New York to Outlaw Wildlife Killing Contests

After years of work by a coalition of advocacy groups, including AWI, the New York legislature passed a bill in June to ban wildlife killing contests, with certain exceptions, including contests involving white-tailed deer, turkey, and bear. This legislation, which the governor is expected to sign in coming months, will make New York the ninth state to outlaw such events. In wildlife killing contests, participants kill animals for cash or prizes based on the number, weight, or size of the animals killed. More than 20 contests took place across New York in January and February of this year. During one, at least 200 animals were killed over a three-day period, with $10,000 paid out among the 636 participants.

Principles of fair chase are frequently disregarded during killing contests, as participants use bait, night vision equipment, thermal imaging, and electronic devices to attract animals with sounds that mimic prey or distress calls of wounded young. Later, away from public view, carcasses are often dumped. An untold number of additional animals are orphaned by these contests and left to die from thirst, starvation, predation, or exposure. 

Killing contests are inhumane, compromise the effective management of wildlife populations, contravene principles of ethical hunting, fail to increase game populations or reduce livestock conflicts, and harm ecosystems. This is why AWI serves on the Steering Committee of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, which works at the federal and state levels to ban these cruel events.

Read more articles about: