The Farmington chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife held a so-called coyote-calling contest last weekend, attracting 22 hunters who killed 16 coyotes in two days. It was the seventh year for the event.
Hunters use specialized reeds to mimic the sounds of a dying animal, such as a rabbit, to attract the coyotes to kill them.
The Farmington Daily-Times reports (http://bit.ly/H4JXop ) that such events aren't too common in New Mexico, but Sportsmen member Frances Espinoza said hunting predators is a fast-growing hobby across the country.
Proponents of the practice say that coyotes damage deer herds and kill livestock and sometimes people's pets, while critics say it amounts to animal cruelty.
“While these events aren't illegal, they are astonishingly egregious for their bloodthirstiness,” said Phil Carter, wildlife campaign manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico.
He said anyone who supports the “repulsive killings contests” is displaying a callous disregard for wildlife.
Espinoza, a game commissioner from Farmington and a former executive director and Sportsmen's former director, said hunting coyotes is a method of managing the predators' population.
“You have fishing contests. Is that cruel?” he said. “It is a method of management and recreation just like any other hunting activity.”
Darwin Gunnick, a Sportsmen member, said the hunts are necessary.
“We need to control coyotes if we want to keep the other animals,” he said. “And hunters are the only ones that will do it.”
John Hansen, a wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management's Farmington office, said coyotes live all over San Juan County, including in Farmington city limits by the rivers or in open fields of sagebrush and pinon and juniper trees.
They eat small animals like rabbits and mice, but also animals as large as sheep, baby deer and cattle, and people's pets.
Hansen said that while the BLM focuses on habitat preservation to help sustain local wildlife, there is evidence that shows killing coyotes can prove beneficial to deer and livestock populations.
“Coyotes are in Farmington, they're at the river bottoms and they kill a lot of cats and small dogs,” Gunnick said. “A lot of people have problems with them.”
Back in November 2010 Stevie Foodstamps sent me a link about a coyote derby in Grady NM that was being held to raise funds for the local High Schools' girl's sports program. This had been going on for quite a while but when a new resident from Des Moines Iowa moved in (to enjoy rural life, no doubt) he was outraged and went squalling to the media about it.
He raised so much shit about it that the PETAphiles got involved - luckily a Texas resident that had attended Grady High took over the sponsorship of the contest to relieve the pressure off the school. You can find my original posts and snide opinions HERE and HERE and HERE.
I'm pretty sure the whiner moved.
Fucking people that move out to the country need to realize that shit goes on in the country that they didn't even think about. It's not all about meadows in the springtime, peaceful and quiet with Bambi and Thumper frolicking in the meadow.
There's 24 hour farming with the noise and the smells - they do tractor work at night around here. You try sitting in the cab of a tractor or combine when it's 110 degrees out. Even with the AC it's like sitting in a greenhouse.
Then there's the god-awful stink of dairies, hog farms and poultry ranches and everything that goes with them and we won't even mention the swarms of flies carrying all that nasty manure on their little footses.
And what about the tallow plants that are needed to dispose of the hundreds of dead cattle every day? You ever smell a tallow plant when it's running full bore in the dead of summer? Think paper mills here and multiply that by 10 with an added gag factor thrown in for good measure.
And yes, animals are killed in rural areas. Animals are slaughtered both for personal use and business. Fact of life.
And from August all the way through spring, something is in season be it dove, pheasant, turkey, duck, goose, deer, bear or whatever - you're going to hear gunfire continuously and if you're lucky enough to live in the west, coyote season is usually open all year round!
Shit dies. Get used to it.
It got so bad around here that a few years ago most of the counties here in the San Joaquin Valley had to pass resolutions declaring them "Right To Farm" counties. Motherfuckers were moving into the valley from San Fransicko to escape their high housing prices and subdivisions were spring up everywhere, some of them right next door to dairies and working farms. They must've bought their houses when the wind was right or something because right after they moved in they'd start complaining about noise and smells and their disturbed sleep and shit and then bring suit against the farmers, some of them that had been operating for 50-100 years.