Nancy Maki: Time to end coyote killing contests

  • A trail camera set up in Gill captured a photo of two coyotes, with one exhibiting a rare red color. Contributed file photo/George Holmes

Published: 6/25/2019 6:30:17 PM

Many Massachusetts residents are not aware that coyote killing contests take place every year in Hyannis and Granby. These contests are organized competitions that award prizes to hunters for killing the largest or greatest number of coyotes.

Killing contests are cruel and unsportsmanlike and there is an effort underway to ban them as other states have done. Coyotes are highly adaptable and increasingly common across the state.

While some may view killing contests as a way to control the coyote population, there is no scientific evidence to support that theory. In fact, science has shown that coyotes exhibit compensatory reproduction, which means they will breed at a younger age and produce more pups when intensively hunted. Killing contests are not the answer and may actually result in more coyotes.

Coyote killing contests are different from big buck contests and fishing tournaments. In these contests, there are daily or season limits on the number of animals that can be harvested. In contrast, in coyote killing contests, there are no limits to the number of coyotes that can be killed. As contest sponsors frequently award prizes for “most accumulative weight,” hunters indiscriminately kill as many coyotes as possible as they compete for prizes.

In the most recent killing contest on Cape Cod, one hunter killed 21 coyotes. This is irresponsible hunting resulting in wanton waste of our wildlife. The overwhelming majority of Massachusetts residents oppose killing animals for prizes. We respect nature and value our wildlife.

The Massachusetts Division of Fishers and Wildlife is soliciting feedback from the public to inform their policies regarding coyote killing contests. I urge you to write to MassWildlife (mass.wildlife@mass.gov) and ask them to ban these senseless killing contests.

Nancy Maki

Westminster




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

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