By Brian Maffly
“Late fall marks the resumption of Utah’s wildlife killing contests, where an unknown number of coyotes and other animals are shot by teams angling to take the largest haul of dead “dogs” stacked in the bed of their pickups by the end of the day.”
Events such as these are legal because wildlife managers are trained to ignore the interests of individual animals and only focus on the impacts on populations and species. The fact that, “In one post, hunters are posed with their middle fingers extended and the carcasses linked to form the letters FJB in an apparent disapproving reference to the current occupant of the White house,” shows how wildlife issues are part of the larger culture wars and values conflicts in society.
“’They’re totally unethical. They accomplish no management goal. They are disruptive to the ecosystem, they cause a lot of pain and suffering and only for one thing, and that is the gratification of the participants,’ said Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Salt Lake City-based Western Wildlife Conservancy… ‘Wildlife is a public trust. Even if it’s not managed by the state, it still belongs to all.’”