Oregon Hunting Contest Bill Passes Senate, Calls to House Needed

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A bill that would make it even more difficult to control the growing coyote population in Oregon passed the Senate on June 5. Ignoring recent attacks on children in a Portland suburb, senators approved Senate Bill 723, which would ban coyote hunting contests, by a vote of 17 to 12. The measure will now head to the House where it will be assigned to a committee.

Take Action Today! Oregon sportsmen should call their state representative and ask them to vote NO on SB 723. Oregon members can find their state representative by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.

SB 723 is so broadly written that it could apply to a friendly competition between a group of hunters from a club in which the first person who harvests a coyote wins a free dinner. Violations of the new law would be considered Class A violation resulting in a $2,000 fine.

Contests help manage booming coyote populations by providing an incentive, the same type of incentive that states often offer by means of bounty programs. Oregon, as are many states nationwide, is struggling to control coyote numbers.

The wild canines are highly adaptable, and can be found throughout rural, suburban and even urban areas. They prey upon big game, such as deer and fawns, small game, like squirrels and mice, livestock, such as cattle and sheep, and even regularly dine on domestic pets, such as dogs and cats – even going so far as to hunt them in their yards. In the worst-case scenarios, coyotes will attack people, and children are especially vulnerable. In fact, just six months ago two children were attacked by coyotes in the Portland suburbs.

“It’s not the time to be taking tools away from wildlife managers and putting people and children at risk,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “When kids are getting attacked in Portland, that should send a signal to Oregon House members that more needs to be done to control coyotes.”

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: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.