OAK GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) - A coyote hunting tournament is the talk of the town tonight in Oak Grove, Minn.
Fox 9 tried to contact the owner of SRO Bar and Grill about the event they publicized on social media this week, but our inquiries were not answered. Fox 9 can say a coyote hunt is totally legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not stirring controversy.
Some see them as predators, some consider them like vermin, yet others see them as wildlife that shouldn’t be randomly killed for a contest.
Wildlife is a cherished resource that we all share and indiscriminate killing of any wild animal just for the thrill of it is not really an ethical position,” said Christine Coughlin of the Humane Society of the United States.
The Humane Society is not against licensed, regulated hunting. However, when the SRO Bar and Grill in Oak Grove started advertising a coyote kill contest for this weekend, social media blew up with people wanting to put a stop to it.
“They actually have nothing to do with traditional fair chase hunting,” said Coughlin. “In fact these are competitions where you try to kill the most number of animals is really to get a prize, for fun.”
There is apparently no set location for the hunt, allowing participants to shoot or kill where it’s legal to do so based on your city ordinance. There are cash prizes for various categories.
According to the Department of Natural Resources it’s legal to kill coyotes like it is gophers and porcupines. You do not need a license. While supporters would say it helps control the population, Coughlin says that’s simply not true.
“Scientific studies have shown that when you indiscriminately kill wildlife in an area it is going to potentially destabilize some of these packs these family structures that can prompt an increase in reproductive rates,” Coughlin added. “So it actually increases the population rate or has the potential for doing that.”
Coughlin says the number of these types of contests is on the rise around the nation and there are a few more coming up in Minnesota in the coming months.