State land commissioner says they are not welcome
Following the lead of the federal Bureau of Land Management, state Land Commissioner Ray Powell said Thursday that those involved in a mass coyote hunt should stay off public land.
Gunhawk Firearms in Los Lunas is sponsoring the hunt, which it initially billed as a coyote contest. Those with the most kills will win rifles or a shotgun from the store.
“The participants in this commercial and unregulated exploitation of wildlife do not have a permit or lease to be on state trust lands,” Powell said. “Individuals killing coyotes on state trust lands will be considered in trespass.”
Powell, right, said mass killings of coyotes were wrong.
“The non-specific, indiscriminant killing methods used in this commercial and unrestricted coyote killing contest are not about hunting or sound land management. These contests are about personal profit, animal cruelty, and the severe disruption of the delicate balance of this desert ecosystem,” Powell said.
Mark Chavez, owner of Gunhawk Firearms and promoter of the hunt, said its purpose was to better manage wildlife populations and assert the rights of hunters.