Undercover video takes viewers into grisly world of wildlife killing contests

By on May 3, 2018 with 27 Comments

On a freezing, rainy Sunday night, cold beer flows freely at the weigh-in and judging phase of the Parlin Buck Club’s fourth Annual 24-Hour Predator Killing Contest in Barnegat, New Jersey. An undercover investigator for the Humane Society of the United States films a group of men laughing and posing in front of about 15 dead foxes hanging by their feet from a rack. Several weeks earlier and a few hundred miles away, our investigator filmed participants in the Bark at the Moon Coyote Club’s New York State Predator Hunt in Macedon near Lake Ontario, as they placed the animals they’d killed in rows outside a restaurant. About 200 animals were piled up to be counted, weighed and displayed.

These scenes of casual indifference to the suffering and death of animals are captured in our undercover investigation video of wildlife killing contests in New York state and New Jersey. The investigation was carried out in early 2018.

We’ve discussed these grisly spectacles before, where participants compete to win prizes for gathering the most animal carcasses; sadly, they happen more often than you might imagine. Our investigators’ video gives you a chance to witness for yourself what goes on at these depraved and cruel events.

The most common victims of these killing contests are native carnivores like coyotes, foxes and bobcats, but other species in the crosshairs include crows, wild pigs, squirrels, rattlesnakes, raccoons, rabbits, porcupines, badgers, skunks and even mountain lions and wolves. Countless dependent young may be orphaned during these events, left to die from starvation, predation or exposure.

While some contest organizers say the events provide a service to hunters by removing animal species that also eat deer or turkeys, there is no science to support that claim. On the contrary, it is their victims, the native carnivores they kill, who provide vital ecological services. They do so by controlling populations of other species, benefiting crop and timber growth and supporting biodiversity.

[Related: Wildlife killing contests are animal welfare and conservation disgrace]

We’re making progress in our fight to stop these horrible events. In 2014, California banned contests in which cash or prizes valued at $500 or more are offered. Colorado now limits the number of animals that can be killed by wildlife killing contest participants. In 2017, Maryland placed a moratorium on cownose ray killing contests in the Chesapeake Bay. In New York, Assembly member Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, and Senator Phil Boyle, R-Bay Shore, have introduced legislation that would end this senseless practice. In coming months, more states will put forward proposals that seek to prohibit these killing contests, and we’ll be backing them.

Last fall, we launched our toolkit, “Wildlife Killing Contests: A Guide to Ending the Blood Sport in Your Community,” which has become a valuable resource for wildlife advocates, organizations and even city governments. We have also joined with Project Coyote and 19 other like-minded local, state and national organizations to form the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, to increase public education and to encourage policy change at the local and state levels.

To help make a difference, sign our petition calling on your state’s wildlife management agency to put an end to these cruel, pointless and counterproductive wildlife killing contests.


Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bob Cody says:

    This a disgusting way to prove your manhood.

    • Sonny says:

      When the coyotes get over populated and get hungry because their natural food sources are gone don’t whine when they start eating you pets cats and little dogs. No one will care

      • James E. Coyle says:

        Is there one shred of scientific evidence to back up your absurd claim of coyotes being over populated? How about you just admit that what takes place in an organized animal annihilation is the thrill of killing. It is the wanton destruction of a natural species that has been on this earth for thousands of years. Now if we desire to live in their habitat, it is up to us to accommodate their existence and to live our lives intelligently and adjust to their existence. We are NOT the rulers of the world and we should live in harmony with the wild creatures who inhabit the same ground we both live in. Humans are on course to destroy the planet and to reek irreversible harm to all creatures and ultimately ourselves in the process. Yes I am talking about global warming and its devastating affects.

        • Pat says:

          Its not so much that humans are to blame for this .. its more like the males are to blame. Few women take pride in how well they can kill and how many they can kill.. Find a cure for those hormones that run wild in men and this will stop.. No.. Im not anti male… They come in handy sometimes.

        • Valarie says:

          Are you a vegetarian? If you’re not then you shouldn’t complain. I used to think the same. Then I realized hunting has been happening since the day man was made. The hunters aren’t cruel, when they kill it’s immediate. You should look at it like this, these animals have had a good life and died being hunted just like they do. Also hunting is legal, these guys did nothing wrong.

          • Jenny says:

            This is a reply to Valerie’s comment : How do you expect their little ones to survive after the parents have been slaughtered by these disgusting human beings for fun !! You’re comment is ridiculous and as for slaughtering the likes of Wolves and Coyotes they are part of the ecosystem and should be left alone, in fact all animals should be as it was their habitat first before it was ever ours to invade !

      • Laurie Hall says:

        And who is encroaching on there natural habitat. Humans. They didn’t request us to come here to over populate . To destroy not only there habitat but our own. There’s no necessity to do this in this fashion. It’s unethical and immoral .
        Keep your dogs pinned up. Cats shouldn’t be outside either they kill native birds.
        It’s just disgrace on method and ideology these so called events have created! Just a disgrace!

        • Suranne says:

          I agree but why are you saying that cats and dogs aren’t allowed outside? Like you said, we’ve taken over their habitat so we should at least give them freedom to go on it as well and not be cooped up indoors 24/7

          • Tim says:

            Domestic cats and dog’s are not native to the Americas. Letting them run free is a fantastic way to get them turned into scat, hawk’s and owls will take cats. Wolves and coyote will take cat’s and dogs. When you put domesticated animals in a in nature they are not equipped to survive.

        • Dr. Georgie, MS,ND says:

          I believed ” DISGRACE” is too MILD of label for PREMEDIATED MASS MURDER !!!!!!! I believed it Diminished, and Devalue another animal, whose life is PRICELESS, IRREPLACEABLE, just like human…..since the animals too are created by Creator. not mother or father. When humans killed in Mass murder content, they treating LIVING CREATURES LIKE TIN CANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mike B. says:

          Knock down your house and give the land back to coyotes!

      • Suranne says:

        It’s not up to people to ‘control population’ and the only reason there food will run out anyway is because hunters have killed hem so you’ve really contradicted yourself there haven’t you

      • Travis says:

        There is no evidence for this baseless claim you are making. The facts are just the opposite. Predator and prey reach a homeostasis when humans step out of the picture. The excuses for the murdering of thousands or predator and prey are only based for a bias that a hunter can keep killing.
        1. Cull the deer because the predators aren’t there to control the numbers.
        2. Cull the predators to protect the deer populations.
        Do you see the circular argument that is being presented? It is all for the benefit of the killer to keep on killing.

      • M Leybra says:

        But fox eat mostly mice, why are you fox Sonny?

    • SDK says:

      So what about the women that hunt?

      Know how many domestic animals are killed every year by coyotes, both rural and urban?

      • M Leybra says:

        No, how many? I know people kill millions & millions of ‘domesticated barnyard animals to stuff their face & I know coyotes normally eat small wildlife, mice rabbits, etc., except when habitat is taken over by people & pets & coyote’s wild food becomes scarce, right?.

  2. Susan Marie says:

    Petition signed and shared – Thank you.

    Urge Your State to Oppose Wildlife Killing Contests >


  3. Angela Grammatico says:

    What a group of repulsive evil So called people. GOD’S CREATURES

  4. Elaine Brandt says:

    Please stop these shameful good ole boy displays of Napoleon….little men….who must kill things to inflate their importance.Disgusting display of ignorance snd apathy.

  5. Elaine Brandt says:

    Please stop this inhumane display of good ole boy Napoleon….little man…trying to be a big man. All it shows is ignorance and apathy. Shameful display.

  6. Corinne Rhodes says:

    Killing contest? How repulsive. Their wives and girlfriends must be so proud. Not.

  7. Doris Muller says:

    The dangerous human predator serial killers who engage in these forms of brutality, for the sheer joy of killing, have psychopathic tendencies: they take great pride in their accomplishing massive massacres. They follow along blindly because they will not let anything interfere with their opportunity to be a participant in the brutal massacres. Humans are also a very invasive, selfish species, leaving other species with inadequate space to live an appropriate, healthy life.


  8. Laura Comiskey says:

    Such contests are sickening and serve no real, or reasonable purpose. They need to be outlawed worldwide. They need to be met with stiff penalties.

  9. SANDRA TROUT says:


  10. M Leybra says:

    “We must take meaningful action to end this senseless killing in NY & pass A.4116a/S.5148a immediately,” said Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan). “Our legislation would put an end to…these competitions in NY State.” said Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore). That’s two legislators so far, does anyone venture to guess a projected time-frame to hopefully get this Bill to pass? Which would end contests in NY. Leaving all the other states, but it’s a start & HSUS undercover video is commendable work..

  11. charles e donnelly says:

    Just an excuse to kill.. Sick freaks who degrade decent honest gunowners.

  12. Al Pank says:

    This senseless and cold blooded killing of these animals is being taught to be ok to our children. This will mess up their minds about how to love and care about animals and our planet. It is a fact that many people who hurt innocent animals become murderers. I can’t believe that people are stupid enough to teach their own children to do such evil acts of violence on innocent animals. We live in their world. There are other ways to handle this! Whats wrong with people these days? This is pure evil! These wildlife killing contest must be stopped!!

Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.