WYTHEVILLE – Hunters transporting dead foxes, bobcats and coyotes converged on a southwest Virginia town for a predator killing tournament Sunday.
Hunters came to Wytheville from as far away as Maine, the Roanoke Times reported.
Two hunters from Illinois arrived with 19 dead coyotes in the back of the truck, and that was still not enough to win the “most kills” award. They were only one away from “most coyotes killed” though, an award which earned Alex Poole and Logan Jones of Lynchburg a $9,240 prize.
The “most kills” award and prize of $1,450 was won by two Maryland hunters who arrived with “31 foxes in a basket on the tailgate,” the newspaper reported.
“People are really weirded out by it,” Jeremy Brown said to the newspaper. “They see this driving down the road, and we get a lot of middle fingers.”
A total of 300 hunters participated in the contest, which stipulated that “all hunters had to stay east of the Mississippi River and could only hunt between 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday.”
The organizer said he hopes to make the competition an annual event.
The hunted animals are considered a nuisance species, which have no natural predators and whose populations grow out-of-control and creates issues for farmers’ livestock, said event organizer James Groseclose to the newspaper.
“Our farmers beg us to come out and hunt. They’re going to poison them or trap them. So we’ll come out and shoot what we can,” Brown said to the newspaper.
The entry fees totaled $15,000, which covered the prizes awarded. Additional prizes were given for biggest coyote, fox and bobcat.