By Bob McNally
David was a proud new landowner. The Jacksonville man (whose real name is not used at his request) bought his 640-acre place in rural North Florida and started fixing up the old farm house, working with his wife and kids getting everything a rural family needed and wanted.
They repaired fences, pond [filtered word\, woods roads and culverts. Put in a garden. Got fields ready for planting. Built wood duck boxes and stocked two lakes with bass and panfish.
Life was good for the new country landlord until one morning he heard a gunshot, then two, three, five and more. They were close, on his property. No one had permission to hunt, so David got in his truck and took off for the back of his square mile of paradise, while his wife nervously watched him drive away.
Ten minutes later David spotted a pickup truck alongside a county road that abutted his land. Three men were near it, two of them across a fence on David’s property. A lifelong hunter, David sensed trouble, but he purposefully was unarmed as he drove up beside the men, stunned at what he saw.
Five wild hogs were dead on the ground, shot on David’s land from a public roadway. The hogs were wild. But in Florida they are classified not as game animals, but private livestock, so penalties for shooting them are even more severe than illegally shooting wild game.
“Fellows, those are my hogs you got there,” David said calmly.
“Them’s wild pigs, no season, no limit,” one of the men said fast and nervous. “Seen ’em cross the road, we pulled over and shot ’em ’fore they got to the fence — they jus’ died on your side. We’re fixin’ to load ’em and take ’em home.”
“Well, shootin’ from a public road right of way isn’t legal, and I sure didn’t give you permission to shoot ’em on my land,” David continued as he stepped out of his truck. “We better let the game warden sort this out.” More....