Arizona Moves to Ban Predator, Varmint Hunting Contests
By Chris Eger
Contests to hunt varmints and predators such as coyotes could soon come to an end in Arizona. (Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Arizona conservation officials are moving to join other states in an effort backed by anti-hunting groups to ban predator hunting contests. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission last week voted 4-0 to approve a proposed rule that, if given a final green light by the if the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council, would outlaw a variety of predator or fur-bearing animal hunting contests.
The rule, first proposed in March, would define a “contest” as any sort of competition where participants register or record their entry and pay a fee to enter an organized hunt, and prizes are awarded to successful hunters. The move would lower the boom on contests organized by clubs in the state that take aim at predators and varmints ranging from coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and skunks to weasels, raccoons, beavers, badgers, ringtail cats, muskrats, otters and bobcats.
Kurt Davis, a Commission member, said the rule came after public pressure which could possibly undermine the wider sport of hunting itself in the state. “Regulated hunting fundamentally supports wildlife conservation efforts in North America,” he said in a statement. “The loss of