Coyote-killing “like calling a girl”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1994:

GILLETTE, Wyoming––Coyote, fox,
and rabbit-killing contests and bounty programs
popped up around the west in midwinter––in
response, organizers said, to a year-old moratori-
um on coyote-killing by the federal Animal
Damage Control Program, won through a lawsuit
filed by the Humane Society of the U.S. Ranchers
argued that nonlethal coyote control hasn’t worked,
citing an American Sheep Industry Association
report that coyotes in Wyoming and Colorado have
learned to run sheep dogs to exhaustion, attack
them in packs, and split up so that some can divert
the dogs while others kill sheep. They claimed huge
livestock losses to an alleged overpopulation of coy-
otes and foxes, although killing contest participants
averaged only two dead coyotes and one dead fox
per 18 days of hunting. ASIA and other ranch lob-
bies are trying to lift the ADC moratorium––along
with a ban on the use of spring-fired traps called M-
44s that shoot poison into coyotes’ mouths. The
traps are banned to protect eagles, who likewise
may snatch the bait with fatal consequences.

However, one of the two biggest killing
contests, held in Ringling, Montana, was actually
begun in 1992––while the ADC was still prolifically
killing coyotes. The other, in Gillette, Wyoming,
avoided spending money on publicity by faxing
announcements to animal rights groups and using
the resulting furor to attract entrants. The sponsor,
the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, also
hoped to fill local motels and restaurants with pro-
testers––but Friends of Animals charged that the
whole thing was just a ploy by lonely cowpokes to
draw female attention and urged protesters to stay
away. The Chamber put the FoA message on t-
shirts, but at least one participant didn’t think it was
funny, as FoA received a barrage of bizarre letters
from an apparent coyote-hunting transvestite who
defended the massacre; purported to describe, as a
woman, the sexual satisfaction of local women;
and boasted of his sexual exploits with sheep.
Certainly the killing contest had sexual
overtones, as hunter Bill Austin told media,
“Coyote-calling is like calling a girl on the phone.
You have to know what to say.”
And then there was Mr. D’s 13th annual
rabbit hunt in Duluth, Minnesota, on February 5,
which advertised the presence of “3 Female Exotic
Dancers” at the host bar after the bloodbath.
They do it all the time
New York game warden Bob Lemke
describing the plight of a deer attacked by dogs (or
a sheep attacked by coyotes): “Imagine being in a
snowy field, dressed in your skivvies, trying to run
away while several women on snowmobiles whiz
about whacking at you with nail-studded sticks.”
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