Stop coyote and wildlife killing contests

Since our country was founded, native wildlife such as bears, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, and other carnivores have been viewed with antipathy and misunderstanding. This prejudice, which is often fueled by fear, has led to the killing of these animals by the millions. Killing competitions are on the rise–allowing for inhumane methods of killing such as shooting, aerial gunning, poisoning, baiting, trapping, and even killing pups in their dens–all in the name of entertainment and to “protect prey populations.” For example, it is legal in Wyoming for a person to climb onto the back of a snowmobile and chase down wildlife, pursuing them until the wildlife drops from physical exhaustion, and then run the wildlife over relentlessly with the machine, injuring them until they die (see “A Death of Ethics”).

Sportsmen will argue that coyotes need to be exterminated because they reduce deer populations. The study “Coyotes Don’t Reduce Deer Populations,” conducted by Dr. Roland Kays, a professor at North Carolina State University and head of the lab at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, showed no evidence that coyotes have an impact on deer populations on a large scale across the nation. In fact, his study concluded that deer populations continue to increase nationwide. Dr. Kay’s study further concluded that reductions in coyote populations could lead to further problems if their social structure is interrupted. Removing a dominant coyote from an area can result in more coyotes swarming into an area and jockeying for dominance. Wildlife-killing contests exist because organizers reveal them only on a need-to-know basis–and with good reason. If the public were informed, there would be an outcry.

In March 2019, advocates organized by Cleveland Animal Save gathered in Chardon OH to protest the multi-day hunt that took place throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, in which a cash prize was awarded for the largest coyote killed. 

Coyote hunting–by any means–is legal year-round in Ohio. Geoff Westerfield, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, stated, “The Division of Wildlife does not endorse or prohibit group coyote hunts”.   

Approximately one coyote is killed every minute of every day. Ohio residents can help stop the killing by promoting peaceful existence. Please join OAA, Project Coyote, National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, Animal Welfare Institute, and the Humane Society of the United States in asking your local officials and ODNR Division of Wildlife to ban coyote/wildlife killing contests. You can share Project Coyotes brochure on Coexisting with Coyotes and Lakewood’s factsheet on Coexisting with Coyotes with your local officials.

In January 2019, Animal Protection New Mexico succeeded in getting New Mexico to ban wildlife killing on public lands; and in September, Arizona banned organized predator killing. Together, we can do this in Ohio!