Throughout the world hunters compete in contest kills for many different species. Wolves, coyotes and deer are popular targets in the United States as are elk, caribou, moose and bear. In many situations endangered species are not exempt from these contests. Each state has laws regarding hunting and hunting contests and the private hunting reserves set down specific rules regarding each contest. Theses killing contests include children and many set cash awards for the winning child. Wisconsin hunting clubs participate in killing contests as do some of the largest conservation organizations in the world. Some of these contests can be very expensive allowing only the wealthy to participate while others have a nominal fee to encourage more participants. There are arguments for and against killing contests and organizations set up to protect wild animals subject to this competition. For those who do not agree with killing contest there are steps that can be taken.
In the State of Oregon coyotes can be killed at any time and they are a popular species for killing contests. Though Gray wolves and coyotes are once again becoming a threatened species in the state, an organization in the state holds a four day contest in January when more than 125 hunters competing for $1,000 cash prizes for the most coyotes and wolves killed. It is open to any hunter and encourages families and children as young as ten years old to participate. The organization feels that children should learn to hunt, gun safety and survival skills.
In Wisconsin, contests are held with prizes listed for specific criteria like unique qualities of the deer, the weapon used to kill the animal and the deer must be killed during hunting season. Contests can include animals killed anywhere in North America listing whitetails, mule, elk, caribou, moose and bear. Submissions of locked antlers are accepted.
A long established international organization promotes killing contests that include exotic and endangered species. They offer winning titles like Grand Slam and Inner Circle for killing animals that include the African Big Five, the leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo; the North American Twenty-Nine lists all species of bear, bison, sheep, moose, caribou, and deer. These contests include captive killing and canned hunts. The organization keeps a complete record of these contests which includes more than 1100 species some of which have become extinct.
There are procedures in place to voice an opinion against contest kills like contacting the organization known as In Defense of Animals (IDA); not voting for people who are running for office that support contest kills trophy hunting, canned hunts involved in the killing of big game or any exotic animals and do not take safari trips sponsored by organizations that promote hunting.