A group of North Dakota duck hunters is looking at potential charges following a heated confrontation with a landowner. According to reports, the conflict occurred on the morning of Friday, Oct. 21, and the now-viral clip was recorded by Jacob Sweere of Madison Lake, Minnesota.
Before the incident, the duck hunters had set up a spread between a cut bean field and a cut cornfield. They took several birds. However, it didn’t take long before the owner of the cornfield found the hunters. Once he found them he had a few choice words for them.
WARNING: Video contains explicit language!
“I was going to hunt here this morning, but I heard you guys were coming,” he yelled at the men. “I own the f*****g land. Now that you’re here, I can’t hunt here. So you know what, f*k you!”
The hunters were both local and non-local hunters. One of the local hunters said he’d secured permission from the owner of the bean field. However, the fuming owner of the corn field argued that they were trespassing because the leaves from their blind were touching the leaves of his corn.
During the video, the angry landowner said they all could have hunted together if the hunters had talked to him prior. Despite the tense moment, the hunters remained calm. The landowner also left and returned several times, called the game warden, and demanded the hunters be given citations.
He later offered to let the group hunt there if they “give me half the price of your fine.” At another point in the video, he offered to let them hunt on the bean field, but only if they paid him $300.
Game Warden responds to heated incident with duck hunters and furious land owner
According to the Grand Forks Herald, James Myhre, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, responded to the incident. He listened to the landowner and told the duck hunters that they could face non-criminal trespassing charges.
However, he also said that all charges would have to “pass the smell test” and be approved by the Eddy County State’s Attorney Ashley L. Lies.
When the men told Myhre about the landowner’s offer to leave if the hunters gave him half the cost of the fine, Myhre asked, “Is there a way you can send me that video?” When Sweere responded that he could, Myhre said, “Perfect. I think that would be good.”
The state’s hunter harassment law says, “An individual may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife on public or private land by another or intentionally harass, drive, or disturb any wildlife on public or private land for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt.”
It also states that this prohibition does not apply to “landowners or operators interfering with hunters on land owned or operated by that individual.”
In addition, violating the harassment law is a class B misdemeanor. It carries a maximum penalty of thirty days’ imprisonment, a $1,500 fine, or both.