Wildlife-killing contests in crosshairs

Idaho grizzly bear killers
Lauren Lane / IDFG

An effort is under way to bring an end to the wholesale killing of animals simply for points. Most people are unaware of a largely underground practice known as wildlife-killing contests. Michelle Lute with the group Project Coyote says participants compete to kill the most, the largest or the smallest animals for cash, belt buckles or other prizes. She says the practice does not align with widely accepted hunting ethics or values around how wildlife should be treated.

Lute says, “They use night optics, huge high-powered rifles to rip the animal apart such that they couldn’t even use the pelts. They’re just wasted, piled up, and they’re tossed aside like garbage. So, this is not hunting.”

Fifty organizations across the nation have launched campaigns to end the contests, and so far, seven states have banned the practice. Defenders of the practice claim killing predators will help protect pets, livestock, and big game.


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