Dewey-Humboldt Condemns Coyote-Killing Contest
The Dewey-Humboldt Town Council passed a resolution Nov. 20 condemning animal-killing contests. The resolution comes three weeks before a coyote contest in central Arizona.
Dewey-Humboldt joins Tucson, Pinal County, Albuquerque and the states of California and Vermont in passing similar resolutions or bans against such hunting contests. People win cash prizes and bragging rights on social media in contests like the upcoming "Santa Slay Coyote Tournament" for the largest number of coyotes killed in the day and a half allotted.
Dewey-Humboldt council member Doug Treadway says this is not about sportsmanship.
"The senseless and wanton killing of wildlife has no place in a civilized society," Treadway said. "When you go out and eliminate predators carte blanche it does very little to eliminate the predation."
Council member Amy Timmons voted against the resolution.
"I don't agree with the senseless killing of coyotes, but I do know we have a huge amount of coyotes here," Timmons said. "I've lost lots of livestock and vow to it."
Arizona Game and Fish supervisor Larry Phoenix says the agency did not organize the event but says it could help boost the antelope population.
Scientists with Project Coyote, an activist group, say indiscriminate killing can disrupt the coyote’s social structure and does not target the offending predators.
Project Coyote is helping introduce legislation to ban contests in several states.
Paul Beier, a wildlife ecologist and professor at Northern Arizona University, not affiliated with Project Coyote, said it’s similar with mountain lions. He said such hunts could eliminate the wrong predator that was keeping another dominant male from killing livestock.
"Dog fighting and cock fighting are a blood sport similar to wildlife killing contests, which have been banned in every state," Project Coyote spokeswoman Katie Stennes said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify the purpose of Project Coyote.