In contest kills, slaughtering animals is a game. Participants try to kill the largest, smallest or most animals for cash or other prizes. Contest kills most often target prairie dogs, coyotes and pigeons, and treat these living animals as disposable game pieces.
In coyote calling contests, teams bring dead coyotes to a check-in point where the bodies are stacked and weighed to find the winner.
Prairie dog shoots seat players at a distance from a prairie dog habitat with high-powered rifles to shoot the animals. Contestants boast of the "red mist" when an animal is blown to bits.
In live pigeon shoots, a shooter stands only yards away as captive birds are launched one at time from boxes. The goal is to shoot the most birds down within a ring. Several thousand birds may be killed outright—or left to suffer a slow death—during a multi-day shoot.
Pennsylvania is the last state to allow live pigeon shoots.
News & Events
February 9, 2015
You can help pass laws that protect animals in your state. Humane Lobby Day is easy, fun and guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful animal activist. We'll help you find the Humane Lobby Day in your state.
June 20, 2014
They serve on the front lines of animal protection, lobbying legislators, assisting rescues, helping shelters and so much more. They’re the HSUS state directors: the first point of contact and often the last hope for animals in need.
April 28, 2011
Pennsylvania lawmakers and animal advocates celebrated the launch of House and Senate Animal Protection Caucuses, bipartisan groups of legislators who will work to advance animal protection legislation in the state.
April 12, 2011
The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11 to 3 today in favor of legislation to end target shoots with live pigeons once and for all. Pennsylvania holds the dishonor of being the last place where such cruel spectacles are regularly and openly allowed.