Contact: Keely Hopkins, Pacific States Assistant Manager
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 Nevada, since the nearby states of Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico have passed similar bans.
On November 5, the proposed Commission General Regulation 503 (CGR 503) to ban all hunting tournaments in the state, including Coyote Calling Contests, was rejected by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners with the vote of 5-4. Nevada’s sportsmen and women were unified in their opposition to the proposed ban and voiced their strong support for the hunting tournaments in their testimony before the Commissioners and through written letters.
Hunting tournaments in Nevada have long been a time-honored tradition and are part of the Silver State’s rich hunting heritage. 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 and/or certain uses of the pelt after the harvest. Hunting tournaments, including Coyote Calling Contests, provide increased opportunities for Nevada’s sportsmen and sportswomen to participate in the great outdoors, while also contributing to effective wildlife management and supporting local economies.
Nevada’s hunting tournaments also support local economies through increased expenditures and tourism. Increased tourism associated with hunting tournaments provides vital revenue for Nevada’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 (CSF) submitted written comments to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners ahead of the November 5 meeting to urge their opposition to CGR 503, as did numerous partner organizations such as the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife and the Southern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife. CSF will continue to work with our in-state partners to protect and advance Nevada’s rich hunting heritage.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?