In states where ranching is a big business, predators like wolves and coyotes are not looked upon kindly. While coyotes aren’t endangered like wolves, that doesn’t justify making a game out of slaughtering them en masse. But that’s what a gun shop not far from Albuquerque, N.M., tried to do. The shop, Gunhawk Firearms, ran a contest this weekend challenging hunters to shoot as many coyotes as they could. The prize for the person who bagged the most: a free shotgun or two free automatic rifles.
This idea didn’t sit well with a huge part of the local community: For two weeks, New Mexicans tried to get the contest shut down, and the state ruled the shop didn’t have the proper permits to hold the hunt on public land. The Albuquerque Journal weighed in, too: “[Hunting] is not about a blatant disregard for life that glorifies a weekend of blood sport for the sake of nothing more than mass killings,” the editorial page wrote.
Whether because of the protests or because most people just don’t go in for wholesale slaughter, only 80 hunters ended up participating in the contest, according to the Associated Press. And they were pretty incompetent hunters: Among them they killed 23 coyotes on Saturday, and the gun shop owner said he’d be surprised if the total count topped 60. Although who knows what the winner will do with his brand-new guns. Because if anything sounds like a good idea, it’s handing out free weaponry to people who enjoy killing as many things as possible as fast as possible without stopping for any reason.