- A coyote on a cliff.coyote silhouette 2 image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com
In western states like Oregon, predator hunting has been completely legal for decades or more, despite protests by animal rights activists. The activists are especially against mass hunting events called derbies, where participants attempt to kill as many predators as possible, such as coyotes or cougars. There are several benefits that pro-hunting Oregon residents cite for their hunting of predators.
- Many ranchers who own sheep and cattle are in support of coyote and cougar mass hunting. This is because those animals occasionally to frequently prey on ranchers' livestock. Losing these animals causes the ranchers to lose money. Reducing the number of predators reduces the number of sheep and cattle lost each year. This, in turn, prevents a loss of profit.
Funding for Wildlife
- Much of the wildlife funding in Oregon is supplied by taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and the purchase of licenses and special stamps used by hunters. The funding includes research programs and law enforcement in wetlands and nesting habitats. Reducing the amount of predator hunting reduces the number of hunters, and thus the funding that goes into the state of Oregon's wildlife program.
- If predators become overpopulated, the population of their food sources will dwindle. For example, the populations of prey animals like elk, rabbits, turkeys and deer may fall too low when the coyote population grows too large. When people hunt predators, the food chain is balanced to the appropriate amounts of predator and prey.
- There are some cases of coyotes attacking pet dogs and cats, and even children. As more coyotes get accustomed to living in suburban areas, they find themselves more and more in human contact. This does not always lead to conflict, as many coyotes are content with rifling through garbage and preying on other wildlife. It is the occasional human and coyote conflict that has led those in support of predator hunting to desire further reducing the coyote population.