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Nevada Legislature

Bills banning the use of leg-hold traps and banning coyote-hunting contests failed in the Nevada Legislature’s 2019 session.

The trapping bill would have reduced the trap check time to 24 hours. That would have dissuaded many sportsmen from trapping, according to Sportsmen’s Alliance.

“Many trappers would fear being unable to check a trap every 24 hours due to terrain or inclement weather, and so would not risk a violation,” the group explained. “Likewise, many trappers use the leg-hold trap, which is one of the most commonly used traps in North America, and which is supported by state fish and wildlife agencies, the federal government and Canadian provinces as an effective means to control wildlife populations.”

The bill that would have ended coyote-hunting contests was proposed at a time when the state is unable to control their population, according to the group.

“Just last year the Nevada Department of Wildlife documented more than 1,000 calls regarding coyotes causing a nuisance in urban areas alone,” stated Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Their unchecked population is a threat to other wildlife, pets, and even potentially public safety.

Both bills failed to make it out of committee.

“We are thankful that both the Senate Natural Resources Committee and the Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining Committee were willing to hear the concerns of sportsmen and women,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We’re also very grateful for the work done by both local and national partners in Nevada.”

A coalition of groups including The Wildlife Society and the Mountain Lion Foundation supported the bills.

“There is no hunting season or limit on coyotes, leaving hundreds of pups orphaned to die of starvation or exposure,” stated the groups. “These mass killings disrupt natural ecosystems and cause unnecessary conflicts between coyotes and people.”

The groups also said trapping is inhumane as has negative impacts on Nevada’s ecosystems.

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