I don’t want to beat a dead coyote, but I have a couple comments about this article and the folks who wrote it. I don’t know when we decided as a society that hunting coyotes was a bad thing. We have bass-fishing tournaments back East and we used to have rattlesnake roundups out here (I can’t recall when I last heard of one, but can’t recall anybody protesting them).
One of the more irritating ad hominems from the coyote-huggers is to characterize hunters as “beefy, middle-aged men in camouflage, guns in hand and dead animals no one is ever going to eat piled in trucks.” In fact, hunting coyotes is a highly skilled and challenging sport.
Also, re the “animals no one is ever going to eat” crack. If we don’t eat them, we compete with them for our food. We eat chickens and so do coyotes; we eat beef and lamb, and coyotes kill both. If Coyote Project’s biologist observed the cute and playful side of Don Coyote, a quick search of Coyote Killing Sheep will show another side of Canis latrans. Another, less sentimental way to look at that pickup full of dead coyotes is as critters who won’t be killing your neighbor’s cat or some rancher’s lambs next week.
The Coyote Project people undermine their own case against hunting by emphasizing that the coyote is under no threat of extinction. “Coyotes can withstand as much as a 70 percent yearly kill rate without suffering any decline in their total population.”
Ironically, by hunting him we are enabling the coyote to pursue his “Manifest Destiny,” according to Coyote Project. By killing off the slowest and dumbest, we’re forcing a rapid evolution of the species. We’re breeding a super-coyote that’s spreading across the continent.
Logically, Coyote Project should thus be in favor of hunting them, since it’s producing a bigger, faster, smarter coyote. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the California crusaders are just against hunting in general and see the coyote as a useful pawn in a much more ambitious campaign. NM was just one of six states that introduced nearly identical anti-hunting bills this year, all backed by the Humane Society. It’s not clear from Project Coyote’s website what its relationship is with this campaign, but I’m betting it’s kissing-cousin close.
Finally, it burns my biscuits to have condescending, virtue-signaling Marin County effetes and Santa Fe dudes lecturing me on the “morality” of rural New Mexico. Much as I would like to, I wouldn’t presume to return the favor.