Coyote contest banned from state trust land

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State Land Commissioner Ray Powell has waded into the controversy over a coyote-killing contest , saying anyone going onto state trust land to kill coyotes this weekend would be considered “in trespass.”

“The participants in this commercial and unregulated exploitation of wildlife do not have a permit or lease to be on State Trust Lands,” Powell said in a prepared statement.

Gunhawk firearms store in Los Lunas is sponsoring the contest. The winner, whoever bags the most coyotes, will receive either a Browning Maxus 12-gauge shotgun or two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.

The contest has prompted outcries  locally and nationally.

Powell called for outlawing activities like the contest.

According to the statement: “When our native predators or wild domestic dogs kill our agricultural and companion animals, the specific offending animal needs to be removed in a prompt and humane way. The non-specific, indiscriminant (sic) killing methods, used in this commercial and unrestricted coyote killing contest are not about hunting or sound land management. These contests are about personal profit, animal cruelty, and the severe disruption of the delicate balance of this desert ecosystem … It is time to outlaw this highly destructive activity.”