CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. One man chased and pursued a fox, but another man killed it and carried it away. A dispute as to who had possession of the fox arose.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Mere pursuit of an animal does not give one a legal right to it.
The issue, as stated on the appeal, was whether Lodowick Post, by the pursuit with his hounds in the manner alleged in his declaration, acquired such a right to, or property in, the fox as will sustain an action against Pierson for killing and taking him away.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Does a person obtain possession of a wild animal by chasing it?
Held. No. Judgment reversed.
Merely finding and chasing a wild animal does not give a person possession. Even merely wounding the animal will not give right to possession. The animal must be captured or killed in order to constitute possession.
Dissent. When a person spends his day hunting a wild animal and comes close to reasonably capturing him, another person should not be allowed to claim possession of that animal.
Discussion. Merely pursuing a wild animal does not give rise to possession of it. Another person will have the right to capture or kill that animal.