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Douglas County Court may rule on hunting fenced feral pigs

The question of whether a fenced feral pig is fair game may be decided in Douglas County Court. The issue was raised in a civil complaint filed Feb. 4 against Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec and District Attorney Dan Blank. The plaintiff, Willi...

The question of whether a fenced feral pig is fair game may be decided in Douglas County Court.

The issue was raised in a civil complaint filed Feb. 4 against Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec and District Attorney Dan Blank. The plaintiff, William F. Holst, lives in Prescott, Wis., but runs a licensed game farm in Cloverland under the name Heavy Horns Ranch Inc. He seeks a judgment on whether it is legal for people to shoot wild hogs in the fenced area of his property.

The complaint stems from a January warning letter Dalbec sent to Holst. Dalbec mentions an incident from December of 2006 where "five pigs were killed by people from the Shawano, Wis., area who allegedly paid $500 for each hunt."

The hunt violated a Wisconsin statute that prohibits people from shooting, killing or wounding an animal that is tied, staked out, caged or confined in an enclosure, according to Dalbec.

The sheriff wrote that hunting feral pigs on the property by outside persons who pay for the privilege must stop. If it continues, he warned, the county would file charges.

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Holst argued in his civil complaint that the statute in question does not apply to animals that are treated in accordance with normally acceptable husbandry practices. He claims all the animals on the Cloverland game farm, including the pigs, are treated that way.

Dalbec and Blank were given 45 days to respond in writing to the complaint. As of Friday, no response had been filed.

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