Beginning this weekend, hunters in southeast Oregon will host a killing derby, where "as many coyotes as possible" will be killed for prizes such as rifles, binoculars and scopes.
According to a 13 January Big Game Hunt notice, the derby will run from 16 January through the 17th throughout Lake, Malheur, Harney, and Klamath counties. The event will be headquartered in Silver Lake, Oregon, where the final winners will be determined.
For a simple fee of $50.00, two-person teams will be permitted to kill as many coyotes as humanly possible for these prizes. Big Game Hunt will determine the winners by the number of severed ears each hunter presents.
Friends of Animals' president Priscilla Feral urges the public to contact the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to object to the killing contest, and to publicly state that they do not condone, support, or sponsor hunts that molest coyotes, and patronize hunters to revive an ailing hunting industry.
"That a state government agency would foster such a puerile, violent form of entertainment is morally unacceptable, and the logic behind it is nonsense. No one has undertaken a scientific study on the effects of the random killing of coyotes. In fact, as coyotes flee human threat, they regroup and reproduce, without the natural selection and competition of a large community of coyotes."
Oregon is appeasing hunters in the state, who make up only 6 percent of the residents who are licensed.
Feral added, "Moreover, coyotes have been an important selective factor which have helped the deer and elk to evolve, and maintain them as the alert, robust and hardy animals that they are. Perhaps after removing a large number of coyotes, the wildlife agency will then be announcing that there are too many deer and elk - and offer another opportunity for hunters to renew their hunting licenses, with revenues channeled to the wildlife agency."
Commission and ODFW
Phone: (503) 947-6000
Toll Free: (800) 720-ODFW
TTY: (503) 947-6339
Note: Talking points and more information may be obtained through Predator Defense.