MO Supreme Court OVERTURNS Hill v MDC

Discussion in 'Hunting Out of State' started by deep woods goat hunter, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    Here are some excerpts:

    Respondents participate in the captive cervid industry … Respondents rely on an interstate market in captive cervids to obtain the animals they need for their breeding operations and to meet demands for hunting on their preserves.

    Respondent Hill is the co-owner of ... a large hunting preserve and white-tailed deer breeding operation. … he has about 300 deer in his hunting preserve and about 500 deer in his breeding facility.

    Respondent Broadway is the owner of … a large hunting preserve and luxury lodge. ... also maintains an elk and red deer breeding operation to stock his hunting preserve.

    Respondent Grace is the owner of … a breeding facility for white-tailed deer, sika, and red deer. He also brokers deals between breeders and hunting preserves and presides over periodic captive cervid auctions.

    Cervids, like those owned by Respondents, can be infected with a fatal neurodegenerative disease known as chronic wasting disease (“CWD”).

    Even though captive cervids are members of species that are wild by nature, Respondents argue they cannot be “wildlife” because they are domesticated and, therefore, akin to livestock. ... Because captive cervids are too domesticated to qualify as “wildlife,” Respondents contend those individual animals cannot – by definition – qualify as “game.”

    The Court rejects these readings. The terms “game” and “wildlife” are plain and unambiguous as used in article IV, section 40(a), which is concerned with the preservation and conservation of the state’s forestry and wildlife resources. In this context, the term “wildlife” plainly includes all species that are wild by nature.

    Applying these plain meanings, Respondents’ cervids – whether tame or wild – are “game” and “wildlife” within the meaning of article IV, section 40(a).

    In sum, the Court holds the terms “game” and “wildlife” as used in article IV, section 40(a) are unambiguous: “wildlife” means species that are wild by nature, and “game” means wildlife species that are often pursued for sport, food, or other lawful ends.

    ...this Court holds Respondents’ captive cervids are subject to regulation by the Commission ... as “game … and wildlife resources of the state” because (a) those cervids are members of species that are wild by nature and, therefore, are “wildlife;” (b) they are members of wildlife species generally pursued for food, sport, or other lawful ends and, therefore, are “game;” and (c) even though privately owned, they are physically located within the borders of this state and, therefore, are “resources of the state.” Appellants’ Point I is granted.

    ...the Court holds Respondents are not engaged in a “farming [or] ranching practice” within the meaning of that provision. Appellants’ Point II is granted.

    End Excerpts.

    Until the lawyers pick this clean we won't know for sure, but it appears to be
    game-set-match, unless the fake hunt guys want to take a stab at the US Supreme Court.
     

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  3. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Could this be the demise of deer farms? That wouldn't hurt my feelings any!
     
  4. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    It’s a good start. I’m with you. People high fence off 2500 acres, pay hunts and call it a deer farm. Made my day.


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  5. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Interesting!!!! So.... bottom line- MO will have far more ability to regulate & management & rules of game farms?
     
  6. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    Yes, double fencing, inventory and cwd testing of all animals the way I understand it.


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  7. iowaqdm

    iowaqdm PMA Member

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    I bet it gets overturned at the US Supreme Court. Iowa and every other state that I know of rules them as livestock and basically are not under the control of the DNR as far as the breeding and raising is concerned. The hunting on game preserves is more of a gray area as far as who controls or oversees it. In my opinion they are more livestock than wildlife. If you think about it they breeding and raising them for certain genetic traits no different than any other livestock. Most are AI and genetics are documented with inferior genetics cull from the herd. They are sold and raised no different than any other livestock. Maybe some politics involved in the decision but none the less I bet it is overturned. I highly doubt the USDA (Federal Government) is willing to give up its control to any State wildlife commission. Not that I am for game farms, just think it might be a little wishful thinking as far as ending the practice of raising deer. Plus, I am afraid the cat is already out of the bag as far as CWD is concerned. We are two decades too late to make a difference now. Shooting down the wild herd where CWD is present will only prolong the disease. Let it run its course and mother nature will take care of it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  8. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    In some cases they are more livestock than wild, though many or these "ranches" are just fenced off and the herd is not documented, the deer are hunted in confinement. If a deer dies, no one knows about it or cares.
     
  9. iowaqdm

    iowaqdm PMA Member

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    Ok. Then these “just fenced ranches” would essentially be just like the wild herd that doesn’t get tested or documented? So why would they need any special regulations? If they are hunting the a natural herd that just happens to be inside a high fence and not introducing new deer/genetics then who cares? Where would the CWD be introduced from??? They would more than likely find CWD outside the high fenced ranch before finding it inside it. Right??? Maybe guys that have cooperating neighbors should band together and double fence around their properties to protect it from the CWD that is present in the wild herd outside their areas. If a guy owns a 1000 acres for deer hunting and it is worth 3.5 million then shouldn’t said person try to protect their investment? Point I am making is that CWD is here and there is no stopping it. Inside or outside a fence. At this point you can play devils advocate for both high fence operations and free range deer managers. The crazy thing is that game farms scattered CWD all across this country and the irony is that the genetics that turn out to be immune to CWD will probably be discovered/come from a game farm. So the deer farm industry that jeopardized the wild herd will probably be what ends up saving our wild herd.
     
  10. Tim Hull

    Tim Hull PMA Member

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    The Supreme Court is not gonna take this case.
     
  11. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Very well put discussion here. Thought through & informative!!!!! All sides. Interesting. Curious how this all shakes out!
     
  12. iowaqdm

    iowaqdm PMA Member

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    I wouldn’t bet on it. This may come down to private private property rights. Are captive deer property of the owners or the State? I’d say the owners, they are bought and sold just like livestock, insured by the owner, cared for by the owner, which I believe in the courts eyes would make them the property of the owners. Which is why the Iowa DNR had to reimbursed the game farm with CWD that they depopulated. If they are wildlife then they are owned by the State they reside in and no reimbursement would be necessary. And I doubt you could buy insurance on them if they were considered property of the State. Then you have to ask are they currently regulated as livestock or wildlife? In Iowa they are livestock and regulated by the USDA. I bet they are regulated in all 50 States by the USDA. So what do we do if one State says they are wildlife not livestock? Hence the State wildlife commission now oversees instead of the USDA. Well, anytime a States make a law or a court rules in opposition to current laws, or a law is conflicting with Federal laws then the Supreme Court hears those cases. So the question is who has the right to regulate captive deer herds and the diseases in captive deer herds? I bet the court would say the USDA, one reason is because the industry crosses State lines, second reason is the USDA are the ones currently regulating them and the third reason is because they are currently treated as livestock not wildlife in most States. But as with most things we will see how this all plays out.
     
  13. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    Thats just it, they are introducing other deer to the "wild" herd inside their fence. Buying genetics from out of state or anywhere else and cutting them loose inside the fence. Thats my point. Im still not sure where I stand on the issue of the targeted culling and everything else. Not tryna start a fight, just chatting. I do think they should have to document entire fenced herd, new fawns, just like a cattle farmer would.
     
  14. iowaqdm

    iowaqdm PMA Member

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    I’m just playing devils advocate to get people thinking and not trying to to start a fight either. My point is CWD is here and there is no stopping it. What have to worry about is the DNR killing off the herd. As to your point about adding genetics. I know in Texas some people high fence just to manage the herd they have and are not introducing new genetics. However, if they do introduce new genetics it would be very hard to document the fawns born on say a 10,000 acre ranch in Texas. Let alone try to account for every deer on a given property. It would be almost impossible to find or test the death losses from predation or natural causes. If they are buying deer to introduce new genetics then I agree they should be testing the animals harvested just to monitor for it. Just trying to illustrate the difficulty in regulating, testing and implementing these CWD regulations. May not be a big deal if it is a 10 acre breeding facility but on these bigger ranches it would much more difficult. I still think it should be regulated by the USDA for consistency across the country to insure accurate record keeping and statistics. I couldn’t imagine having 50 different States making up 50 different sets of rules, testing methods, records and statistics would be like. I wish they would have done something 20 years ago and we may have been able to really slow this disease. Unfortunately, we are too late and it is too widespread to stop. I believe we need to just let it run it’s course and let Mother Nature take care of it. Good discussion.
     

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