Pierson v. Post


Court: Supreme Court of NY

Facts: Post is out hunting with his dogs, sees a fox, and is chasing it. Pierson snatches up the fox in Post's sight.

Posture: Initial judgment for Post, Pierson appeals.

Issue: What does it take to "possess" a wild animal.

Holding: Pierson wins.

Rule: Possession is limited to occupancy.

Reasoning: Not much. Both sides cite ancient (literally) precedent, both claim efficiency as a virtue. Dissent raises a specious economic argument, claiming that fox eradication is the primary motivation for keeping hounds, etc.