Gun-store owner Mark Chavez says his right to sponsor a mass coyote hunt trumps complaints from any group accusing him of animal cruelty.
Chavez is charging two-member teams a $50 entry free for the hunt, scheduled for Nov. 17-18. Whoever kills the most coyotes during that weekend will win a shotgun or semiautomatic rifle from his store, Gunhawk Firearms in Los Lunas.
Two conservation groups, the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians, on Monday accused Chavez of being unethical for encouraging indiscriminate killing of coyotes.
“Mindless, random, body-count killing contests benefit neither nature nor livestock owners. They serve only to feed human bloodlust and ego,” said Mary Katherine Ray of the Sierra Club.
Wendy Keefover, director of carnivore protection for WildEarth Guardians, said ethical hunting involves a fair chase. The purpose of the Gunhawk event is to use animals as live targets, she said.