It may be difficult to believe that some internet advertising claims are exaggerated, but Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott insists such is the case in an action filed today. Worse, the victims of the alleged false claims are Texas hunters. It's almost sacreligious.
All the hunters wanted to do was nail them some zebras, wild hogs, water buffalo and other stuff at Candelaria Ranch in Gonzales County.
The ranch's webpage said it was 2,000 acres and, the AG says, a "prime destination for hunting wild hogs, antelope, deer, turkey, squirrels, sheep, rabbits and other animals classified as varmints, including bobcats, opossums, armadillos and gophers. The Candelarias even advertise zebra, water buffalo and mountain lion hunts."
Fees were as much as $500 per person or $2,000 a group. Those who signed up for a death-defying duel with Mother Nature were sorely disappointed, the AG says:
[H]unters' complaints with the Office of the Attorney General noted that the Candelarias wholly under-represented the numbers and concentrations of animals to be hunted. Promotional advertising described the ranch as having the highest concentration of the state's estimated population of three million wild hogs. According to court documents filed by the state, the defendants played to hunters' conservationist instincts by urging them to help thin out their ranch's destructive hog population.
Despite the defendants' claims, however, the hunts appeared to be "canned" as the animals appeared to be tame, not wild. State investigators learned that many hogs on the ranch were purchased from other ranches.
Hey, easier shots to make, right? Some people never are satisfied.
The Candelarias, who are from Pasadena, also somewhat misstated the size of the alleged 2,000-acre ranch.
Hunters' complaints also pointed out that the Gonzales-area ranch comprises only about 250 acres - not thousands of acres - which they complained were often teeming with large numbers of other sportsmen. Many hunters reported fearing for their safety.
In addition to apparently having more hunters than actual wild hogs packed onto the property, the AG says the owners also failed to provide guides as promised and tacked on a whole slew of fees.
A court has frozen the owners' assets until a hearing later this month.
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