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Action Alert: 2017 Coyote-Hunting Contest in Marshall, Minnesota

posted Dec 17, 2016, 4:30 PM by Scott Slocum   [ updated Dec 25, 2016, 3:21 PM ]

12/17/2016 update to the Petition to Prohibit Wildlife-Killing Contests in Minnesota.


The third annual "Save the Birds" Coyote Hunting Tournament is set to take place January 13-14, 2017 in Marshall, MN.

Talking points in opposition to this event:

  1. Killing predators is not an effective or ethical way to improve prey populations or hunting.

  2. No organization with a scientific predator-management policy should be sponsoring this event.

  3. This event is not appropriate for a public place.

Organizations to talk with or write to:

  1. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

  2. Pheasants Forever.

  3. Brau Brothers Brewing Company and the City of Marshall, MN.

Their addresses are provided below. Sample letters are attached (scroll all the way down).

Talking point #1: killing predators is not an effective or ethical way to improve prey populations for hunting.

The poster for the 2017 "Save the Birds" Coyote Hunting Tournament--in addition to the misleading slogan across the top--features a photo of a coyote with its jaws open, closing in on a pheasant that, for some reason, isn't flying away. The first question that probably occurs to conservationists, birdwatchers, biologists, and wildlife managers is "why isn't the pheasant flying away?" Assuming that the photo depicts a natural event, one answer might be that the pheasant was injured and/or diseased. In that case, the coyote would be providing one of the ecological services that predators and scavengers provide--removing injured and diseased animals from the prey population (thus making the population stronger), and removing carrion from the landscape (thus facilitating its return to the earth).

The event organizers, however, seem to be posing a different question: "why are we letting this coyote steal our game?" They're ignoring the science, and in its place they're promoting misinformation, trying to make it look more appealing by lacing it with cash and merchandise from vendors and sponsors of the event. There's money involved, from the marketing of the event, to the awarding of door prizes and tournament awards, to the vendor promotions, and finally to the operation of a raffle in the guise of charitable gambling. In other words, the organizers and sponsors are selling firearms and ammunition, optics, lights, acoustic and electronic calls, clothing and accessories, and other supplies--as if they're recruiting hunters to some kind of elite tactical unit. But they're not, of course; they're just out there engaging in a cruel and biologically-pointless event.

The information gap between what we know from science and what we're told by the promoters of this event needs to be addressed among conservationists, wildlife managers, and legislators. That's one of the goals of the Petition to Prohibit Wildlife-Killing Contests in Minnesota.


See the Event Poster

The event poster can be viewed on the facebook page SaveTheBirdsCoyoteHunt and through the "forms & docs" link on the event listing at CoyoteContest.com. The photo is catalogued at Shutterstock.com.

Good news!

Thanks to these two organizations for withdrawing their support from this event:

  • National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

  • Marshall MN Visitors Bureau.

Thanks to the petition signers who wrote to the NWTF last season to ask them to follow their own good advice on how to promote turkey populations and turkey hunting. Their advice: to focus on restoring and maintaining high-quality turkey habitat (and to leave the predators alone).

And thanks to those who wrote to the Marshall Visitors Bureau last season to point out how its sponsorship was detracting from its mission of promoting local tourism--for people in general, not just for one special interest.


Talking point #2: No organization with a scientific predator-management policy should be sponsoring this event.

For some reason (maybe we haven't reached them yet), Pheasants Forever (PF) has continued its sponsorship of this event this season. Now it's time to write to them again, to ask them to follow their own good advice on how to promote pheasant populations and pheasant hunting. Their advice is the same as that of the NWTF: focus on restoring and maintaining high-quality pheasant habitat (and leave the predators alone).


See the NWTF and PF Recommendations on Habitat and Predator Management

The published recommendations of NWTF and PF on habitat and predator management are available online by searching their websites for the keyword "predator", or by following the references provided in last season's petition update MN coyote-killing contest deceptively labeled to "Save the Birds."


Talking point #3: This event is not appropriate for a public place.

Brau Brothers Brewing Company is a taproom in the City of Marshall, MN. The neighborhood includes mixed retail, residential, school, and other community properties. This an not an appropriate site for the handling, weighing, and public display of blood-soaked coyote carcasses. After the contestants have gone in for supper, the carcasses are still out in the open trailer in the parking lot, to be disposed of, later, by the event organizers. No guidelines have been published on the personal hygiene of contestants entering the taproom from the carcass check-in area. This might not be the most appetizing image for customers at the Brau Brothers' taproom or the Perkins Restaurant and Bakery across the parking lot, or for the residents and visitors to the City of Marshall.


Please write!


Point #1: please write to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) and the Governor's Office about the following issues:

  • Killing predators is not an effective or ethical way to improve prey populations for hunting.

  • Killing for fun and prizes is bending the rules of sportsmanship.

  • Petitioners have submitted a proposal for Minnesota hunting-contest regulations.

  • Petitioners are still waiting for a response from the MN DNR.


Mr. Bob Meier

Assistant Commissioner for Policy & Government Relations

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Box 37

500 Lafayette Rd

Saint Paul, MN 55155-4037

Telephone: 651-259-5024

Email: bob.meier@state.mn.us

The MN DNR has nothing to do with this event, but has so far declined to take a position against it, or to take a position in support of the regulation of hunting contests in Minnesota. The MN DNR is fully aware of this event, and has sent Conservation Officers to the event, to counsel event participants in legal coyote-hunting practices.


Governor Mark Dayton

Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor

116 Veterans Service Building

20 W 12th Street

Saint Paul, MN 55155

Telephone: 651-201-3400

Toll Free: 800-657-3717

 Contact form: http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/

The Office and staff of the Minnesota Governor and Lieutenant Governor have nothing to do with this event, but have so far declined to take a position against it, or to take a position in support of the regulation of hunting contests in Minnesota. The Office and staff are fully aware of this event.


Point #2: please write to Pheasants Forever to ask them to follow their own scientific recommendations on predator management, and to end their sponsorship of this event:


Pheasants Forever, Inc.

1783 Buerkle Circle

Saint Paul, MN 55110

Local telephone: 651-773-2000

Toll-free telephone: 877-773-2070

Contact form: https://www.pheasantsforever.org/Contact-Us.aspx


Point #3: please write to the Brau Brothers' taproom to point out that this is not an appropriate event for a public venue in the city:


Brau Brothers Brewing Company

910 East Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Telephone: 507-929-2337

Contact form: http://braubeer.com/contact-brau-bros/


Point #3: please write to neighboring businesses and public officials--making it clear that we understand that they are not associated with this event--but voicing our concern for the negative image that this event might give to neighboring businesses and the community as a whole.


Concerned Local Organizations--not involved with this event.

The owner of the Marshall, MN Perkins Restaurant & Bakery called this morning, 12/19/2016, to remind petitioners "to be very clear, Perkins has nothing to do with this."

He's concerned, and grateful that petitioners have let him know about the coyote-hunting event that's coming up again in 2017 in the parking lot that the restaurant shares with the event host Brau Brothers Brewing Company.

He'll be calling Brau Brothers to talk about this, and he'll be looking into it further.

As always, petitioners are asked to be on their best behavior when contacting people and organizations about this event, and this Petition against it.

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery

1020 East Southview Drive

Marshall, MN 56258

Telephone: 507-532-7381

Contact form: http://www.perkinsrestaurants.com/feedback/

Perkins has nothing to do with this event. They are located across the parking lot from the site of the event at Brau Brothers Brewing Company.


Dollar Tree

1000 East Southview Drive

Marshall, MN 56258

Facebook Contact: https://www.facebook.com/pg/dollartree/about/

Dollar Tree has nothing to do with this event. They are located adjacent to the site of the event at Brau Brothers Brewing Company.


Hy-Vee (store, clinic, floral, fuel, Market Grille, and pharmacy)

900 East Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Telephone (store): 507-532-2247

Contact form (corporate): https://www.hy-vee.com/contact.aspx

Hy-Vee has nothing to do with this event. They are located across East Southview Drive from the site of the event at Brau Brothers Brewing Company.


Dr. Steven Meister

Marshall MN City Council, Ward 2

344 West Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Email: steven.meister@ci.marshall.mn.us

The City of Marshall has nothing to do with this event, but could look into an Ordinance against the indecent public display of animal carcasses.


Mr. Larry Doom

Marshall MN City Council, Ward 2

344 West Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Email: larry.doom@ci.marshall.mn.us

The City of Marshall has nothing to do with this event, but could look into an Ordinance against the indecent public display of animal carcasses.


Mr. Robert J. Byrnes

Marshall MN Mayor

344 West Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Email: robert.byrnes@ci.marshall.mn.us

The City of Marshall has nothing to do with this event, but could look into an Ordinance against the indecent public display of animal carcasses.


Please write to any or all of the following organizations to address points that are important to you (in a polite and respectful manner, please):

  • Marshall Independent

508 W. Main Street

Marshall, MN 56258

Email: news@marshallindependent.com

The Marshall Independent has promoted this event in the past, and been critical of the Petition to Prohibit Wildlife-Killing Contests in Minnesota.


  • Your local newspaper.

  • Your City Officials.

  • Your sportsmen's organization.


Thank you!

Scott Slocum

Organizer of the Petition to Prohibit Wildlife-Killing Contests in Minnesota



Coyote Ready to Pounce. Photo by Lori Iverson, 2010. From the U.S. National Digital Library.

Coyote Ready to Pounce.

Photo by Lori Iverson, 2010.

From the U.S. National Digital Library. A coyote on the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming listens intently as it detects movement under the snow. Seconds after the picture is taken, the coyote pounces and catches a small animal.


Ċ
Scott Slocum,
Dec 25, 2016, 4:15 PM
Ċ
Scott Slocum,
Dec 25, 2016, 4:15 PM
Ċ
Scott Slocum,
Dec 25, 2016, 4:15 PM