to the editor
Defending the hunt
To the editor:
Since the article that was put out regarding a successful coyote hunting tournament put on by amazing wildlife conservation group, Quail Forever, I have been expecting an opinion piece in response and Mr. Bennett came through in typical fashion.
There are many reasons why folks hunt coyotes, or any predators for that matter. For one, it helps control a population that is extremely high and thriving in Kansas. For every coyote shot during that tournament, there were probably three that lived. In fact, over the course of two days, the team I was involved with probably saw 30 coyotes or more — we killed eight total.
Another reason is it helps farmers keep their livestock safe, particularly during calving season, which as you know, Mr. Bennett, being a former Kansas resident, is currently in full swing. During this coyote tournament our team actually witnessed a coyote carrying a complete calf head away from the field in which a farmer had calves. That same location the next day had four coyotes holding up residents there — we killed one of the four. We hunted around a feed yard with hundreds of head of cattle, and during the two times we hunted that specific location we saw more than 10 coyotes.
A third reason many of us hunt coyotes is to help the population of other game animals — specifically deer, turkey, quail, pheasants, etc. — maintain a quality offspring season. Many hunters have pictures of coyotes killing or carrying off a spring fawn. I have witnessed a pack of four coyotes chasing deer while deer hunting.
There are numerous other reasons why folks choose to hunt or trap predators such as coyotes that I won’t list in this response.
You call this a “boy’s club” like we are all a bunch of hillbilly rednecks that get our kicks off of killing animals. However, it is far from that in that it helps population control and controls diseases that coyotes can spread to other animals in the wild, specifically mange.
You quoted Gandhi in your article, which is a great quote in my opinion. The hunting community is one of the greatest wildlife preservationist groups in this country. We provide millions of dollars every year to wildlife preservation. We are the ones who help create new habitats for all kinds of wildlife, we are the ones who help clean up trash left behind by others. We are the ones who donate thousands of pounds of wild game meat to the needy every year.
We are not, as you say, a “boy’s club” (I imagine that is very degrading and offensive to the large number of female hunters out there) that is just there for the thrill of the kill. We are a group of people who truly care about wildlife and the habitats they call home.