weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Animal rights groups blast coyote hunt

RENO — A coyote-hunting tournament set for this weekend in Northern Nevada is drawing howls of protest from animal rights activists.

WildEarth Guardians, based in Santa Fe, N.M., and Project Coyote, based in Larkspur, Calif., are among groups opposed to the tournament being staged by Fallon-area ranchers.

Wendy Keefover-Ring of WildEarth Guardians said coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem.

“These kinds of high body-count hunts are completely unethical and go against the spirit of ethical hunting,” she said. “They’re not going to use the bodies for food or anything else. It’s just a waste.”

Organizer Matt McFarlane said he doesn’t understand the fuss, noting similar tournaments have been held to help protect livestock elsewhere across the West for decades.

McFarlane said coyotes have killed several calves over the last three weeks at his family’s ranch near Fallon, about 60 miles east of Reno. McFarlane expects about 20 to 30 teams to bag up to 60 coyotes at the tournament.

“That doesn’t put a dent in the coyote problem,” he said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.