An Oregon Senate Committee has amended legislation that would have banned all field trials and other competitions involving wildlife to focus exclusively on contests involving coyotes. Senate Bill 723 was amended after an outpouring of opposition from the Sportsmen’s Alliance, other sportsmen’s groups, gamebird businesses and field trial clubs. In an attempt to reduce opposition, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted the coyote-only amendment on April 4.
Take Action Today! Oregon sportsmen should contact their state senator and ask them to vote NO on SB 723. Oregon members can find their state senator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Even with the change, SB 723 is still so broadly written that it could apply to a friendly competition between two hunters in which the first person who harvests a coyote is owed a free dinner from the other. Violations of the new law would be considered Class A misdemeanors, and would carry a potential penalty of up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $6,250 per offense.
“Coyotes are prolific predators that state wildlife agencies are struggling to control across the country,” said Bruce Tague, Vice President of government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Coyote contests are just one tool that incentivizes hunters to help the state manage these predators, which kill native species, prey on livestock and pets, and attack humans. Last year, coyotes attacked two children in a Portland suburb, and yet animal-rights activists want to shut down a method for managing their population.”
SB 723 is part of a national trend to eliminate coyote contests by animal-rights groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The Sportsmen’s Alliance has also been fighting similar legislation in Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
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.