urging state and federal wildlife management agencies to halt the three-day "Coyote Drive 2013" scheduled to begin Friday in the woodlands around the rural town of Adin, in the far northeastern corner of California.
The plan for the seventh annual drive is for two-person teams to scatter into the hills. The team that guns down the most coyotes will be declared the winner. If there is a tie, the hunters who exact the largest death toll in the shortest amount of time will get top honors, according to the hunt guidelines.
The drive, which will cost $50 per team and include a gun raffle and T-shirt giveaway, is being touted as an attempt "to manage coyote populations in the Big Valley area."
"Killing coyotes or any wild animal as part of a contest or tournament is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless and counter to sound science," said Camilla Fox, the executive director of Project Coyote and a wildlife consultant for the Animal Welfare Institute.
The irony, she said, is that shooting coyotes is a woefully inefficient way to manage coyote populations because it disrupts the carefully balanced hierarchy.
Studies have shown that coyotes breed more often and have more puppies when one of the pack leaders is killed. That's because, in a pack, alpha coyotes are the only animals that mate. When the alpha is killed, all the previously celibate females will mate.
It is why, after two centuries of trying to exterminate the wily canines, there are now more coyotes in more places in North America than there ever were before, said Fox, who co-wrote the book "Coyotes in Our Midst."
"It is well ensconced in science, after decades of research, that indiscriminately killing coyotes does not reduce coyote populations," Fox said. "If anything, indiscriminate killing can increase coyote populations."
The conservation groups, which also include the Center for Biological Diversity, insist that the hunt violates permitting requirements and that the hunters have failed to get the written permission from private landowners that is required by law.
Risk to lone wolf
The coalition also claims that the hunt's sponsors, the Pit River Rod and Gun Club and Adin Supply Outfitters, have not set any boundaries, leaving open the possibility of hunters killing animals in other counties. This could pose a threat to California's only known wolf and possibly other wolves that may have crossed the state line undetected, hunting opponents said.
"State wildlife officials have a duty to do everything in their power to protect gray wolves in California," said Amaroq Weiss, the West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, adding that the gray wolf is protected in California under federal law and is a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act.
The sponsors, who could not be reached for comment, were, by all accounts, swamped with complaints after conservationists sent out letters, online notices and press releases.
Karen Kovacs, the wildlife program manager for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said protest letters and e-mails from as far away as France and Israel have been flowing into her office. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has since declared its land off limits. The Ash Creek Wildlife area, just outside Adin, is also off -limits to hunting, she said, but nothing can be done about hunting on private land.
"The expectation that wildlife officers will be available en masse on private land is a little unrealistic," said Kovacs, adding that the department does not have the personnel to scrutinize every hunter unless there is a trespassing complaint or other reported violation.
'Abuse of wildlife'
As for wolves being killed, she said, the only California wolf, known as OR7, is at least 100 miles away in northeastern Tehama County.
Coyotes, which generally weigh between 25 and 45 pounds, are one of the most adaptable animals in America. They mostly prey on small animals and generally avoid humans. There has been only one documented case of a coyote killing a human in history.
They have been known to kill sheep and small calves, but many ranchers say sheep dogs and other livestock guarding breeds have been very effective in controlling livestock predation by coyotes.
What's sad, Fox said, are the numerous photographs of dead coyotes that are posted online after every hunt.
"It's mind-boggling how much fun some participants get from the mass killing of animals that are so much like our beloved companion animals, their cousins the dog," she said. "It is wanton abuse of wildlife."
The Stop the Coyote Contest Hunt petition is being circulated on Change.org at
NM coyote hunt contest draws
Calling all coyotes
By Leslie Linthicum / Of the Journal on Thu, Feb 28, 2013
‘Coyotes have the gift of seldom being seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. And at night, when the whole world belongs to them, they parley at the river with the dogs, their higher, sharper voices full of authority and rebuke. They are an old council of clowns, and they are listened to.”
That’s a quote from N. Scott Momaday in “House Made of Dawn.”
“The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him and even the flea would desert him for a velocipede.”
That’s from Mark Twain in “Roughing It.”
“The first time you actually call in and shoot your first coyote you will experience a rush of adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment never felt before. When this happens beware, the likelihood of a lifetime of addiction to coyote hunting and coyote calling is extremely high!”
And that’s from Todd “Dogbreath” Sullivan, owner of Dogbreath, the Michigan company that sells mechanical coyote calls, and also provides free to novices a book called “Whack ‘em and Stack ‘em: The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Coyotes.”
Late last fall, coyotes were all the rage – literally – in New Mexico.
A coyote jumps into the bushes along Lopez Street in Santa Fe. A bill to end coyote-hunting contests was killed in the House on Tuesday.
After a shooting range in Albuquerque decided to sponsor a coyote killing contest, then dropped the idea when protesters turned up the volume, a gun store in Los Lunas stepped in to carry it out: A $50 entry fee, a weekend of hunting and two AR-15s going to the team that brought in the most dead coyotes.
Protesters took to petitions, Facebook and the street, the state land commissioner declared state trust land off-limits to the hunters, the FBI came in to investigate death threats against the hunt’s sponsor and the story ricocheted around the globe.
When it was over, 39 coyotes had been killed and a whole lot of people who had never heard of killing contests or the increasingly popular sport of coyote calling now had it on their radar.
“It is unlawful for a person to organize, cause, sponsor, arrange, hold or participate in a coyote-killing contest.”
That’s from House Bill 316, a proposal from Democratic Rep. Nate Cote of Organ that would have ended the popular practice of charging entry fees and offering prizes for bringing in the most dead coyotes in organized hunting contests.
The bill originally applied to all animal-killing contests, but it came out of the House Judiciary Committee narrowed down to apply only to coyotes. It was shot down on the House floor Tuesday on a vote of 30-38. “What happens on my private land is my business,” said Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, a Republican Roswell rancher.
“For one reason or another, humans and coyotes have been at odds with one another. Coyotes have been systematically hunted and decried as ‘varmints.’ Despite ranchers’ claims that coyotes kill domestic livestock, deer, and antelope, these blanket statements frequently prove false under closer scrutiny. In the long run, simply leaving coyotes alone may be a more effective way of allowing their numbers to reach a natural balance.”
That’s from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish “Wildlife Notes.” Although coyotes will kill large animals, including livestock and deer, that is not the staple of their diets. If you’ve ever paused on a hiking trail to examine the scat of a coyote that is traveling the same path, you know that the coyote takes what it can get: berries, cactus fruit, jackrabbits, voles and mice. And in urban areas, cats and dogs.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, coyotes killed approximately 116,700 cattle and calves nationwide in 2010. That was a little under 3 percent of the total cattle and calf losses. ï»¿In New Mexico, that amounts to somewhere around 5,200 cattle and calves
For sheep and lambs, coyotes are a much greater threat. Coyotes are estimated to be responsible for about a third of the sheep and lamb deaths, or about 5,200 sheep and lambs a year.
There are an estimated 300,000 coyotes in New Mexico, so do the math: Coyotes are not living on livestock.
That doesn’t mean that when one reaches into your pocketbook and takes a calf or lamb that it doesn’t sting. But the point of Cote’s bill wasn’t to give those lamb- and calf-killing coyotes a free pass or to hurt the livestock industry. After all, in New Mexico coyotes are classified along with rabbits, skunks and squirrels as nongame species and may be killed without a hunting license. The law would have given ranchers a clear shot to protect their livestock from coyotes. Rep. Ezzell could have spent her eternity picking off coyotes on her ranch or hiring some gun-packing cowboys to do the dirty work for her.
It also wouldn’t have put a dent in the increasingly popular sport of coyote calling. Anyone with a call and a rifle could set up and get that “rush of adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment” Dogbreath advertises. If Ezzell wanted to invite them to call and kill on her ranch, she could have done that too – only without entry fees and prizes.
UpFront is a daily front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to Leslie at 823-3914 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.abqjournal.com/letters/new to submit a letter to the editor.
Calling all coyotesSee COYOTE on PAGE A4from PAGE A4Coyote hunting doesn’t need to come with fees and prizesjournal fileA coyote jumps into the bushes along Lopez Street in Santa Fe. A bill to end coyote-hunting contests was killed in the House on Tuesday.Web HeadlinePhoto CreditPhoto CreditInfoHeadInfoBody statrtsPhoto CreditDeck starts here
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal