Anti-hunting radicals have made themselves quite the spectacle in Southern Illinois in recent weeks. They proudly puttered into town in their Priuses, bringing their signs, slogans and social media posts to try to stop a pair of coyote hunting events. Not surprisingly the hunter-haters failed to stop the outings, but they did succeed in making themselves look like fools.
“Please donot do event killing coyotes . They are important to our echo system.”
– As posted by Lisa Darnell at the “For the Love of Wolves” blog
X-RING CUSTOM’s “Coyote Competition” saw its sixth year a few short weeks ago. Based in Toledo, Illinois, proprietor Dave Clark’s event has two-person hunt teams register on a Friday. From there, they go out and shoot themselves some coyotes. Clark’s crew holds check-ins to ensure the “freshness” of the kills, and to weigh the buggers.
Publicity for his event also reached animal rights lovers.
His phone rang off the hook for weeks ahead of the shoot. People threatened him, which he says made him laugh as he hung up the phone. Some tried to cajole or even plead with him. Others called him names.
The hunt went on, though, as not even calls to local government were effective.
In the end, the winning team of Jake Hewing and Kyle Steele from Greenup, Illinois came to win. They shot themselves over a quarter ton of coyote. The winning pair clobbered 17 animals weighing a total of 545.45 pounds. This year, Clark saw 74 teams participate and they harvested a total of 111 animals, setting competition records left and right.
Meanwhile, Clark told me that forty-some telephone messages greeted him the next Monday morning. Some animal rights lovers misunderstood the dates of the event from social media posts. But their calls came a day late and 111 coyotes short.
The Southern Illinois Predator Challenge
About a week later, the third annual Southern Illinois Predator Challenge, took place. Organized by Paul Browne, it brings in some of the best hunters from across the region. Not surprising, considering the $6500 in donated prizes and a 100% payout of entry fees.
Galvanized by the carnage of a week before, anti-hunters brought in reinforcements from the HSUS – Humane Society of the United States to lead them. HSUS’s Illinois director Marc Ayers came down to lend his gravitas to this event in person.
The super sophisticated animal lovers came to educate the locals on the barbaric nature of hunting. Yes, really.
While their message might play to the hippie crowd in San Francisco or Berkeley, these malcontents came to God’s country in Southern Illinois.
“Who are those people, mommy?”
The hunter haters truly believed they could stop the contest. They showed up on the town square to gin up public outrage for the event.
The local media, excited to have a genuine news story, showed up. Reports pegged the attendance at about two dozen protesters. Photos, on the other hand, suggest far fewer in attendance.
While hunters culled the coyote herd afield, the protesters carried their signs providing entertainment to area residents.
The placard-carrying PETA-types failed to get people excited. Instead of ginning up outrage, the would-be rabble rousers faced a lot of stares, scorn and laughter from the perplexed locals.
HSUS’s Marc Ayers gleefully told the local newspaper scribe that the hunts “do not reduce the coyote population or protect livestock or wildlife from depredation.”
Come again? Yes, he actually said that killing coyotes does not reduce the coyote population. Can you spell “fake news”?
SIPC organizer Paul Browne sees things much differently, relying on science and logic instead of emotions. “There’s a lot of coyotes,” he told the Benton Evening News. “If you don’t keep the ecosystem in balance, everything is affected.”
From the town square, the anti-hunting types burned more fossil fuels driving to the check-in location. They trespassed on private property, shouted profanities and struck participants’ vehicles as they left the event. All of this according to Paul Browne as reported in Disclosure News Online…
• The protesters, upon arriving at the private location of the property, (while the hunters were inside the association building) walked onto personally owned private property, without any permission, totally trespassing and violating Illinois law. They illegally removed the tarp on the trailer to expose the legally harvested coyotes, so they could take their illegal pictures to flaunt on their social media. It is a total fraud and illegal act!
• The aggressive and trespassing animal activists verbally attacked the participants when they left the private property after the event ended. The protesters screamed profanity at them as they left the parking lot and illegally hit their trucks and vehicles with their protest signs. The participants remained professional, ethical, and respectful of the law at all times. It is important to point out that not a single participant challenged the rude and fanatical protesters who were committing illegal vandalism on the participants vehicles.
• Because the hunters did not get “baited” or “coerced” into the animal activists wishful confrontation after the event, they went onto social media and called them cowards and boasted about their “win”. The protested totally failed in their effort to stop or even interrupt this totally legal, ethical, and moral hunting activity.
In the end, the anti-hunting agitators experienced an epic failure. 74 hunters harvested 68 coyotes as part of Browne’s Southern Illinois Predator Challenge. This despite the best efforts of “animal rights” activists to stop it.
And speaking of a day late and a lot of coyotes short, the Chicago Tribune has lent their two cents to the aftermath.
Editorial: Slaughtering Illinois coyotes in contest hunts is poor sport
Coyotes are clever, adaptable animals that once roamed the western two-thirds of North America. A determined federal government extermination campaign in the 1940s and ’50s led to the killing of more than 6 million of them. But in recent decades, coyotes have made a comeback, expanding beyond their historic range. They’ve even taken up residence in Chicago, which hosts upward of 2,000.
Many people, however, still regard them with suspicion and contempt. Mark Twain contributed to this view by describing the coyote as a “slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton” with a “furtive and evil eye” and “a general slinking expression all over.” The belief that the only good coyote is a dead coyote persists among some people in some places.
…Trying to protect farm animals — or pets — by indiscriminately killing these predators is a losing strategy. A better approach is to remove food sources that might attract coyotes, while taking measures to protect the animals they might attack.
About what you’d expect from a bunch of big city elitists. After all, these are the same people who believe that good guys with guns don’t stop bad people with evil in their hearts.