A New Mexico gun shop, Gunhawk Firearms in Los Lunas, has earned the wrath of animal rights activists for promoting a coyote hunting contest in a state where livestock is frequently attacked by coyotes. As protests have not deterred the continuation of the hunting contest, animal rights groups have resorted to more extreme measures by circulating petitions, issuing death threats and even threatening to dress up as a coyote to invite a hunter to shoot them so that they can martyr themselves for the most ridiculous of causes.
“Gunhawk’s Rick Grosse said Saturday each of about 100 hunters signed a pledge to only hunt on private land with the owner’s permission. He said there’s no shortage of hunting spots because many ranchers lose cattle to coyotes and are happy to see them gone.
The terms of the competition are simple: hunters have two days this weekend to shoot and kill as many coyotes as they can, and the winners get their choice of a free shotgun or a pair of semi-automatic rifles.
Gross said he and his partner, Chavez, decided they needed to go ahead with the hunt on principal after a large shop in Albuquerque pulled out of a planned hunt a month ago because of pressure from activists. He pointed out that hunting coyotes is legal, and noted that paid hunters government hunters take thousands a year to cut the population.
‘We care about public opinion, we care,’ Gross told The Associated Press by phone on Saturday. ‘Honestly we took this over because a big gun shop pulled out because of threats. And we just thought that was wrong.’
‘We’re going to stick to it no matter what — much more on principle.’”
It sounds like a good plan to me. New Mexico has a coyote problem and ranchers are tired of their livestock being attacked. Gunhawk is earning some promotion by sponsoring a hunt, hunters are getting a chance to win a firearm or two, ranchers are getting less coyotes attacking their livestock and the taxpayers are getting people doing for free what others charge to do. It seems like a pretty ideal situation.
Of course, animal rights activists are all bent out of shape because they can’t stand the thought of an animal being killed, while neglecting to think of the animals that will be killed by the coyotes left alive.
According to Susan Weiss, leader of the Coexist with Coyotes group,
“There’s a tremendous amount of arrogance in conducting this hunt. [Chavez] is damaging the reputation of ranchers. He is damaging the reputation of legitimate hunters.”
In addition to the death threats to the owner, the gun store also received a letter from a man who claims that he will be dressing up as a coyote so that participants will feel really guilty once they discovered that they had killed a human.
Yeah, nothing but pure, unadulterated logic and sound reasoning coming from these protesters…
Coyotes are not inherently bad, but they are predators that eat other animals. They eat family pets and they eat livestock that ranchers need to sell to make a living. Cleaning up the coyote population just needs to happen. The issue of animal rights, as a concept, seems noble and kind. However, much of the activism has been hijacked in favor of emotionally-driven extremism with little consideration of the realities of neither the natural world nor the modern world.