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.”
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