A proposed rule regarding, "Prizes of Value for Predator Hunting Contests” was heard by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Board meeting on May 27. Wildlife killing contests are organized events in which participants compete for prizes (typically cash or guns) to see who can kill the greatest number or the largest or smallest animals within a certain time period.
Participants may even compete to kill the youngest, mangiest or ugliest animal, or the animal with the bushiest tail. Contests may also be judged on a system of points attributed to each species killed, such as five points per coyote, three points per fox, etc.
While I support sustainable hunting, wildlife killing contests are archaic and outdated events that do not reflect the majority of Virginians' feelings towards our wildlife in 2021.
Even if wildlife killing contests are held with the idea of sport and/or predator control in mind, there is no "sport" or effective population control involved in these contests, and I and many other Virginians consider it to be an unethical form of hunting.
Should our state motto be changed from "Virginia is for Lovers" to "Virginia is for Unethical Hunters"? If not, then Virginians should contact DWR Board members and ask them to please vote to support a statewide ban on all hunting contests for coyotes and furbearers.