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Coyote Hunting Contests In Massachusetts Prompt Concern, Conversation

A coyote.
GD Taber
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/snowmail
A coyote.

Some animal rights activists are calling on Massachusetts wildlife officials to ban coyote hunting contests in the state. 

State officials say they are only aware of three hunting contests for coyotes across the state. And there are no specific regulations governing them besides the normal hunting laws.

Elizabeth Magner is with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is one group pushing for these events to be outlawed.

"They're essentially blood sport events that serve no wildlife management purpose at all," Magner said.

And as to whether these contests help manage the coyote population, Magner said they go against modern wildlife control principles, and have the "potential to damage the reputation of ethical and responsible sportsmen and sportswomen."

The Fairview Sportsmens Club of Granby, Massachusetts, has held contests over the last several years. Its president declined comment other than to say the events raise money for charity. 

State regulators say that it's complaints over these contests that have helped to spark a larger conversation about coyotes in Massachusetts.

A public listening session is being held Thursday evening in Buckland.

"What it's prompted us to do is to kind of look at this as an opportunity to look at everything related to coyote management, and hunting regulations, and the like," said Marion Larson, a spokeswoman for MassWildlife.

Larson said MassWildlife will take input, and then review regulations to see if changes are needed.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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