Animal Protection Groups Stop Coyote Killing Contest

Posted on July 25, 2014

Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote Settle Lawsuit and Shut Down Illegal Gambling and Coyote Hunt

Megan Backus, ALDF
Camilla Fox, Project Coyote

coyote-in-LA-article-image-500pxBEND, Oregon – Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), along with co-plaintiffs Project Coyote and an individual Oregon resident, settled a lawsuit against Duane Freilino, organizer of the annual JMK Coyote Hunting Contest in Crane, Harney County, Oregon. Freilino’s killing contest, held annually for eight seasons, required hunters to “buy in” to the contest by paying an entry fee of $100. Top teams won cash prizes totaling more than $10,000 for various kills, including “most kills” and “largest kill.” According to ALDF’s lawsuit, which was filed with Project Coyote this past January, the killing contest and associated betting competition constituted a gambling enterprise, which is illegal and deemed a public nuisance in the state of Oregon, where under state law a court may stop illegal gambling events. In response to the lawsuit, Freilino had filed a counterclaim for $100,000. Arguing the counter-suit was an attempt at intimidation, the groups filed a motion to dismiss the counter-suit, leading Freilino to drop his meritless claim and settle the lawsuit against him by agreeing never to host another hunting contest in Oregon and to pay $5,252 in attorney fees to the animal groups.

Previous JMK events resulted in the killing of nearly 150 coyotes. Under Oregon wildlife laws, there is no bag limit or restriction on the killing of coyotes. Animal and environmental groups have long expressed concern about the risk to habitat and wildlife posed by killing contests and countered the claims made that such killing contests provide an effective wildlife management tool.The Oregon branch of the Federal Bureau of Land Management has previously denied Mr. Freilino a special use permit for the killing contest, which took place on public land.

“Most people are shocked to learn that it is legal to kill coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and other wildlife as part of a contest or tournament for prizes and ‘recreational fun’,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “They’re even more shocked to learn that hundreds of such contests take place each year in the U.S. killing thousands of wild animals.” Project Coyote is currently leading an effort to ban wildlife-killing contests in California.

“The mass killing of coyotes and other native wildlife during killing contests is cruel and environmentally destructive,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Coyotes are indiscriminately blown apart by bullets for profit and ALDF is glad that now hundreds of coyotes can live a peaceful life in the precious ecosystems of Oregon’s wilderness.”

Copies of the complaint are available upon request.

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

Project Coyote is a North America coalition of wildlife educators, scientists, predator friendly ranchers, and community leaders promoting coexistence between people and wildlife, and compassionate conservation through education, science, and advocacy. For more information, please visit

47 thoughts on “Animal Protection Groups Stop Coyote Killing Contest

  1. Sandee Rodriguez says:


  2. Karen Blanchard says:

    Please help protect our coyotes from extinction! We need them for ecological balance! Thank you!

    1. Please stop! We need our wildlife to balance our world!

  3. Darlene Abbott says:

    Yes I agree killing contested should be illegal and not allowed period.

  4. Frances says:

    My future and the next generation includes wildlife! Your efforts are not wasted and appreciated. I am interested in building awareness of this trend of wildlife ecosystem issue by integrating art and working with scientists and students.

  5. Help these poor…creatures

  6. d says:

    Feel their pain

  7. Thank you all , from my whole heart and being for fighting this insane practice , it means a lot to all of us animal rights advocates , thank you so,so very much , Sincerely , maureen Douglas Woodard

  8. jim hughes says:

    its wrong

  9. corrina faulkner says:

    These beautiful animals should be protected so our children and grandchildren can appreciate them too. We need to be nurturing our wildlife not destroying it.

  10. Susanne Trout says:

    I know how hard you work but this is one victory that really gives us hope. Never give up. “Never give up. Never, never, never give up!” ~ Winston Churchill

    Thank you!

  11. Elizabeth Herrera says:

    Stop this insanity now!

  12. Janet in Cambridge MA says:

    Wonderful news! Thanks for all you do for the animals’ protection.

  13. lotta lindsjö says:

    This is ahappy day. Thanks to all of you who DID IT.

  14. lina Nicolia says:

    Thank you ! well done !

  15. Constance Betz says:

    It would be a miracle if you could do the same for our beloved WOLVES, too.

  16. EYG says:

    Too bad it boiled down to the gambling and not the blood-thirsty cruelty. But the outcome is good.

  17. Chee Siew Im says:

    It takes nothing away from humans to be kind to animals

  18. vicki stone says:

    Man is determined to ruin this earth and all in it ! So sad that anyone could just KILL an animal just because horiible. I worry about the coyote because of my small dogs bt I would not just go out and KILL them for no reason either.

  19. sylvia says:

    leave coyotes alone!!!

  20. Line Ringgaard says:

    PLEASE shut down Oregon coyote killing contest!

  21. Heather thompson says:

    Please stop the killing!

  22. Victoria Berón says:

    I am against this action, this is cruelty.

  23. Stephanie Hawkins says:

    Thank heavens you managed to stop this awful blood lust killing. Never give up on these wonderful animals that deserve the right to life.

  24. Kimberly Brown says:

    Like wolves, coyotes are misunderstood and pay the highest price because of that misinformation and bad press. People have to learn that they are part of nature and have to live with it. Humanity must stop dominating and wiping out other species. We might just find that we are putting our own species at risk.

  25. Els dalhuisen says:

    Please stop the killing!!

  26. Els dalhuisen says:

    Please stop the killing!!!!!

  27. Hank Roland says:

    Humans need to STOP using religion, culture , and entertainment, greed for money, and claims at management, to kill other species.
    We are the deadliest predators to walk the earth, causing the extinction of many species.
    It is not the foxes, wolves, wild horse, burros, or coyotes that need ‘management’, it is humans.

    1. Delilahae says:

      Very Well Said!. :)

  28. spark says:

    Evolve humans, evolve. stop these barbaric practices

  29. carmen says:

    Worshipping and pampering dogs, yet killing and destroying their cousins baffles me!

    I love all animals and don’t eat them or use their skin.

    Animals are not here to be used and abused.
    with compassion,
    <3 carmen

  30. Elizabeth Mullaney says:

    We need this in our state of New Mexico! Can you help our wildlife rights groups here end the same practice? It is the most inhumane disgusting display of human barbarism against wildlife! Leaves me apoplectic! And when the entire ecosystem is disrupted because of this senseless slaughter, and we have not 3-5 cases of plague a year because pests aren’t being controlled, but hundreds or more cases of plague, then they’ll try to take 5 surviving cayotes and rebuild a meager genetically hampered population to undo what they’ve done. Leave nature alone! She’s smarter than we could ever be and has your back! She knows what she’s doing!

  31. Gary Foster says:

    Harney County is around 16,000 square miles with around 7,000 people. In the future we must depopulate these rural areas – currently populated by these eco terrorists – and provide homes for our nation’s wildlife.

    There are plenty of empty housing in many cities which could accommodate these people. Also Wallowa County, similar situation. People there refusing to live alongside nature and whining about wolves.

    We need a comprehensive plan to let these areas rewild

  32. I am disgusted that Oregon would be part of such an antiquated practice. I am sickened.

  33. Holiday Lammon says:

    Please leave the coyotes alone! What a sick contest!!!

  34. Vicki Goodyear says:

    Please stop the coyote killing contest…it’s not right…where’s your heart people!

  35. deborah ruiz says:

    This cruelty needs to stop. Killing coyotes it not a game. You taki g a life.

  36. Carolyn Silvestro says:

    Thank you for your work in stopping this barbaric “contest”. People continue to astonish me with their cruelty, so please keep up your great work for the animals!

  37. Sabine Danelon says:

    Thank you ‘ please please ensure all adhere to this new legislation

  38. Stop the cruel coyotes killing contests.
    You are barbaric people! kill yourselves rather!

  39. hatfeild says:

    I love killing Coyotes. It is a lot of fun. You guys should try it sometime

  40. jean mazza says:

    this is horrific, i can’t believe people can be so insensitive to animals, i love all animals, that is why i am a vegan :)

  41. Kerry Garcia says:

    Stop this!!!!! Where has the compassion and humanity gone???? Our world is full of evil evil people!!!!

  42. mae naher says:

    to Hatfield, you are one sick person. You get a thrill out of this? Next you will be hunting humans. Sick jerk!

  43. Jamie P Eisele says:

    These are are important animals; vital to the western Eco-system.

  44. Patrizia Scally says:

    Animal Protection Groups Stop Coyote Killing Contest

  45. Jackie lauth says:

    The world is changing. These are no longer the dark ages. Killing for sport or game is disrespectful to the living.

Be a Partner in Protection!

Donate monthly to help animals.

or make a one-time gift »

ALDF's Online Store

Help fund our lifesaving work!


Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.

Join Us

Follow ALDF on these networks:

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.