In a bloody scene in a pharmacy car park, participants in a sick wildlife killing contest unload the bodies of bobcats, grey foxes, coyotes and raccoons from their trucks.
More than 60 animals have been slaughtered over a 21-hour period, by competitors using assault rifles and other powerful weapons.
Shocking images show animals with gunshot wounds in their heads and bodies, some with their organs spilling out and faces partially destroyed.
The disturbing scenes were captured by investigators for Humane Society of the United States, who went undercover at last month’s barbaric competition which took place in the city of De Leon, Texas, and is calling for such events to stop.
Judges awarded cash prizes for a “stringer hunt”, in which contestants who pay a £145 entry fee kill a coyote, fox, bobcat and raccoon.
The heaviest combined weight of the four animals wins first place.
One participant standing over a row of animals he has just slaughtered told an investigator: “I shot this one up here in the throat from high up and it blew out the whole bottom of his chest.”
Texas is thought to have more wildlife killing contests than any other state with at least 155 held there since 2015.
Some are organised by schools and churches, with children attending.
Investigators also attended another contest in Williamsport, Indiana, in December. Teams brought dead animals to be counted and weighed at the town’s fire station before enjoying a celebratory breakfast.
Campaigners say contestants frequently use cruel electronic calling devices to lure animals.
These mimic the sound of their young to lure in prey for an easy kill, which often involves being shot with high-powered rifles, including AR-15s.
Afterwards, the bodies of the slaughtered are usually thrown in the bin.
They also say the contests orphan young animals, who are left to die from starvation, predation or exposure.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington have banned the events but they are legal in most states.
Kitty Block, Humane Society of the United States’ president & CEO, said: “Killing wild animals with assault weapons to compete for the biggest piles of bodies to win cash and prizes, then throwing them away like trash, is downright barbaric.
“Bobcats, foxes, raccoons, coyotes and other species are central to a healthy ecosystem.
“This wanton bloodshed must stop.”