ETHICS OF COYOTE HUNTING CONTESTS BEING QUESTIONED – Anti-hunting groups are calling into question the ethics of coyote hunting contests despite dramatic increases in populations. According to the Sandusky Register, coyotes reside in every county of Ohio. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly common to see coyotes in close proximity to major cities. Hunting contests give hunters additional incentive to hunt predators. Rewards are usually given to those who kill the most and those who kill the biggest. While hunting deer and other big game animals come with an incentive of its’ own; that being meat; coyotes are often discarded, thus leaving less motivation for hunting them.
Due to the increases in populations, there have been more violent encounters between pets and coyotes. Several of these attacks have occurred near large cities, such as Cincinnati and Dayton, prompting outcry by the public to control the coyotes. As the population grows, more coyotes will likely spread into locations they were not seen before. However, the increased hunting of coyotes can greatly mitigate this issue.
The questioning of such ethics brings questions of its’ own, however. In analogy, what is the difference between a reward for killing the biggest coyote and a reward for catching the biggest fish during a tournament? During both competitions, hunters and fishermen remain in compliance with game and fish regulations that allow for such activity. In addition, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources create such regulations and management strategies through data-driven scientific inquiry and not through emotional appeals from outside groups. Thus, the overall health of surrounding ecosystems benefit.
Reported by the Sandusky Register, “The Waldo Sportsman’s Club is having its fifth annual Coyote Round Up from January 10-12 with prizes for the most and heaviest coyotes taken by legal methods, with a separate youth category award. For details, check out their Facebook page.”
What are your thoughts on coyote hunting contests? Is it an efficient management strategy?