Kill the Contest, Not the Coyotes
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Vermonters Needed to Spare Coyotes From Senseless Death
A statewide coyote killing contest is scheduled in Vermont for the entire month of February 2018. This heinous activity is being sponsored by Series11 Sporting Goods and the Weston Rod & Gun Club.
This is nothing more than a killing spree just for the "thrill" of the kill. Not only are these crude “contests” allowed, the contest "winner" who kills the most coyotes (highest accrued weight) will be awarded the 1st prize of a gun and will have “bragging rights.”
These killing contests are not based on sound wildlife management or conservation practices. It is disappointing that such contests are not already prohibited under Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunting regulations.
It is a positive step that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department acknowledges in their 2017 coyote position statement, Coyote Control and Hunting Contests, that “In recent years, competitive coyote hunting contests have been held by hunters. The Department does not sponsor, promote, or encourage coyote hunting tournaments.” and that “Coyote hunting contests are not only ineffective at controlling coyote populations, but these kinds of competitive coyote hunts are raising concerns on the part of the public and could possibly jeopardize the future of hunting and affect access to private lands for all hunters.”
The full position statement document can be found here.
Eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) mate for life. Adult males and females are the core of the family group. Often, the family group will include young of the year, and may occasionally include yearling coyotes from previous litters. It is tragic to imagine what the devastating effects of a mass killing would have on a coyote family.
A 2005 news article covering a VT coyote killing contest may be read here.
Wooded areas specifically will pose very real risks to your safety and that of your pets during the month of February if this contest is not stopped. Domestic dog breeds which closely resemble coyotes are at highest risk of being injured or worse. Please keep your dog near you and on-leash while you are in the woods or even avoid the woods if possible. Consider posting your land to make it legally off-limits to coyote hunters.
All Vermonters concerned about this killing contest should take these immediate actions (Vermonters only, please):
- Sign and share this petition with other Vermonters on social media or by e-mail
- Put a post on your local Front Porch Forum asking others to sign this petition. If not already a forum member, you can sign up for free here: https://frontporchforum.com/
- Ask Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Commissioner Louis Porter to use his position to eliminate coyote and other wildlife killing contests: Louis.Porter@vermont.gov
- Contact your legislators asking them to support legislation to stop coyote killing contests and the open season on coyotes. Find them here.
Coyotes need your help to put an end to this and future coyote killing contests. Can they count on you?
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