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St. Paul City Council passes resolution opposing hunting competitions

Updated: January 16, 2020 07:04 PM

There's a push to ban certain hunting competitions in Minnesota, and St. Paul is taking the lead.

The St. Paul City Council passed a resolution on Jan. 8 called “Opposing the indiscriminate killing of wildlife in the form of wildlife killing contests.”

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It specifically mentioned several coyote hunting events statewide, in Oak Grove, Watertown, Sacred Heart, Madison and Ortonville.

Hunters who participate often get prizes for the size or number of animals killed.

“It’s just not how I think we should be teaching our children to think about the world around them,” said Councilmember Rebecca Noecker, who represents Ward 2.

She sponsored the resolution.

It says, in one paragraph, “wildlife killing contests that encourage the indiscriminate killing of wildlife for cash or prizes are unacceptable because they glorify killing for its own sake and do not reflect Minnesota’s humane values.”

The resolution passed unanimously, according to Noecker.

“While this might not be within the invisible lines that surround the city of St. Paul, obviously people within St. Paul travel outside St. Paul and people outside travel in,” she said. “So we have concern for what's going on around us as well.”

The issue was brought to Noecker by a constituent in October.

Steven Pope told us he was concerned about how the animals were treated after they were killed.

He also said, “It really serves no wildlife management purpose.”

Pope hopes other cities will pass similar resolutions.

“I would like to see either the Minnesota State Legislature or a Minnesota state agency to take action on the issue,” he said.

We reached out to several organizations that host the competitions.

The Madison MN Predator Hunt told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the resolution, "... pertains nothing to this hunt."

Organizer of the Buffalo Ridge Coyote Hunt, who asked to only be identified as Ty, told us they were “flabbergasted” by the resolution.

He said their last event raised more than $4,000, which went back into habitat enhancement. According to Ty, they worked with the DNR to purchase more than 10,000 trees and bushes.

“We by no means are glorifying killing,” he said. “We are the most ethical out there.”

Ty told KSTP they kill the animals properly and then sell them to a fur buyer, who disposes of the carcass.

According to the DNR, coyotes are not a protected species, which means there are no limits to how many can be killed. There are also no seasonal restrictions for hunting the animals.

Animals are typically not protected if they are abundant, or a nuisance, according to the DNR. The agency told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that coyotes are considered both.

About 36,000 coyotes are harvested each year by 15,000 to 20,000 hunters, according to the DNR.

Ty, with Buffalo Ridge Coyote Hunt, said they hold the hunts to manage coyote populations and prevent them from going after animals and pets.

Still, Councilmember Noecker hopes they’re just the first to pass a resolution like this.

“Often, the city of St. Paul can be a leader in influencing change at the state level,” she said. “I think the more that we can spread those values of respecting animal life and basic kindness to other lifeforms, I think that would be great statewide."

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Callan Gray

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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