Animal Emotions

Do animals think and feel?

Killing Coyotes Utah Style: “I love to hunt them”

Although killing coyotes does not work there are people who love to kill animals

Coyotes are amazingly adaptive animals. They're able to survive and thrive in many different habitats and can live alone, as a mated pair, or as a highly coordinated group resembling a wolf pack. Because God's dog can survive just about anywhere they wind up or are forced to live as we redecorate their homes with no concern for their well being. To some people they are a nuisance and pest and should be killed for fun at every possible opportunity.

The state of Utah agrees and now there's a $50 bounty on coyotes. An article in the New York Times by Melena Ryzik titled "The Sly Coyote Becomes a Bounty Hunters’ Target in Utah" about the price put on the coyote's head shows that they really do not know if this sickening and inhumane program will work (the entire story can also be seen here and an extremely hard to watch video can be seen here). Indeed, even those who are not huge fans of these amazing beings realize that solid science shows clearly that killing them does not work to control the supposed, really imagined, damage, to livestock and other animals for which they're held guilty and wantonly and ruthlessly killed. 

Killing coyotes does not work 

It's well known that coyotes do not cause even a tiny fraction of the damage to livestock and other animals for which they're conveniently blamed (details can be found here and here and here and here). A detailed scientific study shows clearly that "government-subsidized predator control has failed to prevent the decline in the sheep industry and alternative support mechanisms need to be developed if the goal is to increase sheep production and not simply to kill carnivores." (see also and) Likewise, sport hunting cougars does not reduce "the incidence of mountain lion attacks on people or livestock.” (see also)

Some people simply like to kill other animals: “Is it going to work? We don’t know...”

Here are some quotes from the New York Times essay. Clearly, blood sells.

Dr. John Shivik, the mammal program coordinator for the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources who also supports killing coyotes, is quoted as saying, “Is it going to work? We don’t know...”

Chase Hufstetler, who's been hunting coyotes since he was 14 and "who sold the pelts of his eight coyotes to a fur company, is keen to get them off the land — except, he said, 'I love to hunt them.'”

Spencer Glauser, an 18-year old "unabashed coyote hater" says, "At some point, I want my kids to be able to hunt deer, and be able to kill big deer...”

In a previous essay I argued that some people simply like to kill other animals and the Utah bounty shows this clearly is the case. I often like to ask if these and other heartless recreational hunters would also kill their dog or a dog for fun, but I'm a bit more hesitant now because their answer might sicken me as well. 

You can easily ask to stop the unnecessary killing for fun 

You can do something about Utah's killing ways. Please contact Dr. Shivik at john.shivik@usu.edu (johnshivik@utah.gov435-797-1348801-520-0154) and others in Utah (DWRcomment@utah.gov) who can work to reverse this utterly sick and sickening decision and politely tell them how you feel about their bounty. In an essay about bounty programs, in March 2012 Dr. Shivik is quoted as saying, "They are the most inefficient way to remove coyotes" from areas where they are a threat.

While it's clear that appeals to compassion for other animals and comments about the inhumane and reprehensible ways in which coyotes and other animals are killed do not work with the folks who are responsible for the bounty and those who love to kill, you can easily show that solid science does not support their decision to wantonly and brutally slaughter coyotes and other animals.

Peaceful coexistence is entirely possible and must always be sought in our interactions with other animals. For a discussion of very interesting and perhaps surprising examples of peaceful coexistence between people and carnivores please click here

 

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

more...

Subscribe to Animal Emotions

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.