Posted at: 08/06/2013 1:54 PM
Updated at: 08/06/2013 2:31 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
An animal activist group has petitioned the owner of a Los Lunas gun shop to cancel a prairie dog killing contest scheduled for Saturday.
People for Native Ecosystems sent Mark Chavez, owner of Gunhawk Firearms, a letter asking "on behalf of the prairie dogs and those who have devoted their lives to their preservation" to meet with them for a seminar on New Mexico wildlife.
The group says they want to discuss humane solutions for controlling the prairie dog population, like relocation.
"In one week of shooting you may wipe out more animals than years of volunteer effort could save leaving committed, caring people disillusioned and heartbroken in the face of a murderous spectacle," wrote Lynne Hough, president of PNE.
Gunhawk Firearms says prairie dogs create problems for farmers and ranchers. They staged a similar shooting competition targeting coyotes last year.
Chavez told KOB Eyewitness News 4 he would not be intimidated and plans to go forward with the hunt as scheduled.
The hunt will take place across the state from Aug. 10 to 17.