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Bar's coyote-killing contest courts controversy in Oak Grove

Back to the SRO Bar & Grill in Oak Grove has been getting a lot of backlash.

A Twin Cities-area bar's plans to host a coyote hunting contest is drawing criticism from some, including the Humane Society of Minnesota.

Back to the SRO Bar & Grill in Oak Grove has a sign publicizing the Sep. 7-8 coyote contest, which according to the Minnesota Humane Society is "a have fun go get him tournament" with cash payouts for the three hunters who bag the most coyotes, in addition to a prize for whoever kills the largest one.

The owner of the bar reached out to the Minnesota Coyote Hunters on Facebook asking for support due to the negative feedback they've received. 

"Hello! I own a bar in Oak Grove and we are having a coyote hunt on sat. We have been getting A TON of heat ..the news showed up today," the owner wrote, referring to FOX 9 approaching them for questions. "We could use some support. We hunt, fish, and do everything outdoors. Give us a shout out."

While some disagree with the coyote hunt, it's completely legal in Minnesota. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has very few regulations for coyote hunting, putting them in the same class as gophers, weasels, porcupines and striped skunks. 

It's legal year-round and there is no limit on the number hunters can kill. Minnesotans don't even need a license to kill a coyote, although if using a firearm, a firearms license is required. 

There is little concern from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, which told BMTN the only report it had taken about it was from the SRO Bar itself, which called with "concerns due to PETA protestors."

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"Our Patrol Division has been made aware of the event," a spokesperson said. "So long as the event is compliant with State Statute, any potential city ordinance(s) and is mindful of public safety ACSO has no concerns."

Regardless, the Minnesota Humane Society released a statement disagreeing with SRO's contest. 

"Please call the Back to the SRO Bar & Grill ... to politely remind them that wildlife killing contests are cruel, ineffective, and do not reflect Minnesota’s tradition of sportsmanship and respect for the outdoors, and request that they do not sponsor this event in the future," the statement said. 

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