What do Strippers and Coyote Contests Have in Common?

What in the world do coyote hunting contests and strip clubs have in common? At first glance not much, but when it comes to constitutional rights they seem to have plenty.

The Willamette Week breaks down for us. First, let’s set the stage. In reaction to picture of a coyote hunting contest from last year, Two Oragon law makes introduced a bill that would ban coyoye hunting contests in the state.

Senate Bill 723 would outlaw “organizing, sponsoring, promoting, conducting or participating in a contest, competition, tournament or derby that has objective of taking wildlife for prizes or other inducement or for entertainment.”

The key word in the legislation is “Entertainment.” This is where the strip clubs come into play. Oregon’s free speech laws offer broad protection for entertainment—thanks to a court ruling that protects strip clubs and adult video stores.

In State v. Henry, the Oregon Supreme Court decided under Article 1 Section 8 of the state constitution that state law could not criminalize forms of entertainment deemed socially unacceptable. That ruling gave legal protections for nudity at strip clubs in Oregon.

That is the same ruling that the Oregon Hunters Association says protects their first amendment right for coyote hunting contests.

“Just because someone doesn’t like something,” association legislative chairman Paul Donheffner says, “doesn’t mean it can be prohibited.”

The legal argument is straightforward: The bill doesn’t ban coyote hunting, or even limit it. It merely outlaws contests for entertainment.

So will strippers be the savior of Coyote hunting contest in Oregon? At this point it is too early to tell. The state legislature is still making some moves and trying to amend the bill to get around hunters constitutional rights.

If you want to get involved please join the Sportsmen’s Alliance and help fight anti-hunters.