Coyote Pups

Coyote Pups







Hyannis-based retailer Powderhorn Outfitters launched its first coyote killing contest on the Cape in January 2018. The second annual contest ended on March 10 of this year. These two contests awarded cash prizes to hunters who brought in the largest coyote and the most cumulative weight. Raffle tickets were also awarded for each coyote weighed in at the store. In both contests, protesters bearing signs expressing their condemnation of the competition lined the road outside the store.

Public Outcry: Animal Protection Over Murder for Sport.

After hearing the public outcry on the issue, Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, along with state Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, and others in the Cape delegation were able to bring the issue to the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

A coalition of leading wildlife protection organizations joined Cyr and Peake in a two-year crusade to ban wildlife killing contests in the Commonwealth; their efforts were realized on December 18, 2019 when  MassWildlife staff and the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board voted to ban the killings.

This brings an end to events like those sponsored by Powderhorn Outfitters in which participants competed to kill the largest, smallest, or the greatest number of animals for cash and prizes. Winners of wildlife killing contests often proudly post photos and videos on social media that show them posing with piles of dead animals, often before disposing of the animals in “carcass dumps,” away from the public eye.

Wildlife agencies and professionals across the country have expressed concerns about killing contests not only because they reflect badly on responsible sportsmen and sportswomen, but because they also contravene modern, science-based wildlife management principles.

Science-Based Wildlife Management in Massachusetts

“This is a terrific example of constituents engaging with state government and challenging us to do better,” Cyr said. “I’m glad to see action was taken,” Cyr said of the new regulations. “We were able to end these wildlife killing contests in the Commonwealth and make sure that we have scientific based wildlife management.”

In 2018, more than 70 renowned conservation scientists issued a statement citing peer-reviewed science that refutes claims that indiscriminately killing coyotes permanently limits coyote populations, increases the number of deer or other game species for hunters, or reduces conflicts with humans, pets or livestock.

In fact, by disrupting coyote pack structure, randomly shooting coyotes may increase their populations and lead to more conflicts. Nonlethal, preventive measures are most effective at reducing conflicts with wildlife.

Wildlife Killing Is Destructive to Ecosystems

Wildlife killing contests are also destructive to healthy ecosystems, within which all wildlife species play a crucial role. Coyotes and foxes in particular provide a range of ecosystem benefits, including controlling rabbit and rodent populations and restricting rodent- and tick-borne disease transmission.

In just the past five years, California, Vermont, New Mexico and Arizona have taken a stand against cruel, unsporting and wasteful wildlife killing contests. California banned the awarding of prizes for killing furbearing and nongame mammals in 2014; New Mexico and Vermont outlawed coyote killing contests in 2019 and 2018, respectively; and Arizona prohibited the events for predatory and furbearing species this year.


Coyotes are still legally slaughtered for sport on Cape Cod

While we add this new measure of protection for Cape Coyotes, our reveling is tempered knowing this decision has done nothing to change the Coyote hunting season length, methods used and unlimited bag limits per hunter.

Consider this from sage Provincetown animal activist, Peter Souza:

“Wildlife, especially the Coyote, living on Cape Cod are constantly struggling to survive in extreme conditions.  Any semblance to living a peaceful existence is destroyed by a 6 month daily free for all killing season using any caliber desired, up until midnight. Case in point, the Coyote; a Wiley and Magnificent apex predator, Steward of the Capes ecosystem, has been the brunt of unimaginable atrocities. The killings and torturous practices inflicted by hunters as legal, will continue until the Coyote is granted full protection. This holiday season I humbly pray we bestows the gift of life to the coyote, a life void of terror, a life to raise and nurture their young, to let them live and thrive among the beauty and splendor that Cape Cod has to offer. Let us ensure the coyote will not only be here for our future generation but also for theirs. Today’s generation will determine the fate of the coyote, I pray we don’t let it be too late.”


Giving Tuesday started seven years ago with one simple idea — encouraging people to do something good for other people. Since then, that simple idea has grown into a global movement inspiring hundreds of millions of people who wish to give, collaborate, and celebrate human generosity.


We have declared a goal of $10,000 for this one special day of fundraising. We don’t come to you very often with our hand out, though we believe you may want to help us support Cape Cod Wildlife during this unusual giving event. Twenty-four hours is a short time to raise $10,000 but we have moved some mountains in our time (according to more than one squirrel and opossum), and we know we have friends among you who care about what we’re doing.

How to give on December 3. If you wish to help us with our $10,000 Giving Tuesday goal, go to our website to donate! We will see your gift as it arrives and will be in contact shortly thereafter with our deepest thanks.


Winter bird on branch in snow

Winter can be hard. It’s cold and frozen and sometimes all you want to do is snuggle down with a warm blanket and hot chocolate in front of a fireplace. But before you get too comfortable, take a moment to consider what you can do to help local wildlife before winter hits.

Think about it this way: if you’re providing for small animals and plants in a meaningful way, that action moves all the way up the food chain and promotes a healthy and thriving ecosystem in your backyard throughout the cold months.

With just a little preparation, you can winterize your backyard and make it a haven for your local wildlife. Simply remember the three basic things every animal needs to survive the winter: food, water, and shelter — then make sure your yard provides them.

Winter bird on branch in snow Winter bird feeder


Fill Your Bird Feeders. Bird feeders are one of the easiest ways to provide food to wildlife. Use a seed that provides a lot of substance and energy, such as black oil sunflower seeds.

Put Out Suet. Suet is fat found near the kidneys in beef and mutton. It provides a great high energy food for winter birds and is a particular favorite for woodpeckers, jays, and chickadees. Make suet cakes by adding fruits, nuts or insects, but don’t leave it out when the weather turns warm. Suet spoils quickly when temperatures are above freezing.

Use Nature’s Home-Made Feeders. There are a number of things nature provides that you can use to feed wildlife. Hang dried sunflower heads and let the birds and squirrels pick out the seeds. You can also use dried corn on the cob or make a straw wreath for animals to sneak pieces from to make their bedding. Half of a pumpkin shell encourages little critters to grab a quick bite to eat and provides lots of nutrients. Peanut butter smeared pine cones rolled in cornmeal is a favorite to get the kids involved. For the holidays, make strings of popcorn and cranberries and hang where animals and birds can reach them.

Plant Berries, Nuts, and Seeds. One of the easiest ways to help wildlife survive the winter is to plant trees and shrubs that produce seeds, seed pods, fruit, (berries) and nuts, but stick to something native to ensure your local wildlife eats it. A few standbys that farewell include dogwood, winterberry holly, and sumac. Leave the fruit on the plants and when winter comes, the animals will gratefully devour it.

Heated birdbath in winter snow. Water Source for Wildlife


Heat Your Birdbath. A heated birdbath can become one of the most popular items in your yard. Not only does it provide water for drinking, which more than just birds appreciate, but it gives the birds a place to splash and play. Bathing is essential to their survival in the winter and actually helps keeps them warmer. When birds bathe, their inner feathers fluff, creating more insulation to protect them against the elements. You can modify your existing birdbath into a year-round paradise by adding a simple heating element available at most garden stores. These elements keep the water temperature right above freezing and cost only a few cents a day to run.

Two Birdbaths? If you really want to make a difference to your local wildlife this winter, place a second heated birdbath on the ground with no base. This provides water to animals that don’t climb, such as rabbits and hares, and keeps the climbers, like raccoons and squirrels, off of the other one.

Backyard pond after snowfall

Build a Pond. (Extra points for this one) If you have space and the motivation, build a small pond; even an ornamental one in your flower garden can do wonders for winter wildlife. Fresh, consistent water is one of the most important things an animal needs in the winter and one of the hardest to find.

One Dish at a Time. If you don’t have a birdbath and aren’t planning a pond, you can still encourage wildlife by placing a dish of water outside. Even a dog dish full of fresh water can mean the difference between life or death for some animals. Refill it every day and before long, you’ll have regulars who stop by daily for a drink.

Backyard brush pile of leaves, perfect winter hiding place for small critters. Backyard brush pile of leaves, perfect winter hiding place for small critters.


Make a Brush Pile. Instead of bagging or burning your leaves, find a place in the corner of your yard and use them as the base for a brush pile. Add sticks and twigs and even throw on your Christmas tree after the season’s end. A brush pile provides a warm habitat for many different kinds of wildlife including spiders, salamanders, butterflies, toads, and mice. Don’t think these small critters don’t matter. They’re the food for many larger species and a necessary component to the food chain. By making a cozy home for insects, moles and other small animals, you’re doing your part to make sure the fox, owls, and eagles survive as well.

Cover Your Flower Garden with Leaves. Like your brush pile, covering your flower garden with leaves provides shelter to small animals and insects throughout the winter. And while you’re at it, hold off trimming back your flowers and pruning your hedges until spring. The dead flowers, stalks and overgrown branches offer places to sleep and hide. Remember, the more coverage an area provides, the more wildlife it can protect.

By winterizing your yard, you help the little guys who, in turn, help the big guys thrive. When mating and nesting season comes along, there are healthy populations everywhere, thanks to your yard.

Thank you for engaging in such dedicated advocacy regarding the coyote hunting contests that have been taking place in the Town of Barnstable over the past two years. Your input, and the input of fellow advocates, has been powerful and helpful as we have worked to find a solution that will respect the rights, and preserve the safety, of people, pets, and wildlife.

Fourth of July. New Years Eve. Weddings. Special Events. These are all becoming common instances where fireworks are included. We are all familiar with the colorful displays of light and the loud booms, but we may not be aware of the effect this has on other living beings, especially our companion animals and nearby wildlife.

As is commonly known, dogs and other animals have an acute sense of hearing, much stronger than that of their human counterparts. What is startling to our senses can be quite terrifying for animals and could result in them behaving unpredictably which could put them or their caregivers at risk.

People are told to leave their dogs at home, or even worse, to crate them, when fireworks are scheduled to be lit, but the American Humane Society strongly advises against this. A dog left alone in a house, or even confined to a crate, is more at risk to injure themselves trying to escape the noise. The Humane Society goes on to say that the most common behavior problems associated with loud noises is destruction and escape.

There are things that can be done, not just for the benefit of our domestic animals and wildlife, but also for people with noise related phobias such as individuals with PTSD and sensitive little children. Fireworks are being developed with less flashpowder (the chemical that produces the loud bangs) and the associated noise levels have been reduced significantly. Of note, noise reduction in fireworks began around 1999 and has grown in popularity and there are now more, and better, quieter fireworks available.

Please consider joining the list of cities and towns, both domestic and abroad, who have chosen to use fireworks with reduced flashpowder and thereby significantly reducing the noise factor. Go to your town council meetings and be a voice for the animals. You can help make your town a compassionate leader by introducing quieter fireworks on behalf of our domestic animals and wildlife.

Call Friends off Cape Wildlife anytime to talk more about what you can do. 508-375-3700.

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By forming a town wide initiative in your town to install bat houses, we are helping support a local species that is not only feeds on mosquitoes and other night insects, but we are helping support a major pollinator and seed distributor. 

While bats alone are not the sole solution to our mosquito misery, they are part of a solution that helps reduce our environment and our own exposure to chemicals to prevent insect bites and the diseases they carry with them. Pregnant bats can eat up to their body weight, some species eating 500-1000 mosquitoes an hour!
Providing a bat friendly environment will help support an important native species

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By Katy Ward
Posted May 10, 2018 at 7:00 AM – courtesy of the Provincetown Banner

PROVINCETOWN — It’s baby-boom time for wildlife on the Cape and people need to understand how to coexist with compassion.

That’s why Friends of Cape Wildlife will present “Why Wildlife Matters,” with Kathy Zagzebski, of the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, and Stephanie Ellis, of Wild Care in Eastham, on Wednesday, May 23 at Napi’s Restaurant in Provincetown.

“It is our responsibility to rectify our human impact,” said Ellis, executive director of Wild Care, which cares for sick and injured small wildlife. “There’s not really any such thing as nature taking its course. It’s trying to take its course, but we are in the way.”
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Like many of your Cape neighbors, you may have been outraged and dismayed when the Powderhorn Outfitters Gun Shop in Hyannis sponsored a several months’ long coyote killing contest in 2017 and 2018.

Friends of Cape Wildlife firmly believes that killing contests are unjustified, ecologically damaging, unsporting and cruel. Our members support a ban on killing contests. We advocate for greatly shortened seasons; a bag limit of one per hunter; prohibiting baiting, night hunting, and use of electronic calls; and establishing wildlife refuges within local, state and federal parks and forests.
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Cape Wildlife Logo

Would you like to be involved in helping wildlife on Cape Cod?

Come to the new volunteer orientation being offered this fall.

Cape Wildlife Center

Saturday October 14 1-3pm

4011 Main Street, Barnstable

Cape Wildlife Center’s mission is to protect wildlife through rescue, rehabilitation, and education. Each year Cape Wildlife Center receives nearly 2,000 patients and answers thousands of wildlife calls from the public. Cape Wildlife center receives only sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. No domestic or feral species are received or treated.
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Thirty-two volunteers attended a refresher seminar at the Cape Wildlife Center given by Dr. Lynn Miller. This was held for existing CWC volunteers to have an opportunity to learn about new techniques in wildlife care and rehabilitation, and to practice some of their old skills. There was a lecture component on physical assessment, triage skills, including fluids and medication administration, and splinting of broken bones. Dr. Miller reviewed proper techniques to avoid spreading disease to other patients and to our selves. She also discussed general husbandry. This was followed by a hands -on session where these skills were practiced on cadaver animals.

The level of commitment and skill of these volunteers was impressive. We thank them for wanting to learn as much as possible and for giving up an entire Saturday of their own time to do so. Thank you also to Dr. Miller for sharing her time and her vast store of knowledge.