Stop the Coyote Killing Contest in Ontario!
For years, Chesher’s Outdoor Store near Belleville, Ontario has hosted an annual coyote hunting contest, with cash and prizes awarded to participants for killing coyotes. The hunt shop offers thousands of dollars in cash and prizes as a reward for the heaviest coyotes who are killed. The more coyotes a hunter kills, the greater their chances of winning.
Coyotes are a keystone species, commonly known as North America’s song dog, and are a vital part of ecosystems throughout Canada. They are highly intelligent dogs who care for their families in organized social structures. The coyote hunting contest also poses a risk to Algonquin wolves – a threatened species of wolf who are nearly identical in appearance to coyotes. Algonquin wolf habitat includes areas in which coyotes are commonly hunted.
It's illegal in Ontario to hunt for gain or bounty. Yet provincial officials are ignoring this law, and still allow this illegal contest to go ahead.
Animal Justice, Coyote Watch Canada, and The Fur-Bearers are suing Ontario, and asking the courts to ensure the government respects the law. On December 14, 2022, we argued in Ontario Divisional Court that the government should stop letting these illegal killing contests occur. While we wait for the judges’ decision, the hunt shop has announced their 2023 contest is going ahead.
Please join us in urgently calling on Natural Resources Minister Graydon Smith to take action against illegal hunting contests in Ontario.