Another state joined California and banned coyote hunting contests. Last week a law went into effect in Vermont making it the second state to ban them.
According to the Stowe Reporter, Gov. Phil Scott allowed the bill to become law without his signature. He declined to sign it, saying the competition ban was confusing and unnecessary since coyote hunting remains legal, but he didn’t veto it either, because other parts of the bill made “significant improvements to fish and wildlife law.”
“This bill sends a mixed signal to hunters, farmers and landowners that hunting coyotes is a bad thing when, in fact, that activity is likely a major reason coyotes remain wild and wary of people, which keeps human-coyote conflicts to a minimum,” Scott wrote in a letter to the House.
The animal rights group Protect Our Wildlife initiated the legislation that led to the ban, but they claim it is not about hunting but about stopping “thrill killing.” In a statement the groups spokesmen Brenna Galdenzi said, “If you’re going to eat meat — I don’t — but what’s more moral than eating what you’ve killed yourself? We were not and are not going after hunting, but this is different than killing a deer.”
While I do appreciate her acknowledgement that hunting is the most honest way to acquire meat, I disagree with her views on predator hunting. Like all wildlife predators need to be managed and hunting has proven to be a effective tool in managing them.
I know hunting contests are controversial even in hunting circles. The ban should wake hunters up because it is not the only type of hunting the group is going after. Besides the banning the contests, Galdenzi would eventually like to see a closed season on coyotes, limiting coyote killing to the period around the end of the year when the animals’ fur is viable to sell. She’d also like to see a ban on leg-hold trapping in the state.
This should be a wake up call for hunter. We need to have a united front. Anti-hunting groups are attempting to kill hunting by striking down one type of hunting at a time. They know that most people support regulated hunting and an attempt to ban it outright would fail miserably.
Their plan is death by a thousand cuts. They will try to take any little victory they can get until there is nothing left. Today it is coyote hunting contest. What will it be tomorrow?