The coyote hunting in Wisconsin might be banned. Every year a hunting contest is being held in the Forest County, but recently some environmental groups claimed that during the hunt, wolves are being killed as well.
The purpose of the hunt is to raise funds, but because of the negative claims, the event will be changed. According to Josh Bradley, who is a hunter, people will not be allowed to hunt turkey, deer or other animals rather than coyotes. Bradly said that these types of hunts help the deer population, as their main predators are killed.
The flyer of this year’s event stated that the winner of the hunting contest will be the person who will shoot the biggest coyote. Even though that is the opposite of what the protesters wanted, the hunting contest got more participants. Apparently, not only the negative publicity couldn’t stop the people from participating, but it encouraged them to do it.
Among the groups who protested against the hunt was Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, which is group that fights for animal rights. Melissa Smith, who is the executive director of the environmental group said that not only could some wolves be harmed in the hunt, but that the coyote hunting is not the right thing to do. In the parts where the hunting takes place lives the Wisconsin great wolf, which is an endangered species and is protected by law. She also said that the little changes made in the contest are good, but that there are still a lot of better ways to do fundraising than to kill coyotes.
The coyotes are native to North America and are closely related to the grey wolves, but they are smaller, more basal animals. The coyotes have been compared to the golden jackals, but they are larger and more predatory. They can weigh up to 21 kg and they reach a height of 66 cm.
The Department of Natural Resources from Wisconsin allows the coyote hunting only once a year, but the number of coyotes killed is never tracked. A warden supervisor called David Walz said that hunting is the only method through which the coyotes can be controlled, mainly because they are very prolific animals. According to the Department of Natural Resources, the fine for a wolf that is killed is $4,000 and the hunting license of the hunter is also suspended for one year. As other species are endangered as well, the coyote hunting in Wisconsin might be banned.
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