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Battle brewing over deer genetics

Posted on January 11, 2013

Jane BeathardA Madison County captive deer farm recently sued a Hilliard veterinarian and a Wisconsin-based genetics laboratory for negligence in drawing and handling semen from its nationally recognized white-tailed bucks, according to court documents filed in Wisconsin.

Waldvogel Whitetails, Inc., which operates captive deer farms in both Wisconsin and at 4070 Tradersville-Brighton Rd., north of London, filed a lawsuit in October against Dr. Dennis Gourley, Elite Genetics, Inc. and Gourley’s liability insurer.

The suit charges Gourley and Elite Genetics with professional negligence and breach of contract in drawing semen from the farm’s bucks, then mixing and contaminating those draws. The suit also charged Gourley with drawing excess semen and failing to identify which samples were saleable.

Gourley lived in Wisconsin from 2003 to 2010 and drew the semen in question at the company’s Wisconsin facility in October 2006.

Since then, Waldvogel has suffered “substantial financial loss, including loss of business profits and damage to reputation,” the suit alleges.

The company auctions semen from its stable of big-rack sires to other deer farmers. Products of that semen end up in private hunting preserves across the country.

According to waldvogelwhitetails.com, the company’s Web site, its reputation for breeding bucks in the 300 to 400-inch class rests on good genetics. Those genetics spring primarily from a buck named “Max,” born in 1997.

“What made Max special was his ability to sire sons that set the standard for all whitetail bucks,” the site says. “Max lived a long and productive life at Waldvogel Whitetails. His legacy will live on forever through his sons, daughters and their sons and daughters.”

A Madison County captive deer farm recently sued a Hilliard veterinarian and a Wisconsin-based genetics laboratory for negligence in drawing and handling semen from its nationally recognized white-tailed bucks, according to court documents filed in Wisconsin.

Waldvogel Whitetails, Inc., which operates captive deer farms in both Wisconsin and at 4070 Tradersville-Brighton Rd., north of London, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Dennis Gourley, Elite Genetics, Inc. and Gourley’s liability insurer in October.

The suit charges Gourley and Elite Genetics with professional negligence and breach of contract in drawing semen from the farm’s bucks, then mixing and contaminating those draws. The suit also charged Gourley with drawing excess semen and failing to identify which samples were saleable.

Gourley lived in Wisconsin from 2003 to 2010 and drew the semen in question at the company’s Wisconsin facility in October 2006.

Since then, Waldvogel has suffered “substantial financial loss, including loss of business profits and damage to reputation,” the suit alleges.

The company auctions semen from its stable of big-rack sires to other deer farmers. Products of that semen end up in private hunting preserves across the country.

According to waldvogelwhitetails.com, the company’s Web site, its reputation for breeding bucks in the 300 to 400-inch class rests on good genetics. Those genetics spring primarily from a buck named “Max,” born in 1997.

“What made Max special was his ability to sire sons that set the standard for all whitetail bucks,” the site says. “Max lived a long and productive life at Waldvogel Whitetails. His legacy will live on forever through his sons, daughters and their sons and daughters.”