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NM coyote contest winds down with no problems

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: November 18, 2012

"We care about public opinion, we care," Gross told The Associated Press by phone on Saturday. "Honestly we took this over because a big gun shop pulled out because of threats. And we just thought that was wrong.

Protesters had warned they would try to shut down the hunt, but none showed up, Gross said Sunday.

People were upset over the idea of making a contest out of killing an animal that usually lives peacefully alongside residents, Susan Weiss, 74, who leads the Coexist with Coyotes group in Corrales, N.M., told the AP on Friday.

"There's a tremendous amount of arrogance in conducting this hunt," Weiss said. "(Chavez) is damaging the reputation of ranchers. He is damaging the reputation of legitimate hunters."

Gross said he thought the whole thing was overblown.

"I think people thought we going to kills thousands, but I'll be surprised if we get to 60," he said Sunday. "Frankly three-quarters of the people had zero."