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Coconino Wildlife Killing Contest: Teaching Kids Bloodsports

Sedona AZ (January 6, 2019) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Sedona bobcats

Teaching Kids Bloodsports? Not my 4H.

Recently I discovered a local 4H group is supporting and the beneficiary of an upcoming wildlife killing contest (WKC) called March Madness in Coconino County. This WKC awards prizes to participants for points based on the animals they kill including bobcats (3), coyotes (2) and foxes (1).

Growing up in rural NH where generations of my family owned and operated a farm, I was a young and proud member of 4H. I recall an experience rich in animal husbandry where we worked on projects entrenched in agriculture and science where I proudly showed my yearling calf at the annual fair.

What is not part of those memories is being taught to hunt through the senseless slaughter of wildlife for cash and prizes. Yes, we hunted, using fair chase principles and consuming the deer during the harsh months of winter as a sustainable food source.


The promotion for this WKC on social media states “ … continue to support the education of future sportsmen.” I understand passing along this tradition is vital to some however when did WKCs become hunting? To call these “contests” hunting is an insult to a recreation many Arizona residents enjoy. Hunting honors and respects the animal with a code of ethics. WKCs generally include the killing of any animal, without limits, for cash and prizes, using any means available. Once complete; generally, the carcasses are left to rot on our public lands.

Some, including AZGFD, say WKCs continue because they follow hunting regulations and therefore legal. Just because something is legal does that mean it’s ethical and moral? Moreover, if something isn’t ethical or moral, should it then be legal?

I am pretty sure the 4H I was a member of would have a lot to say about that.

Betsy Klein
Sedona, AZ

Betsy Klein
Co-founder / Plan B to Save Wolves
Co-founder / Sedona Wolf Week
Founder / I AM Wolf Nation™
A 501c(3) corporation created to support organizations in their mission to protect, preserve and rescue wolves and wolf dogs through advocacy, education, and funding.

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  1. Mark says:

    The indiscriminate killing of wildlife is an abomination and should be abolished ASAP

  2. L'Eliz says:

    I have made donations to protect wildlife, but Arizona has done just the opposite by allowing a “legal” wildlife killing contest. It must have been some misoktenosistic lawmaker(s) who pushed to make this type of barbarism…ahem…”legal”.

  3. Dead chickens says:

    Ever have your free range chicken flock wiped out by a fox or coyote? The fox and coyote both scaled a 5 foot fence. How about your free range peacock turned into a pile of feathers?

    So you need to keep the chickens in a prison?

    Co back to the paved city, you will feel at home.

  4. kathleen cheatham says:

    When I was a 4H leader and my kids were in 4H, we never had groups going out and killing animals for sport. People wonder why we have mass shootings now, really? We teach kids its family fun to go kill a wildlife family, we have a teacher that fed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his students and he gets found not guilty by a jury of his peers!! The NRA pours big money into these garbage killing contests and then wonder why people are sick of gun violence. We better figure out quick what is ethical and what isn’t and start raising our children to cherish life instead of snuffing it out.

  5. Sam Colt says:

    Just curious,how do you think you would do without a gun against a grizzly bear, a mountain lion or a pack of wolves? They would look at you like food. Would you try and reason with them? Would you have them join you in a circle and sing kumbaya?

    What happens when two wolves and a sheep vote to decide who is for dinner?

    Sure you might get lost in the wilderness, but don’t worry, you’re biodegradable. Probably after being passed through a coyote or a wolf.

    Or would you want men with guns to burn up fossil fuels trying to rescue your stupid xxs ?

  6. You're dinner says:

    March 8, 2010, a young woman was killed by wolves while jogging near Chignik, Alaska.

    Wyman was a wildlife biologist who worked as a caretaker in the Wolf Centre section of the Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve. She was killed by five captive wolves on the third day of her employment.

    Cochrane was employed in trapping animals when he was attacked by a large pack of timber wolves. When searchers arrived at the horrific scene they found the bones of Cochrane’s body, a rifle with a broken buttstock, and the bones of eleven huge timber wolves. Seven of the wolves had been shot and four had been clubbed to death by Cochrane’s rifle buttstock. The remaining wolf pack overwhelmed Cochrane causing his death.

    Nature is a bit brutal. Even more so to the stupid and unarmed. Wolves are just big friendly dogs, NOT.

  7. Candice Berner says:

    Berner, a teacher and avid jogger, was discovered dead along a road by snowmobilers, who found wolf tracks in the adjacent snow. The Alaska State Medical Examiner ruled that her death was caused by “multiple injuries due to animal mauling.” A series of necropsies performed on wolves culled in the surrounding area shortly after the attack ruled out rabies, sickness, or wolf-dog hybridisation as being causes of the attack. The verified case was notable as being the first recorded fatal wolf attack in Alaska in which DNA evidence was gathered to confirm wolf involvement.

  8. Al B says:

    Belliveau and a friend were hunting when a band of wolves surrounded and overcame them, despite the young men firing shots into the pack. The friend climbed a tree and watched as Belliveau was torn to pieces by the wolves at the foot of the same tree. The wolves kept Belliveau’s companion trapped in the tree for several more hours until Belliveau’s co-workers from a nearby railroad construction camp arrived and drove the wolves away.

    Gee, I wonder why wolves were hunted to near extinction?

  9. Vicious predators says:

    Do you know why you have not heard many stories of wolf and coyote attacks recently?

    It’s because they were almost wiped out by hunters 100 years ago. Those that are re introducing particularly wolves, must not like humans, sheep or cows very much. I can think of few worse more frightening ways to die than being ripped apart by a pack of wolves.

  10. Vincent Eagle says:

    Thanks Betsy Klein for pointing out the 4H role. Let’s encourage this group to rethink its position in a WRC and hunt appropriately. I love to hunt but hunting for trophies isn’t my cultural upbringing but hunting for food consumption is. My uncle killed nearly a 100 doves with friends when he was a young teen and was heavily fined. His father and mother made him work off the fine at a penny an hour. He was taken to task by his hunting buddies and he never hunted like that ever again in his long and good life. He told many a young kid his story and we listened. My uncle would tell this 4H group to honor their history and use hunting skills appropriately.

  11. @vicious predators says:

    Not to worry about “getting ripped apart”. I know of no one getting attacked by wolves as they sit behind thier computer (deleted by editor)

  12. Sherry Kashiwa says:

    @vincenteagle Important comment to Klein letter b/c it’s not about wolves it’s about responsible kids hunting //// you others probably have idiots for kids based on the lack of letter comprehension sent via iPhone

  13. Idiots says:

    @Sherry Kashiwa , you’re the idiot. My kid is a college professor. If you don’t balance the predators and prey you get starvation of one or the other. If you had a brain to engage you might take things a step further and think about if if you make it a contest you don’t have to hire professional hunters or offer a bounty on every kill.

    Perhaps it saves a few tax dollars, which I’m sure you are on the receiving end of.

  14. Sherry Kashiwa says:

    @idiots you again proved yourself, say 4H say 4H say 4H and god bless your son who teaches ceramics 101

  15. Vey Riggs, Flag says:

    4H shouldn’t be involved.

  16. @Sherry Kashiwa says:

    Does 4H chicken come in a package?

    Would a 4H member like to have a 4H chicken to sell or get eggs from after they raised it or do they expect their 4H chicken to be predator food? Or is it OK for the fox or coyote to eat your 4H chicken because you did not really want eggs or a chicken to breed anyway?

    I can tell you’ve never had a fox or coyote kill your chickens. Especially a socialized one that runs up to you to get treats. I have.

    My daughter teaches lower division and masters law. To prove once again you don’t know a thing about anything you are talking about.

    Now, go back to the big city. You moved from there because your were unhappy. Don’t try to change the place you moved to into what you moved from. We don’t want your kind in the country.

    God blesses and protects drunks and idiots. God bless you too.

  17. Sherry Kashiwa says:

    @idiots his child’s birth mother was the intelligent replicator, thanks Betsey Klein for great letter, if 4H leader is like @idiots it’s a lost cause but you give chances to other 4H for best hunting practices, my last comment on subject, great site

  18. @Sherry Kashiwa says:

    You’re half right about one thing ” child’s birth mother was the intelligent replicator”, I’m her proud mother, although her father was intelligent also. That is the only thing you have gotten even half right, and it was unintentional. Now go back to California. There are lots of fruits, nuts and crazies there. You will fit right in.

    Also, God has a capital “G”. Some of us have faith.

    Let us protect our 4H livestock.

  19. Penny Pincher says:

    these exchanges get to heart of problem

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