Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

Dead coyotes in a cage on top of a truck at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

Counting the kills at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest, February, 2015 (Photo by Margaret Lloyd)

Standing in a West Texas sporting goods store parking lot on a recent Sunday morning, Margaret Lloyd felt like she’d wandered onto the set of a gory movie. The lot was packed with trucks full of dead coyotes, foxes and the occasional bobcat; one pickup had a cage welded to its bed, and it was crammed with carcasses. “It was one wave of fur, tails on top of ears and ears on top of tails,” she said. “It was just horrifying.”


This video, ‘Fur Fever,’ celebrates coyote killing by showing a dozen of the animals being mowed down in just over two minutes.Around back, participants in the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest were weighing their kill in a competition to see who had shot the biggest bobcat and the most coyotes, gray foxes and bobcats in a 23-hour period. Some $76,000 in prize money was at stake — more than $31,000 went to the team that bagged a 32 pound bobcat. Other jackpot winners were a four-man team that killed 63 foxes, a team that killed 8 bobcats, and another that killed 32 coyotes.

Photo of Geoff Nemnich of Coyote Craze with his sons

Geoff Nemnich of Coyote Craze, with his sons Creighton and Carver (photo courtesy of Geoff Nemnich)

Lloyd, a retired lawyer who lives in Galveston, grew up in the South among hunters and says she’s not opposed to killing animals for food or to protect a herd.

“This is not hunting,” she said. “This is a blood sport, plain and simple.”

Contests like these — often called coyote calling contests, varmint hunts or predator hunts — have become popular events, especially in the Midwest and West. The website lists 21 states with upcoming or recent killing contests, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota and Utah.

The Big Bobcat competition in San Angelo, Texas started in 2008 with just 21 teams, but drew 380 teams to the contest last month. “They’re growing exponentially,” said Geoff Nemnich, a champion coyote hunter who is cashing in on the phenomenon. His website, Coyote Craze, exhorts visitors to “Feed Your Addiction” and offers videos of coyotes being dispatched by high-powered weapons, along with t-shirts that read “Coyotes Fear Me,” and depict dead coyotes hanging by their feet. “Almost every weekend you can find [a contest] somewhere within driving distance,” he said.

Dead coyotes at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

Photos by Margaret Lloyd

But as these contests proliferate, efforts to stop them are, too. In December, California Fish and Game Commission outlawed contests that award prizes for killing wildlife (the ban takes effect in April). Legislation to bar such contests passed the New Mexico state senate but died in the house. In Nevada, a petition to prohibit predator-killing contests is pending before the state Board of Wildlife Commissioners. And protesters blasting the events as indiscriminate slaughter have been demonstrating outside of contests and related events, like the Predator Masters convention in Arizona in January.

Wildlife defenders cite research that suggests killing adult coyotes may actually increase the population, since it allows more pups to survive. Predators like coyotes also fill an important role in the ecosystem by helping keep the population of rodents in check.

Jeremy Harrison, a fifth-generation rancher, organized the Big Bobcat contest in Texas. He said coyote contests do a public service by reducing the number of livestock predators and protecting the public from rabies. “This is not bashing baby seals in the head,” he said.

To those who are offended, he has simple advice: Butt out. “It’s none of their business. It has nothing to do with them,” he said. “It’s one of the best things about this beautiful state of Texas. We have 100 percent support from Texas and from the local people. If they don’t like it, they can just stay away from it.”

Opponents of these events call people like Harrison “thrill killers.” And there is a jarring sort of gleefulness that surrounds the slaughter — one Arizona group holds a Santa Slay hunt in December each year. Nemnich posts excerpts from his videos, which are sold at Cabela’s and similar stores, on YouTube. Set to stirring martial music, one sizzle reel shows coyote after coyote being called and then gunned down.

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Nemnich, who said his videos portray hunting “in the best light possible”, encourages others not to post “distasteful” images because it will provoke animal rights groups or turn people who are neutral against hunting. “You don’t go and post a video of a coyote with his guts blown out on Facebook,” he said. “It just fuels the fire.”

Photo of Margaret Lloyd

“It was one wave of fur, tails on top of ears and ears on top of tails … It was just horrifying.”
– Margaret Lloyd

Nemnich, who boasts on his website that two of his sons bagged their first coyotes at the age of five, said he gets a steady stream of hate mail. One message said his kids should be “gut shot” like the coyotes in the video. (“And I’m the barbarian?” he said.) He thinks the critics of coyote killing contests have a bigger agenda — to ban hunting altogether. “We’re killing animals for money and prizes. That’s the easiest way for them to get their foot in the door,” he said.

Both Nemnich and Harrison pointed out that the federal government kills thousands of coyotes each year. They said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division uses much less “sportsmanlike” means, such as poisons and leg-hold traps.

Contests are completely legal, Nemnich said. “Some may consider it ethically wrong, but hunting has been around forever, it’s who we are out in this part of the country.”

Lloyd stopped to take pictures of the bobcat contest while driving from New Mexico back to Texas.

She said the spectacle was sickening, not a source of pride. With a breaking voice she said, “It was a sight and a situation that I’ll never shake for the rest of my life. I will never forget what I saw. A parking lot of absolute death at the hands of a civilized society.” She paused, and then corrected herself: “A supposedly civilized society.”

Photos of the winners of the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest, February 2014

Winners for shooting the most gray foxes, West Texas Big Bobcat Contest, February 2014 (Photo from West Texas Big Bobcat Contest )

Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein contributed to this story.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the Santa Slay event is in New Mexico. It takes place in Arizona.

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About the author

Bridget Huber is a FairWarning contributor.

62 comments to “Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit”

  1. Sara Cooper

    Not addressing coyote kills because I’ve read little about it. However, I recently went into the meat market have been shopping at most of my life, And they always have a lovely display Photos, usually men with their biggest or most recent kill… I don’t object to those photos because they’re single kills, and they’re going to be eaten. I was appalled to notice one of the photos is of an older man with four bobcats.

    I was told he hunted the bobcats down because they were killing his calves…Unlikely according to Texas A&M, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and just about everybody I have asked that ever lived on a ranch-and that comes to quite a few people. I’m no expert, but it does seem unlikely that bobcats travel in packs and hunt calves. Maybe goats or sheep, lambs or kids, but highly unlikely calves.


  2. Colten Washburn

    You people that hate on this sport have no idea what these animals can do to a farmers livestock counts. A single coyote can take down a 500 to 700 pound calf with no sweat and once you see this you will understand why we do it. Most of you people that are against this probably never have and never will see anything like this happen because you probably live a heavily populated neighborhood. Your to busy worrying ab what everyone else is doing instead of your selves. It’s not like us callers go out and shoot a coyote every time we turn a call on. It’s actaully way harder then it’s seems. You see a coyote is a very smart animal there are hundreds upon hundreds of mature coyotes that don’t think twice about coming into a call what so ever they are smart and know what there prey is supposed to sound like. The coyotes that all hunters kill are the less educated ones that aren’t as smart as the others. Most hunters keep the pelts and sell or freeze the hides for them selves so nothing goes to waste. No matter how many hunters there are hunting for this elusive animal there is no way you can put a dent in the population. So all of you tree huggers that have a problem with this should really consider getting out of the house and out of a town to actually witness something like this that happens every single day.

  3. Branden Huff

    The cyotes are overpopulated because you’ve killed all of the wolves that always kept their numbers in check. Anytime you eliminate a top level predator you screw things up in unforseen ways. Man does not have the knowledge to selectively control nature. One thing we can control is ourselves. Killing two dozen animals for fun and profit??? I wish we were better than that.

  4. Jake

    Uneducated liberals. This happens on private property, and none of your business. We could talk this out for a week, and you still wouldn’t have a clue. Go save a squirrel, and mind your own business.

  5. Justin Keeney

    I have read sum of these that people have sent I feel there is a whole lot more going on in this world that’s more horrible and horrifying as some put it than to worry about us Texan country boys going out and killing a few varmints that are a nuisance any way and as for the few that said that God is going to get us for doing this well God has the only right to decide what he will do I also thought the bible said for man to have the control over all the animals not animals have control over man

  6. Jason

    Deborah that is the thing….these hunters are not killing coyotes for entertainment. This isn’t thrill killing.

    They are doing it to reduce coyote population levels because coyotes are vastly overpopulated and a threat to their finances.

    One commenter mentioned that the ranching economy is struggling with minimal profit margins….they don’t need to lose money because a pack of coyotes somehow got past their fencing.

    The only reason you can even go to the grocery store and eat is because of hunters.

  7. Jason

    M commented that Jesus was going to kill all these hunters and their children. Wow m you are totally ignorant of scripture.

    Did God rebuke David for killing lions to protect his sheep or Sampson for killing a lion?

    Animal life doesn’t have the same value as human life and isn’t the same M you psychopath.

  8. Jason

    Welll….according to AJ when the government compensates farmers and ranchers for their loses it doesn’t give them 100% of the animals value or buy them new animals.

    So even after going through paperwork and government bureaucracy to get compensation for their losses they still end up losing money huh.

    Well I don’t blaim them for killing predators! It’s not thrill killing at all. Im sure they’d continue doing this legal or not since the coyotes effect their finances.

  9. Jason

    One of the commenters mentioned that the ranching economy is struggling with minimal profit margins.

    The last thing they need is there chickens or other livestock being killed off.

    The coyotes are overpopulated in most of the US which is why there is no bag limit in many ares.

    In some areas if your cat gets out it’s dead period.

    You biggots just will not see reason or use logic. This isn’t about thrill killing.

  10. Jason

    It’s not thrill killing for me. You people are just being illogical.

    It’s about reducing the likelihood of my friends dogs, cats, and livestock getting attacked.

    Some of you ignorant and biggoted people may not want to understand this but for some people their livestock is part of thier livelihood and their pets are like part of their family and coyotes are vastly overpopulated.

    How would you like it if you lost hundreds of dollars one day because somehow a pack of coyotes (an animal that is overpopulated as is) or wolves or whatever got past your fencing?

    You may not like it but there is far more behind this then thrill killing.

  11. mina

    killing animals for fun. they are living they might also have family”s they need to take care of. next time you kill an animal think of killing your own son daughter or wife. i think you people are sick.

  12. Mtngirl1971

    I would partake in a coyote-killer killing contest in a heartbeat. I live in the mountains, ride horses among the coyotes, lost a beloved cat to one, but have no anger toward them or any other predator that is doing what it does to survive. They are vital and necessary to the eco system, not to mention beautiful and intelligent, of which NONE of these ignorant, uneducated ruthless barbarians are.
    I think the coyote has a higher IQ than most of these hunters and their spawn of ignorant, vile, blood-thirsty killers that they continue to breed. (Oh, but abortion is sooo evil! Do us all a favor and have a few yourselves!).
    Humans that do things like this, do NOT need to be on this planet.

  13. Edward Dixon

    It would appear based simply on the numbers of animals killed that there is an overabundance of coyotes. Since coyotes need to pry on other animals to survive I waould say that again, based on the shear quantity of coyotes taken in the photo, that the area was soon destined to become a mono culture with the only living animal being that of a coyote in species. If that is true then the area was in for a major collapse of sustainablity of animals. Very unfortunate. I tip my camoflauged hat to all those people giving up their time to save the areas wildlife by controling the population of predators in the area.

  14. David B

    Everybody commenting saying this is acceptable and important to quell populations is ignorant and doesn’t have all the info. It’s been proven that killing coyotes does not reduce their populations and has the exact opposite effect. When coyotes are killed, smaller animals (the animals they eat) are free to run rampant. As a result of this coyotes have larger and larger litters, resulting in even more coyotes. Humans can’t outthink Mother Nature, its pointless and senseless killing. It’s killing purely for the enjoyment of killing. It’s absolutely purposeless.

  15. Aj helms

    People that do not know what going on with predator control will always see these hunts as horrible. And people like me that have farm animals that we raise for the market to feed these people that don’t like our way of predator control need to step up to the plate and send me and every other rancher and farmers checks for the 10,000.00 we lost in calves security the gov don’t let us take 100percent and will not buy us new calves are reimburse us for security measures. What is real sicking is that plan parenthood will open the legs of a young girl and let a sicko Doctor drive a knive and pliers into the girl uterus and cut out a baby piece by piece while the baby is still alive that is sicking. And a lot of these people are just like the women protesting the predator hunts they want and love animals more then human babies look at movies now their killing thousands of humans in every movie but no animals die. Something is really wrong with people when they think we must kill humans to make space this is George soros theory and the democratic liberal communistic manifesto in play. They want to reduce human population to 500million by 2100 and let the animals live read agenda 2030 page 22-78 you and your children are not welcome here on earth and specially if your a Christian they hate Jesus Christ theory of him coming back to earth to judge the world the whole world is gearing up to blow Jesus Christ out of the sky when he returns.

  16. fred

    this is the worst thing EVER!!!!!!!! you guys are the sickest people EVER!

  17. bob

    this is very stupid and you guys are very sick

  18. Jason

    Liberals can be very ignorant. They can be very stupid and hypocritical.

    Coyotes are overpopulating in most areas of the United State. The state spends tax payer money to cull coyotes in many areas. Furthermore when a coyote eats livestock….if……IF the government reimburses the rancher or farmer that comes out of all our pockets and that’s only after the farmers and ranches deal with paperwork and government bureaucracy to get compensation.

    Private citizens killing lots of coyotes with their own guns, ammo, and supplies and private citizens putting up prize money is a much better way to deal with this problem and costs tax payers nothing.

    Liberals are very stupid.

    Apparently they would rather these animals over populate and then have to have the government spend money to have people shoot and poison these coyotes.

    One contest a year to control the population isnt that bad. The meat can be turned into jerkey and donated to homeless shelters or whatever or used to feed the hunters families.

  19. John Noble

    for all the people quoting their Daddy’s saying only shoot what you going to eat let me ask you this how many if you catch rats in a trap SWAT flies mosquitoes do you eat the

  20. larry

    liberals are against killing of animals , but when it comes to killing unborn human babies , they say its a womans right its her body, i say a baby isnt like a tumor its a living breathing baby and any doctor who does an abortion will be judged by God go to hell

  21. anna bayles


  22. Norm M

    One more thing I caught 2 coons in my chicken coop and they pulled the heads off of 1 rooster and 6 hens. RIP coons Losing a rooster we lost 1 meal losing a hen is taking breakfast from 1 family member for 6 months. Get real everything don’t come from the supermarket. We don’t drive 100K autos and try to keep up with the neighbors. We do spend 100K on our tractors and implements.

    Live Free or Die

  23. Norm M

    Okay let me ask this question. If a man robs you in your home or place of business in Texas you can shoot him. If a cayote kills your calfs and taking money from you family. What gives a cayote more rules than a human being. I’m gonna shoot varmits that kill my livestock.

  24. Steve Anderson

    My father taught me not to kill anything I wasn’t going to eat. How many bobcats and foxes can you eat?

  25. Steve Anderson

    I guess not all the uninformed assholes live in Texas, but it sure has more than its quota!

  26. Jason

    Keli Hendricks the only reason you are able to raise animals without hunting predators is in all likelihood because some of your neighbors do hunt predators argo you benefit from the hunting of predators whether you do so yourself or not.

    Coyote meat makes decent jerkey. Hopefully these people use the meat and fur from the contest.

    Personally Id love to take part in one of these. Chance to win money and even if you dont you still get tons of jerkey.

  27. Hunter 4545

    Boohoo. All these people whining about coyotes when people starving to death and genocides are happing. SMH

  28. M

    It’s going too turn dark very dark soon. God will be comeing like a thef in the night. He will take those Hunters & he will kill them one by one so stop hunting. You have your young Children Hunting there as good as gone as you People are.

  29. M

    Stop killing Anumals stop this right now. Your not a show off but a billey.

  30. roy long

    wow! I can not belive how stupid some of these selfrightious pricks are. These animals will eat themselves to extenction they must be managed. Just because you live in a city or urban area and have never been around anthing wilder than the neighbor’s damnd dog. and think meat comes from the store dose not make your panszy ass feelings valid. get off your ass and go learn about what you think you know first hand you winey assholes.

  31. Donna Cunningham

    Tell this to the Buffalo and the Indians that were hunted almost to extinction so Ranchers could have their lands. If it’s in the way kill it.

  32. Joseph Yannuzzi

    Only in the red neck state of Texas would grown men wearing 10 gallon hats to hide their tiny brains, dress in full camouflage, to pursue bobcats, and coyotes with the ridiculous intention of killing the animals in some type of twisted, sick, idea of sport and recreation and worse yet, our low life Politicians that will do almost anything to get elected, supports this incomprehensible killing on a grand scale.
    The only thing I like about hunting is when these boisterous, gutless, Texas cowards mistakenly kill each other and die spitting blood!

  33. Thomas Bender

    Okay, let me see if I got this right: I’m a terrorist, liberal, eco-fascist from California riding my high horse while I try to control your God-given right to hunt, and will come to you on bended knee begging for a gun when the commies or muslim terrorists or coyotes land on our shores. Did I miss anything?

  34. Caleb

    Predation, nuisance, disease control, sport, heritage, enterprise…. Predator hunting/trapping is a freedom and right of Americans. If you live in the Midwest, Rockies, or west coast, then find a local trapper and thank him. Without western settlement by Fur Traders in the mid 1800s there would be no gold rush which means there would be no commerce which means there would be no ability to formulate liberal ideas (such as “gory” murder of animals). We can not afford to place human characteristics on animals. They do not suffer, hurt, or understand pain the way humans do. Remove these feelings and remind yourself that you are human and they are animals. Your ancestors could not begin to understand this “push” for animal rights and would more than likely be embarrassed by how much time and emotion have been placed on oppressing hunters and trappers. There are more important things to focus on.

  35. Lee Pittard

    Bottom line up Front: I hunt and I fish. I’ve done so almost my whole life, for more than sixty years. The answer I think, lies in a lesson I was taught as a child and subsequently taught my Son and Grand Children. “Only shoot what you are going to eat.” Nuff’ said.

  36. BK

    Yes! Louise! ”Not hunting” is right. Bunch of cruel, stupid and sickening morons.
    If they carry on at this rate there will be nothing left to kill and then maybe they could start on each other!? I fish for trout and salmon and occasionally shoot a rabbit or bird for the table.
    I only take what I need, treat the animal with respect and dispatch them cleanly and quickly.
    If someone told me that I should stop for a while/permanently because stocks are low and need to recover, then I would do so.
    I grew up in the country. Love and respect animals and am a hunter and have been since the age of 8 and I find these pictures and film sickening and so wrong.

  37. Marvin

    ” No legislator should ignore the link between this kind of violence to animals and a growing culture of indoctrinated violence to people. This is just plain wrong. It is sickening. ”
    Really??? So…that’s the reason all those gang bangers are killing everybody…they were exposed to hunting! Really folks? If you people put forth half as much energy in stopping gang violence in the big cities where kids are killing kids, this will be a much better place to live. When that is all done, then go after the hunters or whatever. To ignore the people on people killing and spending your time and effort on hunting animals…well…what does that really say about you?

  38. Deborah

    Debate all you want but there is one simple black and white fact that is irrefutable: killing a living creature for entertainment is sick and this is a commonly accepted truth. Why these contests get a pass on this, I really don’t know.
    You cannot convince me that cultural differences of such a fundamental concept of right and wrong as this justifies and excuses your sick behavior. For what ever reason, society has turned a blind eye to this socially accepted evil but there will come a day when it will no longer be tolerated anywhere in the country.

  39. J E Newman

    If the declining ranching economy struggling with minimal profit margins is looking to recruit even more vegetarians and vegans this type of publicity will continue to erode their consumer base (that has largely defected to poultry—now with the commanding presence in the market). Coyotes can take out members of flocks and herds but consumers can wipe out entire industries with their purchasing power. Combine this killing-for-entertainment carnage now associated with ranching, with the water required for cattle, the methane issue and global warming and these bloodsports may be de facto ranch-killing contests. And, given the lurid, graphic and bloodlust of social media postings, with all the subtlety of an ISIS beheading, ethical hunters will suffer even more public contempt and denigration. We know Disney’s release of Bambi was a major impact for hunters in its time. With the undeniable influence of social media, this type of negative publicity for ranching, hunters, and guns may be impossible to overcome. Nothing will put a bad enterprise out of business faster than good advertising and these bloodsports are now on the national and international radar.

  40. Jory Holiday

    While this is a bizarre contest using living creatures for target practice, eventually idiotic actions will backfire on them. The areas where this is taking place will soon be overrun by rodents and destructive insects that the targeted animals have been killing and eating. When that happens, next crops in surrounding areas will be decimated, rodents of all shapes and sizes will be everywhere. Darn, too small to make good targets!!! So, let’s poison them? There are lots of laws regarding poison use. But go ahead – the poison will hit the aquifers and will kill off other animals that these idiots like to shoot – so no more hunting because there’s nothing left to kill. Darn! Oh, and one more thing—with the immense population of rodents, you’re likely to see a large increase in plague infections – but hey— enjoy your contests…. And all the stupid comments on how humanity HAS to kill these predators because there would be no other way to control them? Too bad none of you have read books – if you had, you would at least get some understanding of how it all works together. The herbivores WILL overpopulate an area until there is no more food. Predators naturally have a very wide range of checks and balances in their lives that they rarely truly overpopulate. What does happen with coyotes is a dominant pair will control a specific home range. They will successfully keep transients out of their area. When the dominant pair is killed, then many transients will move into the area, carving it up into smaller ranges. Instead of one dominant pair in say 10 square miles, now you may have 5 pairs each controlling a much smaller home range. A myriad of studies have proved this – not conjecture — you can look that up in the dictionary.

  41. Charles Edward Stover

    Please can we just take the emotion out of this- I mean both sides. These animals if left unchecked would create more destruction than you can imagine. I know this because I have been involved in cull hunts where any number of animals have gained a foothold and are pressing out other critters (seeing nature cull by starvation or over predation is often more brutal than a well placed .22-250 round) No one is eliminating endangered species here. Those of you with big hearts please try not to let your emotion over rule your intellect. I can appreciate your passion for wildlife but how many of you have eliminated flesh from your diets or leather from your wardrobe? If you haven’t then how bout just bowing out of the conversation and leaving it to conscious individuals. If you have I have nothing but respect for you and your choices, but for those of us not living under the umbrella of fairy dust that makes all boo boos feel better, please allow us our own choices. Most days I commute from farmland 50 miles south of Chicago to the North side of the city. At home my neighbors and I have lowered the coyote population to a manageable level. They no longer kill our barn cats, follow my daughter while she walks our Jack Russell, or knock over my garbage every night. Does that not seem logical? I don’t want to eradicate the species- I just need a little balance in my yard. I asked them nicely but they just didn’t want to cooperate so they had to go… And please don’t group all of us hunters into the “conservative” branch of society. I don’t give a crap about Timmy marrying Jimmy or having a black guy at the helm. As long as they are accountable to society then let the universe grant them peace and prosperity.
    As for my fellow hunters- Can we PLEASE stop trying to provoke the “morally superior” liberals that seem to know what is best for all us neanderthals. It does not help our cause of helping the rest of society understand our passion. Nobody needs to know how many dogs you’ve killed. Why show up at the Wall mart with a truck full of your prowess… it really does not mean you have a big penis. Again if you can’t keep it to your self then just bow out of the conversation cause no conscious human really gives a damn about your sophomoric opinion anyway. Just go to bed each night knowing that if war ever reaches the shores of the U.S. there will be a time and a place for those of us who understand the time and place for taking lives. Guess who will be knocking at your door asking you to borrow a weapon? When will America become Cerebral rather than Visceral?

  42. Pilar blas zulueta


  43. Louise McGannon

    Are we too stupid to know that these animals serve a purpose?!? They are meant to be here as a predator. Deer is culled where I live & these stupid killing contests are the reason why. Have you ever thought about the insurance costs we all pay from deer-related accidents or the human lives that are taken from deer collisions?!?

  44. arlene

    In thining the popualation Deers need to be included in this contest. They are responable for thousand of dollars in car damage sn people getting hurt or killed, something realky needs to be done

  45. George Hill

    You gun nuts are all alike. Make fun of a Berkeley education then misspell the rest of the comment. Better run and hide now, Obama’s comin’ for the gun!!

  46. Mark Hartman

    Frankly, I could care less of those who are against hunting contests. Those people in general have no idea why they are saying what they do, and have know idea what really goes on. My issue is with the author (Bridget Huber), and lack of a fair/balanced piece. It is obvious by the content of this piece the author is against hunting contests. Surprise, surprise, Berkeley education, and living in San Fran. Yes, “you people” have quite the reputation. So this was an opportunity to, if anything, qualify yourself as a “journalist”!! FAIL!! I know Geoff, who explained that you fail to include any positives regarding the contests he discussed when you interviewed him! Well????? Yotes are a beautiful animal I agree. The are quite destructive when it comes to livestock(I have experienced this), and pets(I have experienced this). Where are the articles about government controls on yote populations? Poisons, traps, shooting from aircraft? Come’ on Bridget, not exciting enough for “the story”??? With any ‘real’ research into these contests/hunting, would soon reveal hunting would be going on regardless of the contests. Animal carcasses just wouldn’t be concentrated, but they would nonetheless still be dead, get it??? BTW, it is hard to believe this kind of event would sicken a retired lawyer like Margaret Lloyd. There are thousands of mistreated/abused women, elderly, and children which should really sicken us. Margaret Lloyd are you doing your part to help them? I, in fact do, and I’m not a stinking Lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Carla Porter

    I don’t understand how organizers and participants are completely unaware that this effort is too grossly similar to Adolf Hitler’s killing spree. These people are American citizens, right? It’s been my understanding that all Americans were raised to understand that killing in the name of bigotry is wrong. Even the simple act of “killing” is wrong.

  48. Erin Hauge

    It’s spot on to say the needless thrill killing of predator calling contests is feeding an addiction. Killing predators for thrills and money is nothing more than cruel, indiscriminate and wasteful slaughter of wildlife and the killers who do it need help in understanding the damage they are causing on so many levels – destruction of family and social bonds of the animals they kill, destruction of the ecosystems the animals support, destruction of any sense of value for the animals they kill. And admonishing those who protest such wasteful and mindless killing to ‘butt out because it has nothing to do with them’ proves these killers have no understanding of how important predators are for ecosystems everywhere. It’s not just a Texas thing, or a Utah thing, or a South Dakota thing. Destroying webs of life by wiping out predators makes our whole environment weaker, and nature doesn’t recognize state boundaries. Methods like gut-shooting, to ensure the most painful death possible for the animal have nothing to do with wildlife management and everything to do with sadistic wildlife torture. We like to think we are a civilized society. Until predator killing contests are banned everywhere, we are nothing more than a tolerant society, one that is willing to overlook the needless suffering of wildlife simply to feed an addiction.

  49. Meadoe

    Bloodsport: “any sport that involves animals being killed or hurt to make the people watching or taking part feel excitement”
    This isn’t conservation or wildlife management. It is a lust for inflicting a piercing, bloody death.

  50. Gary Vella

    There are many debatable points in James Schmidt’s rantings, but I’ll just address two of them.

    First: It’s an absurd notion that anything can be justified just because it’s been going on for decades. Slavery and the denial of women’s right to vote were steeped in tradition too, remember? … and all of a sudden they were bad? Yes. It’s called societal evolution.

    Second: I’m surprised that it took 7 paragraphs for Mr. Schmidt to get around to the “terrorist label.” That’s a commonly used scare tactic that usually comes up right away in any sort of anti-activist diatribe from the animal abusers’ side of the fence. I noticed the lack of any corroborating evidence (i.e., documentation, arrest records, convictions) to go along with the random threats that were listed. That said, these claims are nothing more than “convenient” hearsay and/or outright fabrications. Having a random assertion printed in a local newspaper adds no truth to the accusation.

  51. Red Thomas

    Wow. Terrible waste of wildlife. I don’t care how much livestock y’all have, you don’t own the damn country or it’s resources. But you act like you do. You want folks to “butt out”? Ain’t gonna happen now that you’re all exposed. The public already pays you plenty for your losses so quit your bellyaching’. Maybe you should take better care of your livestock and quit acting like everyone else owes you people a living.

    Had to laugh at this
    “Contests are completely legal, Nemnich said. “Some may consider it ethically wrong, but hunting has been around forever, it’s who we are out in this part of the country.”

    You sure got that right. Ethically wrong IS what you are. But this aint “hunting”, buddy. Yes you are ethically and morally bankrupt. Want the public to pay for those losses too?

  52. James Schmidt

    Let see- “Lloyd, a retired lawyer who lives in Galveston” said “This is not hunting,” she said. “This is a blood sport, plain and simple.” But I say- By simple definition hunting in general is a blood sport, as is fishing is, cage fighting, trapping, boxing, and more. Each state’s Game And Fish Department is charged with defining and monitoring legal methods of taking game in that state; Ms. Lloyd is not.

    I just read that PETA is protesting sled dog races as it cruel to the dogs and Ringling Brothers Circus is eliminating all Elephants in their shows because that is cruel too. There are protests about selling domestic rabbit meat in grocery store now. There is a group that says cockroaches are misunderstood and a group in Tucson, Arizona that performs spay and neutering clinic’s for feral cats instead of getting them off the streets and now there are 300,000 cats feral running loose and not a songbird in site.

    The article says- “Wildlife defenders cite research that suggests killing adult coyotes may actually increase the population, since it allows more pups to survive”. It is an absolute well documented fact that with a quality and aggressive coyote control program fawn and young livestock numbers increase. FACT! The other fact that this research says and is not pointed out by the activists is that Mother Nature is the main controlling factor in all animal populations. More food and a reasonable amount of water helps the population and less food and too much water reduces the population. Removing the smart coyotes that are livestock killers before they can teach other coyotes to kill livestock is critical.

    Coyotes DO NOT have a magic ability to know that there are fewer coyote and thus increase liter sizes and mate with more different coyotes. If they actually “mate for life” as the activist say then they can not “cheat” as activists suggest either. Coyotes are dangerous livestock killers. They make a living biting and killing everything. They kill fawns, calves, sheep, goats, snakes, lizards, birds, rodents, pets of all sizes, adult deer, horses, foals, eat watermelons and other vegetables and the list goes on and on.

    The pictures shown here are exactly like a quality trappers take-no different in any way and it is totally legal and has been for a very long time. Organized hunting or fishing has been going on in this great country for over a century and suddenly it is a problem? Anyone who believes that wild animals are only taken for meat is totally mis-informed and misrepresenting the truth too. Wild animals skulls, urine, glands, fur, and more have significant value in the market place. Coyote urine can be as high as $60.00 per gallon. As for eating, there is no Texas barbeque sauce or New Mexico pepper that can makeup for the terrible taste of coyote meat either. As are javelina and they are pretty rough tasting too without help.

    These organized events are no different than any other hunting or fishing event. On Monday at work everyone wants to know about a hunting or fishing trip and common questions like ‘how many did you get?”, “what was the biggest one?”, “who got the most?” and so on. Deer and elk camps can have 15 or 20 hunters in it, a fishing charter can have 25 or more fisherman too. We keep score on everything like , golf, baseball, basketball, marbles, darts, pool, and horseshoe pitching. Human’s compete as part of life and some how it is being demonized by anti-hunting groups like Project Coyote and others. Many of these events have been held annually for over 20 years without incident and suddenly they are evil???

    Make no mistake this is an anti-hunting movement hiding behind the protest of organized hunting or fishing events. Some of these activists (terrorist) felt it is wrong to kill an animal yet they threaten their fellow citizens who do not hold their same views by saying to a sponsor(s) of these events “we will burn your business down with you in it if you do not stop these events” as printed in a Idaho newspaper, or to tell a rancher that “we will shoot you and your wife” if they do not stop the event-Oregon, or “we know we can not win so we will bankrupt you” fighting to stop you-Oregon.

    These organized events are safe, very productive, a serious predator control method, and totally legal. The participants are fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mother and son or daughter, best friends, grandpa and grandson, and more. They have very serious rules including following all game laws, no trespassing, having a current license if required, and some will even expel you if you get a traffic violation or are rude to anyone. Bounties (cash) have been paid for coyotes since the early 40’s in many western states. Currently Utah pays a $50.00 bounty for each coyote turned in-dead of course. One New Mexico County pays a $20.00 bounty for each coyote turned in. Trophy’s, prizes, and recognition have been offered for decades by groups like Boone and Crockett, Safari Club International, The Rocky Mountain Elk Society, the Deer Foundation, Wild Sheep Foundations, and more hunting groups for animals killed while hunting. It is not new.

    One response says- “Organized killing fests are repugnant, inhumane, wasteful and ecologically damaging. This is not hunting. This is legalized slaughter that feeds the twisted real life fantasies of vicious killers”. This is 200% opinion and not based on any facts of any kind. Just made up! This person knows nothing about it because coyote calling is hard and it sure is legal hunting. Shooting is a legal method of take nationwide, hardly wasteful, absolutely no facts backing that it is ecologically damaging either. It is all made up to try and support their position.

    Do not be fooled by these groups trying to demonize these lawful organized events and the law abiding citizens involved in them. These activists oppose trapping too-basically anything that harms animals they oppose. We very well may have to stop driving automobiles on roadways so we do not kill any animals too. I have seen that many will clearly lie, cheat, and steal to promote their cause. I do not care for knitting, watching Oprah, the cooking shows, bird watching, or mindless shoppiing, but I am sure not trying to ban them, I just do not participate.

  53. Sari Reznick

    The more you kill the more they will come back. They have as much, no more, right to live on rangeland as livestock. I do not want people to lose their livelihood but we eat too much meat and the slaughter of animals via factory farming is another cruelty. And anyone anywhere has the God given right to raise their voice against what they perceive as cruelty. This wild bloodlust type of killing is over the top offensive. Go shot at cans. Not thrilling enough? That shows this is just an excuse to kill things. P.S. I’m Texas born so don’t tell me not to stay away!

  54. Shaelan Rodgers

    Here are the facts! None of you own ranches nor livestock! So nobody cares what you have to say! My father and I lost 75% of our goats n sheep last year to coyotes and Bobcats! I didn’t hear yall crying for us! Get off your high horse and see things from both sides! Big Cat contest is a great thing! Thank you Jeremy Harrison and all the people who put this together! It’s a great day when you can save a rancher a goat/sheep by blasting a predetor!

  55. Keli Hendricks

    As a rancher, I call BS on the first commenter who claims he kills to help protect livestock. We raise livestock and kill zero predators and so can anyone else. There is no moral or noble reasons behind killing contests. They are killing for fun. PERIOD. And to further show how full of crap these ‘hunters’ are, bobcats and raccoons almost never involved in livestock losses but it doesn’t stop them from blasting away at them. Domestic dogs kill far more livestock every year than bobcats do but nobody suggests holding contests and awarding prizes to whoever kills the most dogs.

  56. Justin Mathews

    A country of uncivilized people? You ma’am, are the type of person who make me ashamed of what our country has become. If you do not like what we do then don’t show up at the events. Yes we do kill quite a few animals in these competitions. Keep in mind that we live in ranch country. Fox, coyotes, bobcats and wolves kill billions worth of livestock every year. Not only do they kill livestock but they also spread disease and kill household pets. The numbers of animals are not going down, they have stayed at a constant. The only difference seems to be that the health of the animals is better. Instead of killing sick disease infested animals, now they seem to be healthier. That is until they get lead poisoning. I really have a hard time commenting when I am dealing with people who do not know the facts and will never listen to the facts. Please stay in California and stay the hell out of Texas. If I remember correctly it was a cali quack who got tens of thousands of scimitar horned oryx slaughtered several years ago, that is until they finally came to their senses and reversed their decisions. The best conservationists are hunters, not some blow hards from the city. I knew a guy one time who let a scorpion crawl on to his hand. I told he that he was an idiot and that it would sting him. His exact words,”if you respect it then it will respect you and not sting you” 30 seconds later it stung him. IDIOT. That is what we are dealing with here. Please bring your little pet out to the country. I have the perfect place to let it go run around.

  57. Nate

    Predator contests help the ranchers and farmers get rid of unwanted pests who can cause thousands of dollars in damages to livestock. It would be the same as me coming to your house every night and taking over a thousand dollars a night of the hard earned cash that you made that day. If left unchecked and uncontrolled your precious coyotes, Bobcats, and foxes will ruin a livestock business. I don’t see any of yall shelling out any extra cash for those farmers and ranchers who need to cover there expenses. Better yet I bet 95% of yall have never spent a day in the life of a blue collared worker who relies on the livestock to make his way. Go preach somewhere else or better yet keep your nose out of other people’s business.

  58. Kelly Schueman

    I’m ashamed of my country. We have become Ted Nugent USA. It’s time to look for a civilized place to live. Costa Rica, the UK, and New Zealand are on my list of countries we are considering. If I was younger , and could learn a language easily, Germany and Italy would be at the top of my list. The US is now ruled by ALEC, and they are all powerful, own our media, and are trashing everything.

  59. Brian

    Great predator control. Shows again the tree huggers are out again looking to cause conflict!!

  60. Charles Fox

    Killing animals for money and prizes. This is what America did with its freedom.

    Decency is gone. It’s not a civilization. It’s a culture of abuse.

  61. Doug Baldwin

    On the one hand, the prodigious scale of the slaughter is so depressing and unnaturally brutal, but on the other, one wonders, well, how is the population of these animals faring? Fish populations are well documented to be dropping, for example, and the fishing becomes harder. Animal populations are…famously…culled. So, what is the story with that for these animals? Over the years of these hunts are they killing more animals or fewer? Does anyone know? Is it getting harder to find animals to kill, or staying the same? Are more hunters participating and covering more territory and thus killing fewer animals proportionally per hunter and per acre, but coming up with bigger overall numbers, or what? Have the hunters given any thought to whether or not at some point there might be too many hunters seeking too few animals, like is happening, apparently, in the offshore oceans? It is impossible to believe that this slaughter will not have effect, that the ability of these animals to breed in the modern world will not keep up with the pressures on their range and food sources and the increased numbers and technology of the hunters arrayed against them. Thus, sooner or later, the excellent Margaret Lloyds of life passing by will not find parking lots full of dead animals any more, but just a couple carcasses lying in the scattered pickups, and a bunch of hunters standing around talking about the freedom and bounty of the good old days and how liberals ruin everything.

  62. Louise Kane

    Organized killing fests are repugnant, inhumane, wasteful and ecologically damaging. This is not hunting. This is legalized slaughter that feeds the twisted real life fantasies of vicious killers. No legislator should ignore the link between this kind of violence to animals and a growing culture of indoctrinated violence to people. This is just plain wrong. It is sickening.

    Please note the only concern the promoter has is to not be seen in a bad light. He suggests the contest participants don’t post the gory images as it fuels outrage. This is a manipulative, sleazy, deceptive mindset that is common among these event killers, they hide behind the facade of doing a public service or enjoying a hunting experience instead of manning up to their cowardly, despicable, serial killer like actions.

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