For Immediate Release December 28, 2017
• Elisabeth Dicharry, Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest,
• Brenda McKenna, Albuquerque Board Member for Wildlife Conservation Advocacy SW
• Guy Dicharry, Attorney at Law, Wildlife Conservation Advocacy SW, 505-269-3757
A firearms business in Albuquerque plans to hold a coyote-killing contest on December
30 and 31. The killing contest is advertised as the “Second Annual Butch’s Guns Coyote
In a statement setting out the position of the City of Albuquerque Mayor’s Office, Interim
Director of Communications Alicia Manzano wrote, “Mayor Keller has always opposed
coyote hunting competitions. To that end, the City of Albuquerque will strictly enforce any
violation of ordinances pertaining to these competitions.”
Coyote killing contestants race to kill coyotes for prizes and money. Two-person teams in
trucks and ATVs usually use high-powered firearms capable of firing long distances to
maim and kill coyotes after luring them in with electronic calling devices. Contest rules
state that one child under the age of 14 may accompany a team. Contestants have no
other age restrictions.
Though the contest is sponsored and organized by an Albuquerque business, the teams
will probably be using public and unincorporated lands to kill coyotes in Bernalillo County
and other counties within about a 50-75+ mile radius of Albuquerque. In addition to
coyotes, non-target wildlife, domestic animals, and the public are at risk. It is a holiday
weekend and many people will be out and about on public lands, particularly in light of our
warm temperatures and dry weather.
These contests are indiscriminate and inhumane. Contestants attempt to bring coyotes to
the ground often by intentionally shooting them in the hindquarters and abdomen. Some
wounded coyotes may escape but die slowly from hemorrhage or septic infection. For
those who do not escape, blocks or PVC pipes recording kill dates and times are forced
between the canine teeth and secured with zip ties or electric tape. Given the large
number of times a coyote can be shot using semi-automatic weapons to bring it to the
ground, any fur is typically unusable. The carcasses are brought to a specified location,
counted, and then summarily discarded in some unknown, often public, location.
Coyote killing contests do not protect livestock, game animals, or companion
animals. The contests are conducted for private profit by offering prizes, entertainment,
camaraderie, target practice (using living wildlife), and to promote businesses that sell
firearms, ammunition, accessories, and electronic callers. These events are not
monitored or regulated. The authority of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
regulations excludes coyotes. Promoters may hold contests with contestants killing
coyotes without the need for a hunting license, and with no regard to bag limits, seasons,
gender, age, or methods of killing. Contestants are not required to report to Game and
Fish the number of coyotes killed.
At least 30 coyote killing contests happen every year throughout New Mexico with some
of these contests organized by groups and businesses in the middle Rio Grande valley. In
2013, 2015, and 2017, the State Legislature introduced and voted on legislation to ban
coyote-killing contests. In 2015 and 2017, the Senate voted in favor of the ban.
Killing contests promote wanton unnecessary killing that a majority of voters, including
ethical hunters, find abhorrent. New Mexicans from all corners of the state and all walks
of life—including conservationists, hunters, gun-owners and many ranchers—
oppose wildlife-killing contests. Public opposition to killing contests is not based on anti-
gun or anti-hunting viewpoints. Killing contests send a violent message that killing is fun,
our native wildlife is disposable, and life is cheap. Killing contests do nothing to help
attract businesses, new residents, or support our valuable tourism industry. Killing
contests are counterproductive to holistic land management practices, science-based
wildlife management, public health and safety.
We hope the Albuquerque City Council will pass a resolution stating both its opposition to
coyote killing contests and its support for legislation to prohibit coyote killing contests.
For Immediate Release December 28, 2017