Local Coyote Hunt Draws Criticism
An organized coyote hunt is garnering attention from local protesters, but the hunters say they're doing nothing wrong.
An organized coyote hunt is garnering attention from local protesters, but the hunters say they're doing nothing wrong. Protesters say there's no need to be killing off the coyote population. The hunt is an annual event organized by the Wayside Bar in Lemmon Valley.
"As a hunter the coyotes are damaging our deer herds, our elk herds, the sage hen, chuck, pheasants in the state of Nevada,” said Jason Schroeder, owner of the Wayside Bar.
Coyotes are an unprotected species in the silver state, meaning they can be killed for contest without a hunting license. However, for the furs to be sold off, a license is required. The Bureau of Land Management says for an "organized coyote hunt for contest," a permit is required to hunt on public land.
"We do have somebody who has a fur trappers license and he will discard the dogs for us, he'll take them to the fur market," said Schroeder.
An organized hunt like this one must also have a permit in order for the hunters to shoot on public lands. Schroeder says he did not apply for a permit, because the contestants have no intentions to be on BLM property. Instead, they'll be hunting on private lands outside of Washoe County.
"We respect that with the BLM, that's why we put on our rule sheet, the first number 1 rule is we do not obtain that permit, we recommend you hunt on private ground,” said Schroeder.
The protestors of the hunt say it's unrealistic to believe that the hunters will keep to private land.
"Number one we're wanting them to follow the rules and number two, we don't like this stuff, it's wasteful killing, it's not like hunting and using the animal ,” said protestor Jana Hofeditz.
To make their voices heard, Hofeditz says she and many other protesters will be standing in front of the Wayside on Saturday afternoon with signs. They hope to someday make it illegal for coyotes to be hunted in Nevada.
“Ultimately we'd like to have them listed as a furbearer because they have more protections, they have limitations, so it's like a deer hunt or anything like that,” said Hofeditz.
The hunt is set to kickoff at the break of dawn Saturday morning. As for the protestors, they intend to gather in front of the Wayside, Saturday at 1 p.m.