Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fence Off

Wyoming is a "fence out" state. It is assumed livestock and wild things will wander at will. It is the land owner's responsibility to "fence out" unwanted animal intruders. It's the law.

Wyomingites are savvy about land and water law. There are not many of us (natives) and somewhere down the line most of us lived on a farm or ranch where you had to know about land and water law. So maybe it's bred in the bone. The County Attny's. office gets lots of calls about water and animals and the law. They love these calls.

Yesterday was a bumper day for livestock calls. Two mundane calls about horses eating flowers. People here tie their horses along the road side to eat the tall grass and weeds. Is cheaper and easier than mowing. Unfortunately if the rope is too long the horses munch their way into other peoples yards and eat flowers. Everyday stuff. Not so with the turkeys and the rabbits.

The "fowl" call was placed by an irate homeowner who resented having to pay to feed the neighbors herd of turkeys. Seems the neighbors release this pack of poultry every evening to flock into her yard and eat all her dog food and poop on the lawn. This has been going on for months in spite of repeated calls and entreaties by the dog food provider. The turkeys are eating a bag of dog food a week. The lawn is thriving but the walkways are "befowled." The angry homeowner had researched the issue and knew the county ordinance about the permitted number of poultry per acre. She wasn't sure as she couldn't tell all the turkeys apart but she thought they exceeded the legal limit. She had had it with these expensive pests and wanted something done now.

The lepidine call came hard on the heels of the fowl call. Another homeowner was frustrated because the neighbors rabbits were getting out of their pens and coming into her yard and eating all her new trees. It was bad enough when they killed the cheap $45 ones but now they had begun to chow down on the pricey Aspens. She called the neighbors to complain and was told to "just shoot them." The rabbits not the neighbors. She proceeded to use a pellet gun on the escapees but it didn't do anything except "make them jump up in the air." She guessed she was not strong enough to pump the air rifle up sufficiently. She said she could sit out every evening at twilight with a twenty-two but she resented having to do this. She felt is was someone else's responsibility to shoot the bunnies. The County should shoot them.

Chicken wire. Both lovely frustrated ladies were encouraged to more effectively fence their property. Page after page of county ordinances were recited by both women to Mark so as to invalidate this answer. The state "fence out" statute was news to them both. It did not fall on receptive ears. Mark alerted the deputies to be prepared for some sort of contretemps in each case. Elderly ladies with small budgets and beautiful yards will not give in so easily.

Take care of your yards. Love Bea

1 comment:

Lori said...

Beula, is it against the law for someone to install fencing in their yard AFTER the turkeys are in their yard? You know, possession is 9/10th of the law?

Actually, here in Virginia (Mark can look it up as there was an 17th century law about fences involved as well), a man shot and killed his neighbor over a bull coming over to his property. The man was acquitted. (The people in the county were afraid of him, he's a very ligitious fellow.)

My dad would be happy to find a flock of turkeys in his yard but he'd keep them (see above) and make the neighbor pay a bounty or something.

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