Bill could ban ‘coyote calling competitions’ in Nevada
Local hunters voice opposition to AB 102, say these contests are misunderstood.
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Coyote calling competitions have often faced opposition and this year is no different.
Assembly Bill 102 looks to eliminate the practice of shooting coyotes for a cash prize in Nevada.
Assemblyman Howard Watts is sponsoring the bill and says these competitions are unethical.
“This is really just aimed at certain contests that glorify killing as many animals as possible,” Watts said.
These contests take place in counties across the state and Watts said many have voiced their concern about the practice.
“What we’ve seen is a lot of backlash and concern from the public about these contests in particular,” Watts said.
Some coyote hunters based in Reno say their motives for holding these competitions are misunderstood.
“People give this a bad name and say that we’re just out for brutal bloodbath killing and it’s not,” said Jason Schroeder.
Schroeder runs a coyote calling contest every January. He says hunters are strategic and that they’re not killing high numbers of coyotes.
The winner of the last competition that Schroeder participated in killed a total of 3 coyotes.
“If we’re not doing much to the population then why is there a ban?” asked George Forbush, a coyote hunter.
Schroeder and Forbush say most competitions are on private land and they’re mindful of when they schedule hunts in order to help ranchers protect their livestock.
“Most competitions start around the end of October,” Schroeder said.
“I think the last hunt was this last weekend and that will be the last hunt of the year.”
They don’t hold competitions in the summer months because that’s when ranchers want coyotes on their property.
“They like the coyotes in the summer months because the coyotes take care of the squirrels, the badgers,” Schroeder said.
They’re concerned that if this bill passes, it could lead to bans on hunting and fishing in general, eliminating a way of life in Nevada.
“Are you gonna take away the fishing derby? It’s the same thing,” Schroeder said.
Assemblyman Watts says AB 102 is not a gateway to other bans.
The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources wil hear public testimony on AB 102 Wednesday at 4 p.m. in room 3143 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV.
You can voice your opinion in person, via email AsmNR@asm.state.nv.us or phone (888) 475-4499.
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