RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Wildlife Commission is again considering a ban on coyote–hunting contests.
Animal advocates filed their newest petition with the commission following a previous denial in March. Some members of the commission called the original submission flawed, the Reno-Gazette Journal reported.
Coyotes are not protected in many western states, including Nevada. The animals can be hunted statewide without a license or permit. Contests offer rewards to those who kill the highest number of the predators.
“The goal is to go out and kill as many coyotes as possible and have a party afterwards,” said Reno resident Don Molde of Nevadans for Responsible Wildlife Management. “This is not a sporting event. This is a wildlife hate crime.”
Molde says this new petition was drafted more formally. He said it bans competitive hunting of all mammals, though coyote contests are the intended target.
“We’ve revised things and we’re going to have a second chance,” he said.
Constance Howard of Reno, Fred Voltz of Carson City and Leah Sturgis of Gardnerville are also petitioners.
Supporters of the contests who spoke in March said coyotes pose a risk to livestock, pets and in some cases, people.
“This is an anti-hunting movement. Don’t be fooled by what this is really about,” said James Schmidt, a retired coyote expert for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.
He said coyote-hunting contests are a proven control method.
About 300 coyotes were killed in the 2013 World Coyote Calling Championship held in Elko. The event that prompted the petitioners’ first effort took place in the Reno area in December 2014, and ended with the deaths of 10 coyotes.
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com