Stop the Coyote Hunting Contest in Modoc County, CA

coyote on a rock

coyote on a rock

Please sign the petition to stop the wanton slaughter of coyotes at the Coyote Hunting Contest for Modoc County, CA which is scheduled to begin February 8 through February 10, 2013.  Press HERE to sign.

Update: Coyote Killing Contest

You and thousands of other people signed petitions speaking out against “Coyote Drive 2013,” a coyote killing contest in Modoc County, California.

Despite our efforts, however, the hunt went forward. We do not yet know how many coyotes were killed.

This “contest” was not only cruel, it was also futile and counter-productive. Scientific evidence shows that culling coyotes often has the opposite effect from the one intended.

After hunters finish their shooting, coyote populations adjust. More females will mate, and they’ll have larger litters. And more pups survive. Killing coyotes only breeds more coyotes.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Knupp
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 21:59:26

    I hadn’t heard of a coyote hunting contest until I googled and found such contests in other states as well. It seems that such contests would pressure the rural coyote – where it helps control rodent population – and encourage an increase in the coyote population in urban/suburban areas. Long ago, I was told to leave alone wildlife that doesn’t create problems. After all who am I to upset natures balance? As to a threat to my dogs, well I’ve lived in rural, urban, and suburban areas. In every situation, I found it best to monitor and control my pets. After all cars, other dogs, and people can be a bigger threat to pets than a coyote. Education is the most effective tool and for this reason I’m grateful for this blog.


  2. Gail
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 01:50:29

    signed. how sick these “contests” are. Unfortunately they seem to be growing in popularity. NM, however, has just proposed a bill outlawing them. At least the ice is broken now.


  3. Gail
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 03:31:02

    These “contests” unfortunately have gained popularity lately. The state of PA has 20-something scheduled with an expected participation of 4,000 “hunters”. NY has 2 planned for February that I know of. Not unusual for them to include other species as well: foxes, bobcats, crows, etc. Common for the events to last 3 days with prizes (monetary and often firearms) given to the heavies, smallest, etc. Kill-all-you-can in three days! These contests have extended to other species as well. An upcoming event in Holley NY to raise money for the local fire dept is hosting a “squirrel slam”. Despite a protest petition with approx 6,000 signatures the fire chief has decided to continue with the “slam” plan and they have already sold all of their 700 tickets :( Our state agencies are extremely lax and some of these species are viewed as “varmints” and their excuse for “no bag limits” is that they are “sustainable”. New Mexico, as mentioned in my previous post, seems to be spearheading a campaign to stop these contests. By the way, the contests are often sponsored by gun stores, or businesses like Foxpro which manufactures calls that imitate various wildlife species, i.e., coyote pups in distress.
    I’m so immersed in this that I’m astounded everyone doesn’t know about them. Barbara, please spread the word. Thanks.


  4. JB
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 18:19:58

    What is worse capturing coyotes and letting them loose in a place where they aren’t wanted and is dangerous for them and for people or hunting them and dispatching them in quickly and humanely?


    • yipps
      Feb 04, 2013 @ 14:44:22

      Hi JB —

      It certainly is horrible to trap coyotes. By law, they may not be relocated, so they are never released into places where they are not wanted. They are sold to penning organizations and fox hunting clubs which use them as live bait. These coyotes end their lives horribly by being mauled to death.

      But wanton slaughter is just as atrocious. These animals have as much right to live as we do. There are really simple solutions to any issues that people have with the animals. It’s time for man to make his peace with nature. Since we have other solutions — humane and biosustainable solutions — let’s use them. Resources and the latest scientific information on coyote management can be found at CoyoteCoexistence.Com

    • Gail
      Feb 04, 2013 @ 16:00:52

      yipps, good information if people will realize that it is accurate! Why does there have to be a choice between “penning” and “fun predator killing”?? I do not and never will understand the need to kill for killing’s sake. Moving targets is how they are viewed, unfortunately. Many areas that have a coyote population do not have a problem and the packs are stable in numbers. When the killing begins, those packs are seriously disrupted and outsider coyotes come in to pick up the slack. BUT, it goes one step further: Even MORE coyotes are the result because now ALL of the pack females are eligible to breed – and they will! I’d think the majority of people would NOT want additional coyotes invited to their “neighborhoods” when a healthy, stable but small population is not causing issues. Doesn’t make sense and I’d be hooting mad about it.

  5. Barbara Knupp
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 13:13:48

    While flipping through tv channels, we came across a program called “Dead Dog Walking.”. Out of curiosity, we stopped on it briefly to see a man standing in front of a pile of dead coyotes. Not to our taste, we quickly moved on. Later I googled and yes there is a tv show for those who enjoy hunting predators with an apparent emphasis on hunting coyotes.

    I sometimes check a KY hunting magazine for articles on wildlife habitat. It runs occasional stories on the pleasure and benefits of hunting coyotes.

    Seems this is more about hunting than wildlife management.


  6. Barbara Knupp
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 15:11:03

    Agreed. I’ve never liked trapping. As farmers, my husband and I appreciate that coyotes help control squirrels, mice, rabbits, and rats which damage crops. My concern is with those who see coyotes simply as pests to be eliminated. Yes, livestock and pets must be secured from coyotes and other threats. My concern is with those who see coyotes only as pests to be eliminated. i don’t see that as good wildlife management. We need to appreciate their role in nature and manage more wisely.


  7. Gail
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 16:05:51

    Barbara, it seems to be more about “sport” hunting when we are talking about predators or other species that are hunted down but typically not consumed. I keep wondering: Where is the “sport”? Without two WILLING contestants, I can’t see that it qualifies as a “sport”.


  8. Charles Wood
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 20:37:50

    JB – please note that coyotes aren’t dangerous to people.

    It has been known for years that coyote extermination doesn’t work, doesn’t reduce coyote populations. All attempts by humans to regulate coyote populations by killing them have failed. Consequently, there is no benefit to humans or to nature that we can point to in order to justify coyote hunting. If coyotes are a pest to some, hunting coyotes isn’t effective pest control and pest control can’t be offered as a reason to justify coyote hunts. If the goal is pest control, don’t hunt them, it doesn’t work. If the goal is to just go shoot at things that move, you willl find that increasingly hard to find socially acceptable.


  9. JJ
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 01:57:19

    Huntig Coyotes is helping to balance other wildlife. When coyote populations are high, bobcats,fox, deer, ducks, geese ,squirrels etc are low. Due to no protection. Sheep and cattlemen suufer loses. We pay for their loss. Hunt the coyotes and do your part protecting the others


    • yipps
      Feb 08, 2013 @ 13:28:43

      Hi JJ — This information is incorrect and your assumptions are misinformed. It is well documented through numerous scientific studies that coyotes keep these populations balanced. Llamas and sheep dogs can and have been used to effectively protect livestock — coyotes do not need to be slaughtered.

    • Gail
      Feb 08, 2013 @ 14:35:20

      Your’s is but another perspective that does not contribute to a naturally balanced wildlife landscape. I have always believed, and see it happen time and time again, that humans cannot perfect nature. While you seem to be a proponent of a higher population of “bobcats, fox, deer, ducks geese and squirrels” there are others who protest about the numbers of those species being too high. People complain that geese are “messy” and squirrels are “pests”. Too many deer cause vehicular accidents and over-browsing of their flora environment. I’m guessing there will never be enough fox or bobcats for the comparatively few but vocal trappers. Seems like coyotes are damned if they do or damned if they don’t.
      I wonder when the “locals” – ranchers and general residents – will finally realize it is they who have to personally deal with coyote population “explosions” which most certainly do result from these “contests”?
      Ranchers who support this are apparently not interested in using practices which all but eliminate predation upon their livestock. Perhaps they’d rather complain than make the investment. I’d encourage you to take a look: or
      In the end, coyote hunters serve no purpose other than to increase the numbers and perpetuate moving targets for their own personal agendas.
      With this and similar information so widely available and which is proven to be effective, I could never personally condone any wildlife killing “contests”.

  10. Barbara Knupp
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 15:46:37

    I can only speak from the perspective of a KY farm family. My husband started farming on his own about 15 years ago. At that time, we had livestock but now we are grain farmers in the middle of KY cattle country. Look out virtually any window or drive in any direction – and I see cattle. Besides cattle, we have friends and acquaintances who have a large horse farm, and those who raise sheep, goats, and even alpacas and llamas. Our wildlife “neighbors” include deer, coyotes, at least one bobcat, wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, opossum, raccoons, skunks, quail, hawks, and buzzards. Although we don’t hunt, my husband belongs to a local shooting club, and stays in touch with the local Cattleman’s Association and of course the Ag Extension office.

    The majority view here is that the coyote is an unwanted pest. KY laws pertaining to hunting coyotes are quite liberal. However, a more educated approach may be evolving. Years ago, when we had livestock, my husband consulted with the local AG Extension agent concerned that lots of howls in the night might indicate a coyote problem. The Agent advised that unless coyotes are causing damage, leave them alone. Eliminate the coyotes who aren’t causing problems and others will move in who might not be as hospitable. Thus we learned to live with, and came to appreciate, the coyote.

    While most farmers here see the coyote as a pest, they don’t waste time actively hunting them. I haven’t heard stories of livestock decimated by coyotes. If you want to hear complaints, ask about the droughts of the last 2 summers.

    Livestock – and pets – must be secured. Dogs, vandals, and thieves are also a threat. Some sheep farmers are most afraid of dog packs. Secure fences and guard animals seem to do the trick.

    To me, coyotes are opportunists. I see calves and know where the deer hang out. I’m sure the coyotes know as well. Yet, the coyotes here seem to spend their time hunting smaller, easier, game such as mice and rabbits. Are they decimating the population? No. Only yesterday my husband complained that mice had once again gotten into a bags of seed. In Summer, he worries that raccoons will take down rows of corn. We hear complaints of deer ruining gardens.

    Overrun with coyotes? No, although they are here, we rarely see them. The coyote population may be controlled by encounters with cars and a high mortality rate among the young. This Fall I noticed a number of dead coyotes while driving along an interstate.

    Thus, I believe man has a history of distorting rather than enhancing nature’s balance. The coyote is a part of nature which has been highly successful despite man’s best efforts. If man is the only predator, he will spend an inordinate amount of time and money controlling over population of other species. Thus my husband and I have come to appreciate the coyote for the role it plays on our farm as well as its cunning and talent for survival.


  11. Gail
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 19:40:06

    Beautifully written, Barbara, and so very hopeful when you write:
    >>However, a more educated approach may be evolving<<.
    I believe that, too, which is why I will continue to fight the injustices waged against them….or against any species unfairly maligned.


  12. yucca13
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 03:21:21

    We have many coyotes in our high desert and manage to coexist with them without a problem. They were here first and have adjusted to mankind taking much of their territory. They have enough to contend with without people having contests to see how many of them they can kill. I find it appalling the way so many people have little regard for wildlife.


  13. kathy dowell
    Oct 18, 2014 @ 14:07:33

    Grayson county of galax virginia has issued a coyote killing contest… i have no one willing to help me stop this and no idea how on my oen… could this program point me in the right direction ? Thank you.


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