Coyote Killing Contest Set For Halloween Weekend

APV News:
ESTANCIA  A statewide coyote killing contest set for Halloween weekend gives the holiday a whole new definition of horror.
Running Oct. 31-30, the 5th Annual Youth Coyote Hunt, organized by an Estancia resident, advertises prizes and payouts to adults and children under 17 based on coyotes killed, including special honors for the most kills and the largest and smallest animals shot.
As typical of most coyote killing contests, the areas where shooters will be participating have not been released to the public. Animal Protection Voters (APV) and Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) reflect the overwhelming public sentiment against the cruel and dangerous animal-killing contests, and renew a call for a ban on the practice.
“People are reminded to keep black cats indoors on Halloween, as they are often targets of cruel pranks and tricks, but now there’s another animal under threat many don’t know about – coyotes victimized by killing contest participants,” Phil Carter said, wildlife campaign manager for APV. “The coyotes don’t deserve this kind of indiscriminate slaughter, and this holiday shouldn’t be celebrated with a real-life horror story in our own communities and for our native wildlife.”
APV and SWEC aren’t the only organizations and individuals voicing their opposition to killing contests.
Several state legislators oppose the practice, including Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque and Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, who sponsored the bill SB 253, Prohibit and Define Coyote Killing Contest in the 2015 legislative session.
The bill passed the Senate with a bipartisan, 27-11 vote but was tabled in its first committee in the House.
“Most New Mexicans do not support the indiscriminate killing of our state’s wildlife,” Steinborn said. “The fact that these contests continue to be held is an embarrassment to all of us, and I will continue to do everything in my power to get legislation passed that will ban them forever.”
Animal-killing contests, which commonly exploit unprotected species such as coyotes and prairie dogs, occur frequently across New Mexico public lands, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and State Trust lands.
The contests often offer prizes of cash or firearms to the contestants who kill the most animals or ones of specific size. In December 2014, nearly 40 coyote carcasses were discovered on public land near Las Cruces bearing wood blocks with time descriptions and other signs that the animals were dumped after being killed in a contest.
New Mexico Desert Dogs later claimed responsibility for the event that resulted in the dumped carcasses.
“Killing animals for fun and prizes is reprehensible and gives ethical hunters a black eye,” Kevin Bixby said, executive director of the Southwest Environmental Center. “Unfortunately, these activities are still legal in New Mexico, and put in danger everyone who wants to get outdoors and enjoy our great fall weather.”
Killing contests remain unpopular among the majority of New Mexicans. In November 2012, a coyote-killing contest sponsored by Gunhawk Firearms of Los Lunas generated substantial outcry from the public and drew national and international coverage of the competitions in New Mexico.
Coyote killing contests are held on many weekends throughout the fall and winter in New Mexico. Some are announced months in advance, while others give only weeks or days notice. The next contest announced the weekend of Nov. 7 in Valencia County. 
APV is collecting signatures on a petition to ban killing contests, click here. For more information on efforts to bring an end to the killing contests, visit
LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems