Many animals are believed to have been shot at close range, Reinhardt said.
“We’ve heard from hunters that it does not really mimic the natural environment of the animals,” Reinhardt said.
Opponents of captive hunting caution that camps can spread chronic wasting disease, a fatal illness that infects the brain and nervous system in deer, elk, and moose. Animals are not believed to be able to transmit the disease to people, state officials said, but it can be devastating to wildlife.
“The threat of disease from captive facilities is very real,” Berry said.
Captive-hunting runs counter to the Vermont outdoors culture, said the commissioner.
“I have absolutely no interest in hunting with animals trapped behind a fence or animals that are imported for the purposes of the opportunity to hunt,” he said. “I enjoy hunting because the kids love it when I bring home game for dinner, and I love being in the woods.”
In any event, wildlife officials said, the state has decided that captive hunting will not be a growth industry.
Brian MacQuarrie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.