Late last month the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (GFD) announced that a 53-year-old Casper man was convicted of harassing elk after he repeatedly flew over a herd on his ultralight trike. It was hard for Kevin Christopherson to deny the charges, seeing as how he uploaded a video of the flight to YouTube late last year. On May 20, a Natrona County Circuit Court Judge sentenced Christopherson to a fine of $1,500, a one-year loss of hunting privileges, one year of jail time suspended, and one year of unsupervised probation.
According to the Casper Star Tribune, the incident occurred last September when Chistopherson was flying over Deer Creek Park southeast of Casper. Despite what many viewers say is a clear case of wildlife harassment, Christopherson decided to upload the video to Facebook and YouTube, garnering more than 50,000 views. In the following days, the GFD received over 30 complaints over the video, prompting officials to investigate.
Christopherson, however, said he already sent in a copy of the video to the GFD. He claims that at the time, he believed that he was doing the agency a favor by showing the size of the herd.
You can see the video below:
“I have every reason to believe that I was helping them,” he told the Star Tribune.
Unfortunately for him, investigators thought differently.
“While amazing to see wildlife up close, the amount of stress the elk endured was uncalled for. People didn’t see the parts of the video where the elk were pushed through a barbed wire fence. That is why it is illegal to pursue or harass wildlife with any kind of motor vehicle,” said GFD Glenrock Game Warden Gary Boyd in a press release. “The Game and Fish appreciates people letting us know their concerns on these types of incidents. It is good to know how much people care about their wildlife.”
Christopherson initially fought the charges but later pleaded no contest.