Seems like a stupid question. But it’s important, because any animal deemed truly wild—whether it lives in a private preserve or not–becomes the property of The People, regulated by state officials, with potentially threatening implications for commercial hunting operations. Recently the Pennsylvania Game Commission and a group called the Pennsylvania Legislative Animal Network (PLAN) went all the way to the state Supreme Court to answer this quandry. Now the judges have made their ruling:
From The Morning Call:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that captive boars at fenced hunting preserves are wildlife, a decision that could force the state Game Commission to regulate pay-to-hunt operations.
Although the court did not say exactly how pay-to-hunt operations should be regulated, the decision could have a significant impact. . . . A decision about how to handle the hunting of wild board inside fenced preserves is on hold pending further court action.
And from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
_The majority opinion also said it expected the commission to consider whether any of the other species hunted at Tioga [Boar Hunting Preserve] also are subject to game regulations [including elk, sheep, buffalo, deer, and turkeys]. . . .
“I think that the Game Commission will hopefully phase out wild boars in Pennsylvania,” said [PLAN’s Johnna] Seeton. “They’re not indigenous to the state, and I don’t think they’ll consider them fair chase if they’re in an enclosed area.”_