Matthew McConaughey in crosshairs over cries of ‘canned’ hunts on family ranch

The Oscar winner is taking flack after an animal right website accused a family ranch he once owned of offering ‘canned hunts,’ in which hunters shoot animals in fenced-in areas.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 5:43 PM
Actor Matthew McConaughey has been taking heat for hunts held at a ranch he once owned.
Actor Matthew McConaughey has been taking heat for hunts held at a ranch he once owned.

Animal rights activists aren’t alright, alright, alright with accusations that a Texas ranch connected to actor Matthew McConaughey offers so-called “canned” deer hunting trips.

The “Dallas Buyer’s Club” star has been taking heat after an animal rights magazine called for a boycott of his movies because of the hunting setup at a Mertzon, Tex., ranch, owned by his kin.

The 45-year-old actor was listed as a co-owner of LP ranch on the ranch’s website on Wednesday.

However, the actor’s rep said in an email to the Daily News that McConaughey hasn’t been an owner of the sprawling digs since 2011.

A photo of McConaughey was later removed from the site’s “meet the staff” page, where he had been listed him as a co-owner with his brother Mike, aka Rooster.

An official from the Irion County tax assessor’s office told the Daily News that Madison McConaughey is the only McConaughey listed as a property owner in Mertzon.

The A-lister has a nephew named Madison. LP’s website lists him as the ranch’s cattle manager.

McConaughey was listed as an owner on the ranch's website on Wednesday. His rep said he hasn't been an owner since 2011 and his pic was later removed. 
McConaughey was listed as an owner on the ranch’s website on Wednesday. His rep said he hasn’t been an owner since 2011 and his pic was later removed.

LPANGUSRANCH.COM

McConaughey landed in animal lovers’ crosshairs after an animal rights websitecalled Their Turn accused the LP ranch for offering “canned” whitetail deer hunts, in which hunters open fire while animals nosh from feeders in fenced-in areas.

“Canned hunts are among the cruelest forms of hunting,” the site said, encouraging readers to contact the actor on social media and boycott his movies.

Separately, an online petition popped up at YouSignAnimals.org calling for the Oscar winner to condemn “canned hunting.”

LP Ranch hands, though, said the deer hunts they put on were far from shooting fish in a barrel.

Chad Koonce, an LP manager, told The News deer feeders on the property are indeed fenced-in, but the fences were only three-feet high and made to keep cattle out.

“I don’t even know what canned hunts” means,” Koonce told The News. “These deer have free range to roam around as they please.”

UNE 24, 2012 FILE PHOTO. 06241210281TODD WILLIAMSON/INVISION/APMcConaughey and his wife Camila Alves attending the premiere of ‘Magic Mike’ in 2012.

“When they jump in there to get the feeder, they are off limits,” he added. “There’s no shooting near those protein feeders.”

In a statement, PETA called “canned” hunts “prepacked slaughter” and said they’d spoken to the actor’s team about the report.

“‘Canned’ hunting is like shooting fish in a barrel — it’s nothing more than prepackaged slaughter for people who want to stalk and kill semi-tame animals who have no chance of escape,” PETA senior spokeswoman Colleen O’Brien said.

“PETA inquired right away and has been assured by Matthew McConaughey’s representative that he does not own the ranch, and his photo has been removed from its website.”

The actor isn’t the first public figure to take heat over the “canned” hunting topic.

In 2010, NASCAR heavyweight Tony Stewart started hosting hunts on his 414-acre farm in Indiana, leading to dust-ups with both deer preservationists and hunters, a News report first found.