Philosophers, leaders, theologians and mystics have looked to nature for truth and wisdom since time immemorial. Socrates, Gandhi, Thoreau, St. Francis, and many other important historical figures have taught us to look to nature for our lessons. Entire groups of people have all conveyed the same message, and none more so than Native Americans. The original inhabitants of this land were keen observers of the lessons in nature, and because of this, the coyote was highly revered. Determination, cunning, resilience and balance in nature were some of the key virtues that our ancestors embraced in the coyote. The coyote held a special place on the animal totem that denoted sanctity and reverence. Fast forward to today: these sacred creatures are now "legally" killed in droves by people who have lost respect for life.
Coyote killing contests (CKCs) have swept all parts of this country where reason has fled. Distinct from hunting, which is driven by a need to sustain, CKCs are fueled by abject lust: lust for money, power, thrill and status. Incentives for the highest kill rate can range from weaponry to outdoors equipment, and from hundred to tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. Propagandists for CKCs belligerently claim that their activities support the ranchers and farmers who own livestock, but this noble claim quickly loses legitimacy in the light of scientific inquiry. In total, fewer than five percent of ranching losses are attributed to predation. Rather than trapping and killing, there are many more effective measures of reducing losses - increasing herd density and grazing management being key among them.