The days of wildlife shooting contests in New York may soon be over.

A new bill in the New York State Legislature, co-sponsored by Senator Timothy Kennedy would make wildlife contests illegal.

It shall be unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote, or participate in any contest, competition, tournament or derby where the objective of such contest or competition is to take wildlife.

Hunting contests for white-tailed deer, turkeys, bears, or fish would not be included in the new law.

Hunting shotguns on haystack during sunrise in expectation of hunt
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Thousands Die Every Year

Thousands of animals, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, rabbits, crows, woodchucks, and squirrels, are killed in these events every year in New York State. Once prizes are awarded, the bodies of the animals are often just left behind.

Wildlife killing contests are a wanton waste of New York's wildlife resources. These organized competitions treat animals as disposable pieces in a game to win cash and prizes. Such activities do not align with New York's hunting tradition of sportsmanship and respect for animals and the environment.

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Coyote Hunting Season in New York

You can legally hunt coyotes almost anywhere in New York State. The season runs from October to March 26, 2023, and there are no limits.

Credit NYS DEC
Credit NYS DEC

Ending Wildlife Hunting Contest Support

The Humane Society estimates in the past five years, nearly 600 wildlife killing contests have been held nationwide, with dozens in New York State.

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The new bill that would end "inhumane, unsporting, and wasteful wildlife killing contests," is being supported by a growing number of wildlife management professionals and state wildlife commissions and agencies including in Vermont, Arizona, and Massachusetts.

“Coyote hunting contests are not only ineffective at controlling coyote populations, but these kinds of competitive coyote hunts are raising concerns on the part of the public and could possibly jeopardize the future of hunting and affect access to private lands for all hunters,” the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department said.

California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, and Arizona have all banned killing contests. If the bill is passed in New York, the fine could be as high as $2,000.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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