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Contest underway in Yadkin County to kill as many coyotes as possible

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YADKINVILLE, N.C. -- A contest is underway in Yadkin County for hunters to shoot and kill as many coyotes as possible by Saturday.

"By taking one coyotes life we are saving other lives and the livelihoods of families," said Matthew Whitaker, with Foothills Firearms and Ammo.

The store came up with the contest to help deal with the increase of coyotes in the area killing calves and other livestock.

"Some farmers will actually pay to have people come out and hunt if nothing else; they will just let them come out for free because its doing them a favor," Whitaker said. "[Farmers] don’t have time to do it because farming is a 24/7 job. So this is reliving some of the stress for them."

While killing coyotes is legal, some animal advocates have expressed concern hunters may kill endangered wolves or accidentally kill domesticated dogs.

The Humane Society of the United States doesn't support killing coyotes, saying they are impossible to eradicate. The society also states on their website that killing the animals just make the problem worse, pointing to research that shows aggressively controlled coyotes will increase breeding and have larger litters at younger ages.

The society says better education on how to prevent coyotes from coming onto property is key, but farmers aren't buying it.

"We've had coyotes around as far back as I can remember but now they just keep getting worse and worse," said Andrew Combs, a farmer who supports the contest.

Combs says coyotes are killing his newborn calves and costing him thousands of dollars. "[The calves] really don’t stand a chance against them; we are the only protection against them."

The contest requires two hunters to a team and no trapping allowed, only shooting. Each coyotes will be inspected for trapping according to organizers. The contest ends Saturday at midnight.