A small town coyote hunting contest stirs hot debate between hunters and animals rights groups.
Crandon, Wisconsin, a small town in northeast Wisconsin, popped up in the news recently after a planned coyote hunting contest was put under fire by a local environmental group.
The group, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, have expressed concerns the contest will possibly threaten federally protected gray wolves. The group’s concern is gray wolves could be mistaken for a coyote and killed unintentionally.
In addition to the perceived threat to the wolves, the Executive Director of Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf said, “Killing for prize or trophy is not an adequate reason for hunting. It’s unjustified and unsportsmanlike.”
Proponents of the calling contest argue the contest is simply part of their way of life. Coyote hunting contests, calling coyotes, and trapping coyotes is something folks in rural areas have been doing for generations. “It’s something these guys would normally be doing anyways,” noted retired conservation officer Patrick Quaintance.
Quaintance was also sure to point out the participants in the contest would absolutely not want to kill a wolf. Fines for the accidental shooting of a wolf in Wisconsin are over $4,000 in addition to loss of hunting privileges.
This attack on coyote calling contests is just one of a string of attempts by animal rights groups to end coyote hunting contests once and for all. California recently voted to outlaw the contests in their state, and officials in Nevada have come under pressure to adopt similar legislation.
Coyote populations are quite possibly as high as they have ever been in the history of North America. With coyotes heavily populating rural areas, and beginning to move quickly into urban areas, conflicts have begun to develop. As was the case of this urban coyote attacking a cat.
The question of how to manage these prolific animals is sure to stir hot debate in the future.