Speak Out Against Idaho Animal-Killing Contest
Bloodthirsty hunters are at it again…and this time they’re demanding a larger area of land for an annual killing competition. The group “Idaho for Wildlife” ,a nonprofit whose aim is “to fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations” to impose restrictions on hunting or guns, has asked the BLM to issue a 5 year special recreation permit which would allow an annual predator hunt derby on public lands that would totally approximately double the amount of land as last year.
The first predator derby which occurred in December 2013 attracted international attention, as well as online petitions, and even an undercover report in Vice magazine. Hunters competed for $1,000 prizes for the biggest wolf or most coyotes and children as young as 10 were allowed to enter the competition. This year, however, the variety of “predators” would be larger and include weasels, skunks, jackrabbits, raccoons, and starlings.
Too often, the justification used for mass killing of wildlife is that their populations need to be “reduced and controlled” to help ranchers and hunters. However, science has shown indiscriminate killings of coyotes, wolves, raccoons, etc. is not effective at reducing their populations. Instead, they quickly rebound and fill any vacancies. Coyotes, for example, like other predators, self-regulate their population based on the area they live in. Unexploited, coyote family groups establish territories which they defend from other coyotes seeking new territories and mates, and will then keep the local population stable.
Lethal coyote removal, including killing contests, disrupts this stable social structure, allowing for vacant territories to be filled by outside coyotes.
Science aside, what kind of message are we sending to children by allowing killing sprees such as this one….and inviting them to participate? Senseless killing sends the message that murdering living creatures for fun is an acceptable activity and that there are large swaths of species that are able to be disposed of. It’s these sorts of messages that desensitize children to violence and killing contests of any kind shouldn’t be tolerated.
Join us in stopping this barbaric contest and send your comments to the Idaho BLM offices. They have released a public environmental analysis and are allowing comments for 15 days. Tell them not to allow this cruel hunting derby to take place next January by emailing Liz Townley, Outdoor Recreation Planner: firstname.lastname@example.org