Hunters in Nevada might want to find some new grounds for sport.

A new bill would make killing a coyote for sport the same equivalent as manslaughter under the eyes of the law if it passes.

On March 25, the Nevada Senate Committee on Natural Resources introduced Senate Bill 487, which would ban competitions where coyotes are killed for prizes or entertainment.

Coyotes made up the majority of calls to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (Public Domain)

 

If it passes, those caught violating the law would face the charge of a Class D Felony that carries a mandatory prison term of 1-4 years and a potential fine of up to $5,000.

In turn, because of the crime’s felony status, violators would then lose their right to vote and own firearms. The new measure would liken the killing of the animals to that of arson and manslaughter – all three carrying the same penalties.

 

“According to the authors of SB 487, killing someone or burning down a house should carry the same penalty as posting on social media about a coyote competition,” said Bruce Tague, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “This is utterly ridiculous and unwarranted. Worse yet, this bill makes each coyote killed a separate violation of the new law, meaning a judge could sentence a violator to many years in prison for killing a species that the state of Nevada is already struggling to control!”

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So… hunters are now on par with pyromaniacs and killers?

The bill is made to look like it is just banning competitions, but the bill’s phrasing uses loose terms, potentially putting those even posting about it on social media at risk. 

According to the bill, the crime would punish those shooting coyotes for competition. (Adobe Stock)

 

“The language in Senate Bill 487 is vague enough that it could easily be applied to any type of hunt where two sportsmen have a friendly competition for $1 for the first person who kills a coyote on a hunt,” said a report from The Sportsmen Alliance.

Last year, Nevada received complaints from over 1,000 citizens reporting coyote nuisances – just in urban areas alone. Nevada’s last reported injury from coyote attack on a human was just 4 months ago, in December of 2018.

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These animals routinely threaten livestock, pets, and even people. So now, a farmer merely protecting their property and livelihood may face potential jail time depending on the situation, and if convicted would lose their ability to own guns and protect their land.

Nice going, Nevada.

“It’s well known that animal-rights groups view the life of an animal as equal to that of a human being. But it’s an outrage that Nevada legislators would go down the same path when they know that coyotes are public safety threat that are only increasing” said Tague. “Instead, legislators are contemplating a bill that would make commonplace hunting practices for an overpopulated species, which threaten pets, livestock and people, a felony and would imprison sportsmen,  strip away their Second Amendment and voting rights, and put wildlife management on the same plane as human murder – which, of course, is how animal-rights activists view it. We call on the Nevada Senate to use commonsense, to protect their constituents and to reject SB 487.”

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