We are joining with other pro-wildlife groups to again ask the Oregon Legislature to ban coyote-killing contests. Participants in these events compete for cash and prizes to see who can kill the most coyotes. Believe it or not, these cruel and unsporting contests still occur in Oregon. One was held just last month near Burns.
Representatives Brad Witt (Clatskanie) and Rob Nosse (Southeast Portland) have introduced a bill in the 2020 Oregon Legislature to ban coyote-killing contests. (A similar bill was introduced in the 2019 legislature but died amid partisan squabbling.)
This year's bill, House Bill 4075, will have its first hearing at 3 p.m. Tuesday, February 11, in the House Committee on Natural Resources. Here's what you can do to help us pass this bill:
Email the Committee (no later than Monday) at firstname.lastname@example.org. You only need to write a sentence or two. See below for suggested talking points. If you live in rural Oregon, be sure to mention that (and say where) to show this is not just an urban v. rural issue. It's best to use your own words, but your email can be as simple as:
"Dear House Natural Resources Committee:
Please vote to pass House Bill 4075. Coyote-killing contests are cruel, show a lack of appreciation and respect for wildlife, and serve no useful purpose."
Call (best) or email your state legislators (everyone has one state representative and one state senator). You can find out who represents your here. Click on the link below their names to get their webpage including contact information. Again, tell them in a sentence or two to support House Bill 4075. Be sure to tell them you are a "constituent" - meaning you live in their district. Please do this even if it's after February 11 (at least through noon February 13).
For more information about the bill, including the specific text, go here. Be sure to note the sponsors, including chief sponsors Brad Witt from Clatskanie and Rob Nosse from Southeast Portland, and thank them if they are your representative.
For more information from our coalition, including responses to frequently asked questions, go here.
More Talking Points
By making a game out of killing as many coyotes as possible, coyote-killing contests show a lack of appreciation, respect and compassion for wildlife. They glorify killing for the sake of killing.
Hunters who believe in accepted standards of ethical hunting also oppose coyote-killing contests because they are inconsistent with the ethical hunting principles of respect and appreciation for wildlife. See this testimony from the former chair of Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Studies show that the indiscriminate killing of native carnivores such as coyotes will not protect farm animals and other wildlife. It can even lead to an increase in coyote numbers by disrupting stable family packs, causing more reproduction. A good article on this topic can be found here.
This not an urban vs. rural issue. This is about the state of Oregon and how Oregonians value and treat the public’s wildlife. We can value hunting as a tradition and establish restrictions on practices such as coyote-killing contests that are cruel and unsporting.
Oregon’s wildlife belong to all of us, including the majority of Oregonians (90 percent) who do not hunt. (2019-21 ODFW Budget Overview, p. 23.)
A number of other states have already banned wildlife and/or coyote-killing contests: New Mexico, Arizona, Massachusetts, California, and Vermont.
A recent public opinion poll commissioned by Remington Research Group indicated a strong majority of Oregonians support legislation to ban coyote-killing contests across all regions of the state.