SB 268 ~ Bill to Ban Coyote Killing Contests

Senate Bill 268 would make it illegal to organize and participate in coyote killing contests (CKCs) in New Mexico.

A recent editorial in the Albuquerque Journal supported the bipartisan bill stating:

“The bill…is a carefully and narrowly crafted bipartisan proposal that protects the rights of true sportsmen, ranchers and residents by ending one thing, and one thing only: the practice of shooting as many coyotes as quickly as possible. The contests are not about removing a predatory threat or gathering pelts and meat or a trophy; like cockfighting, which the Legislature banned, they are only about blood sport. New Mexico is better than strapping knives on game birds to watch them fight to the death, and it is better than encouraging grotesque kill-fests that upset the delicate balance of predator and prey.”

SB 268 is also widely supported by leading wildlife scientists and researchers. In 2015, fifty scientists signed a letter in support of the prohibition of wildlife-killing contests in New Mexico, citing peer-reviewed studies that show that indiscriminate killing of predators is not an effective wildlife management method for reducing livestock losses or boosting ungulate prey (deer, etc.) populations–in direct contravention of arguments made by killing contest proponents. Read a recent article quoting Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member Dave Parsons about these issues here.

Please join us in supporting SB 268 by calling and writing to your State Senator today. You can obtain his/her contact info. here.


1- Please join us in supporting SB 268 by calling and writing your State Senator today. Legislator contact info. here. If you have more time, please also write and call members of the three committees that will be hearing the bill. Contact information for committee members can be found by going to the committee links: Senate Conservation Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, and then clicking on the committee members’ names.

2- Please join us for Lobby Day: Learn about becoming an effective citizen lobbyist, hear from–and talk to–state legislators, and meet Project Coyote’s New Mexico Representative, Judy Paulsen:

**On Wednesday, February 8, from 9am-3pm, the Sierra Club will host its Lands, Water and Wildlife Day 2017 at the New Mexico State Capitol Building Rotunda in Santa Fe. Details can be found here.

**On Wednesday, February 22, from 9am-7pm, Animal Protection Voters will host Animal Lobby Day 2017 at the PERA Building in Santa Fe. Register here.

3- Write Letters to the Editor of your local paper(s) to raise public awareness and to encourage others to take action. Use our tips and tools for writing LTE’s.

Talking Points (please personalize your letters):

  • State clearly that you support SB 268 and you hope your legislator will too.
  • Coyote killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.
  • No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (e.g. hunted or trapped) form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here and here.
  • Coyotes play an important ecological role helping to maintain healthy ecosystems and species diversity. As the top carnivore in some ecosystems, coyotes provide a number of benefits including regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as skunks, raccoons, and foxes) which in turn, helps to boost biodiversity. Read more here.
  • Coyote killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.
  • Coyote killing contests put non-target wildlife (including highly endangered Mexican wolves), companion animals, and people at risk.
  • Senate Bill 268 will not restrict the ability to protect property including livestock, will not undermine Second Amendment gun ownership rights, nor will it limit hunting in any other way.


“The non-specific, indiscriminate killing methods used in these commercial and unrestricted coyote killing contests are not about hunting or sound land management. These contests are about personal profit, animal cruelty…It is time to outlaw this highly destructive activity.”  ~Ray Powell, former New Mexico Land Commissioner

Watch this video of wildlife biologist and New Mexico-based Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member Dave Parsons talking about wildlife killing contests.

You can also watch a 60 second trailer of Project Coyote’s documentary film, Unfair Game: Ending Wildlife Killing Contests, which premiered in New Mexico in January here.

Thank you for showing your critical support for coyotes by joining Project Coyote and our coalition partners in our efforts to stop coyote killing contests in New Mexico!

Watch Project Coyote’s trailer of our new exposé about wildlife killing contests, which are events wherein contestants win prizes and awards for killing the most or largest of a given species.

Targeted animals include coyotes, foxes, wolves, bobcats, prairie dogs, crows and even rattlesnakes. Interviews with prominent social and ecological scientists, ranchers, hunters, public officials and Native Americans disprove the claims used to perpetuate these killing contests.

The film also highlights a successful model of grassroots campaigning that led to California prohibiting prizes and other inducements for killing coyotes, bobcats, foxes and other wildlife as part of a contest, derby or tournament.

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