Local ranchers face wildlife charges

At a glance

• DOW wildlife officers reported evidence of illegal big-game killing on the property of two Moffat County ranchers earlier this year.

• Evidence logs from warranted searches report DOW officials seized elk carcasses and firearms from the suspects' property Feb. 22.

• The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Craig filed felony and misdemeanor charges against both ranchers Tuesday afternoon.

— The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Craig filed misdemeanor and felony charges against two Moffat County ranchers Tuesday after a Colorado Division of Wildlife investigation.

Rodney Culverwell, part owner of Rio Ro Mo Cattle Company, located about 15 miles west of Craig, is charged with 18 counts of willful destruction of big game - a class 5 felony - and 18 counts of illegal possession of wildlife - a misdemeanor.

Kenneth Wolgram, who owns property on Moffat County Road 17 west of Craig, is charged with 16 counts of willful destruction of big game and 16 counts of illegal possession of wildlife.

The District Attorney's Office does not plan to ask for an arrest warrant in either case, Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow said.

According to search warrant affidavits filed with Moffat County District Court, DOW officials observed both suspects throughout a period of time.

DOW wildlife officers began investigating dead elk on Culverwell's property Jan. 28 after receiving reports of carcasses visible from U.S. Highway 40. The investigation continued until DOW officials served a search warrant Feb. 22.

According to the affidavit, DOW officials located dead elk on Culverwell's property on different days and found a store of carcasses in a hay barn there, as well.

Also reported in the affidavit, a DOW wildlife officer received an e-mail from Culverwell on June 12, 2007, asking for permission to kill wildlife eating his cattle feed and damaging his property.

"If I have not heard from you within two weeks, I will assume that you do not care and these matters must be taken care of by other means," the affidavit states Culverwell wrote in his e-mail.

Evidence reported in the subsequent evidence log lists 21 cow, calf and bull elks along with bullets reportedly taken from the carcasses and matching ammo casings found in a pickup truck registered to Rio Ro Mo Cattle Company, Culverwell's business.

DOW officials began investigating Wolgram on Feb. 18, after reportedly finding four elk carcasses on the side of County Road 17, according to a search warrant affidavit also dated Feb. 22.

The carcasses were located approximately two miles north of Highway 40, near Wolgram's property.

The affidavit states officials found evidence some of the animals were shot with a shotgun.

Upon entering Wolgram's property the next day, the affidavit reports officials spotted a dead cow elk near a haystack.

Wildlife Officer Garett Watson approached Wolgram and asked if he had dumped the elk on Highway 40, to which Wolgram answered yes, the affidavit states. Wolgram denied shooting the elk and told Watson he did not own a shotgun.

According to the affidavit, officers later found evidence of spent 12-gauge shotgun shells and .22 caliber ammunition casings on Wolgram's property.

According to evidence logs reported by DOW officials, the Feb. 22 warranted search on Wolgram's property yielded 13 elk carcasses along with two whole coyotes, 63 packages of non-commercially processed meat, antlers, cutting utensils, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .22 caliber pistol, a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

taxslave 6 years ago

Shooting these animals was a kinder death than what the DOW offered them.....STARVATION. The elk were miscarring their babies. Does one let their cattle die too?

The "blatant" inaction to feed the wildlife is unexcusable. Oh, I forgot, all the money is in Iraq.

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oldsage 6 years ago

Not the money they charge for hunting licenses! And casings that match the bullets found???? Mighty thin I bet 90% of the households in Moffat County have casings that fit that description. What size? what size? Please tell.

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katobe 6 years ago

So are you suggesting that we just let them off the hook for breaking the law? 18 felony charges for one and 16 charges for another. These "model citizens" have committed crimes and should be treated as a criminal. It seems a little blatent to hide them in the barn. Talk about dumb criminals. They should be candidates for the Darwin awards. Thank you DOW for doing your job. We drove through Sunbeam, Maybell, Irish Canyon and there are elk and deer everywhere that made it through our tough winter. They are a little skinny but atleast they are alive and were not slain by some malicious rancher that thought he is/was above the law. Maybe they should take some of their trespass hunting fees to buy more hay. How pathetic to ASSUME he could do this. Talk about wasteful. Those elk could have fed a lot of hungry folks who aren't rich like RIO RO MO. You know what they say when you assume.... Throw the book at them!

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katobe 6 years ago

I know, lets treat them like our drug dealers. Let them off all of their felony counts. Let's plea bargain. And you wonder why our county is known as the Meth Capitol of Colorado.

Why are there no arrests? Maybe we don't do that to "model citizens".

How do you know that the elk were aborting? Did you preg test them? Do you not think that is mother nature's way of controlling the population of our herds. Maybe you think that it was inhumane to not feed them but what class of action would you call shooting cows & calves, and bulls. That is the most inhumane thing I have ever heard of.....how barbarous.

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katobe 6 years ago

An excerpt from the DOW website...

"Most of our deer have moved out of the Steamboat Springs area and far to the west where they are finding open conditions," said Jim Haskins, DOW Area Wildlife Manager in Steamboat Springs. "We are seeing a small number of elk that are struggling, but that's more due to their own unwillingness to move to where the food can be found than due to the winter conditions."

Many of the deer and elk in northwest Colorado have never seen a hard winter or, in some cases, even a normal winter. The past eight winters have been relatively mild, leading deer and elk to stay in areas that aren't really appropriate winter range.

Meeker Area Wildlife Manager Bill deVergie is seeing that exact situation. "This is certainly more snow than we've had in quite a few years, but it is more of a typical winter. Most of the big game in this area hasn't seen anything but mild winters in their lifetime, so they're trying to figure out how to adapt. For the most part the animals are finding ways to find food on areas of critical winter range."

Wildlife managers are reporting some mortalities, but it is normal for some mortality to occur during the winter. Old, young and sick animals often succumb to even mild winter conditions. Two significant deer studies in northwest Colorado use radio tracking collars to monitor mule deer mortalities. The Middle Park study and the Piceance deer monitoring are both seeing mortality consistent with this time of year. The studies are another way that wildlife managers can watch for signs that intervention might be necessary.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is another complicating factor in feeding decisions for northwest Colorado wildlife managers. While CWD has not been detected in the Gunnison Basin, it has been found in some parts of northwest Colorado. Any feeding of deer in areas with confirmed instances of CWD must be approved by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. This is because feeding sites create large concentrations of deer and elk, which can result in increased transmission of CWD and other diseases.

"As we analyze feeding decisions we have to determine if the percentage of animals we might protect from starvation will outweigh the percentage of animals that might be at risk from disease transmission," added Broderick. "And while starvation is a rare or one-time occurrence, increased CWD transmission can negatively impact a population for multiple generations. That isn't to say we won't feed if it becomes necessary, but hopefully people understand more about what goes into the decision."

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katobe 6 years ago

DOW INSIDER PRESS RELEASE

Rodney Heath Culverwell 18 counts willful destruction of wildlife (class 5 felony) 18 counts illegal possession of wildlife (misdemeanor)

Kenneth Wolgram 16 counts willful destruction of wildlife (class 5 felony) 16 counts illegal possession of wildlife (misdemeanor)

The charges are related to the following Colorado statutes:

CRS 33-6-117(1)(a) Willful destruction of wildlife/big game .. it is unlawful for a person to hunt or take, or to solicit another person to hunt or take, wildlife and detach or remove, with the intent to abandon the carcass or body, only the head, hide, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers or any or all of such parts; to abandon the carcass or body of such wildlife; or to take and abandon wildlife.

As a class 5 felony, willful destruction convictions carry a sentence of one to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000 - $100,000 per count. Conviction also carries an assessment of 20 license suspension points per count.

CRS 33-6-109 Illegal possession of wildlife It is unlawful for any person to hunt, take, or have in such person's possession any wildlife that is the property of this state as provided in section 33-1-101, except as permitted by articles 1 to 6 of this title or by rule or regulation of the [wildlife] commission.

If found guilty, penalties for violations of CRS 33-6-109 call for a fine of $1,000 per count and an assessment of 15 license suspension points per count.

An individual who accumulates more than 20 licenses suspension points or who is convicted of a felony wildlife violation is subject to an administrative hearing process that can result in suspension of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 24 other states for a period of one year to life.

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justice4all 6 years ago

Kudos to our fantastic DOW!!!! Now for the DA, (that can be the abreviation for more than one name). Why are there no warrants issued for these felonies and atrocious misdemeanors?? Is this yet another case of selective justice by Rostinks office? Can't wait to see if this is plea bargained down to improper parking while prosecuting a driver on meth that kills an innocent man is dismissed by the DA. Also this would be similar to prosecuting a teenager in Steamboat for defending himself against a racist. By the way, it cost this teen over $40,000.00 to prove his innocence. If our DA was as good as our police, deputies and DOW we would have a system to be proud of. Problem is, we don't!

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notmpoppins 6 years ago

What these people have done is AGAINST THE LAW. The DOW has a tough and unpopular job at times. BRAVO to them for not turning their heads. Regardless of why these ranchers shot these animals and left them to rot, IT IS STILL AGAINST THE LAW!
Rio Ro Mo you make money during hunting season on these animals.
You want (and lure) the Elk onto your property in the fall to make a $$$ and expect them to go away in the winter? YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. And now you want the DOW to look like the bad guy. Shame on you!

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hunter 6 years ago

This is sickening. Yes it was a hard winter, but the herds have been way over objectives for years. The reason we are the largest elk herd in North America is due to over population. That over population is in part due to very easy winters. Over all this was a rough winter, but not really extreme when compared to averages.

These large ranchers charge a bunch to hunt elk and make good money doing it. They as much as the rest of our community rely on the animals for income. To randomly shoot and kill animals is sickening and immoral. There is no proof that any of those animals would have died over the winter. It is ridiculous when ranchers complain about the animals in the feed. Guess what you live in Colorado, if you do not like dealing with the issues here then leave. If you do not want to feed them, fence them out or simply move someplace else. Of course that means they have to give up tresspass fees and all the income from hunting.

Hopefully the offenders get hit hard, and real hard. The DA needs to send a message that violating the law is not ok, and criminlas will pay.

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oawow 6 years ago

This is typical rancher behavior,they think because they own land they can do whatever they please. I got a good idea, BUILD A FENCE! It's cheaper than going to jail and paying fines. Now let's just hope the justice system, including the Jurors, do the right thing.

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oo7_retro 6 years ago

Taxslave, who are you and do you know everything? It seems like you do and if thats the case you should be out there with clinton and obama! Come on man these elk have lived here long before you and your mutilated blood genes got here! Those elk are fine with this winter! They have persevered decades and know a thing or 2 about winter. If they die that is mother natures will and she will do as she pleases with them, as your five cents don't mean two cents to her. Also there wise guy, know it all, did you here the report in the local news about a month ago about how many elk escaped the hunting season this year? Of course you did not! This was one of the worst hunting seasons for elk bagged that most of us can remember and the dow has the facts to prove it! Did you ever once drive to Baggs or out in Browns park once and see the most massive heards most locals will ever recall seeing? Of course you did not! Now if the dude has sick elk on his land, then as a land owner it is the law to report stuff like that before you go out there and start rappin off shots at them because the dow will always help in situations like that, now again if its crop damage or haystack damage the same laws apply! So there mr. taxslave before you go off trying to push your belifes on to everybody else in this town, why don't you take a deep breath, relize all humans make mistakes and that knowbody is 100% right all the time! express your concerns and stop trying to brainwash people with your crap cause thats all you talk is crap! P.S. I am tired of reading your crap!

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grannyrett 6 years ago

oawow-This is NOT typical rancher behavior! I was raised on a small ranch in Moffat County. We dealt with dear and elk all the time. We bought hay because the deer ate so much of it out in the fields that we needed more to feed the cattle. We did not open our ranch to hunters, but all the family hunted out there. That was about all it would handle. You need to learn what is going on out in the country before you lump all of us together! What those guys did is wrong. No question about it. If it were someone trying to feed their family, even though it is illegal, I could understand poaching. To wantonly shoot animals and leave them to waste is unconscionable. There is no excuse for it. I know what it is like to try to keep deer and elk out of haystacks. It is hard, but they make enough out of hunters that they should be able to fence their hay in good enough to keep the wildlife out. We did. We stayed out in the pasture while the cattle were feeding and chased elk away so the cows could eat. Want to talk about scary! A kid trying to shoo off huge elk. Good thing we didn't know enough to be afraid of them. Game and Fish gave us whistling shotgun shells to scare them off. Didn't work. Did entertain them for a while, but they soon lost their fear of them. Most ranchers are hard working people who you-oawow- wouldn't hold a candle to. You couldn't keep up with them, work as hard as they do, and probably don't have the dedication to live as they do. You have no idea what you are yammering about. Go educate yourself, then come back and give us your opinion. If you don't know what you are talking about---PUT A CORK IN IT!

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grannyrett 6 years ago

taxslave-This is a type of year where Mother Nature is taking care of things. She likes to keep things in balance, so quit whining about it. That being said, what those guys did was wrong. Enough said.

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hunter 6 years ago

Grannyrett,

I do not think that anyone accused all the ranchers of doing this. I also have grown up ranching, and dealt with similar issues. In my post I talked specifically about the ranchers in question. Both of which are relatively well off and had no real business doing any of this. No one ever said that ranching was easy, but there are parts of life you have to deal with. Again no one here grouped all ranchers together. There are always a few bad apples, but like you said this was wrong on many levels.

This was someone else not granny:

To the argument about the poaching to feed your family. It is still wrong. It is against the law no matter the reason. I am really disturbed to here someone say that it is ok. Is it ok to walk onto a ranch and shoot and talk a cow for food? No. Wildlife belongs to the people of teh state. As such everytime one is taken illegally it is taken from us. IN all honesty poaching for food is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. If your so hard on luck for food the last thing you should do is risk a fine, jail time, confiscation of your vehicle, rifle etc. The gun used to poach alone is worth a vcouple hundred dollars. For a couple 100 dollars you can buy a lot of ramen, hot dogs etc. It is totally a ridiculous argument.

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valleylocal 6 years ago

HUNTER!!! Nice, your tag name is fitting for you. Your family means less to you then what the law reads (e.i. 'If your so hard on luck for food the last thing you should do is risk a fine, jail time, confiscation of your vehicle, rifle etc.') and there's a difference between poaching and providing for your family. Poachers go about shooting without regard and providers will do what they need to so to survive! Please indulge!!!

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oldsage 6 years ago

I used to hunt deer and elk, but ever since the DOW introduced the wasting disease to the herd of elk near Maybell and it spread to just about everywhere out here. I don't hunt it and I won't eat it. That is right! The DOW did it and now there are a lot of people who just don't hunt because they eat what they kill like I always did and refuse to kill if they are not going to eat it. There are enough people with large holes in their grey matter around here already without adding myself and family members to the group.

For example, let's look at the facts as reported. Sent a fax to the DOW telling them you are going to do something stupid, then do something stupid, then move the evidence that you did something stupid into your barn so there can be no doubt who did the stupid thing, then wait for the DOW officers to look in your barn for the evidence that you did something stupid just like you said you were going to do. Wait to be charged for doing something stupid then spend 40-50 thousand dollars for a lawyer and experts to prove you are stupid and not responsible for your actions! Maybe somebody around here ate some of the diseased game and are suffering from wasting disease too, what do you think? There has got to more to this, it really is unbelievable.

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taxslave 6 years ago

This is not natural selection by any means. Many of the animals that have survived is because people like me, and there are many of us, have been feeding them. Myself, 200 lbs/grain/day.

Many of us would have shot and dressed those animals for food if they would have called an early hunt. They did have access to the weather.

This exact same thing happened in early '80's. 40 below zero for weeks. The whole town rallied and fed the animals. People Magazine came up here and did a story on the people of Moffat for saving the animals.

Let's imagine a transportation strike and all of you are hungry. You'd be wishing you had some of them animals in your freezer.

I've been around a very long time. I love Moffat County more than you can imagine and the inaction, untimely response by DOW is unexcusable...and they know it. They did not have the funds to do their job.

People are taking way too much for granted. Don't forget, this man called the DOW for help first.

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grannyrett 6 years ago

taxslave-No, this man did not call DOW. He sent them an e-mail, and said-if you don't do this, I will do this. What an excuse! He should have gone in and talked to them. He should have told someone the problems he was having. But NOOO, he sent them an e-mail.

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justice4all 6 years ago

An email is a record of his sending his concerns and requesting help from the DOW. It is as good as certified mail. DOW should have responded and tried to offer a solution. I also lost a lot of grazing and hay to wildlife in recent years. My family and friends hunt and we harvest our meat legally. What these ranchers are accused of doing is wrong. Even if their actions were legal, they were still wrong and very unethical by wasteing the meat when so many people would loved to have had a share. If they are found guilty a great penalty would be to allow free hunts--regulated by drawing---on the ranch for a number of years until the DOW feels that the herd is manageable by legal hunting and during regular seaons. After this objective is met, they should not be allowed to charge for hunting on their ranch for a set number of years. Remember, the are only accused and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Sadly, I don't feel that they will be prosecuted adequately. Our DA will probably plea-bargain down to hunting without a license.

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notmpoppins 6 years ago

I have a question to anyone qualified to answer.... Will this be prosecuted by our local DA or by the state since it's CDOW? Or because of the sheer magnitude does it become federal? I can only assume that the court system would have difficulty seating a jury in this area? What do you all think, know etc?
I still feel like nothing excuses the fact that what these men did was breaking the law (several of them actually). BTW oawow you need to live and work on a ranch to understand what hardworking, salt of the earth people ranchers are. They own the land they do because they have worked (hard) for it, sometimes for many generations!

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katobe 6 years ago

That was my thought. They (DA) could not even begin to seat a non-biased jury on this one. The 14th judicial district is filing charges so it looks like their baby. If it were up to our DA they would plea bargain which would be totally inexcusable on this one. I don't know if Bonnie Roesink would dare to....!!!!

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justice4all 6 years ago

Prosecution is the responsibility of the Judicial District in which the offense occurs. The Colorado DOW is no different from the Colorado State Patrol in the prosecution process. However; the DA can request a prosecution by a different Judicial District Prosecutor in the case of a conflict of interest. This was the case when the sheriff of Routt County was charged with DUI and illegal possession of a firearm. That case is being prosecuted by the 5th judicial prosecutor. Sad but true, our DA is likely to either plea-bargain this to hunting without a license or charge the deer and elk with tresspassing and say that the ranchers could use the "MAKE MY DAY' law as their defense. Nothing done by that office surprises us anymore.

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Hammer 6 years ago

Ranchers tend to be extremely hard working people. Their average day can be harder than many people will ever work in their entire lives. But....some of them are also often the most unfriendly to wildlife and the environment. People come to colorado (and bring their money) because it is a state that still possesses wilderness, wildlife, and beauty. That money supports the system that supports the income that (in this case) is paid to ranchers for the right to hunt on their land. We are not talking about some poor small time rancher that barely has enough quality land to support a family. This is a well-to-do ranch that finds it easier to kill the very wildlife that provides funding for their operation rather than: 1. Accept that in tough winters feed losses to wildlife is a fact of life in Colorado and take the good with the bad. 2. Take the necessary steps to limit feed losses to wildlife (fencing, only feeding what the cattle will eat at one time, panels around haystacks, get hay replacement or money from the DOW, legally hazing the animals, asking tactfully for help from the DOW versus threatening emails). Smaller ranchers (who are definitely more financially challenged) for the most part deal with these problems legally and ethically. With or without the DOW, we, the citizens (including ranchers) should try to be stewards of the land rather than rapists. I am willing to bet that more people would be financially hurt if this area didn't have the deer and elk. Ranchers included (sold any land lately?). Yes, there is a ski resort in Steamboat, but the increasing value of land also has a wildlife component associated with it. Craig was just rated as one of the top outdoors destinations. Think that won't help the economy? There are more than just skiers and rich ranchers living here.
Facts: This particular ranch makes significant money from hunters. The DOW spent many thousands of dollars reimbursing ranchers throughout Colorado this year (what do you think it would cost to give every rancher what they believe they are owed?). Wildlife is a part of living (and ranching) in this beautiful state. The DOW strongly encourages people to buy cow tags (the best way of managing for a reduced population). Hunting in NW Colorado is a significant shot in the arm for the local economy (and many ranchers). Panels to protect hay stackyards are free and readily available from the DOW. Most ranchers are hard working, honest and ethical people (and not being charged with multiple felonies). If you break the law, you should be punished. There is no way to completely eliminate game damage, but to a certain extent that is the cost of doing business in Colorado. Getting ticked off and slaying wildlife is irresponsible, unethical, and illegal. And those who support this behavior display their own brutal lack of tolerance for anything that cuts into the profits. Maybe Walmart should start killing shoplifters.

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taxslave 6 years ago

to granny...I don't mean to whin, I'm just a softy inside and speaking from the heart. That's all. I can analyze it too but my heart just won't let me.

I also feed the birds, squirrels and abandoned kittens.

Did any of you notice all the black birds all over City Market parking lot and cars in February? Remember, the ground, (roads & all) were covered with ice for weeks.....everything out there was looking for food.

I just wished the DOW had called a hunt. Sending the men to shoot the elk back in the '60's was too intelligent, wasn't it. .

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Hammer 6 years ago

Native,

There are many methods to haze an animal, from bird crackers and other noisemakers to outright driving or walking up on them. Elk normally will not tolerate close human presence. They get used to noisemakers, but if done in conjunction with other methods, it can help. Like I said, there is no way to completely eliminate wildlife problems, but there sure are ways to limit them. A pain in the hind end???? Oh yeah, but if effort is what it takes to save your feed and your calves (and your money) then it's well worth it.
By the way, I agree with you about letting nature run it's course. Preventing the elk from getting to the hay may cause them to starve, but that is natures way.

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taxslave 6 years ago

I'm happy to report that the deer have not come back to my property in 5 days. The pile of deer poop is real but I'll have it tilled soon.

I didn't go looking to feed them. They came to my property. I couldn't refuse them. I have to help what I see.

Yeah, my wallet took a hit.

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slipknot 6 years ago

I'm not giving up on this. A proper investigation would be run by a special investigator with no ties to MS. Rosink or any ties to mafia county LE. I think these guys need to pay the max penalty. It's been proven in the past that it can be handed down, all you need to do is prove you can hand it down against someone other than teenagers..

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jeff corriveau 5 years, 11 months ago

I'll bet the DA is shivering in her boots. Seems Mr. Culverwell has hired the same attorney that helped Kobe Bryant slip away from rape charges! OMG Bonnie and the boys must be figuring a way to plea bargain this one, as we speak. Cannot wait to watch this play out and what excuse them will use

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hunter 5 years, 11 months ago

Well,

IF he gets off with minimal charges at this point the attorney has probably cost him more than the feed he lost. Hopefully they stick it too him. I saw the ywould work on a lesser of 2 evils defense. Sure wished I could be on that jury.

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slipknot 5 years, 11 months ago

I got a little concerned about the way this case was going so I logged in to the DOW website, you know the one where they answer all your questions and asked why these two clowns weren't being treated as the criminals they are? You know high bail, in jail until bail is met and so on, DOW's response? Nothing yet.
Regardless of your position on this situation. we need to stand together as members of a community, county, or western region of the state to make sure that, not just these two guys get just punishment, but that an example is set for all who even ponder stepping outside the law or consider taking the law into their own hands for their own good. I hope their attorneys charge them enough so that both Culverwell, and Wolgram spend the rest of their miserable lives paying for them if they do get off.

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oldsage 5 years, 11 months ago

That is because, I believe, he does not own the property west of Lay any more. The sign is now on the property north of hwy 40 about 8 miles east of where it was before. I think he sold the place west of Lay. It was on the market and then the sign came down and was moved east.

And if I was their lawyer the jury of peers would only include "peers", other ranchers who have had wildlife feed off them for years, (Like Me) and I never got a dime from any hunter or the DOW for the thousands of dollars of damage those animals have done to my property. I am not kidding, the animals under DOW jurisdiction have destroyed my fences, damage my vehicles, have killed my livestock, stolen feed, destroyed crops, and when I sit down to add it all up it is in the tens of thousands of dollars. Who wants to hand me the money for all the damage that has been done to my property?

Now that being said, last month I saw a herd of elk cross the hwy and the last one a small calf got caught in the fence. I am sure most people have seen the sight of a deer or an elk with one or both rear feet get caught in the wires of a fence. I stopped and freed that calf. I should also note that when these elk and deer die of exposure, (Starve to death) guess who gets to clean up the mess? It sure as hell is not the DOW! You take a couple of days to dispose of up to fifty carcases on your property properly. (Dig a hole and bury them) I am sick of cleaning up the mess! Maybe next time the best place to dump the rotting carcases would be at the DOW facility in Craig. I know one rancher who pulled fifty elk out of the yampa along his property. Maybe we ranchers should stop cleaning up the mess and leave the elk in the river. Think about that next time you get a drink of water from a city tap, or think about swimming or rafting the yampa. You clean it up, I am sick of doing it!

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slipknot 5 years, 11 months ago

Where did Rodney get the kind of money it takes to retain the high powered attorney he has? If in fact, it's the same one we're thinking of. If these ranchers wanted to they could, with DOW (read this as license buyers) help, build elk proof fences, all they have to do is put up money on their own and DOW will add to it maybe not very much but they will put up some. Just look at the big Elk ranch south of Craig around Pagoda. If you want to keep them out you can keep them out. On the other hand, if you want to bait them you can do that too. They get no sympathy from me. That's the cost of doing business. Do they have insurance that covers fire if a fire destroys their hay barns? Or if a storm knocks down all their grain before it can be brought in? What about animal damage to fences? Or insuring the animals themselves? I'll probably be flamed bigtime for my opinions and my thoughts, but what Culverwell and Wolgram did is wrong, they say they had good reason, but for them to shoot that many animals under the phony excuse of protecting their hay, cows, and horses is pure crap. The DOW will and should use every possible means to convict these two; and just because everybody in the county has the same caliber weapon, ballistics will prove who shot what. And, if they used shotguns that only proves that the shooter had to be real close and ballistics will again prove out. Before you all start thinking I'm a great supporter of DOW let me set you straight, I'm not. I think that the program is good but it is run from on high by people who have no idea of what is actually happening on the ground ie. the over populations of elk, CWD, whirling disease, etc. But let's put the blame where it belongs Culverwell and Wolgram broke the law and they need to be punished, regardless.

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cag81625 5 years, 11 months ago

Oldsage- Perhaps you should find more agreeable country to ranch in before your head explodes. I know of a little place where the grass grows tall, it never droughts or storms, the weeds are tasty and nutritious, all of the wildlife leave immediately after hunting season, and the govt. cradles you for every loss. IN FANTASYLAND!

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