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Wild birds and beasts. The word includes all game birds and game animals.

The state, in its sovereign power, owns game for the benefit of the general public. The only manner in which a private individual can acquire ownership in game is by possessing it lawfully such as by hunting and killing it under a license.

Generally, every individual has the right to hunt and take game in any public place where his or her presence is lawful, so long as the person neither violates statutory regulations nor injures or infringes upon the rights of others. A hunter does not acquire an absolute right to a wild animal by mere pursuit alone, and the individual forfeits any potential ownership by abandoning the chase prior to capture. The exclusive right to hunt or take game on privately owned property vests in the owner or his or her grantees. This property right of the owner is limited by the right of the state to regulate and preserve the game for public use. A suit for Trespass may be brought against one who interferes with another's right to hunt.

A statute that proscribes the hunting of game without a license, and that requires the payment of a fee for such license, constitutes a proper exercise of the Police Power of the state.

Game laws govern the killing or taking of birds and beasts. Game wardens ordinarily can arrest violators, seize illegally taken game, bring actions for trespass, or institute prosecutions for violations of the game laws.

Under a number of game laws, it is a penal offense to kill or take certain types of game in certain seasons of the year or without a license. A hunter is required to exhibit a license when properly called on to do so, and it constitutes a legal violation if the person cannot do so.

In a situation where an individual has lawfully obtained possession of game—enclosing and caring for them as domestic animals—the person can kill one or more of them if necessary for care and management or for humane purposes. In addition, an individual might be justified in killing game in violation of the law if it were necessary for the protection of persons or property. It sometimes constitutes an offense to export game beyond the limits of the nation or state in which it was killed or captured, to ship it for sale in a certain manner, or to absent certain information upon the package.

The United States has entered into treaties with other countries, including Great Britain and Mexico, for the protection and preservation of migratory birds and game animals. It constitutes an offense to violate statutes that were enacted to implement such treaties. For example, a regulatory statute might limit the number of birds that can be killed by any individual each day, and it would be an offense to exceed such limit.

The federal government, subject to the consent of the state, can establish a game refuge for the protection of game and migratory birds and proscribe all hunting in the vicinity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is administered by the Interior Department, to conserve and preserve fish and game in wildlife refuges and game ranges.


Endangered Species Act; Fish and Fishing.

See: bet, competition, contest, ridicule



GAME. Birds and beasts of a wild-nature, obtained by fowling and hunting. Bac. Ab. h. t.; Animals; Ferae natural.

References in classic literature ?
We had noble games out of hours, and plenty of liberty; but even then, as I remember, we were well spoken of in the town, and rarely did any disgrace, by our appearance or manner, to the reputation of Doctor Strong and Doctor Strong's boys.
Before each pavilion was suspended the shield of the knight by whom it was occupied, and beside it stood his squire, quaintly disguised as a salvage or silvan man, or in some other fantastic dress, according to the taste of his master, and the character he was pleased to assume daring the game.
It was as if I were the mark of that ghastly game of bowls.
Bertram," said Crawford, some time afterwards, taking the opportunity of a little languor in the game, "I have never told you what happened to me yesterday in my ride home.
Or he engages with his comrades in games of dexterity, agility and strength; or in gambling games in which everything is put at hazard with a recklessness seldom witnessed in civilized life.
Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the sermon Sundays (because that'll tell at home, you know); and the ships we saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don't ever carry any, principally, going against a head wind always--wonder what is the reason of that?
About half-way through the term a mania ran through the school for a game called Nibs.
These are games indeed--the very best that are seen.
Dan MacDonald, pioneer saloonman and gambler on the upper Yukon, owner and proprietor of the Tivoli and all its games, wandered forlornly across the great vacant space of floor and joined the two at the stove.
Amid all the buzzing noise of the games, and the perpetual passing in and out of the people, he seemed perfectly calm and abstracted, without the smallest particle of excitement in his composition.
shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began.
And," added Passepartout, "that would play the game of the gentlemen of the Reform Club.