New Mexico State Representative Nate Cote (D-Organ) is looking to ban all “animal-killing contests” within the state via a proposed bill that would make the holding of any hunting contests illegal. If the bill passes, violators could be slapped with a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time for repeat offenders.

“I’m a hunter and a fisherman, but I’d never seen anything like that. We’ve got to be better than that,” Cote said regarding contests such as the coyote hunts in his state last fall. “They’re nothing but live target shooting.”

According to the Farmington Daily Times, opponents of the bill say that Cote is infringing on hunting and gun rights. Mark Chavez, who sponsored a coyote hunt last November, says that such contests serve to cull potentially dangerous animals and also benefit local families. However, Chavez found himself the target of a animal protection groups and media.

The controversial coyote hunt went on to receive national attention when a flurry of angry emails, social media activity and signed petitions demanded the hunt’s cancellation. Protesters even showed up outside Chavez’s gun shop, Gunhawk Firearms in Los Lunas, in a rally against the killing of coyotes for prizes. Gunhawk Firearms had announced earlier that the top coyote hunting teams would receive a Browning Maxus 12-gauge or a choice of two AR-15 rifles. Animal rights groups called the event  cruel and unethical for glorifying violence.

Despite this, Chavez decided to go ahead with the contest as a matter of principle.

“To me, these contests are helpful to the community. You get rid of some mangy coyotes, plus hunters put gas in the tank and buy lunch,” Chavez said. Coyote hunts are a tradition in his area during the winter season, when coyotes often attack the livestock of local ranchers. Coyote hunting is legal in New Mexico with very few restrictions and no bag limit.

Fifty-two two-man teams showed up for Chavez’s hunt. All together the hunters harvested 60 coyotes, which fell just short of expectations. The winning team brought in 11 coyotes.

Other scheduled coyote hunts in the area had been canceled due to media pressure, which is one of the reasons that Chavez decided to go forward with his. His partner, Rick Grosse, also mentioned support from ranchers who benefit from decreased coyote activity.

Image from Bill Weaver (g'pa bill) on the flickr Creative Commons

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6 thoughts on “New Mexico Coyote Competition Draws Bill to Outlaw Hunting Contests

  1. GOOD BAN THE NASTY SPORT OUTRIGHT, EVIL IN THE NAME OF SPORTS !!!! GET A LIFE , WISH ANIMALS COULD USE GUN BUT SO CALLED HUNTERS HAVEN’T THE BALLS TO TAKE ON AN ANIMAL BARE HAND, BAN HUNTING

    1. HI IDIOT, PERHAPS YOU WOULD LIKE A STEAK FOR DINNER OR A PAIR OF LEATHER SHOES, FUR FOR THE LADY,LEATHER JACKET, ECT…………..

  2. Rights. You kill animals all the time. You are even more despicable because you hire someone to do it for you and you never check to see how they do it. You are ignorant on purpose. If someone went around killing people who were responsible for animal deaths, would all be dead.

  3. If mankind never hunted animals, there would most likely not be any responses at this website. None of this would exist. I believe it is called survival. Even animals understand that. Hunting has and always will be part of the circle of life.

  4. IDIOTS! This contest saves their state millions in predator control dollars. Predator populations have skyrocketed because of the mismanagement caused by animal rights activists, who mainly are out of state implants or folks living in big cities. These folks do not have the slightest idea of how to manage wildlife or why its done. The introduction of Canadian wolves into our forests is a prime example of brain dead activists who do not care about the suffering that wolf packs are inflicting upon other wildlife. Wolves thrill kill too but that seems alright to animal rights activists. The elk and deer herds in the effected states are being wiped out at an alarming rate and coyotes just add to the wildlife disaster. It is common for coyotes to hunt down defenseless elk, deer and cattle new born and rip them from the mother while she is giving birth. Mankind had learned to manage wildlife and were doing just fine until the know it all animal right activists entered the wildlife management picture. Wolves, bear (grizzly and black), coyotes and mountain lion populations have been allowed to skyrocket. Because of this predator mismanagement, elk and deer herds in many states are at all time lows. Ranchers are losing millions of dollars due to their low cow/calf ratios caused by large predators, which has led to the bankruptcy of many large ranches. Sportsmen spent over 100 years managing wildlife and the removal of large predators was the first step. Wolves and coyotes were killed to allow elk and deer herds to flourish and cattle ranches to exist. Its not Disneyland out here folks. Next time you enjoy a steak and a salad be aware some predator or rodent was probably killed so you could enjoy your meal.

  5. I really do not understand the moronic mentality of all the anti-hunting, anti-gun nuts in our society. In the last few months there have been reports of coyotes roaming the streets of Chicago and just this week a report of a man just outside Chicago letting his pet out of the house for a “breather” when it was attacked by a pack of coyotes. The man’s dog was able to get back to the house and inside. The man closed the screen which the coyotes destroyed and we’re attacking the door when the man retrieved a BB gun from within. The sight of the gun caused the coyotes to leave.

    Who does not understand that guns help keep us safe? Common sense dictates the necessity for weapons. Idiots, all of you!

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