Putting the deer to sleep, Texas-style

Anderton v. Tex. Parks & Wildlife Dep’t, No. 14-10297 (5th Cir. Mar. 26, 2015).

For ten years, James and Jimmie Anderton had a permit that allowed them to breed deer on a ranch outside Dallas. Then, probably because the Andertons had illegally imported deer from another state, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department denied their applications for permit renewal. After the permit expired, the Wildlife Department came onto the Andertons’ land twice and shot breeder deer in front of them. 

The Andertons have now brought suit, asserting violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court dismissed the suit, and the Fifth Circuit affirms. While the Andertons’ allegations “may raise questions related to the most humane ways to kill deer,” the court notes, they don’t establish that the Wildlife Department acted so outrageously as to “shock the contemporary conscience.”