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State to appeal ruling in fenced deer-hunting case

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The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Tuesday that it will appeal a recent Harrison County ruling that held the state couldn’t regulate a fenced deer-hunting operation.

The attorney general’s office filed notice with the Indiana Court of Appeals that it is appealing DNR, et al. v. Whitetail Bluff LLC, et al., 31C01-0508-PL-033. Plaintiffs Whitetail Bluff LLC and Rodney Bruce sought an injunction and declaratory judgment in 2005 prohibiting the Department of Natural Resources from regulating Whitetail Bluff’s guided deer-hunting business.

The deer on the 116-acre property in Harrison County were purchased by Whitetail Bluff and are unable to leave the property due to an eight-foot high fence. The company pays property taxes on the deer and they are subject to the Board of Animal Health. Deer hunters pay a fee to hunt on the property.

These types of enclosed hunting spaces were banned by the DNR in 2005, although some operations like Whitetail Bluff have filed lawsuits to stay open. An attempt to lift the ban failed in this year’s Indiana General Assembly.

Harrison Circuit Judge John Evans ruled that Whitetail Bluff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the animals are privately owned and not subject to regulation by DNR under state law.

“DNR’s actions seeking to regulate Whitetail Bluff’s guided hunting activities constitute an improper exercise by an executive agency of the authority of the Indiana legislature contrary to Indiana Constitution Article 3, Section 1,” Evans wrote in the Sept. 27 order.

AG spokesman Bryan Corbin said the attorney general’s office decided last week to appeal the ruling.
 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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