Four Missouri hunters are not guilty of criminal trespass, a Wyoming District Court decided today.
In November 2021, Wyoming BHA was approached by the hunters asking for help to fight a criminal citation for corner crossing between two parcels of public land. BHA decided to support them.
We reached out to hunters and anglers across the country, and the response was overwhelming. BHA Wyoming sponsored a fundraiser to support the four hunters and together, hunters and anglers raised over $70,000 to cover their legal expenses. Should there be a remaining balance after all legal matters are resolved, the balance will go to the Wyoming’s Access Yes Program, which is widely recognized as a successful program to help hunters, trappers and anglers access privately held lands.
Over the last several months, the story has become national news; it has increased awareness for private and public land owners alike, and it has shed light on how complex the landscape has become. This case underscores the need to develop access solutions that work for everyone.
With the court's decision today, Wyoming BHA believes justice has been served. We are happy for these hunters, and we hope we can avoid future scenarios where everyday citizens are prosecuted criminally just because they accessed their public lands and waters. This isn’t a precedent setting decision, but it is a step forward. We are committed to advancing this conversation and we hope we can find solutions that result in increased public access while respecting the property rights and concerns of all.