Listen Live

STATEWIDE — The Humane Society of the United States wants to ban hunting contests in Indiana after dozens of coyotes were killed during a contest in Warren County.

Undercover investigators from the Humane Society attended the contest weigh-in at the Williamsport Fire Department. More than a dozen teams competed in categories for killing the most coyotes, the heaviest coyote and the smallest coyote. Samantha Morton, Indiana State Director for the Humane Society, says approximately 60 coyotes were shot for the contest.

According to the Humane Society’s report, coyotes are native to Indiana, and they provide vital balance to the natural ecosystem.

“[Coyotes] keep our rodent populations in check, they clean up the environment by killing diseased animals and carcasses and they also help remove sick animals from the gene pool,” Morton said. “Wildlife killing contests have no place in Indiana.”

While some hunters may argue that killing off the coyotes prevents overpopulation, Morton says, this actually makes the problem much worse.

“The alpha pack are the only members of the pack that reproduce, but if one of those members is killed, other members of the pack start to breed,” Morton said. “It actually causes more coyotes to be around, versus if they’re not being indiscriminately killed.”

Wildlife killing contests are pervasive in Indiana, with foxes and coyotes being the most frequent victims, the report says. At the Coyote Showdown in Greenfield back in January, 45 teams killed 109 coyotes and 10 red foxes.

Indiana residents can contact the Indiana Natural Resources Commission and urge them to ban wildlife killing contests. You can read the full report here.