California wildlife officials crack down on coyote hunts


Kill a coyote, win a prize? No longer, thanks to new regulations passed by state wildlife officials.

A vote Wednesday by the state's Fish and Game Commission allows hunters to shoot as many of the predators as they wish year-round in unlimited numbers, but there may no longer be prizes awarded.

Cattleman Buck Parks, who organizes an annual hunt in Northern California, told the Associated Press that people opposed to the hunts don't understand the damage coyotes do to livestock.

"We're not focused on that one weekend hunt," Parks said. "We're focused on trying to encourage folks to get out and help manage these predators by hunting them."

Coyote hunting happens in most states across the country with no bag limit, but Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity said prize hunts are most common in the western states. In Idaho, environmentalists blocked a wolf and coyote derby from happening next month on vast wilderness areas controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Organizers say they'll hold the contest elsewhere.