Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Ind. Decisions - "Trial judge rules DNR overstepped in attempt to shut down high-fence deer hunting"
Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star reports this afternoon in a story that begins:
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources overstepped its authority in a 2005 attempt to shut down high-fence deer hunting farms, according to a court ruling that could open the door to more private hunting facilities across Indiana.Here is a long, long list of earlier ILB posts on canned hunting. The most recent, from April 24, 2013, was about an effort in the 2013 General Assembly, and is headed "High-fenced hunts face uncertain fate."
The ruling by Harrison County Circuit Judge John Evans ends, at least for the time being, an eight-year legal battle between the DNR and operators of a handful of private hunting preserves.
Evans found that an emergency ordered issued in 2005 by then-DNR Director Kyle Hupfer, which was aimed at stopping hunting on the fenced preserves, constituted “an improper exercise by an executive agency of the authority of the Indiana legislature.”
The judge also made permanent a preliminary injunction he had issued that prohibited enforcement of the DNR order, which had allowed hunting to continue at the facilities while the case was pending.
More from today's story:
“We’re glad this is finally over,” said Rodney Bruce, owner of Whitetail Bluff near Corydon, who was one of the operators who sued the DNR. “I’ve fought for this for years and we are ready to move on.”
Bruce said he thinks the decision will open the door to an expansion of an “industry” that is booming in many other states.
“There were only four (high-fence facilities) active in the state until yesterday,” Bruce said. “With this ruling, others can open now.”
But that window may be short-lived.
During the nearly eight years the lawsuit was working its way through the Harrison County court system, lawmakers have considered several proposals regarding high-fence hunting — some for, other against — but none have been adopted.
That debate is likely to continue now that Evans has thrown the ball back in the legislature’s court.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 2, 2013 03:24 PM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions