Follow-up on Coyote Killing Derby in SE Oregon

January 27, 2010 - Thirty coyotes were rumored to be killed January 16-17, 2009 in this disgusting event in Southeast Oregon. Predator Defense and a number of other national and state organizations are working together to draw attention to and shut down contest hunts in a five or six state area. In Oregon and elsewhere steps are being taken to petition the Commission of Fish and Wildlife to create legal language and regulations prohibiting such events. Additionally, legislation will be sought to achieve the same goal.

These processes are time-consuming and will require your continued support in terms of contacting decision makers at the appropriate time and critical hearings etc. Increasing public awareness is a critical part of our strategy to ultimately abolish contest hunts. Concurrent with legal efforts, we'll be working developing a media campaign focused on educating legislators and the public about the brutality and blatant disregard for science inherent in these contests. We'll keep you updated as we proceed.


Photo of gray wolf by Tracy Brooks

Coyotes were greatly revered by Navajo
herders, who called them "God's dog."

Coyote Killing Derby

The weekend of Jan. 16-17, 2009, hunters in southeast Oregon headed out to kill as many coyotes as possible, competing for prizes like rifles and scopes. We issued the action alert below to help stop this senseless slaughter.

Why the Killing Spree?

January 13, 2010 - A four-county killing derby will run January 16–17 in Lake, Malheur, Harney, and Klamath counties, headquartered in Silver Lake, Oregon. Coyotes killed will be counted by showing the severed ears. The 2-man teams killing the most coyotes will get prizes of rifles, scopes and binoculars. The entry fee is $50 each and proceeds will go to a charity, most likely having to do with children with cancer in memory of an "avid coyote hunter."

While the aim of benefiting children with cancer is laudable, the means is outrageous. There are many other ways to honor a friend and raise money for charity.

Please contact the organizers of this event and explain why you object to this misguided and brutal killing. PLEASE BE CIVIL.

An open invitation to this killing spree is on the Big Game Hunt website at

What You Can Do Today

Please immediately contact the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with your concerns and be sure to include both agencies in your message. Be polite, but direct and clear about why randomly killing predators is not acceptable ethically, scientifically or practically. The Commission has decision-making power and oversees the ODFW.

Contact the Commission and ODFW at:
Phone: (503) 947-6000 | Toll Free: (800) 720-ODFW | TTY: (503) 947-6339

Email Commission:

Email ODFW:

Talking Points

  • Coyotes are the most persecuted predator in North America.
  • Coyotes are intelligent, social animals that are a vital part of a diverse ecosystem. They show altruistic behavior among their pack-mates and are intensely courageous and loyal, qualities much admired in humans.
  • Indiscriminate killing of coyotes creates a niche where new coyotes move in and repopulate an area that has been "sterilized" of coyotes.
  • A large body of evidence has shown that coyotes under stress produce bigger litters, so that "control" can actually lead to increased coyote populations.
  • Disease, birthing problems, weather, and forage quality cause far and away the greatest livestock losses.
  • Coyotes are routinely scapegoats for killing when in fact they are only scavenging carcasses.
  • Coyotes will eat anything, but mostly they subsist on rodents and rabbits, thereby helping to control those populations.
  • Research at the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in South Central Oregon have shown that pronghorn antelope populations have increased to record numbers over the last forty years without lethal predator control.
  • Coyotes are only one of many factors that govern ungulate populations. Others are weather, available grazing, competition from livestock, degradation of environments by livestock, loss of cover for concealment and shelter of the newborn (caused by overgrazing), ATV use, hunting pressure, disease, and road kill.
  • The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, hunting and agricultural groups ignore science to placate their constituents.
  • Coyotes have little if any legal protection throughout the United States.

More information about coyotes is available on our Coyotes at Risk page.


In the News

Whack Off Ears for New Years
- Eugene Weekly, January 14, 2010

Predator Advocates Object To Planned Coyote Hunt
- Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 12, 2010

Activists oppose coyote 'derby' in southeast Oregon
- Oregon Live, January 12, 2010