Death threat part of protest against New Mexico coyote hunt
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An online petition against a planned coyote hunt New Mexico has generated tens of thousands of signatures worldwide, the FBI is investigating a death threat to the gun shop owner who is sponsoring the hunt and one protester has even vowed to dress like a coyote to trick hunters into accidentally killing a human.
But none of these episodes will likely stop the owner of Gunhawk Firearms from holding the planned two-day coyote contest this weekend, despite the international attention the idea has garnered.
“I'm not going to back down,” said Mark Chavez, 50, who has faced two weeks of angry phone calls and protests — and even a threat to his life. “This is my right to hunt and we're not breaking any laws.”
Under the terms of the contest, teams of one or two hunters have two days to shoot and kill as many coyotes as possible on private land in New Mexico.
The winning team will get its choice of a Browning Maxus 12-gauge shotgun or two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles from the Los Lunas shop, and a hired taxidermist will salvage any pelts and hides from the dead coyotes for clothing.
“I'll even give the furs to the homeless if they need it,” Chavez said.
That competition — which opponents are calling a “coyote killing contest” — has sparked thousands of angry emails, social media postings and a petition signed by activists from as far as Europe who have demanded that the hunt be called off. Last week, a small group of protesters held a rally outside of Gunhawk Firearms and waved signs denouncing the event as cruel and “bloodthirsty.”
People are upset over the idea of making a contest out of killing an animal that usually lives peacefully alongside residents, said Susan Weiss, 74, who leads the Coexist with Coyotes group in Corrales, N.M.
“There's a tremendous amount of arrogance in conducting this hunt,” Weiss said. “(Chavez) is damaging the reputation of ranchers. He is damaging the reputation of legitimate hunters.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Federal $1.1 trillion spending bill loaded with policy deals
- Police officer killed in Colorado Spring clinic rampage a co-pastor, figure skater
- Colorado clinic shooting suspect talked of baby parts, police say
- Lawyer reveals details of arrest of ‘clock kid’ Ahmed, plans to file suit
- Pot doctors in medical marijuana states push boundaries with marketing
- Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- Email address gives FBI lead on record theft of user IDs, passwords
- VA Phoenix social worker on leave for Halloween costume
- Washington project ensures long-term carbon storage
- EPA works on algae rules to protect from toxins found in lakes, rivers