This year, Protect the Adirondacks is working with a number of other groups to support legislation banning wildlife killing contests. Legislation introduced by State Assembly Environmental Conservation Chair Deborah Glick and State Senator Timothy Kennedy, makes it “unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote, or participate in any contest, competition, tournament or derby where the objective of such contest or competition is to take wildlife.” This legislation protects coyotes, small mammals, and fur bearers.
This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law to make it unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote or participate in any contest, competition, tournament, or derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife for prizes or other inducement, or for entertainment. Contests for taking or hunting white-tailed deer, turkey or bear are exempted, which are already regulated by seasons, bag limits, and reporting requirements. Special dog training areas or field trials or similar canine performance events are also exempted. Violations are punishable by fines of $500 to $2,000. In addition, the remains of any wildlife killed in violation of the bill’s provisions are forfeited to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Click here to read legislation. Click here to read a Memo of Support for this legislation from Protect the Adirondacks.
According to the New York State Humane Society, there are currently at least 29 annual wildlife killing contests in New York State, of which 17 are coyote killing contests and the remainder are contests to kill foxes, squirrels, woodchucks, raccoons, and crows. Humane Society investigations have reported on Annual Smoke-n-Yote’s Coyote Hunt in Montgomery County, the Cuba Rod & Gun Club Squirrel Slam in Allegany County, and the Western New York Mini Predator Slam in Cattaraugus County.
Wildlife killing contests are contrary to sound principles of wildlife management and to fundamental principles of hunting ethics because they promote killing the largest number of target animals in the shortest time. To do this, participants often use unethical means such as fake distress calls, lures, and baits. In addition, the carcasses of the killed animals are often treated as trash and disposed of in dumpsters.
Eight other states have successfully moved to ban wildlife or coyote hunting contests, including Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Oregon is also expected to act to prohibit killing contests this year too. The common thread through all these state laws is prohibiting contests that encourage killing of fur bearers or specific animals in organized contests for prizes or entertainment. Sportsmen/women organizations have long frowned on wildlife killing contests because they violate basic norms about a fair chase in hunting. Legislation is also pending in other states.
Coyote killing contests are particularly destructive because of the similarities between large Eastern coyotes and wolves, both of which are present in New York State. Wolves are listed as an endangered species under both federal and New York State law and the killing of wolves is prohibited under both federal and State law. There have been several documented instances in New York of hunters killing what they thought was a large coyote, but which DNA analysis proved to be a gray wolf. The most recent incident involved a large canid that was shot near Cooperstown in December 2021. The hunter believed it was a large coyote, but subsequent DNA analysis proved it to be 98% gray wolf. The Department of Environmental Conservation website states that “[a]ny canid 50 pounds or greater may be a wolf” and that “wolves are present in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, and it is possible for these animals to travel into New York.” Coyote killing contests award prizes for the largest “coyote” killed, thereby increasing the chances that endangered wolves may be killed. This is an unnecessary and unlawful result, because wolves are listed as an endangered species and are protected under federal and New York State law.
One position in support of Wildlife Killing contest mixes up the science by claiming these events are helpful for predator control. There is plenty of coyote science that shows these canids regulate their offspring. When the living is good, they have smaller litters. When they are threatened, and their numbers are reduced they have more offspring. Staged hunts are not a productive way to try and control coyote populations.
The purpose of this legislation, among other things, is to discourage hunting of large coyotes that may well be wolves. The unfortunate reality is that wolves confirmed in New York State are always dead animals, killed by hunters or in some kind of accident. New York needs to reform its coyote management to focus on protecting living animals that may be wolves and gathering data on both wolf and coyote populations in the State.
OMG, people do not even know this is happening.
What a statement it makes about people of the Adirondacks!
And let’s stop trapping animals too while we are at it.
Another night mare delivered to our fellow creatures.
Joy, you’re correct in that too many New Yorkers have no knowledge of these contest “events”. But gradually they’re learning and they’re not liking it. It’s not only in the Adirondacks – its virtually occurring all over NY State.
I have never had any intention of hunting or taking a coyote. After seeing this I’m going to drop everyone I see from now on in the woods or cutting through the fields behind the house.
No need to get rid of trapping in NY. Think this legislation is going overboard
Wouldn’t this include the many fishing tournaments?
My guess is this would me much larger in scale than any of this.
a lot of fishing contests are catch and release, keeping only 3-5 of largest fish. But making such a law so ambiguise is some times done on purpose to fill someones person agenda of taking away more than thought at passing of law.
coyotes are an invasive species not native to NYS, their continuing destruction on wild life species has been horrendous and since their showing up in the early 80’s, most small animals have just about disappeared around here. Rather see rabbits and small critters than coyote anyday.
Every animal, including man could be considered an invasive species not native to NY. Coyotes have every right to be here as any other animal and are simply filling a nitch where there are no other top predators. They are good for rodent control, though I do understand that farmers who raise livestock have issues with predators.
Nothing in the bill says anything about banning or even changing the current unlimited bag limit on coyote hunting. This is about wildlife killing contests on species like coyotes without bag limits.
Nathan I don’t care much for coyotes either. But they are not an invasive. They are native to all of NYS and almost every part of the globe, super adaptive creatures. Can live just about anywhere. Getting rid of them is almost an impossibility.
Paul, don’t guess. Please read the bill. Here is an excerpt which addresses your concern:
“ …would not affect the continued lawful, regulated hunt-
ing of furbearer or game species, fishing contests and derbies, or dog
field trials. Its sole objective is to prohibit inhumane, unsporting,
and wasteful wildlife killing contests, which are opposed by a growing
number of wildlife management professionals and state wildlife commis-
sions and agencies…”
Interesting. Fish are wildlife and many of these tournaments are kill tournaments. Not catch and release. People seem to be more concerned with furry wildlife. BTW I personally am fine with any fishing tournament.
so one wolf gets shot in basically a no wolf state and now try to ban coyote hunting?
The devastation to wildlife by coyotes is insane, should be open season year round and bounty~!
Your suggestion would be extremely imprudent.
Coyotes are not “devastating wildlife” and I think the DEC would support that. A scientific study done on White-tailed deer IN THE ADIRONDACKS did not conclude there was any significant impact on them. In rabbits there are well-known population cycles. Other species suffer from environmental degradation. You can’t blame coyotes for everything. And hopefully New York will *never* offer a bounty on any species – ever.
We need to STOP the killing. Humans need to face the facts that they are the biggest problem to our world.
So you are against these contests or you against all of hunting!!
If you eat what you kill I’m good with it. Killing for fun, not so much.
For many reasons it is currently illegal to remove/kill any native plants from the Forest Preserve. Also unlawful to remove or keep most native animals as pets or otherwise – including reptiles and amphibians – without the proper wildlife permit. Even illegal to harass or worry wildlife. But killing contests are OK IF you buy a license. I guess that makes it OK. Doesn’t make much sense to me – especially in this day of the “preciousness” of life. May as well go back to the bounty days of $5/nose.
“Preciousness “ of life??
Ban wildlife killing contests now! Excellent reasons for doing so are spelled out in this article.
Think about it!
Dead coyotes presented at the end of a contest “weigh in” by those in hopes of winning the biggest prize have not been killed because they “stole” a pet or raided a farmer’s free ranging chickens – or even a goat or calf. They weren’t “caught in the act” of depredation or anything else!
They were “lured” by predator hunters in stands using night scopes and electronic equipment that mimics coyote puppies in distress. “Trickery” might be more appropriate. How can there even be “fair chase” when there’s really no chase (or tracking) at all?
This bill is timely, fair and needs to pass this legislative session.
So biggest buck contests are ok, got it. Each year the DEC reports the biggest of bears taken, check. Under this proposal coyote hunting is still perfectly legal, just don’t compete. Why, because contests are cruel but a guy hunting them outside of a competition is not? Lol. Did anyone realize the contests are happening because of the sheer numbers of coyotes? Think coyotes don’t effect the deer population, around mid July watch for how many does you see that have no fawns. NYS, home of the ban, ban anything you personally don’t agree with. Only your values matter, not the ones of your fellow citizens.
Well, William, it should be clear that many of your fellow citizens DO support the ban considering it’s an unsportsmanlike-like way to encourage killing all you can blow away in a weekend. Gotta win that prize, right? That’s the real “lol”. It’s too much pressure on any species and there already is a very liberal hunting and trapping season on them under regular circumstances.
The fawn argument…well…nobody likes to see that but it’s Nature’s way. If more were honest the real reason might be they resent the coyote taking a meal when the predator hunter might want it 5 months or so later, when not even a yearling. I didn’t realize, does there seem to be a deer shortage in NY? Some say there’s too many. Which is it?
Wow, you know so much about right / wrong and Nature’s way.
If my fellow citizens are against killing coyotes then they should not do it. I support their right to chose that path. However many fellow citizens take it a step further and try to take the choice away from others. That is what I have a problem with. To each his own? Not in this forum, here we only want group think and centralized values.
Typical liberal “emotional thought”. Complete disregard for facts. There is a unlimited bag #’s of coyotes for a reason. I promise a coyote doesn’t care when a 55 grain soft point hits him whether it was a contest or not.
Tell that to the Coyote. Since when is “emotional thought” political? I call that a humanitarian response, reverence for life.
Worse than the contests is habitat destruction. Animal numbers can easily recover, but without land it can’t. It’s time to stop building and eminent domain all and any private land in and around the Adirondacks.
So you propose confiscation of private land? So just take Jack Ma’s 20K+ acre Brandon Park? How about Terry Pegula’s 3000 acre estate? Or even the private clubs that own their land, just take it? Tell me how the townships and schools will react to this when the tax revenue from those lands disappear. How will you replace the good work each of these organizations do to protect the environment on their land. Have you thought this through?
I was thinking the same as you Willliam. But, the scary part about Mike’s confiscation exclamation is that he probably HAS thought it through. Some people just believe that the ‘State’ knows better than the ‘People’ do.
I suspect he would feel differently if it was his land/home being taken. Some people are always ready to tell others what to do with their land, money, values, etc. When you think of the absurdity of the comment it is staggering. Thousands of private homes, Paul Smith College you name its all gotta go.
YES! ALL OF IT!! Look how distraught and in pain all the hypocrites are posting on this article. Posting poems and typing in tears. Yet they all sit in their comfy Adirondack homes while bulldozers are killing more animals than all the hunters put together. I would start with the authors property and completely rewild the land. Will the author write an article on how many animals are killed by builders and cars? NOPE! A law needs to be passed as people in the Adirondacks pass away that their land is taken and assets used to demo the homes.
Perhaps the saddest and most bizarre opinion I ever read in the comment section. Seeing that you are all in for this type of authoritarian government they should start with your home first. When you die your land is taken and your assets are used to demo your home and any thing left over is donated to PETA. After all animals were here first, why limit it to the Adirondack park.
Saddest? You’re in for a lot of sorrow! Gas stoves are banned, wood stoves soon, ice engines, natural gas just to name a few. Rental property will be regulated and much more coming!
The need for top tier predators for a healthy ecosystem is not really debatable at this point. There are plenty of studies that support this.
Coyotes are both fusion and fission animals. They live in packs (fusion) until pressured (hunted, fission), or excommunicated, at which point they will wander as a “lone coyote”.
The lone coyote is more opportunistic (think chickens, etc) because he/she does not have the benefit of pack strength for providing food (deer, etc)
By hunting coyotes, who self regulate their own population, we have exacerbate the problem of attacks on farm animals and pets by creating fission environment/lone coyotes.
Additionally, only alphas in a pack mate. You shoot an alpha and now it’s a party. This will also exacerbate the population problem.
Mammals that do not self regulate their populations are regulated by coyotes (rabbit, squirrel, etc).
Coyotes also keep deer herds on the move, preventing overgrazing in areas.
The impact on tick populations can be inferred.
These are just some of the reasons coyotes are integral to our ecosystem (since we’ve killed off most other top-tier predators).
I highly recommend the book Coyote America by Dan Flores for learning about the impact of coyotes on ecosystems.
TrackerAdk, nicely said. Would be wonderful if more “woods folk” read Dan Flores’s book. It’s a wealth of information and glad you mentioned it.
Beautiful, reddish furry forms spread out deprived of their life,
over the snow lying there dead…hapless fox.
Once, full of play like children in the woods, now free of their strife,
thrust upon them by man and his lowly pox!
What is it, this ill spirit in us which seeks to kill, destroy,
the lust to take away harmless, beauteous forms?
And O’ the arrogance…as if each a useless, worn-out toy,
to splay them there; take them from their winter storms!
I do believe it all catches up, the things we do on earth,
the base and inanimate things we pursue.
The vastness of our restless discontent, with us since birth,
is here to stay, will continue to accrue!
Am glad you liked it Ethan! Thank you!
“Rob says: “I have never had any intention of hunting or taking a coyote. After seeing this I’m going to drop everyone I see from now on in the woods or cutting through the fields behind the house.”
Never ever Rob? You changed overnight on a whim. You were struck by a bolt. Some ‘thing’ at once has come over you to want to kill! A wickedness! Dark spirits
have taken over! Avenge yourself, retaliate, because of spirits in the sky, or words on a page, or on a computer screen. You were easily influenced! Divine laws have not caught up with you as yet! You are as normal as the community at large….which frightens some of us.
Thank you Chuck!!!
Paul says: “coyotes ………Getting rid of them is almost an impossibility.”
I wouldn’t bet on that Paul! Man is very crafty at finding ways to annihilate himself, and in the meanwhile taking all things else out with him which, incrementally, we are doing.
Perhaps. But in this case these animals numbers are on the rise, the highest numbers ever despite all the bad people around.. personally I view coyotes similar to rats, kind of like vermin. They seem to thrive around people and have larger numbers not smaller numbers. But like any animal they are interesting creatures.
nathan says: “so one wolf gets shot in basically a no-wolf state and now try to ban coyote hunting?”
When one puts ignorance and human behavior into the equation nathan, one would see why laws are put into place!
How does one support this proposed ban? To whom do we write?
“Typical liberal “emotional thought”.”
“Liberal” – marked by generosity; given or provided in a generous and openhanded way; broad-minded; one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways….
Different, which we could use more of, even if but to get past all of the stiffness!
There is nothing more devastating to a livestock farmer than to see some of your highest quality animals smeared across the pasture, torn apart by a coyote pack, or to witness a newborn being eaten as it is exiting the mother, and the look of horror on the mother’s face as she struggles to deal with it, or one twin being devoured as the second twin is being born. We have had a BIG increase in coyote attacks in the past 5 to 10 years where we had practically none for many years before. This proposed law seems like another attack on the livestock farmer. If you do not want to eat meat, THEN DON’T! But leave the rest of us alone to do our jobs! Any coyote that shows up in our livestock paddocks is a dead coyote.
We get it.
Livestock ranchers out to destroy all perceived threats to their herd, no matter the consequences. A depressing story played out over centuries across North and South America and beyond. One of human ignorance, greed, paranoia, selfishness, ego, and violence.
A deeply saddening story played out ad nauseum.
What a mean comment.
not at all what she said.
Up and down the Northway hundreds of thousands of animals are killed every year. Today I saw 3 fox, 2 coyotes, 3 deer, turkeys, and red tail hawks and some other animals I couldn’t identify and that was before exit 15!! At least hunters use what they harvest. All of the hypocrites posting here are just killers and drive away.
You have every right to shoot whatever you wish on your property Susan….I suppose, unless the law says ‘No.’ Some farmers are responsible farmers, they bring their animals in from pasture at night. Unless you’re poor, which I know many people are, then there’s no reason to not be able to pay for safeguards to keep coyotes or fox away from your animals at night. It’s the right thing to do unless you butcher your animals and so know they’re gonna die anyways so why pay for security. But then that would still would be a reason to secure the animals at night as butchering is still a source of income. I know coyotes prey; I’ve heard firsthand accounts of the damage they do, fawns crying late at night or in the early morning hours as they are being torn apart by a pack, or a couple, of coyotes. Nature is cruel for sure…………………. If you’re a livestock farmer, do what’s right, unless you’re poor and that’s your excuse…….protect your animals at night. Other farmer’s do!
FYI, our livestock ARE in the barnyard, safe, from 6 PM to 7 AM. Our recent kills have been in the MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON.
Okay, so there’s a problem there with daytime coyotes, whom generally come out at night. Desperate coyotes! You have every right, as I say, to protect your animals Susan.
It’s very nice of you Charlie, to give Susan permission to protect her animals and livelihood. Very generous of you, the protector of all us men and beasts. I sleep better knowing you’re at the helm.
I don’t have the right to give anybody the right to do any ‘thing’ JohnL! I’m not a lawmaker. I was just responding in kind, considerate that I am, to Susan’s response to my missive. I am, by far, not the protector of man and beast as you smart-alecky impose. To think if I was! To have such power! To be able to impose my belief system, narrow-minded that it may be, upon others, and prevail! This is occurring as we rant
if you look at our current political situation…..fallible, reactionary humans thinking they know what’s best for others! To think of all the soup stirred-up because of invisible Gods, or other!
What does caring about sentient wild animals have to do with hypocrisy Mike? And if they ‘care’ in the first place it doesn’t fit that they would drive away from an animal they hit on a highway, generally speaking.
TrackerAdk says: “By hunting coyotes, who self regulate their own population, we exacerbate the problem of attacks on farm animals and pets…”
You seem to have some sense, and knowledge, regards this matter Tracker. I do know this! The coyotes are here for a reason (no mistakes) and you can bet man, has something to do with it, even if that something is the fact that they’re introducing livestock to the environment which is attracting the coyotes in the first place. I assume that all species self regulate, especially when comes time for survival…. except humans who are beyond out of control.
Killing for pleasure is inherently repulsive. Killing contests represent the nadir of this deplorable behavior. I have had to put down livestock that were suffering and had no hope of recovery. It is the worst part of being a farmer. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to kill. Given the opportunity to terminate someone like Vladimir Putin I would do it without regret, but not with pleasure.
I grew up in a hunting family. Spent time in deer camp. Experienced feelings of challenge and reward, enjoyed the camaraderie. The urge to belong to a tribe, to be an accepted member is strong. Perhaps never stronger than in a band of hunters. But I’ve also spent time with hikers and paddlers, with naturalists pursuing that elusive sighting, that memorable photo. There was the same feelings of challenge and reward, the same camaraderie and nothing had to die.
Some say guns aren’t the problem, that people are. They are right in the sense that guns don’t fire themselves. They need a human finger to pull the trigger. Killing contests (and mass shootings) are a sad symptom of the need for power. As cultural mores evolve women have become more empowered and independent while the traditional male role of protector and provider has faded. Some men seem unmoored by this shift. A few turn to alcohol, drugs and abusive behavior. Others look to motorized toys to feel powerful. ATV’s and snowmobiles, loud motorcycles and fast boats. But it is guns and killing that offer the ultimate power trip, the power over life itself.
We have a lot of work to do in the way we raise young boys. It won’t be easy in a place like the Adirondacks where people have shown a preference for a politician who tells them they don’t have to follow any rules. I’m afraid there will be continued violence and sorrow until we’re ready to meet the challenge.
You should start some reeducation camps in the Adirondacks.
Thank you for sharing your perspective wash wild.
hunters are also hikers and paddlers and naturalists Pershing the elusive sighting… why try to box everyone up. I hunt all the time and do all these things and rarely kill anything.
I have to believe that there are bigger problems in the state for the elected officials to worry about, and to fix.
Yes, there is. They are working hard to ban Skittles.
May 24, 2023
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Under the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the FWC, SFWMD and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida host the Florida Python Challenge® to raise awareness about invasive species in Florida and their impacts. The event, which runs Aug. 4-13, encourages people to get directly involved in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal. Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the required online training, view the optional training opportunities, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to south Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®.
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Florida also just held a tournament to catch and kill invasive Lionfish. The caught 24,699 fish over a few days.
wash wild says: “We have a lot of work to do in the way we raise young boys.”
> And girls! You know wash! There’s something about going back in time. All of our answers lie there! All’s one has to do to come to this realization is read our history. I mean ‘read it.’ Not watch it on the history channel! There has always been the urge to want to turn children into adults way before they were done being children. Think child labor for one, which some states of late are pushing to start anew, enacting laws which allow children to work in factories, in bars, etc….. cheap labor! Keep the economy going! Whatever it takes! Takes the child away but who cares? Not the Tories, whom, by the way not coincidentally, are pushing for such.
There are so many threads to this! Where to begin? Nothing is simple anymore wash, we are a complex species. Deep inside we all know something is wrong but we won’t do nothing about it, not what we really should do anyway…. else we would have done so by now. We get used to chaos after a while….adaptation. So long as things are going right by us, or the image we see in the mirror is doing fine….who cares! Elon Musk? All of that wealth and look at what he supports! Look at what, and who, is drawn towards him…hate, lies, propaganda. A sickness! What good money if such!
“I’m afraid there will be continued violence and sorrow until we’re ready to meet the challenge.”
> It hasn’t happened yet in all of recorded history wash….meeting the challenge that is. There has been a conscious exertion of energy by well-meaning enlightened souls trying to pull this off for, more recent, hundreds of years and no sign of hope as yet…..trying to pull it off before nukes were even thought of, never mind the upgrade in arms since! War rages on! War against the environment, against the wild animals, against each other. It all makes sense! I see no hope….and I’m an optimist!
The most invasive species that kills more birds and animals in a day in the US than all the hunters put together . Cats and dogs. 1 to 4 billion a year are killed.
“…..Cats and dogs. 1 to 4 billion a year are killed.”
Much of this, again, is tied to the human animal Mike. I had a customer some years back, the nicest lady in the world. She had a cat which she allowed out of her house at the cat’s whim. Every day, or over a succession of days, I worked in that house, that cat brought to the door, or I would find them splayed around her yard, chipmunks, squirrels, birds….. It broke my heart! That lady told me she just didn’t have it in her to keep the cat enclosed in her house, thought it was cruel, etc. Absent from her mind was the fact that when you condition a cat to go out of doors at all hours, or whenever, you condition that animal into something continually longed for. Simple Simon says! People can be the nicest people in the world….which doesn’t mean they’re the brightest eggs!
Correct, and if you’re banning hunting you need to ban cat and dog ownership as well. The later will produce better way results for wildlife.
So just the warm fuzzy critters…but we’re still good with the icky reptiles (not the cute ones), and the difficult-to-personify fish….got it. Oh, and humans as long as they’re not born yet.
This shouldn’t even be an issue. Regardless if they are warm fuzzy critters or not