An annual contest that encourages hunters to kill as many coyotes as they can in one day will be going ahead on Saturday, despite threats against the organizer.
The DKD Coyote Tournament will be holding its fifth annual competition just outside of Edmonton — the event's Facebook page says the location of the check-in will be announced the day of.
Teams of two are encouraged to hunt down as many coyotes as possible. Awards are handed out not only for the number caught, but for side categories such as "smallest coyote" and "mangiest coyote."
The rules specify that coyotes must be hunted: "NO road kills, Poisoned, Trapped, or Snared entries accepted."
"When we glorify killing at that level... it leaves a bad taste in most people's mouths,"
The organizer, Paul, who says he only goes by his first name for his family's safety as he has received threats, told the Calgary Sun he feels the only reason people are upset is because he called the event a "contest."
Lesley Sampson, a member of Coyote Watch Canada, says culls like this can actually be harmful to the social structure of coyote packs.
Coyote hunting is legal in Alberta, as long as the hunter has permission to do so on the land.
"Guys are out shooting coyotes, no matter what. This is just some friendly competition between teams," says Paul, in an interview with CBC News.
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On October 5, 2012, a family from Vegreville, Alberta were hunting in along a road in the forest, 80 km south of Grand Prairie. At a time RCMP claimed to be around 5;25 pm, a young woman in her mid twenties was shot, suffering a wound in her torso. A STARS helicopter flew her to a hospital in Grand Prairie, where she died.
70 miles north of the community in northern Alberta. A 60 year old man, and his 81 year old hunting partner went into the woods, after the 60 year old spotted a deer. A short time after the two got separated the 81 year old man, accidentally shot and killed his partner.
In December 2009, 55 year old Philip Moore was hunting with three others in the woods, 13 km northwest of Bentley. In another incident where a hunter believed to see a deer, Herbert Stanley Meister was accused of shooting Moore twice, and was brought up on charges. Meister, who Moore's son claims was not a friend of the deceased pleaded guilty after a more than two year court battle.
Not all accidents have been caused by gun. A body was found in Sundre that showed signs of a bear mauling. An autopsy was performed on 48-year-old hunter Robert Wagner of Didsbury, and it was confirmed he died as a result of the bear attack
In 2006, the Government of Alberta banned the hunting of grizzly bears, due to their dwindling population. in 2010, they were listed as endangered species. Three years later, The Alberta Fish and Game Association, asked the government to lift to the ban. The last known estimate from 2008, suggests the number of grizzlies in Alberta sits at fewer than 700.