Authorities Identify Suspects Who Allegedly Assaulted Elk Hunters in Wyoming

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by: Jon G. Fuller / VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming just released an update on the case where two elk hunters were assaulted by two other hunters over the weekend.

The office hasn’t released the names of the suspects or the victims in the incident, per the request of one of the victim’s fathers.

“The Suspects have been identified! Thank you so much for all your help!!” the department said in the caption to their press release, providing the update.

According to Wyoming’s Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, two hunters assaulted two other hunters in the Shale Creek area of Greys River on October 15th. The incident occurred in the afternoon that day about 60 miles north of the town of Kemmerer.

The two suspects were traveling in a Ford F150 with Colorado license plates.

A report from OutThereColorado says the assailants were drunk. Reportedly, they also accused the victims of stealing an elk carcass that the suspects had supposedly killed earlier that day. During the incident, the victims did not have an elk carcass with them.

One of the men that was assaulted was later brought to a hospital for treatment. Two days after the incident, he still remains there. One victim had several fractures on his jaw. He suffered other injuries and will likely need surgery.

The suspects were described as white males, both approximately 5′ 9″ with dark hair. One suspect has straight hair and the other one has wavy hair. One suspect was estimated to be in his late-20s to early-30s. The other was believed to be in his late-30s. The younger suspect had a possible scope injury on his nose and eyebrow.

One of the Elk Hunters Still Recovering in Billings-Area Hospital

Plenty of users responded to the office’s original post to provide their information on the situation. “I was up there this weekend hunting and saw just 2 Colorado plates for sure,” one user wrote. “I also went up little Grey’s and did some fishing.”

The user said they then saw the “first Colorado plate close to me and the 2nd closer to Grey’s little Grey’s turnout.”

Another user responded once the suspects had been identified. “Glad they were caught,” they wrote.

The victims, who are in their early 30s, were reportedly elk hunting with two other men at the time of the alleged assault, The assault took place around 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 15. Apparently, the incident resulted from a confrontation with another group of hunters, according to the sheriff’s office. The assaulting group may have confused their victims for the other party they had previously confronted.

One of the victims was injured badly. He suffered multiple jaw fractures and was still being treated at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings as of Wednesday morning. The victim’s father, Noble Handley, tells Outdoor Life that he doesn’t want to share the identities of the victims. He fears retribution and also doesn’t want to release information because his son is still recovering.