Coyote/Predator Contests are doomed. Why?

Are we just a bunch of rednecks who grew up with a culture of participating in Killing Contests?

Are we just a bunch of rednecks who grew up with a culture of participating in Killing Contests?

As I spoke with Adam Piestewa after he finished 1st in a recent coyote calling contest and my team finished 3rd, I couldn’t help but think, “I don’t know how many of these we have left?”

I shook his hand and said, “unfortunately man, we are cursed because we are good at something which will never be celebrated by anyone but us.”

Coyote Contests are doomed.

I personally feel predator/Coyote calling contests will be illegal in almost every state before too long.  Many in our society just can no longer handle us killing predators, let alone celebrating and competing in contests.  It’s based on their own ideological principles, but when you are out numbered and we as a predator hunting community are, you are ultimately doomed.

Recent Coyote Contest Closures & Petitions:


How main stream & some of our hunting peers view us…

A recent Facebook post from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

A recent Facebook post from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Even our peers are turning against predator hunting contests.

Even some of our hunting peers are turning against predator hunting contests.

For many, we are nothing more than savages.  We are considered heartless and we do nothing but kill every predator we come across on these hunts.  That’s how they market and sell contests to the general public, legislators and to our FELLOW hunters; it’s working too.

Many of our peers don’t mind if we hunt and kill predators, but what they hate is us competing.  Yes, they hate us competing and celebrating our culture.  They believe it is irresponsible and reflects hunting in a bad light.  To be honest, I have thought about this many times while scouting for an upcoming predator contest.

“Why the hell am I up at 1 am?  Why am I spending hundreds of dollars on fuel and gear, to compete against others in a contest which no one but me and a handful of people will ever remember?  Because I love the challenge of the hunt and I love the comradery coyote calling contests provide!”     

Management & Prizes (Competition)

Coyote contests do help with predator management, but NO where near like trappers, highways and recreational hunting.  Coyote calling contests are set for specific dates, so it doesn’t matter if it rains, snows or shines, you have to hunt those dates.   Keep in mind, recreational predator hunters will hunt the best days, because they want to be productive.   So, coyote contest numbers fluctuate based on the conditions.  To argue that coyote calling contests have a horrible impact on coyote populations is just ridiculous!  Trappers, highways and recreational hunting have a far greater impact!  

So, why have the contests then???

I was raised to hunt predators because I was from a ranching family and the fur market was booming when I was a kid.  Contests are just a bi-product of the predator hunting culture, no different than fishing tournaments or big buck contests.  Predator hunters join together to celebrate our way-of-life by competing with our peers.   Local contests are something which we all look forward to every year, they are events marked on the calendar.  Coyote hunting is something you can do in my state through-out the ENTIRE year, but contests are a special event and most contest hunters save some their best predator hunting spots for these events.

DING! DING! That means…

IF YOU BAN COYOTE CALLING CONTESTS, we are going to kill coyotes anyway and probably at a much more efficient rate!

So, if we agree that coyote contests are not as effective as other forms of predator management, then why do you want them banned?


-Craig Steele

6 thoughts on “Coyote/Predator Contests are doomed. Why?

  1. wile E. west

    I’ve been harping on this for over a year, these people do not care about the animals, they are fascists, they use the animals and lawyers instead of guns to destroy freedom, that’s what fascists do, Hunters better get smart fast or it will be all over with before they know what happened. It will never stop with the coyote, wolf, deer elk ect.

  2. Geoff Nemnich

    Good read Craig! I to feel the same about the future of coyote contests….but us as a whole hunting community must ban together and fight back against the anti-hunters and their ridiculous ideas that they so eagerly wish us to follow. Hunters must realize this isnt about coyote hunting contests or even coyote hunting…it’s about them wanting to ban hunting all together. Targeting coyote contests was the easiest thing for them to attack first, giving them access “to the front door” when legislation started being passed in their favor. As a coyote hunter that doesnt compete in contests or as a hunter that doesnt pursue coyotes, it’s extremely important to understand that these decisions now will effect EVERYONE in the future, not just competition coyote hunters. If the anti-hunters gain access now ” to the front door” it’s only a matter of time before their momentum multiplies and they clean the whole house out!!

    • Craig SteeleCraig Steele Post author

      Congrats on winning the worlds this year Geoff. I have followed you for awhile and watched part of your seminar a few years back. We are a rare breed that’s for sure.

  3. Cynthia Wolf

    On one hand I hesitate to comment on this forum, and on the other, in reading this, it is aggravating to be judged and shoved into a category where I don’t belong.
    I absolutely do not support wildlife/predator killing contests, and I absolutely do not support a ban on hunting. My view comes from growing up in a hunting family (food, trophy, trapping, fur, hounds and varmints) and continuing to hunt and fish and dedicating my life to the out of doors/wildlife as an adult. Even as a child, I recognized the paradox between valuing an animal in their wild, unharvested state and the pleasure of eating it for supper. I also accepted that there was a significant responsibility that came with making that decision. I still feel that way.
    So, my own perception of these two experiences; killing contests versus hunting for food, are very different. It IS about killing contests to me. It IS about not supporting, the glorification and mockery of taking the life of an animal. And likewise, I agree that it’s extremely important for non-competing hunters to know that these decisions about killing contests now will affect THEM in the future.
    However, this is where my view takes a different twist. There are many people who support hunting or have a neutral attitude towards it. However, if hunting, as in harvesting an animal as a life-sustaining resource and killing contests/varmint killing are lumped into one category, you are correct… will force many, many people to make a choice to fight against hunting all together, because this type of killing brings a negative public opinion to an already dying activity. And yes, hunters better get smart!

    • Craig SteeleCraig Steele Post author


      Thanks for commenting on this post and subject. I truly appreciate the conversation and response.

      First, I will correct your terminology, just so we hopefully agree on this… Predator Hunting Contests do involve killing, but so does ALL other forms of hunting. You cannot have hunting without the killing, it’s impossible. Wildlife watching is hunting without killing. I don’t call these KILLING contests, they are Predator HUNTING contests.

      I will agree that these hunting contests will eventually be banned, just like Lion hunting in California. Just like leg hold trapping in Arizona. Eventually, society and the hunting community will sacrifice predator hunting all together, because of the negative public opinion. Once that happens, the wildlife agencies will be forced to hire people who are proficient at killing predators, because our prey species will suffer. This will be YET another economic drain on society, because we would rather someone do it behind closed doors vs it being an economic benefit to society, wildlife and hunting.

      I really appreciate your comments, in fact, it’s exactly why I wrote the blog post.

      Craig Steele

  4. Anna Reid

    I am from Eastern Oregon writing a research paper on Coyote Contests in Oregon, THANK YOU for an awesome article about the real reasoning of these contests! I love where I am from and I love a good Coyote Contest. Its been extremely hard to find a article about the good of coyote contests and I have finally found one. Happy Hunting!


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