Lawsuit seeks to stop Oregon coyote-killing contest

      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.

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