Wildlife killing contests are gruesome events, where participants compete to kill as many animals as they can for cash or prizes, usually over an entire weekend or sometimes over months. In the crosshairs are coyotes, bobcats, foxes, rabbits, squirrels and even mountain lions, among other animals, and the winner is often whoever kills the heaviest or the most animals. It is a primitive concept and there is absolutely no justification for the animal suffering it causes. That’s why we have made it our mission at the Humane Society of the United States to wipe these contests off the face of the earth.
This past December, our investigators went undercover at the weigh-in for the “Young Farmers & Ranchers First Annual Coyote Hunt” in Oregon to expose the depraved nature of wildlife killing contests. The weigh-in was being held in the parking lot of the HC Sporting Goods store south of the Malheur National Forest in Oregon. What our investigators saw was chilling.
Trucks pulled into the parking lot one after the other to unload the bodies of the animals. The contestants laughed and joked about their kills as they tossed dozens of bloody carcasses from the trucks and dragged them across the parking lot so they can be weighed. One participant remarked that the snow covering the ground made it easier to track and kill the coyotes, and another pointed out, to laughter, “this one here got gut shot.”
Our investigators were told that the coyotes killed for the Hines contest would be going to a fur buyer, though that could not be confirmed. In most cases the bodies of the animals killed during these contests are discarded like trash.