Wildlife groups seek to stop ‘Georgia Coyote Challenge’
ATLANTA — A coalition of more than 25 wildlife and animal protection organizations are objecting to the upcoming “Georgia Coyote Challenge” that involves killing the animals.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Humane Society of the United States and other groups recently sent letters urging Gov. Nathan Deal to cancel the event.
During the six-month period from March to August, the challenge offers Georgia residents the chance to win a lifetime hunting license.
Residents enter to win the license by providing photo evidence of having killed a coyote. Individuals are allowed to submit up to 10 entries, each representing one coyote killed.
This is the second year that the challenge has been offered.
Last year, Georgia residents killed 195 coyotes, the newspaper reported.
Such contests have prompted protests.
“Wildlife killing contests are antithetical to responsible hunting ethics,” said Christopher Mowry, associate professor of biology at Berry College and director of the Atlanta Coyote Project.
John Bowers, chief of game management for Georgia Wildlife Resources Division of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said population control is not the point of the Coyote Challenge.
“The purpose is to complement and highlight the existing lethal removal of coyotes by hunters and trappers,” he said. “They can do that year round.”
Bowers said coyote removal is a part of game management.
“If I’m managing my property for wildlife, for deer or turkeys, and I’ve got an abundance of coyote on my property then those coyote need to be managed, too,” he said. “This is the time period. March through August is the best time period to lethally remove coyotes.”