The Carbon County, Wyoming corner hopping saga involving four Missouri hunters and the Elk Mountain Ranch continues to evolve as claims of hunter harassment are now being brought into play.
“Ranch employees spied on them to the point they couldn’t relieve themselves in private, stalked the group, harassed them in their tent, swore, yelled and intimidated them and caused one deer they were pursuing to run off, according to the allegations.”
We may never know the truth of what happened last fall in Carbon County but one thing is for certain, the results of this case could change the landscape of public access in western states dramatically.
If in fact Elk Mountain Ranch employees are guilty of hunter harassment then the slope toward a dismissal of the trespassing charges just got greasier. However, if the Missouri hunters are lying or even embellishing the truth, a big old black eye is about to be painted on public land advocates. Right now this is a classic case of “he said, she said” and the truth lies somewhere beyond the horizon.
I personally hope that no matter the outcome of this case sportsmen and women remember that both private landowners and public land supporters are in the same boat when it comes to wildlife conservation and the future of hunting. We need respect, open discourse, understanding and grace if we are to do what is right for wildlife in the increasingly complex private vs public land debate.
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