Press Release: Ban Coyote Killing Contests

NEWS RELEASE                                                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Laura M. Nirenberg, Esq.

Executive Director



With deadly deer disease expected to hit Indiana, public interest organization

urges state wildlife regulators to ban coyote killing contests 

LA PORTE, IN, December 27 – Currently, two* coyote killing contests are scheduled in Indiana in early 2019. Coyote killing contests/derbies award prizes to teams of hunters for killing the largest number of coyotes and the largest individual coyote. [*CORRECTION: At the time of this release, CWE was alerted to the existence of two coyote killing contests, but CWE’s subsequent research has uncovered a whopping SEVEN contests in Indiana in 2019.] These competitions disrupt the vital role coyotes play in healthy ecosystems, encourage mass slaughter, and glorify killing at the expense of ethics.

Source: Vargy’s Coyote Hunting Forum

Source: Vargy’s Coyote Hunting Forum

The Center for Wildlife Ethics (“CWE”) is urging the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) to intervene and end coyote killing contests given the agency’s concerns surrounding the imminent threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (“CWD”) in Indiana’s white-tailed deer herd.

As reported in the Indianapolis Star (December 22, 2018), CWD is a deadly, potentially devastating disease that will be “a permanent drain on resources to manage”. IDNR, the regulatory agency tasked with preserving and protecting Indiana’s wildlife resources for the benefit of all citizens, should ban all contest killings of natural predators given the whole state is simultaneously on high alert for the arrival of CWD in its deer population.

Unlike hunters, natural predators such as coyotes deliberately target the most vulnerable and unhealthy deer and other prey animals. According to Sharon Vogel, CWE’s Senior Biologist, “Vulnerable individuals in the deer population are those most likely to succumb to or spread Chronic Wasting Disease (“CWD”) and other wildlife illnesses. The lethal removal of large numbers of predator species given the looming threat of CWD seems reckless.”

Source: Vargy’s Coyote Hunting Forum

Source: Vargy’s Coyote Hunting Forum

Click here for additional information specific to wildlife killing contests in general and here for a statement from conservation scientists about coyote killing contests specifically.

Concerns about the upcoming Indiana coyote killing contests should be directed to IDNR Deputy Director, Samantha DeWester at:

Details about the upcoming coyote killing contests may be found here.


Founded in 1998, The Center for Wildlife Ethics is a 501c3 public interest organization that champions effective environmental activism by targeting systemic harm that sustains the violence and exploitation of animals and their habitats. Additional information can be obtained by sending a detailed request to