Posted at: 11/16/2012 6:57 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A controversial coyote hunt will take place as scheduled all aroun New Mexico this weekend, despite of the fact that the hunters are not allowed to hunt on state and federal land.
The coyote hunt is pretty unpopular with urban dwellers, but in rural New Mexico there is no shortage of private landowners who will welcome the hunters.
State Land Commissioner Ray Powell is pretty unpopular himself at the Gunhawk Gun Store in Los Lunas.
Powell banned the coyote hunters from state land this week.
"I think he made a lot of people mad," said Gunhawk owner Mark Chavez, organizer of the hunt "A lot of people are angry about it. There's a lot of hunters and they pay taxes so they feel like should be able to hunt on state land."
Gunhawk is the store that picked up the coyote hunt after the big Calibers Gun Store in Albuquerque dropped out of it in a storm of criticism.
Animal rights people say the hunt is cruel to coyotes and destructive to the eco-system. Hunters say coyotes are plentiful and destructive to livestock.
"I enjoy predator hunting," said Arlen Anderson, who was signing up for the hunt at Gunhawk Friday afternoon. "I know coyotes need to be controlled. Two nights ago we had a pregnant ewe killed at my dad's house, so i mean they're out there and they're doing damage."
More than 60 teams of hunters have signed up and paid the $50 entry fee for the competitive hunt.
Grand prize for the most coyote kills will be a 12 gauge Browning Maxus shotgun, or two AR-15 rifles.