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It’s shocking to many that in the 21st century, we still have what is known as “Wildlife Killing Contests.” This disgraceful form of slaughtering wildlife is alive and well in Montana. Contests include killing coyotes, wolves, and prairie dogs. People compete for cash prizes or often weapons. Many say they do it to support ranchers, but in reality, this sadism is something parents are handing down to their children and encouraging them to participate.

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There is no scientific evidence that makes the case for such killing. Livestock losses from predators, including wolves, bears, mountain lions, and coyotes, are less than half of one percent of all livestock. There are more than 2 million cattle and sheep in Montana.

Most of these contests occur in rural areas, and what laws are on the books do not allow for large cash prizes, but organizers flout these laws with the support of the Gianforte Administration.

Bold Visions Conservation is working to end wildlife-killing contests in Montana. But like trappers, there remains strong resistance to stopping killing contests, but eight states have banned such torture of wildlife despite that. They include the Western states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, and Washington.

Congress attempted to introduce legislation prohibiting hunting contests on America’s public lands. The Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests Act of 2022 would have required federal land managers like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to enact regulations banning these contests within the following year. The bill was referred to the Natural Resources Committee and was never brought to a vote.

But to date, these contests still flourish on public and private lands. The idea of some cultural relationship to this madness has no merit. These contests simply kill and gravely wound far too many animals by using calling devices, bait, and other means of luring innocent wildlife to their death, so a handful of people can win money. Gambling is also likely part of such events, and it is time for killing contests to end across our nation. We know far more now about wildlife and their capacity for pain and loss of their pack members.

Help Bold Visions Conservation in their effort to stop this madness. Call or write your state representatives today and ask our Senators and Congressional representatives to sign on to the critical legislation that is slowly moving in Washington.

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