Undercover investigation exposes grisly cruelty at Oregon wildlife killing contest; lawmakers move to ban such events in the state

By on January 30, 2019 with 51 Comments

Wildlife killing contests are gruesome events, where participants compete to kill as many animals as they can for cash or prizes, usually over an entire weekend or sometimes over months. In the crosshairs are coyotes, bobcats, foxes, rabbits, squirrels and even mountain lions, among other animals, and the winner is often whoever kills the heaviest or the most animals. It is a primitive concept and there is absolutely no justification for the animal suffering it causes. That’s why we have made it our mission at the Humane Society of the United States to wipe these contests off the face of the earth.

This past December, our investigators went undercover at the weigh-in for the “Young Farmers & Ranchers First Annual Coyote Hunt” in Oregon to expose the depraved nature of wildlife killing contests. The weigh-in was being held in the parking lot of the HC Sporting Goods store south of the Malheur National Forest in Oregon. What our investigators saw was chilling.

Trucks pulled into the parking lot one after the other to unload the bodies of the animals. The contestants laughed and joked about their kills as they tossed dozens of bloody carcasses from the trucks and dragged them across the parking lot so they can be weighed. One participant remarked that the snow covering the ground made it easier to track and kill the coyotes, and another pointed out, to laughter, “this one here got gut shot.”

Our investigators were told that the coyotes killed for the Hines contest would be going to a fur buyer, though that could not be confirmed. In most cases the bodies of the animals killed during these contests are discarded like trash.

Most Oregonians, like most Americans, do not support such callous disregard for our wildlife. That’s why three Oregon senators today introduced a bill, SB 723, that will ban these contests in their state.

The HSUS supports this bill, co-sponsored by Senators Michael Dembrow, Sara Gelser, Jeff Golden and other Oregon lawmakers. Some of them joined our Oregon Senior State Director Kelly Peterson at today’s event in Salem, along with scientists, conservationists, wildlife advocates and ethical hunters who spoke out against these contests and for the need to end them. They pointed out that wildlife killing contests do not reflect the humane values and commitment to conservation that a vast majority of Oregonians share.

In fact, a recent poll of Oregon voters commissioned by the HSUS and conducted by Remington Research Group, found that nearly 60 percent of the citizens of the Beaver State support a statewide ban on such contests. An editorial in the Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon, headlined “Oregon doesn’t need coyote-killing contests,” called for banning wildlife killing contests in the state.

But despite their unpopularity among the general public, wildlife killing contests happen with an astonishing frequency in almost every state. At least five were held in Oregon in recent years. The contest our investigators went to was sponsored by the Oregon Farm Bureau, with participants competing for cash prizes for killing the heaviest coyotes. Often the primary sponsors of such events are manufacturers of weapons, ammunition, and game-calling devices that lure animals by mimicking the sound of a fellow wild animal in distress.

In recent years, the HSUS and wildlife advocacy organizations have made tremendous progress in ending wildlife killing contests. In 2014, California banned wildlife killing contests for cash or prizes. Colorado 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. Last year, we helped pass a law banning cruel coyote killing contests in Vermont.

The HSUS did undercover investigations into wildlife killing contests in New York and New Jersey last year, and in coming months we expect bills banning these contests to be introduced in both of these states, as well as in Washington state, New Mexico and Massachusetts.

If you would like to find out how you can initiate efforts to end wildlife killing contests in your community, contact us at wildlife@humanesociety.org or download our toolkit. Together, let’s work to send these cruel contests and the animal suffering they cause into history, which is the only place they belong.

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

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  1. Annoula Wylderich says:

    This truly exemplifies utter depravity for greed and pleasure-driven pursuits. What a sad commentary about a small percentage of our population; and while they may be in the minority, the damage they inflict is grave and considerable. It’s time the rest of us urge our lawmakers to ban these macabre activities.

    • Eatme says:

      I bet you’ve never had to watch one eating a new born calf as the mother is still pushing it out either! They kill these numbers every year and there’s still more to be killed.

      • Thomas B Johnson says:

        Why don’t you and your methane/Global Warming cows go away? Forever?

      • noname says:

        And that calf and mother will be going to the barbaric slaughter house o humans can stuff there face .. Have YOU ever seen a slaughter house and what they do .. and how they do it… and how cruel the workers are like these dark ugly mean cruel souls !!! of humans .. They fit the profile !!!!

      • Sandy says:

        And how often does that happen??? These animals need to eat. If you were starving and saw a heard of cattle, would you kill one or would you rather go hungry??

      • Farmer says:

        Your just pissed because you lost money and wont get to eat that calf yourself. Why did you stand there watching it eat the calf while being born anyway??Why weren’t you protecting your breathing investment? To busy drinking beer, watching football or playing in the mud in your truck? You should have been with your herd. That Calf’s death is your fault,not a wild animals fault. You knew that cow was due to calf.You should have been there..

      • cascadian12 says:

        If you cared about your cows, you wouldn’t leave them out on the open range. On your land, kill the offender, but not others. Coyotes and wolves and most predators live mostly on small mammals. Without them, we’d be overrun by rats.

      • Sharon Ann Cook says:

        I am surprised that a cow that is pregnant would not be protected from wolves or coyotes. I guess that would not be profitable. It is better to just let the wolves or coyotes take their share. If you ever see a coyote or wolf killing a calf while being birthed I would hope you would intervene.

      • Fran says:

        Herding in this country took over much of the wolf, coyote and other inhabitants natural hunting ground. Out of thousands of head of cattle, the number of calves lost each year is minimal to what is sent to slaughter. Your gripe is not about balance, it is about the money you lost. Wild is wild. You would think living in ranch country you would appreciate the risks instead of attempting to wipe out a legitimate species so you can market your cows. Ridiculous take. Grow up. Read up on the benefit of wolves in Yellowstone. If you had your way, there would be nothing left in Mintana,Idaho or Wyoming except herds of cattle. Get a grip. Nature does not work that way. And if you can’t take the realities of being a rancher,maybe you need to move on.

      • Patricia Randolph says:

        Coyotes are a great species that specialize in controlling mice and lyme disease tick-carrying small mammals. Having taken care of one rescued by a trapper, of all people. I know two trappers who adopted coyotes and it turned them upside down on coyotes – who they love and their children love as much as any pup.
        If you have an issue with one eating a new born calf – then go to a slaughterhouse and see where those calves and their mothers end up to give you your predation on millions of them.

      • Leslie Sodaro says:

        coyotes are predictors just like you, but you kill for pleasure and they kill when they need to eat. big difference.

      • Sharon Gomez says:

        No I have never seen that, or has any of my farming family, for generations. What they have seen, is past inbalances, from past “predator hunts. Such as hoards of rats, rabbits eating through young crops, and spread of disease. This has nothing to do with good farming, only the greed and “good old boys”, bloody back slapping”. I live in Oregon, and I am outraged, by those working to take away one of the most loved things we have here. OUR Wildlife! Bounty hunts should have ended with the last century.

    • Ann Zook says:

      We must urge lawmakers to ban this depraved behavior inflicting cruel treatment on animals. People will do anything for 💲money 💲Glad HSUS is working to end these tragic events.

    • etienne vregord says:

      So little respect the devils have for the animals’ lives…

    • Liz le Cap says:


  2. Marilyn Leet says:

    That is disgusting. I am so glad the HSUS is going after this terrible ridiculousness. Thank you.

  3. Barbara says:

    People like these are, in my opinion, are sick and disrespectful of the natural beauty given to us on this earth. I hope one day justice will prevail against these kind of people.

  4. Michele OBrien says:

    What is more shocking then the fact that they hold these contest is the fact that any human being would want to participate. The people who participate in these contests are nothing more than inbred Savages.

    • Rose says:

      I agree with you 100%. There sure is something wrong with these people, they are for sure not normal and you can’t call them human beings.

      • jeff says:

        This is what human being are meant to be. this is how we survived before all of this processed food.

        • Patti says:

          It doesn’t mean hundreds need to be killed. Hunters ALWAYS have an excuse for killing predators, and their reasons are ALWAYS selfish.

  5. sharlene matthews says:

    It’s sad to watch that video . Everyone there should be prosecuted and put in jail. What gratifications do you get from killing an innocent animal in its own habitat. So disrespectful!!!!!!’ I hope this sick sport end soon.

  6. DM says:

    This issue is not about the victim per say, it is about humans who enjoy killing LIVING BEINGS, AND ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT IS LEGAL.

    They call themselves “hunters.” I refer to them by a more appropriate term: serial killing psychopaths. They are vicious, conscienceless, brutal terrorist of animals, who are driven to do what they do by an unconscious addiction to killing. Killing animal victims is driven by the fact that it is legal, and the killers can publicly boast and gather with others of like mindedness, and they can openly shop for their weapons and plan their strategy. Like any psychopathic killer, they outwardly appear normal.

    Every thing that Hitler did was LEGAL!

  7. Laura says:

    Oregon doesn’t need coyote killing contests.

  8. P bailey says:

    Yes it is the best way to help control the population to protect livestock and young wildlife need to do cats allso

    • Farmer says:

      We need to control hunters also. And this would be the way to do it.Ban this BS cull.

    • Patti says:

      The only reason hunters care about “saving wildlife” is so THEY can kill it later. Meanwhile they can kill coyotes, then they can kill that “saved” wildlife. Always an excuse to kill for fun, which is what this actually is.

  9. Brian Haag says:

    Until they start attacking Farmer’s livestock Suburban peoples animals pets coyotes are out of control and the population needs to be decreased in my opinion they need to take out more of them. But no they’ll wait until they attack a young child and then the people will cry that something needs to be done about it. These people are Hippocrates they will eat veal which if they don’t know is a baby cow and think nothing about it I have eaten both very tasty and coyote fur makes beautiful coats and gloves just like cowhide makes beautiful belts and shoes that everybody wears get a life people

    • Liz le Cap says:

      Your way can not possibly be the right way to right the wrongs you speak of!
      Other solutions will have to be found

  10. Melanie says:

    Gone are the days when hunting was an innocent pursuit of other species for survival purposes. This mass torture under the guise of ‘sport’ has no place in the modern environment.

  11. Rose says:

    I agree with you 100%. There sure is something wrong with these people, they are for sure not normal and you can’t call them human beings.

  12. georgiegirl says:

    This is what can happen when boys grow up hearing “boys will be boys”, and are never held accountable for anything they do. Most people, thankfully, mature grow and learn from others they meet along the way in life.. But, there will always be a certain percentage who are ignorant, immoral, and only feel important when harming other humans or the rest of the Animal Kingdom. It’s more than a disgrace that this is still going on, and the sooner these people get the punishment they deserve, the better.

    • COOKIES says:

      I totally agree! That saying can get to people… though I’m sure there are probably a few girls that do things like this. I don’t know if they do exactly this, but some of there clothes, purses, and other accessories are made of animal fur and such. We all do things that harm the wildlife, but even so, that is no excuse to just kill animals for fun! We all need to try our hardest to protect wildlife everywhere.

  13. Rob Berreth says:

    Yes they do need to control the preator population bring back the dog hunting sell tags for the wolf’s also the bunny hugers need to get there head out of there ass and realize the damage these preators do

  14. E edwards says:

    Totally in humane. If we kill off various species we’d be no better than those who killed native Americans hundreds of years ago. Stop the massacre now!!!!

  15. etienne vregord says:

    So little respect the devils have for the animals’ lives. The government must stop these terrible trophy hunters driving the extermination of the wild animals.

  16. Annette G. says:

    I want to know when and what is being done about this? What law and or legislation are being scrutinized. It’s just appalling this is happening in this day in age. Absolutely gut wrenching.

  17. Mike auvil says:

    Most of the comments listed are from extremely polarized positions as a sportsman and hunter i kill animals we eat the game we harvest or we don’t actively hunt them However. Regulations on predators and there harvesting have a huge impact on the food chain and the species that I pursue as a Oregon licensed hunter. Where are the rabbits the quail the grouse the squirrels and other small and upland game that were so redilly harvested in my youth. Gone to coyotes? Pesticides? Where are the deer? Gone to cougars who’s population is out of control. I am not an active participant of these contests or there proponent but I believe that fish and game are more than able to regulate the hunting of predators and the harvesting of fur bearing game we need our legislators to spend there time solving real problems and not writing laws at the whim of polarized soccer moms.

  18. Nancy Dunlap says:

    These Monsters killing these poor defenseless animals for personal or financial gain are nothing more than serial killers. I wish there were tougher laws and penalties to protect the wildlife.

  19. Shelagh says:

    These animals died instantly and more humanely than my dog who was killed in our 5 ft fenced in yard in the middle of the afternoon. He screamed for a little over 3 minutes before there was silence. My family’s life has been changed forever as a result.
    People need to realize that 38 people were attacked and bitten across NA in 2018 including one child who received over 100 stitches. We can all love and appreciate wildlife but perhaps there are better places for them to reside than in our backyards.

  20. Liz le Cap says:

    Agree..they must be sick. Personally the word for them that comes to mind is depraved!

  21. Pete Lantto says:

    Yet another reason I cant support the humane society anymore. They do not share my views on so many topics. I’m not about to donate money to an organization that is against my passions.

  22. jeff says:

    This is what human being are meant to be. this is how we survived before all of this processed food.

  23. Karen Wonnell says:

    We are in the predators “BACK YARD’, not the other way around. Cattlemen, maybe a little of the old, RIDING THE RANGE would go a long way to scare hungry wolves or coyotes away from a birthing cow,??? what ya think, or can you think might be the question,. For the idiot that had his dog attacked in his yard, and it screamed for 3 minutes before there was silence?? Really, if u knew it was screaming where the hell were u, hiding under your bed?? Coward, get off your ass and help your dog, at least lesson the pain and fear. What a pos human u r. The killing contest are so sick, when u see grown men with their kids laughing at the suffering they caused innocent animals, gut shots, really, how very funny, ha ha. Just another bunch of fat assed, drunk jerks getting the rocks off by torture of an innocent species. I just really hate to know these pos humans have the ability to procreate, making more phyco torture men. God save us from these very badly bred dirt bags. Maybe u could just once try for some real education and not just think u know it all.

  24. COOKIES says:

    I cannot stand to look at things like this! It’s just WAY to sad!

  25. E. Hutzelman says:

    Th3se human animals are sociopaths..not hunters. They have no moral compass and are not to be trusted around any animal. Don’t claim this is conservation,either, These humans are depraved and have no moral compass- they don’t know right from wrong. Killing animals for entertainment is egregious and heinous, just like those who are doing the killing for entertainment. Hard to believe that this is allowed in any state. Keep up the good work, investigators.

  26. Anna Filotei says:

    Please stop this barbarian slaughter.

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