Jesse Pierson, son of Capt. David, coming from Amagansett, saw a fox run and hide down an unused well near Peters Pond and killed and took the fox. Lodowick Post and a company with him were in pursuit and chasing the fox and saw Jesse with it and claimed it as theirs, while Jesse persisted in his claim. Capt. Pierson said his son Jesse should have the fox and Capt. Post said the same of his son Lodowick and hence the law suit contested and appealed to the highest court in the State, which decided that Post had not got the possession of the fox when Pierson killed it and that he had no property in it as against Pierson until he had reduced it into his own possession. This became the leading case often cited because it established; and I think, for the first time, by the court of last resort in the State, that to give an individual right in wild animals, the claimant must capture them. To the public the decision was worth its cost. To the parties who each expended over a thousand pounds, the fox cost very dear.
-James T. Adams, Memorials of Old Bridgehampton 166 (1916, 1962)
However, earlier this summer at the request of Broderick Post, great-great-great-grandson of Lodowick Post, the remains of the fox were exhumed and analyzed, at a personal cost of about $1 million. The long-overdue autopsy found conclusive evidence that, by the time Pierson had discovered the fox, it had already died of exhaustion from Post’s pursuit. Post then petitioned the court to have the case reopened.