Linda Bolon: Those concerned about killing contests not opposed to hunting
People who oppose wildlife killing contests are not “antis” as Don Martin’s column title incorrectly stated. Concerned citizens are referred to as “anti-hunters.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Hunting is a long-time “honored” tradition not only in Arizona but throughout the United States. In fact, hunting to provide family sustenance is not the issue; killing wildlife for prizes is the issue.
Photos of stacks of bloody carcasses send the wrong message about Arizona. Like dogfighting and cockfighting, wildlife killing contests must not be tolerated by a modern society. Wildlife killing contests do not reflect fair sportsmanship. There have been at least two held in Arizona since the beginning of 2018. There are three additional contests scheduled this year in our beautiful state.
Most of these killing contests are kept secret and hidden from the public. Only club members receive contest announcements and only paid entrants receive the locations with contest details. To kill the most animals, contest participants use high-tech equipment such as powerful weapons and electronic calling devices, which lure animals in for an easy kill by imitating the sounds of a fellow animal in distress.
Robert Crabtree, chief scientist with the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, said his research has repeatedly shown that indiscriminate coyote hunting does little to thin their numbers. Nor, he says, does it prevent livestock predation. In fact, he argues mass, indiscriminate killing of coyotes can make things worse for ranchers. Crabtree said with fewer coyotes around, there’s more food, so females produce litters with bigger, healthier — and hungrier — pups.
There are proven non-lethal ways to address livestock predation including livestock guard dogs, llamas, and donkeys; fladry; better fencing; and Fox-lights.