KILLING COYOTE
83 minutes, 2001, DVCAM
Current Movie: Trailer 1

“A startling documentary that gracefully manages to neither preach about animal rights nor avoid the difficult questions that surround the coyote in the West. Rather, the film vividly shows man’s relationship with this remarkable animal.” Missoula Independent   (read full review)

“Excellent…brings to light the complicated nature of hunting itself.”
 High Country News   (read full review)

“Powerful…KILLING COYOTE focuses on the grim works of the Animal Damage Control division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on behalf of livestock producers, before climaxing with a…. portrait of ‘body count’ hunting contests. Coyotes…..emerge as the beleaguered and deeply endearing heroes of the movie.” Pheonix New Times   (read full review)

“The coyote hunters have a wind-burned, outdoorsman’s vitality that is easy to respect. The hunters have enthusiasm, writ large, and their Budweiser fueled hunting stories show a love of both coyotes, open country, and the kill.” Mountain Gazette   (read full review)

“A fine example of a visually compelling, well-balanced journalistic documentary, a glimpse into a heated issue and a sensitive investigation of both sides. The movie focuses on the modern coyote ‘problem.’ Ranchers want to protect their livestock rom these wily scavengers, hunters engage in bounty hunts for the most dead bodies and cash prizes, animal rights activists seek to reserve dignity and respect for a wild creature, and the political agencies, both on civic and federal levels, listen to all these voices.” Missoulian  (read full review)

“Highly recommended.” MC Journal   (read full review)

“Carr and Hawes-Davis let coyote hunters themselves illuminate two prevalent themes: the fundamental paradox a hunter faces in the destruction of an animal he purports to admire, and the long war of cattlemen to maintain ham-fisted control over varmints and predators on America’s rangelands. Hearing and seeing hunters wax nostalgic about the sheer cunning of coyotes even as they celebrate haystacks of coyote carcasses places the audience in the midst of this quandary.” Bear Deluxe Magazine   (read full review)

“Informative.” Booklist

“Why hunt coyotes? As a means of ‘pest control,’ hunting coyotes is pointless and ineffectual. Yet, coyote hunting remains a widespread practice. Why? As this well-crafted documentary illustrates, the coyote remains a popular scapegoat largely due to ignorance, ill-founded tradition, and most troubling of all, human nature.” Timothy McGettigan, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Colorado State University-Pueblo

“An artful and intelligent look at the unending assault open the American coyote. Nearly 400,000 coyotes are shot, trapped, and poisoned every year, but the resilient creature continues to eke out an existence in the dusty West. The film shows a rich and varied series of perspectives on the issue, from the hunters who feel it is their God-given right to kill anything they please to the overeager and self-righteous animal rights activists to the absurd Wildlife Services office that siphons off tax-dollars to fund cyanide cannons. Along the way, Hawes-Davis encounters biologists who theorize that the constant hunting of the coyotes actually leads to their continued success, since the survival rate of the coyote litters increases. With a deft hand and the good-sense to the let the colorful characters do the talking, Hawes-Davis reveals a remarkable, brutal, frequently hilarious, and 100% American tale.” www.cduniverse.com

“Continuing a tradition of cinema verite documentary filmmaking, where the producer is notably absent from the finished film, KILLING COYOTE features live action footage from the National Coyote Calling Championship where hundreds of animals are killed for cash and prizes, at a federal government research/experimentation facility for coyote ‘control,’ and on ranches across the West. Wildlife biologists, ranchers and contest hunters all weigh in as the documentary cuts back and forth between wildlife cinematography, field interviews, the hunting contests and an Arizona Game & Fish Commission hearing on the issue, which serves both as backdrop and to drive the plot - will Arizona ban body count contest hunts?” Charleston Documentary Film Festival

“The coyote—a member of the dog family native to North American soil—has recently become a subject of controversy between animal rights activists and sport hunters. The former argue that the canis latrans species is becoming rapidly endangered (and passionately object to the cruelty of hunting for sport) while the latter note the recent evidence demonstrating that the coyote is one of the few wild beasts whose territory has expanded despite predatory activity by humans. KILLING COYOTE examines this issue head-on; it strives to maintain an unbiased opinion by giving equal time to each side. The overall program thus exposes the attitudes and beliefs that belie hunting and that belie animal conservation, and enables the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions from the onscreen evidence.” All Movie Guide

“The film’s strongest point is made by science. Several biologists report that the widespread killing of coyotes….backfires. Successful kills of up to 30 percent may result in greater losses for the sheep or cattle rancher…So much for trying to fool mother nature.” Eugene Weekly

“***Recommended.” Video Librarian 



“Equally as hard-hitting as VARMINTS, this film’s amazing footage shows the coyote in a number of graphic situations.” Montana Magazine   (read full review)

“In June of 2000, High Plains Films released a new documentary feature, KILLING COYOTE, with a week run at the New Crystal Theater in Missoula, Montana, the non-profit organization’s home base. Killing Coyote documents a competition where hundreds of animals are killed for cash and prizes, and examines issues surrounding the attempt to control the coyote population in the West.” The Ryder   (read full review)

“KILLING COYOTE examines in depth the undeclared war on coyotes throughout the western mountain states of the U.S. Filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis has combined startling visual images with varied and thorough interviews to reveal this failed and wasteful attempt to suppress coyote populations.” Wild Rockies Networker   (read full review)

“Compelling viewing…the mix of emotions is captured well.” 
Northern Sky News  (read full review)

“Just going by the title, what would you guess this one’s about? Killing coyotes? That’s too easy! Is it about hunting and anti-hunting? Is it about manipulation and graft? Is it about money? Is it about furthering one’s own self-interest and hidden agendas? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!” North American Bowhunter   (read full review)

“Provocative….KILLING COYOTE explores human/wildlife relationships in the West by following the story of a specific ‘contest hunt.’ As the story unravels, various viewpoints are explored including those of the contest hunters, ranchers, animal rights activists, government agencies and university researchers. Recommended for those interested in conservation issues, the role of government agencies in predator control, human values of nature and wildlife, and moral decision making.” Keenaw Now

“Hawes-Davis is at the top of his craft in these independently produced documentaries dealing with…the prickliest animal rights issues in the West.” DePauw Magazine   (read full review)