Why It Matters: In recent years, hunting and fishing tournaments have come under fire by “animal rights” organizations who don’t like the idea of animals being taken for a prize or reward. These groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Project Coyote, have been organizing in numerous states against these tournaments, despite the positive impact tournaments have on local economies and the role that sportsmen play in conservation. The debate over these tournaments has drawn increased attention in Oregon and Nevada since the nearby states of Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico have passed similar bans.
- On December 16th, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission will consider a petition submitted by Project Coyote and other anti-hunting organizations to ban all coyote calling contests in the state.
- Coyote calling contests are a time-honored tradition in Oregon that contribute to effective wildlife management, while also providing vital revenue for the state’s rural economies.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is opposed to the petition and is encouraging Oregon residents to contact the ODFW Commission to urge their rejection of the petition.
On December 16, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioners will consider a petition submitted by Project Coyote, along with other anti-hunting organizations, to ban all coyote calling contests in the state. This debate comes on the tail of House Bill 2728, which also aimed to end all coyote contests, that failed to pass during the 2021 legislative session.
Hunting tournaments, particularly coyote calling contests, are a time-honored tradition in Oregon that provide increased opportunities for Oregon’s sportsmen and sportswomen to participate in the great outdoors, while also contributing to effective wildlife management and supporting local economies. Contrary to the misinformed narrative that often circles the topic of hunting contests, parties to these tournaments are not exempted from following the same honorable wildlife laws and regulations as other sporting pursuits – especially regarding methods of take, hunting hours, and rules pertaining to license requirements.
Furthermore, hunting tournaments may be an effective management tool for specific species, such as coyotes, where localized issues of overabundance may result in increased human-wildlife conflicts and attacks. It has been proven that short-term removal mechanisms, such as tournaments, can provide immediate relief to farmers and ranchers by helping reduce livestock losses due to those varmint species. Numerous accounts of conflicts between coyotes, humans, and their pets have been well-documented in the media, and it stands to reason that the frequency of these occurrences are likely to increase if hunting opportunities are limited.
Tournaments also can support local economies through increased expenditures and tourism. Increased tourism associated with hunting tournaments provides vital revenue for Oregon’s rural communities, where participants contribute through the purchase of gas, hotel rooms, supplies, and gear, and by dining at area restaurants.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is opposed to the Project Coyote petition and is encouraging Oregon residents to contact the ODFW Commission to voice their opposition to the petition. Comments can be emailed to the Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Commission meeting will be held virtually and in person in Portland on December 15-16.