Lawsuit seeks to stop Oregon coyote-killing contest

Lawsuit seeks to stop Oregon coyote-killing contest
A screengrab from the JMK Coyote Hunt Facebook page

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Animal rights groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop a coyote-killing contest scheduled for this weekend in sparsely populated southeast Oregon.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund contends the annual event violates state gambling laws. The group and its co-plaintiffs will ask for a temporary restraining order at a Friday court hearing in Burns.

Last year, 20 teams of hunters competed in the JMK Coyote Hunt, killing nearly 150 coyotes.

The contest entry fee is $200 per two-person team, and the winning team takes home half the total.

Event organizer Duane Freilino says it's not illegal gambling because it's a game of skill and not a game of chance.

He says the contest was started to boost tourism and reduce coyote numbers right before calving season.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press