US: ‘New Mexico coyote hunt sparks howls of protest’

Posted on November 18, 2012


Yesterday (17th November), an item was posted on titled ‘New Mexico coyote hunt sparks howls of protest’.

‘… Plans by a gun shop in Los Lunas to give free shotgun to team that kills the most coyotes have been condemned by activists –

They are far from being an endangered species, but plans by a New Mexico gun shop owner to organise a two-day coyote hunt this weekend have sparked a storm of protest.

Mark Chavez, owner of Gunhawk Firearms in the town of Los Lunas, has set up a simple competition: the team who kills the most coyotes wins a free shotgun or a pair of automatic rifles.

But he now faces a deluge of condemnation by means of irate phone calls and a petition that has already attracted thousands of signatures, including many from outside the United States. There has even been a death threat against him, which is currently being investigated by the FBI.

But Chavez is holding firm, arguing that the state has 300,000 coyotes roaming its ranchland and that the creatures are a plentiful pest that can hurt livestock.

“This is my right to hunt and we’re not breaking any laws,” Chavez told the Associated Press news agency.

Chavez organised the event after previous plans for a coyote hunt by a different local shooting business were shelved in the face of protests and negative media attention.

It is backed by the local cattle ranchers association and there are no laws on the New Mexico books that would prevent the hunting coyotes.

However, the contest has provoked strong condemnation from the influential local newspaper the Albuquerque Journal.

In an editorial the paper said: “Let’s be clear — staging a contest to see who can kill the most of any one species is not about hunting. At its core, real hunting is about respecting wildlife and its ecosystem. It understands a species’ role in its environment and habitat. It is not about a blatant disregard for life that glorifies a weekend of blood sport for the sake of nothing more than mass killings.” …’

Read the item, view image and add your comment online at


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