LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Secret meetings were planned Friday for hunters involved in a controversial coyote hunt this weekend.
Organizers say they had no choice but to keep the meeting locations confidential because the threats keep pouring in.
Dozens of hunters were expected to gather Friday to meet with staff from Gunhawk Firearms of Los Lunas, which organized the hunt.
However the hunter orientations scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. were moved off-site.
Gun shop employee Josh Waters said the store has been getting 50 to 60 angry calls a day.
Sixty two-person teams paid the gun shop $50 to register for the coyote hunt contest which starts Saturday.
Gunhawk says the hunt on private lands is all about helping ranchers through coyote management.
But protests and death threats have forced them to be more secretive about Friday's meetings and where hunters will be on Saturday.
Waters said safety is a big concern.
"If somebody told you that 'If you go through with the coyote hunt contest I've got a Molotov cocktail with your name on it,'" Waters said. "Or if someone sent you a letter that said they might follow you at home at night and pick you off one by one. I'd be real--I'm serious about it. I think anybody would be.
"To write it off as, oh, them blowing off steam, they threatened us. And we take it seriously."
New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell is warning hunters involved in the coyote contest against trespassing on state trust land.
In a letter to the gun shop, he said it's time to outlaw this "highly destructive activity."
Part of secret orientation meetings was to warn hunters where not to go.
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