Home / General / Corner Crossing Updates: NOT GUILTY Despite Limited Use of Video Evidence

Corner Crossing Updates: NOT GUILTY Despite Limited Use of Video Evidence

Exclusion of the body cam footage earlier this week looked like a severe body blow to the defense. It looked even worse when the judge in this corner crossing case let it be known that definitions for air space in relation to Wyoming law would be sent with the 3 man, 3 woman jury for consideration during deliberations. The deliberations lasted a mere hour and a half and all 4 Missouri men walked out as NOT GUILTY men.

The jury found that the prosecution had not presented evidence that the 4 hunters who had taken 2 elk and one deer on their 2021 hunt were guilty of trespass or even the alternative theory of trespass to hunt. 

This case has drawn attention due to the 5 million acres of public land that are technically land locked but could be accessed through “corner hopping.” A Gofund me page was established with a goal of $30,000.00 and that figure was well exceeded at a whopping $71,160.00. Sportsmen from across the United States have donated to this fund in hopes that it will help establish a precedent down the road to make the practice of “corner hopping” explicitly legal rather than the gray area that it seems to be now.   

While this case has not set precedent because the language of the law on the books in Wyoming defines air space as belonging to the landowners of the properties where the corners meet. 

So what say you? The federal civil case is next and I’m sure that there will be plenty of discussion around what will happen in that case. There will also now certainly be discussions in Wyoming at least regarding the language of the law about corner crossing and air space. Where that goes will certainly be interesting. We encourage you to write letters to your state legislators if you are a Wyoming resident to let them know how you feel about the law either way.  

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Video evidence, whether it be privately recorded, dash cam or body cam from law enforcement tends to tell the story in ways that we were never able to see in yesteryear. It also adds levels of complication that were not involved in trying cases before video opportunities were available in everyone’s pocket.

This complication hits home in the much documented and discussed Corner Crossing Case  that is currently playing out in Wyoming. Video evidence has circulated from this case (can we link to this video?) as it is public record and as goes this case there has been much ado with its release. The judge in the case has ruled that due to the nature of the discussion in some of the video only portions can be used as evidence. Officers in the video are seen and heard discussing what the law states and its interpretation. The judge believes the interpretation of the law is up to the court to decide and as such that discussion is not relevant. 

For the defense this means that they will have to use the segments they need while excluding any of the sections that show law enforcement discussing the interpretation of the law. For the prosecution this will certainly add plenty of discussions to the talking points when evidence is brought up for use in the trial. 

What’s potentially at stake is access to all of the land that is landlocked by private land but has corners that touch publicly accessible land. Wyoming has the largest swath of checkerboard public land, and access for the public to these lands could be a win for sportsmen and public land users. 

For an even more in depth look at this new piece of the puzzle in this case feel free to read the WyoFile article. You can also read more here on this case as we have covered many of the changes and events leading us to where we are today. (provide links to our other blogs on this and to this onX article: 

onX Maps Corner Crossing Report

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11 comments

  1. I like your journalism talents…always presents the facts clearly. These lands in question are PUBLIC LANDS. Man, it’s time for change in Wyoming where ranchers can not shut off access. That’s just wrong.

  2. The big take away for me is that this does not set precedent in the state of Wyoming or any other state. This is going to be a big problem in the future and I fear will divide landowners and hunters even more.

  3. Shelley Horn

    we live in Wyoming and have hunted on one piece of public land for over 20 years last year a guy that owns 10 feet of land on the road put up a sign and told us we can not cross his land anymore. Then he went on to say that he had seen us hunting out there for a couple years and that my husband shoots deer for the whole family ….pretty good since last year just one of my daughters and I went hunting and I am the only one who shot a deer.

    • some states set precedent that if one has had access for a long period of time without impedance it has become a perpetual easement at that point, and that the land owner cannot terminate access because public access has set historical precedent.

      • Gerald Brunckhorst

        Here in Montana, I hunted through a specific access with my dad and grandpa for over 20 years. New owners bought the property containing this access. They didn’t like anyone going to US Forest Service through the access. They build a huge house in a gully, blocking the access completely (have to drive through his garage to use the road).

  4. Orion-Cazadores

    I guess the question to ask the Federal Govt is what is the intended long term purpose of the land locked land ? If the courts decide to not allow access which is 90% likely versus opening the land to public access via easement or new laws on the books. With maybe -maybe a 10% chance the public will be win and gain access.

    The fall back after the public lose the case is that CONVERSELY we need laws restricting adjacent land owners to these land locked access OUR public lands. Basically- we cannot use THEY cannot use !
    It’s likely we can get that legislation passed no one can use or access that land for any purpose- I’m fine with that as well !,,

  5. This issue needs resolved when affecting access to all public lands. If the public can’t access then those with a joining private property should have no access for any reason

  6. Keep in mind the majority of the lawmakers in these various states are the landowners so there’s little chance of them legislating anything close to equitable. We hunters need to stand together for access to these parcels or an equitable trade/consolidation so there’s contiguous access. Same goes with river corridor access.

  7. This ruling is a step in the right direction to help protect public land access & hunting. Will hopefully just be the beginning of unlocking public land resources for the public. Public land means “public” – not private. Same as illegal immigrants – means “illegal” or against the law.

  8. If its federal land , the federal government has an obligation to allow the public use of the lands if the land owners have use of the lands. Tax payers should not be disallowed access and to their rights to access land . What about eminent domain?

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