Nevada Could Become Next State to Ban Coyote Hunting Contests

by Anna Dunn

Nevada may become the next state to ban coyote hunting contests. The Reno city council is looking to further the wave of new laws banning wildlife killing contests. The council voted 6-1 on a measure that urges the end of the practice. The Reno, Nevada Mayor described the killing contests as “heinous.” These contests frequently target coyotes.

This comes after a push in Las Vegas to ban the practice earlier this year. Now, the Nevada State Wildlife Commission will meet on the matter on September 24th. This is according to 8NewsNow out of Reno.

Hunting Contests Explained

According to The Hill, wildlife killing contests are currently legal in over 40 states on public and private lands. Most of these contests target predator species, with Coyotes being the frequent targets. The argument from wildlife management experts is that these hunting contests are not an efficient way to control predator populations and are often inhumane.

“In the U.S., they’ve been happening for, that we know of, at least between 20 and 30 years. At first, it was mostly happening in western states, where livestock was more prevalent in agriculture. But it’s really picked up as of the last five or 10 years,” National Geographic documentarian Filipe DeAndrade explained to The Hill. DeAndrade is behind a recent film on the subject, simply called Wildlife Killing Contests.

While many scientists and experts on wildlife condemn the practice, many on the other side believe they are entering these contests for a cause.

“For me it’s hard to explain to somebody who absolutely hates it. But like I know that in my heart what I’m doing is for a good cause,” one hunter said in the documentary. However, there is no scientific evidence that these contests are an effective way to control predator populations. This is especially true for coyotes.

“Coyote killing contests as a measure of predator control actually does not work,” Stephanie Garcia Richard, the Commissioner of Public Lands in New Mexico, explained. “Especially, in particular, for this species, wiping them out actually has the opposite effect, and we will experience an overrun of the population. That will have devastating consequences.”

Experts Worry the Contests Could Negatively Impact Other Hunters

Some worry that hunters who don’t participate in the contests could be negatively impacted by these contests. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife department said in a statement about the contests that “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.”

Nevada is becoming one state in a long line of states taking action on the hunting contests. Other states that have taken action against these contests are California, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Washington, and Vermont