Local Activists to Protest Cape Cod Coyote Killing Contest

Courtesy of easterncoyoteresearch.com

HYANNIS – For the second straight year wildlife advocates, scientists and non-governmental organizations will gather on Saturday for a discussion on coyotes before joining a protest of a coyote killing contest.

Coyote expert Dr. John Way will lead an educational presentation on eastern coyotes at noon at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouth Port before a scheduled protest at Powderhorn Outfitters in Hyannis at 2 p.m.

Powderhorn Outfitters held its first three-month long coyote killing contest in 2017.

After the event, a 20-member nationally and locally supported organization and activist steering committee was formed with a mission to end killing contests and reform hunting laws for predator species.

The current contest was extended to run throughout the entire six-month coyote season from October through March.

Way has researched eastern coyotes for nearly two decades and has published about 40 peer-reviewed papers on the animal.

He said his role on Saturday will be to provide accurate information on the coyotes before the protest. He will also answer questions related to animal behavior during the protest.

Way said he believes 75 to 80 percent of people do not agree with the way predators, specifically coyotes, are treated, including how there are long hunting seasons, allowing bait to be used, allowing hunting at night, and having no bag limits.

“This isn’t just a small group of people that feel this way,” Way said. “This is a vast majority of citizens on Cape Cod and beyond who feel this way about the way predators are treated.”

Way said a large part of the problem is how state game agencies manage the species.

“Personally they have denied me permits to do research on the same animals that they allow to be literally slaughtered six months a year,” he said.

Way said citizens are really questioning who makes up fish and wildlife laws and why it is not representative of the overall population.

According to photo’s posted on Powderhorn Outfitter’s Facebook page, nearly 50 coyotes have been entered into the contest. All but 13 of those have been confirmed to be from Cape Cod.

Published research from Way’s work in the region indicates that no more than 250-300 eastern coyotes, or coywolves, could live on Cape Cod at the same time given their space needs.

“I would argue quite easily and clearly that the number of people against hunting contests where people kill animals for fun and for the sake of killing is more opposed than the 75 or 80 percent,” Way said.

Way said that many hunters are also against these types of contests.

“Most hunters don’t hunt coyotes and predators to begin with,” he said. “Most hunters are of course hunting game birds, deer and animals that they may eat, like rabbit.”

Way said the length of the contests and the fact that they are allowed to begin with give the public a bad perception of hunting.

“Specifically, we are questioning why are you allowed to kill animals for fun,” Way said. “It goes all against the rules of fair chase in hunting when you are allowed to do this for such a long period of time with really no set objective besides killing for the sake of killing.”

Way’s research can be found at easterncoyoteresearch.com.

A call for comment from the Powderhorn was not immediately returned.

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