Kodiak Bison No Longer ‘Fair Game’

Jay Barrett/KMXT

Kodiak’s bison herds can again freely roam the island without fear of being declared feral and fair game to hunters. The Alaska Supreme Court Friday overturned a lower-court ruling that affirmed a Board of Game regulation that the privately-owned animals were feral if they strayed too long onto state or federal lands.

The Alaska Board of Game had authorized hunts of escaped bison in 2007, but ranger Charles Dorman sued to overturn the rule. A lower-court ruling upheld the Board of Game regulation, but Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturns it, saying the lower court had not properly considered that it was clear the bison were private property and belonged to ranchers.

Dorman died five months ago at the age of 78. His attorney tom Meacham told the Alaska Dispatch that the Supreme Court victory was bittersweet because Dorman wasn’t around to savor it.

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