Prizes for coyote hunting banned by state Fish and Game Commission

California Fish and Game officials vote to prohibit contests for hunting coyotes and other nongame animals

The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to ban hunting contests that award prizes for nongame animals such as coyotes, beavers and bobcats.

In a 4-1 vote, the commission prohibited "giving inducements of any kind" in hunting contests for "nongame species and fur-bearing animals," said Clark Blanchard, a Fish and Game spokesman. The ban will put an end to organized coyote hunts in rural parts of California that awarded up to $500 and other gifts to top hunters. 

The competition was started after an increase in coyotes attacking livestock and destroying crops.

The hunts were brought to the commission's attention after a gray wolf dubbed OR7 was found roaming between the California and Oregon border, Blanchard said.

"There was concern that somebody hunting for coyote would mistake the wolf for a coyote," he said.

Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin was the lone dissenter. She asked for more studies to see how a ban would affect the agriculture industry and cattle ranchers.

The ban is expected to take effect in early 2015.

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