We have good news and not so good news about last weekend’s coyote killing contest in California.
The good news is that Project Coyote and allies—with your help—successfully exposed this brutal contest, shining the spotlight on a heartless practice. We generated national media on an event that, until now, had gone virtually unnoticed.
We also generated more than 20,000 letters and emails opposing the gratuitous slaughter, bringing this issue to the attention of the California Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Our live testimony before the Commission in Sacramento was powerful and well-received.
Galvanizing a grassroots force of more than 25 wildlife conservation and animal protection organizations to oppose this hunt—representing more than 1 million Californians—comes on the heels of our success in helping stop a coyote contest hunt in New Mexico. Legislation has just been introduced there to ban contest hunts statewide. This is great news.
The sad news is that we weren't able to stop this contest hunt in California because the law allows this wanton abuse of our wildlife. Nor do we know how many coyotes died at the hands of 250 eager contestants because the law doesn't require them to report the body count. Sponsors boasted that the event was "enjoyable" and "successful." A silver belt buckle was awarded to the team with the biggest body count. We worked closely with a reporter documenting the event, but it was tense going; he and his 13-year-old granddaughter were met with open hostility and harassment.
We promise this: on behalf of the coyotes who died needlessly, we will not stop working for a better way, a better day for coyotes. With your voice, your support and your heart, we will work to end the heartless persecution of our native Song Dogs.
On this Valentine's Day, please consider giving a gift to Project Coyote to help us continue to expose these wildlife massacres and to seek reforms in the ways predators are "managed" in the U.S.