As New Hampshire legislators get set to debate State Senator David Watters Senate Bill 588, which would ban coyote-hunting contests, as well as any other contest involving wildlife, a likely rabid coyote has attacked three people in the state.
According to multiple reports, a 62-year-old woman and her three dogs were chased by the coyote, with the woman and dogs being bitten before slamming the canine’s head in the door of her house. The coyote was then reported to be attacking a car on the road as a driver tried to pass. Finally, and perhaps most dangerously, the coyote attacked a toddler that was walking suburban trials with its family near the edge of town. The father was forced to kill the more-than-likely sick animal with his bare hands.
Local police said the man’s actions likely saved not just his family, but a lot of other people, too, according to the NBC affiliate.
“It’s ridiculous that Sen. Watters is bringing forth a bill that would further handcuff wildlife biologists and wildlife management practices when there are rabid coyotes attacking citizens in their own homes,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Removing methods and means of controlling growing numbers of invasive species of predators in New Hampshire is a direct threat to the state’s people, pets and livestock. If passed, you can expect to see more rabies and more attacks.”
SB 588 is part of a national trend started by animal-rights groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, to outlaw lawful hunting activities. The Sportsmen’s Alliance has fought similar legislation in a number of other states, and works to stay ahead of these coordinated attacks on common hunting practices across the country.
Current New Hampshire law allows for wildlife contests, such as big buck competitions and sporting dog field trials, to legally take place in the state. Under this broadly written bill, nearly any organized hunting that involves two or more people, where even only a ribbon is awarded, would be a criminal act.
The new language in SB 588 would charge any person or organization involved in a contest that takes or hunts wildlife for prizes or entertainment with a B-level misdemeanor, which carries a fine up to a $1,200. As a result, any hunter who buys dinner for another hunter for the most rabbits, ducks or the biggest deer harvested would be in violation of the law.
Additionally, SB 588 will also outlaw nearly any competition related to hunting, including hunt tests and field trials for dogs, as prizes are often awarded to the winners of such competitions. Hunters depend on quality dogs, and a ban on these competitions eliminates the system through which superior genetics, bloodlines and abilities are put to the test.
Source: Sportsmen’s Alliance