Stop the Gunhawk Firearms Coyote Killing Contest
- Posted by Elisabeth K. Dicharry
To: New Mexico Dept. of Tourism, NM Governor Martinez, US Senator Tom Udall, Valencia County Chamber of Commerce, NM Dept of Public Safety
This petition has been started by a long time Los Lunas, New Mexico resident. The Gunhawk Firearms Coyote killing contest is set to take place on Nov 17 and 18. The contest is a public safety hazard, will only hurt the reputation of Valencia County and New Mexico. It is an egregious display of...…
This petition has been started by a long time Los Lunas, New Mexico resident. The Gunhawk Firearms Coyote killing contest is set to take place on Nov 17 and 18. The contest is a public safety hazard, will only hurt the reputation of Valencia County and New Mexico. It is an egregious display of animal cruelty for profit, publicity, and fun by Gunhawk Firearms. Here are our key opposition points:
1. We believe in managed predator control based on sound scientific principles. This is a random body-count killing contest not based on science. We are not anti-gun, anti-hunting, or anti-ranching.
2. The contest is a publicity event sponsored by Gunhawk Firearms for its new business location in Los Lunas. Anticipating opposition to killing contest, the owner of the gun shop further incited events by telling critics, in essence, to “bring it on”.
3. If this contest goes forward, there may be others like it all across New Mexico. It is an unethical, egregious example of animal cruelty.
4. It is a public safety risk: it will be held statewide on public and private land (with the landowners permission). No license is required to hunt coyotes. Gunhawk refuses to make the hunting locations public and they are refusing to publish their hunting guidelines Therefore anyone who may be hiking or using public land in coyote habitat areas on Nov 17 and 18 (the weekend before Thanksgiving) could be accidentally harmed. Gunhawk is deleting any comments on their webpage that oppose their position or questions their statistics. Gun hawk states they have already signed up 100 teams. The two-person team with the most carcasses will win their choice of either a semi automatic 12-gauge or two AR-15.223 automatic rifles.
5. Gunhawk Firearms says they are helping ranchers. But according to the USDA’s report NATIONALLY 219,900 of all cattle/calves are destroyed by predators (including dogs, other big game, predatory birds, and coyotes). This is about 0.24% (about one quarter of one percent) of the entire national 91 million cattle/calve population. (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/general/downloads/cattle_calves_pred_deathloss_2010.pdf). The media has been misquoting this number as the number of predator deaths for the southwest (New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Nevada, Hawaii). As for other livestock such as sheep and goats, there are many documented methods on how to avoid predator loss. There will be absolutely no way of knowing whether the coyotes killed by the contestants ever injured or killed anyone’s livestock.
6. Los Lunas and New Mexico have already attracted national media attention this year for animal cruelty at the Southwest Livestock Auction in Los Lunas and at racetracks around New Mexico. This contest is not going to help the reputation of Los Lunas, Valencia County, or New Mexico. If they are attempting to become a modern community looking to attract businesses, tourists, and new residents, then this “contest” is sending the wrong message.
This petition closed on November 15, 2012.
1,616 people signed a petition
This petition has been started by a long time Los Lunas, New Mexico resident. The contest is sponsored by a Los Lunas gun shop for fun, profit and publicity. It is a random body count uncontrolled coyote killing contest. It is not based on scientific evidence. It is a statewide public safety issue, and it will contribute to the reputation of Los Lunas, Valencia County, and New Mexico as a cruel and violent place to live and visit.
We will hold a protest on Nov 10, Saturday, 12-2 (or later) at the Gunhawk Firearms Shopping area, 1400 Main St., about 20 miles south of Albuquerque off I-25. Please come help us oppose the coyote killing contest. Dress warmly, bring signs, bells, cameras.
On Friday, Nov 16, this petition was delivered to NM Tourism, Valencia Co. Chamber of Commerce, Gov Susana Martinez, The Dept. Of Public Safety in Valencia Co. , and we have been in touch with the Udall Office. As a result of our efforts and the regulations we discovered that are in place to require permits for commercial/recreational contests on public lands, which also apply to bounty killing contests, Gunhawk Firearms was directed not use BLM, Forest Service, or state lands.
On Saturday and Sunday, the coyote killing contest took place. Gunhawk Firearms says they told the contestants to use private land (with landowner permission). We are still awaiting news of the body count. Gunhawk Firearms has not disclosed how many coyotes were killed or where they counted the bodies. We will continue our efforts to make sure the public land offices enforce their contest regulations and we will work to have legislation that restricts body killing contests.
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