What Are Wildlife Killing Contests?

  • Events usually sponsored by a local restaurant or bar or perhaps a national organization, typically held over a weekend. Contestants pool resources for prizes – like either cash or guns. Frequently billed as a family event which involves children
  • Contestants spend a day or several days searching and destroying as many animals as they can. Frequently calling devices are used which mimic calls such as a pup in distress, which lures usually cautious coyotes
  • Coyotes are the most frequent victims. In Nevada, they have Unprotected status which means they can be killed anywhere anytime – no limitations.
  • The dead carcasses are hauled into the meeting place on the last evening. They are weighed and prizes awarded for categories such as largest, smallest, most killed, etc. Then food and festivity.

About Wildlife Killing Contests in Nevada

The National Coalition to end Wildlife Killing Contests is making phenomenal progress nationwide. Working with local activists, the Coalition has successfully enacted prohibitions on killing contests in seven states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington.

Spurred by this momentum, here in Nevada, on March 2, 2021, the Clark County Commission unanimously approved a resolution condemning these horrific events. This boosts our ongoing efforts to achieve a Nevada ban.

And due to efforts of Reno Councilperson Naomi Duerr and to our Fauna Tomlinson, the Reno City Council will vote Sep. 8, 2021 on a proposed resolution supporting a ban on wildlife contests! The resolution will honor the late Norm Harry, a noted advocate for the wild.

The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners (NBWC)is taking cautious steps toward perhaps someday voting on a prohibition. They rejected petitions from wildlife activists in 2015 and 2016, despite a tremendous turnout from our side, standing in line to testify.

But this June the Board, with different membership, agreed to discuss the matter further. They needed to see a list of our objections because some of them couldn’t fathom why anybody would object! Below are some of the fundamental reasons we find killing contests heinous, uncivilized, brutal and cruel. You are welcome to use these as talking points in your comments to NBWC.

Friday August 6, 2021 NBWC held a virtual meeting. Unfortunately they are still grappling with the question and put further discussion off to some cloudy future. Stay tuned; any new developments will be on this page and in the Nevada Wildlife Watchers Newsletter.

Suggested Talking Points

Visit Project Coyote for complete information, watch their film, and sign the petition!

  • Coyote populations have a rebound effect. The more killed, the more will be born. They have expanded their range despite efforts to cull their numbers.
  • It is not Fair Chase to use electronic calling devices, snares, and powerful guns to kill animals.
  • Children are exposed to violence and disrespect for animals.
  • These contests are giving Nevada‚Äôs hunting community and her residents a bad reputation.
  • As more states ban the contests, predator hunters are flocking to Nevada to enter killing contests.
  • More shooters on the loose pose danger to the public.
  • Randomly killing wild carnivores will not prevent conflicts with livestock and will not increase numbers of deer or other game for hunters.
  • Coyotes are essential to the ecosystem as rodent control and scavengers. 
  • The myth of the evil coyote is folklore believed by generations. An animal is not “evil” because it is a predator. For that matter, coyotes are omnivores, eating many foods in addition to meat.
  • Contrary to the myth of the evil coyote, the majority of the public admire the intelligence, agility, adaptability and iconic sound of the “Song Dog”.
  • Peaceful co-existence with coyotes can be achieved through simple precautions in suburban and rural locations.
  • There have only been two recorded incidences in the United States and Canada of humans being killed by coyotes. One involved a child in Southern California in the 1980s and the other a 19-year old woman in Nova Scotia in 2009.

Page Two: Warning! Disturbing Photos of Coyote Killing Contests. And even more outrageous – Disrespectful, mocking lingo used by participants.