Target: Owner of Gunhawk Firearms, Mark Chavez
Goal: Stop proposed prairie dog hunting contest
The same New Mexico gun store that held a much-opposed coyote hunting contest has now called for a new killing contest, this time aimed at prairie dogs. Gunhawk Firearms, despite receiving numerous threatening letters, some of which were even investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its last hunting contest, has decided to hold the prairie dog hunting contest in the name of “hunting rights.” The contest, scheduled to take place over a seven-day period, will encourage gun owners to shoot and kill as many prairie dogs as possible.
After the gun store’s previous hunting contest resulted in the deaths of 39 coyotes, Gunhawk Firearms owner Mark Chavez claimed that he and his staff received “an outpouring of support” in regards to the hunting rights issue. However, member of Prairie Dog Pals, Raymond Watt argues that those who take part in the contest are not true hunters. In a statement to local news, Watt declared, “I know a lot of hunters, and I know hunters respect wildlife, they respect the laws and they give animals a fighting chance.” The prairie dog killing contest by its very nature reveals a severe lack of respect for wildlife in its aim to needlessly kill dozens of defenseless prairie dogs for sport.
According to numerous animal rights groups, the contest is merely a publicity stunt, and a poor one at that. The gun store has created t-shirts for contest participants with images of prairie dogs and the slogan “You’re killing me smalls.” Owner Mark Chavez stated that store employees will not be directing people where to target prairie dogs, but hunters are expected to follow the law and not trespass on state trust land.
Prairie dogs are harmless animals that are being targeted simply because they are abundant and easy to kill. This type of contest only encourages irresponsible and disrespectful behavior among gun owners. Demand that Gunhawk Firearms stop the plan to carry out the prairie dog hunting contest.
Dear Gunhawk Firearms owner Mark Chavez,
The previously held coyote hunting contest put on by Gunhawk Firearms resulted in plenty of controversy as well as the needless deaths of nearly 40 coyotes. Despite this, you have chosen to hold another hunting contest, this time aimed at harmless prairie dogs.
These types of killing contests are both irresponsible and disrespectful. They encourage massive overhunting and lack the respect for nature that true hunters maintain. Though you assert that this contest is in support of hunting rights, it does not uphold the ideals that a vast majority of hunters possess.
Rather than continue with irresponsible and fairly cruel killing contests in order to increase publicity, I strongly urge you to stop the proposed hunting contest of prairie dogs, and to refrain from similar contests in the future. In this way, you will ensure not only positive public interest, but favorable publicity for hunters as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Asiir via Wikimedia Commons