Think Wild Supports the Proposed Ban on Wildlife Killing Contests

Two coyote pupsWe have an urgent call to action for you. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will vote next week on whether to prohibit wildlife killing contests in Oregon. If passed, this proposed regulation would make coyote killing derbies and other such contests illegal in the state of Oregon. This is a critical moment to share your opinion on the matter. The Commission meets next Friday, September 15, at 7th Mountain Resort in Bend, and are accepting public testimony on the proposed ban.

We invite you to get involved in one or more of the following ways:

coyote killing derbies are inhumane and ineffective at controlling coyote populations and conflictsSally Compton, our Executive Director, shares her perspective: “As Oregonians, we hold values that prioritize the stewardship of our land and wildlife. These contests are completely contrary to those principles. Lifelong hunters recognize that these killing contests deviate from centuries-long standards of respectable hunting. The manner in which animals are killed in these events raises serious ethical questions, as the carcasses are disposed of carelessly after serving as a mere scorecard to win prizes.”

It’s important to remember that these animals are not being hunted for any purpose beyond the competition itself. Nothing is harvested from their bodies; instead, they are piled up like trash to be carted away.

The repercussions extend beyond the individuals that are killed. Coyotes play a crucial role within the ecosystems they inhabit by balancing prey species populations. The indiscriminate killing of hundreds of coyotes for entertainment orphans young and abruptly changes the balance of local habitats. Instead, we should manage their populations responsibly, just as we do with other animal species.

Here are some points to consider including in your testimony:

  1. Counter-Productive to Wildlife Management: Wildlife killing contests run contrary to science-based wildlife management principles. They promote the wanton waste of precious wildlife resources.
  2. Public Ownership of Wildlife: Oregon’s wildlife belongs to all its citizens, and allowing a small group of individuals to engage in such contests undermines the state’s duty to protect these resources for the benefit of all Oregonians.
  3. Strong Public Support: A 2019 poll conducted by the bipartisan Remington Research Group revealed strong public support across all of Oregon’s congressional districts for banning wildlife killing contests.
  4. Ineffectiveness and Harm: Mass killing of coyotes as a means of population control has no scientific backing and can disrupt stable family packs, increase reproduction rates, and potentially lead to more conflicts with livestock.
  5. National Precedent: Eight states, including several in the western United States, have already banned wildlife killing contests through their state wildlife commissions.
  6. Ethical Concerns: These contests are driven by financial incentives and contradict principles of fair chase, modern science-based wildlife management, and Oregon’s values of conservation.
  7. Cruelty and Irresponsibility: Wildlife killing contests are cruel and undermine responsible sportsmanship, good stewardship, and respect for our public wildlife.

We are not alone in this fight. There is significant opposition from those who wish to continue these practices, making it essential for us to take a stand

.rows of killed coyotes lined up on the ground after a killing contest

Your voice matters, and together, we can make a difference in protecting Oregon’s wildlife from indiscriminate killing contests. If you have any questions or need assistance with any of these actions, please feel free to reach out to us. Shoot us an email at i[email protected] to get in touch!

Thank you for your support and commitment to the conservation and ethical treatment of our state’s wildlife.