The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently investigating a case of possible hunter harassment in Starke County that could have had deadly consequences. The DNR’s Law District 10 posted the following photos to their Facebook page late last month, showing what appeared to be a large cut in a tree set up for hunting.

OutdoorHub reached out to the Indiana DNR and was told that there are currently no suspects in the case, but that the act of sabotage did occur on private land—so it is possible that whoever made the cut was also trespassing. According to the District 10 officers, this is only one form of hunter harassment that occasionally crop up all across Indiana.

“Hunter harassment comes in a lot of different forms,” Sgt. Shawn Brown told OutdoorHub. “A lot of times it might be an adjoining property owner that would come out and drive a vehicle near a property’s edge or walk their dogs intentionally while someone was hunting. Someone could beat pots and pans, or actually be shooting while hunters are in the trees.”

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Hunter harassment is considered a misdemeanor, although this specific case is notably more severe. Outraged hunters have responded to the case on Facebook, calling for more serious charges because of the potential dangers of a cut tree.

“They should be charged with attempted murder… if a hunter gets in their stand in the dark and doesn’t see that,” wrote one commentor.

“Set up a game camera and catch this moron,” wrote another. “They need to be stopped before they hurt someone.”

Thankfully, the cut was spotted and reported to the DNR before anyone was injured. Wildlife officials advise hunters to report any cases of suspected harassment to the DNR. These kind of cases may be more common than either hunters or conservation officers would like, but Brown said that they should not distract from the hunt.

“We want people to enjoy themselves in the field, sometimes it’s the only time that people can get outside,” he said. “We want to protect that time.”

Images from Facebook

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  • Dodging Bullets

    Sounds like something we have endured for several years now and the local police are not even interested in investigating. We have a guy that comes out every year and starts shooting (in any direction his gun is pointed)… he will literally fire 400 rounds or more during any day that he is in the woods in an attempt to keep hunters from having a chance to see any game. So far, no one has been hit, however, a couple of bullets have found their way into neighboring barns, and we have had bullets come whizzing by us. We wish that someone would take this guy to jail, but even our local Indiana Conservation Officer seems uninterested in checking into the many complaints that he has received from several hunters about this guy.

    • Charlie

      I’m afraid the DNR has been infiltrated by the same type of fools that cut this tree. Not all of them but enough to have helped create this bogus situation. Then the others are just union drones that serve in blind allegiance. They are trying to create a preponderance of evidence that will challenge hunting and fishing rights if not put an end to it all together. In other words-has anyone thought of the possibility this scum bag is a DNR agent? Crazy? How ’bout the firefighter that lit a bunch of wildfires so he had something to do? There are lots of loons out there.

      • Chuck Wagon

        Look, the crime occurred on orivste property. We can’t have cops standing guard 24/7 on private property, let alone a vast open area of public land. If ta private property these crimes are occuring, then it’s the land owners responsibility to catch these crooks, not the cops’. Also, can some brain surgeon here tell me how to catch a crook that merely cut into a tree, within a dense Forrest? Too many people here watch and falsely believe what they see on TV shows like “CSI.”

      • Cephas Martin

        Then why the hell do we have a sheriff’s office and game wardens? If sabotage is a recurring problem, it IS time to call in the authorities. That’s what we pay them for. Your answer is totally stupid!

      • Rion

        I take it you are uneducated ……private property is as is public lands is patrolled as needed.No need to be a brain surgeon though we can tell you definitely are not … remember what you just typed,lol,land owners..!How about ppl reporting suspicious behavior on no that would take a brain surgeon.To many ppl like you just sit back and say “what can we do”.

      • Wayne Smith

        Turn you head around it must be on backwards.

    • AixSponsa

      In my state, businesses and government workers in any department of any office of any kind will NOT do anything that requires one bit of effort. Government workers are basically the laziest bunch of hypocrites extant. It’s a job requirement. (Cynical or just disgusted after 60 years?) Out here in middle America, we handle most everything ourselves.

    • Billie Anders

      One of these days someone will identify the shooter and shoot back.

    • Marine Gunner

      The solution to this problem is to ambush this a$$hole, throw a bag over him, and beat him within an inch of his life. After he gets out of the hospital, he will most likely find more constructive things to do with his time. Otherwise, you can have the fun of beating the CRAP out of him AGAIN.

    • JohnW

      sorry but if bullets come wizing by my head i’m shooting back

    • Me

      Shoot back. It’d be self defence if someone shooting at you.

  • Charlie

    Wreckless endangerment, trespassing, vandalism (how much was that mature tree worth?), attempted murder (murder is a term that applies to people not animals), and hopefully someone can figure out more charges. Did this scumbag think? What if it was a child that was getting into that stand? You people are a brick short….. You have no regard for human life. You are a human. Shouldn’t your policy apply to you as well? What if I know who you are? Have you checked your brake lines? Your now in dangerous territory because you’ve escalated it to this point. I wonder if this falls into the area of self defense, like in my home. Can someone doing this legally be shot for endangering me, my family, and my property? I think I’ll find out.

    • Bradf

      I think the attempted murder comment was in regards to attempting to murder a hunter, not attempted murder of the tree..at least that is how I took it…

  • Chuck Wagon

    Sad that the anti hunters also just killed an old tree. A-holes.

    • Cephas Martin

      And that is property damage.

  • Rion

    Probably a jealous hunter or maybe a land owner tired of tresspassers!

  • Jeff

    from what I can see theses trees hve ladder stands on them and only a fool would not notice tree being cut so if you have permission to hunt the private land take pics and call game warden cause the land owner prob didn’t do it .

  • Brandon3030

    I don’t understand all these anti hunters. We hunters have respect for wildlife. Its not for the thrill of killing. Its for enjoying the outdoors, getting kids being more active, and putting meat in the freezer. I love hunting and don’t see the problem why people cause a big deal.

  • John SP

    They destroy a tree that takes decades to grow and supplies oxygen to stop 1 hunter from killing 1 deer that are abundant as rabbits. That is a real liberal idiot and brave too.

  • Jim Langford

    shoot at me or, in my direction while I’m hunting or just in the woods, then its game on PERIOD. that’s called self defense. but here’s a better idea. set up a camp a SMALL one, in the area of your tree stand(s) NOT right up against them fishing line, cans, and cameras. it’s obvious, that whoever cut the tree, used a chainsaw which makes noise, camouflage you “hide” good and wait. the chainsaw “could” be used as a weapon against you so how you handle the situation would be your choice. just a thought. you know your self defense / gun laws in your state better than I since I don’t live there, be careful and be safe in whatever you chose to do.

  • ralph

    for one i know the stae very well, alot of trespassing there. get stricter on permission slips on ur possession! my guess, its another hunter, ya can always hunt from a ground blind! maybe the state should make it mandatory for a few years!

  • Mike_in_Wasilla

    Check your stand before you climb every time.