Critics complain about Georgia's coyote-killing contest - CBS46 News

Critics complain about Georgia's coyote-killing contest

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Critics are complaining about the state of Georgia's plan to have a coyote-killing contest.

In Georgia, hunting and trapping coyotes are legal, however, ecologist Larry Wilson with Atlanta Coyote Project doesn't like the idea of the state of Georgia planning a coyote-killing contest.

"A contest to kill a predator, a wild animal when DNR is supposed to be protecting diversity of wildlife," says Wilson.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is promoting what's called the Georgia Coyote Challenge. Participants will be able to kill as many as five of the animals a month from March through August for a chance to win a lifetime hunting license.

But Wilson calls the contest inhumane.

"I just think it's wrong, like I said ecologically," says Wilson. "To persecute an animal in such a way for no reason...for the DNR to come out with something like this, I thought...we're past this."

Wilson says there's a prejudice against predators and says there should be a balance between predators and prey.

Right now, there is no closed season for hunting coyotes. Tina Johannsen with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says the program is based on something that is already happening.

"The killing of coyotes is going on right now all across the state...It is legal to take coyotes if they're endangering your livestock, confronting you or your pets," says Johannsen.

Wilson wants the Department of Natural Resources to stop the challenge immediately and says he will continue to educate people about the existing problem.

"I think it would be a lot easier to pull the plug on it before it starts," says Wilson.

Wilson says other states have banned similar contests. 

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