IT’S NOT OVER! Hunters Face New Corner-Crossing Trespassing Charges
The issue is not dead yet. Though many hoped it had been settled.
A jury just found four Missouri men not guilty of trespassing when they corner-crossed in 2021.
But three of them face similar charges stemming from a hunting trip in 2020. So back to court they go.
That's not all. All four are facing a separate civil suit in federal court for the 2021 incident.
Circuit Court Judge Susan Stipe issued a summons on April 25 to Bradly Cape, Phillip Yeomans, and Zachary Smith to appear, virtually if necessary, before her on June 6 to answer to new trespass charges. According to information filed with the court, the three each face one count of violating Wyoming’s criminal trespass law or the state’s trespassing-to-hunt statute. (WYOFILE).
For those who are not familiar with the issue, "corner crossing" is when someone is trying to get from one piece of public property to another at the common corner with two pieces of private property without stepping on that private land.
Wyoming has a checkerboard pattern of land ownership found in many parts of Wyoming and the West. It was created when the federal government began dividing up the land and making it into states.
Wyoming state legislators have tried several times to come up with a solution for the issue. Nothing has been passed yet.
So far this issue has been handled in court on a case-by-case basis.
One possible solution is to provide an easement, or passage, in the fencing that would allow hunters to travel through without crossing over private property.
These hunters have been using a ladder to "cross over." But private property owners still see that as trespassing.