DNR inspects hunting ranch for invasive swine
A messy battle over invasive swine continues between an area hunting ranch and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
In December 2010 the DNR issued an order outlawing Russian and Eurasian Boars in Michigan.
They began enforcing that ban last month and tried to make ranches that have these hogs kill them or sell them to other states. Some ranches including Renegade Ranch in Cheboygan are fighting back and are allowed to keep the pigs for now.
Ron McKendrick, owner of Renegade Ranch says, "My phone usually rings all the time during the week and since this started, it has stopped ringing."
There's buffalo, deer, and elk on Ron McKendrick's 300 acre property, but he says 70% of hunters that travel to Renegade Ranch are there to target Russian swine.
McKendrick says, "They're harder to find and they like the pigs for the meat."
The new ban takes aim at the invasive species, the DNR claims these boars carry disease, destroy crops, and can easily escape. Now the state is tied up in a legal dispute with several pig owners including McKendrick.
Thursday DNR officers obtained a court order to inspect Renegade Ranch to see just how many Russian Boars are on the land. Officers spread out and tracked ten to the edge.
A spokesperson for the DNR says the next court date for this case has not been scheduled yet. Until then, McKendrick is allowed to keep the pigs on his property.