UPDATE! *** Senate Bill 76 is scheduled for a hearing in Senate Judiciary committee Room 321 at 1:30 pm today, Feb. 25. ***
Take Action Today! Members should contact their state senator and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 76. Members can find contact information for your state senator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Sen. Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) has pre-filed Senate Bill 76, which would end coyote tournament hunting in the state. In the previous General Assembly, the New Mexico Senate passed similar legislation only to have it die on the House Floor because of time constraints. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has continued to push to eliminate these organized hunts nationwide, and will not stop until they are banned. Two states, California and Vermont, have already put a ban on coyote hunting tournaments. New Mexico currently has no closed season for coyotes.
Coyote hunting tournaments, along with state-directed management programs, are an effective means of controlling coyote populations. Controlling populations is not easy though, because coyotes easily adapt to different environments and are prevalent in and around large population areas, as well as agricultural regions where predation on cattle and other livestock is very common. In 2010, the National Agriculture Statistics Service reported that predators throughout New Mexico killed 9,900 head of cattle, a $5.3 million loss; coyotes were considered the major livestock predator in the state.
Coyote tournaments can also help the local economy, because they attract sportsmen from across a state, and even the country, to rural areas. These sportsmen spend money at local hotels, restaurants and retail stores. According to a 2013 Southwick and Associates (a leading economist on the outdoor industry) report, New Mexico sportsmen spend more than $342 million dollars on hunting-related activities.
“Coyote population numbers throughout the United States are so plentiful, that most states, like New Mexico, do not have a closed season,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “These tournaments are important to local economies because they boost revenues, aide in the state’s management of the species and protect the local farmers’ and ranchers’ livestock.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.