Fellow New Mexican,
Coyote-killing contests are legal and are held in New Mexico every year. That’s right, shooters sign up to win a prize for who can kill the most coyotes in a weekend. The death of these native mid-sized wild canines serves no purpose except for use as live targets to make a pile of dead bodies. No one eats coyote.
Now a gun store in Los Lunas is planning a killing contest. Shooters are signing up right now for the killing this weekend, Nov. 16-18. The prize is an assault rifle or a shotgun for killing the most coyotes in that time frame. The governor needs to know how much New Mexicans disapprove of this senseless violence.
This random killing of coyotes will not protect livestock. U.S. Department of Agriculture data reports that native carnivores are responsible for a tiny percentage of all livestock losses and coyotes in particular only a fraction of that. Coyotes will be killed that have never harmed livestock. These population disruptions will create more and younger coyotes which will be more likely to get into trouble with people. The ecosystem is disrupted for a weekend of human blood-sport entertainment, and the result is a senseless mountain of carcasses.
Please send a letter to New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez asking her to denounce this and all killing contests. They cast a very bad light on our state.
Thank you for everything you do,
Mary Katherine Ray, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair