Rodney Culverwell

Rodney Culverwell

Judge grants stay in Culverwell case

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A judge's order will keep Rodney Culverwell out of Moffat County Jail for the foreseeable future.

Culverwell has been granted a stay for the "substantive" terms of his sentence, including all jail time, fines and fees.

Michael O'Hara, chief judge for the 14th Judicial District, issued the order Nov. 7 after Culverwell's attorney filed an appeal of his convictions.

The case is now set for the Colorado Court of Appeals. The state Attorney General's Office will assume prosecution.

Culverwell, a 41-year-old Moffat County rancher, was convicted in September of four counts of willful destruction of big game, a Class 5 felony, as well as four counts of illegal possession of wildlife, three counts of hunting without a license and four counts of hunting out of season, all misdemeanors.

He was sentenced Nov. 4 to 60 days in county jail, two years' probation, 172 hours community service and $19,567.65 in fines and fees.

O'Hara's order will stay Culverwell's jail time, fines, fees and community service until after his appeal is decided. However, Culverwell still is expected to report to the County Probation Department at its request and fulfill conditions it sets.

Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow, who was the lead prosecutor in Culverwell's case in Moffat County District Court, said his office has no reason to challenge the judge's decision.

Officials with the Court of Appeals said there is no timeline for when the case will be heard or decided.

In general, there are a few months for attorneys to file motions or other court documents before requesting a date for oral arguments. There likely would be a minimum of three to four months after that before oral arguments are heard, and then no timeline for when a final decision would be released.

The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed charges against the rancher after the Colorado Division of Wildlife reported finding 18 dead elk on his property in February.

Culverwell admitted to killing some of the elk to either defend his property, himself or his family, or to put the animals down because they were starving to death during an abnormally harsh winter.

The 12-person jury in the case did not convict Culverwell of wrongdoing in the cases of elk killed to defend his fences and livestock feed. Culverwell was convicted in the cases of three "mercy-killings," as the defense called them, and one case where the defendant testified he ran over an elk after it charged his tractor.

Comments

JulieKaySmithson 6 years, 1 month ago

This is an important property rights case, because the Colorado Division of Wildlife, a state agency, failed to come to Culverwell's ranch when it was called by him in early February 2008. At that time, the DOW could have taken action to remedy the situation of elk starving to death and raiding the haystacks of Culverwell and his neighbors. It is not the duty of private property owners to feed and care for wildlife. Starving, overpopulated wildlife create a danger and a drain on private property and the owners' means of support: Raising crops. If elk decimate haystacks, trample fences and charge people and equipment, the DOW is the agency that should be held accountable, but the DOW refused to come to the Moffat County ranches and document what was happening. Culverwell and other ranchers and property owners do not find joy in starving animals, animals trapped in fences, etc. The DOW seems to feel differently, for it is dodging its duties to both wildlife and the people of Colorado, putting both in harm's way. See propertyrightsresearch (dot) org for much more information on property rights and protecting yours!

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gobroncos 6 years, 1 month ago

This is all old news....he was found guilty by a jury of peers. He has the right to appeal but he has to face the fact that he was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for some of the felonies.

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JulieKaySmithson 6 years, 1 month ago

If it were "old news," this paper would not have reported it. This is current news. Ever hear the phrase "overturned on appeal"? Google it and you'll get a mere 306,000 results.

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trout2k 6 years, 1 month ago

What some call progress, some call the rape of our mother (earth). Conservation is ok. Mindless slaughtering of our precious elk herds is inexcusable. At the very least, it was a huge waste of meat. There are many families in our area who could have used the meat. Land ownership is a fairly modern concept in North America. Do we really ever own the land? Do we own the elk? Is it really our place to kill them when they want our hay? Is leaving them to rot not a crime? The elk do not know who's land they're on or understand land ownership. I am a hunter and I dislike it when I hear about the poor choices this man made. Justification of killing elk out of season and without governmental approval is no less than any other crime. Murderers and shoplifters and thieves make justifications for their actions. Sometimes we can have empathy for why a person committed a crime and still--the law is the law! Mr. Culverwell not only violated the laws of man, but also the laws of nature. It is a shame.

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woodsinsd 6 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Culverwell did not violate any laws of man or nature...Mr Culverwell only did what he thought was right at the time. "At The Time" being the key words...he did in fact, break the law regarding the killing of the elk. However, with that being said, I would put more emphasis on the fact that Mr. Culverwell is a steward of the land, he lives on the land, he lives off the land...more so than any folk in town will ever know. Most of those that live in town have the perfect recipe for success out in the country, but I've seen very, very few make it work. Mr Culverwell got caught in something that should have never happened. There are no blames to be cast now, whether it be DOW, or Mr Culverwell. Let it be old news, Mr. Culverwell will pay the price, and hopefully the rest of us have learned something as well.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Same old bs. He was guilty of commiting a crime no matter how you cut. He knowingly broke the law and he deserves to pay for it. The same old story from ranchers and farmers. If they can not make a living when they have to deal with mother nature then they should not be in the business. Pointing the finger at DOW is just misplaced blame for mismanagement of the land. His place is a weed crop. If you do not believe it take a ride past his land. Scotch Thistle National Forest.

It is not about property rights. It is about a person thinking and acting like they are above the law. This never flies with me and it should not fly with anyone. He did not make an honest attempt to fix the problem in an appropriate manner. One phone call or a threatening email is not an honest attempt. He broke the law and now hopefully will pay more money than the elk could have ever eaten. $16,000 could have bought a lot of hay. Not to mention if there were no elk on his property he would complain about not getting enough money for hunting.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

For Juile,

Does it make it ok for a person to go shooting any animal that causes harm? Goose flies over my place poops on my car, bang dead? Neighbors dog pees on my lawn, boom dead?

IN this case it simply does not add up. Should we shoot every town deer? Every animal that has ever broke a fence? No. This guy knowingly broke the law and it was hid decision that is going to cost him. There are many people in this area and across the state that dealt with animal issues last year and every year. They did not have to resort to shooting animals. They used taller fences, took advantage of teh pannels, and eventually made it through te winter. Did they do awesome? No, but they were not dumb enough to take the law into thier own hands. Every industry/occupation has hazards. Around here a hard winter is a hazard. If you can not make it through a hard winter then you loose out. There should be no bail outs, no government subsides etc for ranching. So far I am sure this whole ordeal has cost him more then the feed he lost.

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outwest 6 years, 1 month ago

So why is it okay for the people in the town to want the deer off their lawns. Check back over the articles and there are several about deer being in town--why don't these people share the responsibility of feeding our animals (deer, elk, coyotes, lions, bears, etc). Why is it left to Ranchers, large property owners, BLM, and FS?

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

I think one of the points is that during hunting season, he wants deer and elk on his property. Then, after hunting season, they are just suppose to disappear. Yeah, right.

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JulieKaySmithson 6 years, 1 month ago

I keep thinking that you'll read the articles and note that the elk this rancher shot were STARVING. Elk that have plenty of browse/forage do not raid ranchers' haystacks. Those that seek to castigate Culverwell and his neighbors do so without having knowledge of the efforts he made to get the Colorado Division of Wildlife to come to his ranch and help. It is the DOW's responsibility to "manage wildlife." When overpopulation occurs due to poor or lack of management by a state wildlife agency, several things happen. There are more vehicle/wildlife crashes. Wildlife come to places where there's food (your yard, his haystacks). In town, people call a wildlife control officer (like in the case of the female deer -- fleeing a buck with a one-track mind -- that crashed through a plate-glass window into a daycare center in Ohio this morning, landing amongst toddlers). Wildlife control officers "humanely shot" her, because she was injured and posed a risk to people. The buck ran into the road and was hit by a car. The buck died; the people in the car went to the hospital. I can already hear the arguments about people "encroaching" into the animals' habitat, but to believe such arguments is to swallow that bait about all people being bad, no matter where it is. The rancher and his neighbors raise beef that you eat. Why not thank him for putting a few starving elk out of their misery? Why not thank him for protecting his life and his property? Things are not the same in rural places like on ranches and farms, as they are in cities. When your biggest concern (in town) is which restaurant you'll visit tonight, consider that people make choices that involve the raising/growing of that food you expect to be available on command. Did you thank a farmer/rancher before you ate today? When a state agency expects private property owners to forsake the feed they have raised and stored for their livestock in order that the poor or non-management of game herds be somehow "mitigated" by stealing the economic health of ranchers/farmers, something's wrong. Choose to see and understand that, or not. It's your choice, but armchair judges are not in high demand.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry I tend to not eat beef. Very rarely do I. I live off the land for the most part. Look in my freezer and 90% or better is wildgame.

There is no truth to teh fact he shot starving animals. One bull in question was shot and laid about 15 yards from a feed bin. The bull in question showed no signs of starvation. He was healthy, no ribs no back bone showing. He claims to be doing the animals a favor, but is he just took the law into his own hands despite knowing it was illegal.

As a rancher in this area you are going to have to compete with all sorts of animals to make your living. The elk have always been a competition. They should always be a competition. The DOW has done many things to try and cut hte herd down. Infact, we are one of the only states where a person can buy 2 elk tags. That right I shoot 2 elk each year. My wife also takes one on an average year. The DOW has one sensible/economical tool availible to manage numbers and that is hunting. The elk population is up, not because the DOW wants so many elk, but because the weather has decreased the kill rates over the last several hunting seasons and because we have not had hard winters.

The last winter was hard, but not extremely hard. There were starving animals, but only inpart because the herds had not been culled from decent winters over the last years.

Your Point about the deer inteh town does not really apply here. The truth of the matter is the deer herds in many eastern states are way above objectives. To the point that several areas allow hunters to take 4-6 deer a year. Yes encraochment is part of the problem, but also are landowners who want ridiculous amounts of money to hunt the property. The private landowners want the animals come hunting season. Also the wildlife belongs to people of the state. They belong to me as much as they do anyone else here. As a result this man committeed a crime aghainst me and I hope he pays.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Further more the herds would not be as large if they allowed people to hunt hte land with out making them pay large amounts of money. It took me a couple years to gain access as a local. Around here there are very few peces of property not leased out. The larger ranches are selective in the number of hunter and pressure they apply. Animals hang up on public land and are not getting killed by hunters because landowners are more worried about tresspass fees, and getting paid for hunting.

Simply put, open up the land to hunters to take off the animals or live with the animals. I am pretty sure a good chunk of the Culverwell property is in the the RFW program. Means few hunters, lots of animals and big money. The property I am aware of gets very little hunting pressure so that when a person pays $6,000-$10,000 they have lots of animals around. then all teh sudden the hunting season is over and now what do we do with all teh elk we attracted to our property.

People need to make thier living within the confines of the law accepting that mother nature has place or they need to get out of hte business and make room for someone who can do it.

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trout2k 6 years, 1 month ago

Juliekay, I suppose this was a mercy killing.....Good 'ol Mr. Culverwell did them poor elk a "favor" by putting them down....If ignorance is bliss, you should be one happy person!

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JulieKaySmithson 6 years, 1 month ago

Ranching for Wildlife (RTW) is not something to which all ranchers subscribe. Read the articles nationwide about elk being captive-raised and "re" introduced in places like Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. Did elk EVER live there? Who knows, but the prospect of continually kowtowing to self-proclaimed "environmentalists" eschewing their "visions" for everyone else (from the comfort of their apartments) is not palatable. Ranchers raise food for people. Vegan? There are many products made from ranchraised cattle, including, but far from limited to, medicine to keep people healthy, footwear and clothing to keep people warm and comfortable, etc. If your footwear didn't come from an animal, it came from a petroleum source.

Pick your 'beef.' Are you upset with ranchers for daring to work for and own property and utilize that property, or with oil drillers for daring to work for and own or lease property and utlize the resources under that property?

Happy, yes. Ignorant, no.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Julie,

Your facts could not be more ridiculous and you are both ignorant and way off base. You obviously know very little about the ranching for wildlife issue if nothing at all. Ranching for wildlife is not raising elk. It is simply more about taking large landowners and combining the ranches for wildlife herd management. If the ranchers enroll the property gets a set a amount of tags to be sold at premium prices. I mean premium considering they do not take monster bulls like in units 2, 10, etc. They are also allowed to hunt about any time of year from September all teh way through the end of January. The real issue comes because of the set up the ranches do not hunt much during the regular rifle season. Thus the animals hold up and gather in large numbers on the property and thus the herd does not get culled like it should. It aslo means thathe landowners and outfitters get big money because a paying hunter can come out and see thousands of animals. Some if not all the Culverwell property is in this program. They set out to make hunting a money making venture. Gues what to make money they have to have animals. Pretty dumb logic to want animals for money then turn around and kill them for because they eat your feed. No not all ranchers make are enrolled in the RFW(note the propper abbreviation) program, but do lease land to outfitters. Those that do not tend to because they save the hunting for family. He did knowingly and willfully break the law, end of story. If he could make a living as a rancher within the laws of man or nature, then he should loose his business. This is true in any industry.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Julie,

Futher more what does your comments about Elk in the east have to do with anything? Yes, there were elk throughout the eastern states not all but most. Now a handful of states and sprotsmen have worked hard to reintroduce a native species to the area and the elk are doing well. Your argument about the animals being farm raised and released is wrong in many ways. The majority of hte animals released came from herds in western states like Idaho, Montana and possibly Wyoming is memory serves me right. They were placed in pens for a period of time to make sure they were disease free then released into the wild. As of now they have a succesful breeding population.

I come from a ranching family that for generations worked hard to make a living in the slowly dieing sheep industry. Eventually low market prices, loss of leases and several other factors forced us out of the business. It was no ones fault, not the state not the government, we just no longer were not able to make a living at it.

No one here is saying that beef is bad or that the majority of ranchers are bad. Infact I know and still work with some very hardworking ranchers. I also know thathe majority of them are able to keep the ranches not because the beef market is so awesome, but because of the money they recieve from leasing. Take hunting out of our economy and see how long any ranches around here would make it. This guy is no different than any other criminal, he broke a law. Further he took animals that belong to me as a resident of the state. Animals that mean money, food, clothing, etc. Animals that are the backbone of our economy and will be the backbone long after the oil and gas has left. They are a renewable resource and should be treated with greater respect and care than simply shot because you believe you are above the law.

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workinprogress 6 years, 1 month ago

Hunter; Your ramblings are idiotic at best. First you complain about the price charged to access somebody elses property. Then turn around and proclaim that some ranches only exist because of hunting lease fees. So are we expected to allow you access for a severely decreased fee without fear of losing OUR heritage. You incessantly complain that this person "took the law into his own hands" or "acted above the law". I strongly disagree. He brought the inadequate D.O.W. out into the limelight and exposed the truth held up in the constitution. Mainly, the right to protect private property. And what did we learn about the agency that "manages" the local wildlife herds? I learned that they like to build snowforts to hide in and watch from a distance as YOUR animals invade haypens, in hopes of catching someone protecting what they work for instead of herding YOUR animals away from a potentially deadly situation. Finally, I offer my sympathy on the loss of your family sheep herd, but maybe that situation turned out for the best because you would have had one Hell of a time last winter with not only feeding your sheep but YOUR herd of elk as well.

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hunter 6 years, 1 month ago

Work,

No the issue I have is this guy makes very good money off the hunting lease on the land. He does so because of the elk. If there were no elk then it would not be an issue. Except if there were no elk he would not make that quick and easy money. I have no problem with people charging access to the land for hunting etc. I do have a problem with the hippocracy that occurs when the elk are so bad, yet the guy is make tons of money off of it. See the catch. I only want elk when it is good for me. Do think the opposite would be true? If there were no elk in the area what do think would happen to this place? There would be no money. No matter how many cattle you raise the location and the competition with larger producers would never make ranching a ver y lucrative business. At somepoint the coal mines will be gone from here and in all honsesty local producers will never earn enough from the cattle market to make an decent living. Once the coal is gone and the energy boom bust like it always does, the only other thing to keep our whole community a float is hunting. SImply look at the dollars and you will realize this.

He did not convince me of anything than the fact that he is a low life criminal. He broke the law no different than anyone else. I guess I really do not know what else you would have expected from the DOW, Should they whipe your butt everytime you get a hanger? They have a very delicate job of balance. Sometimes they do well other times they do not. As citizens we must monitor the actions and take appropriate actions, no illegal actions. I hope the guy gets hung out to dry for this. Just like he would want me hung out to dry if I shot an elk illegally on his property.

If a person can not make a living in a business with in the laws that regulate that business they should go out of business.

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workinprogress 6 years, 1 month ago

Hunter, Your hatred of this man is well stated. Your eyes are closed to the real situation at hand.
Personally, I like to challenge the laws. I do not sit back and just pay the fines when issued a citation for what ever reason.
Too many inbred people like yourself , want the government to take care of all your problems. The constitution allows us the rights to defend our property, as well as affording us the right to keep government in check. When we decide to crucify someone because they had the audacity to violate your views or one your precious laws then the backslide continues. I say Thank You Rodney for fighting this battle for all of us. At least the DOW says that they now want to help ranchers . It is too bad they too had to suffer a huge black eye before the light shined in.

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

workinprogress-When is it okay to break the law? --Just because you don't like it? Because it's inconvenient for you? I think that the biggest problem most of us have with this is that Rodney WANTS those elk there during hunting season. He depends on them being there. If they weren't there, he wouldn't get those trespass fees. He wouldn't get the hunters. Those elk may be his bread and butter. That's okay. I understand that. More power to him. If he can make a buck or two or thousands off that--it's great. The problem is that elk don't know when hunting season is over. They don't understand when it's time to leave. How can you have it both ways? Do you know how to explain it to them? I don't. I know last winter was a hard one compared to the last few years. Where were you 30 years ago, when we had winters like that every year? There weren't the outfitters then like there are now. It was easier to hunt then. I don't know. Maybe they need to take the point restrictions off so that more bulls will be harvested. They started that when the elk herds were low and they wanted to build them up. Maybe they should give out multiple tags. I don't know. One thing I do know, is that, if you don't like the things the way they are now, then work with the DOW to find a solution. Griping about it after the fact is useless. Beating it to death on this forum isn't going to do anything. Do you really think the DOW has nothing better to do than sit around and read this forum. Talk to them. Ask what needs to be done to change things. They may have suffered a black eye in your world, but, they didn't in mine. You can't go round feeding all the wildlife everytime you have a bad winter. You have to let nature do it's job. You can't expect those elk to just leave when winter gets here, just because it's inconvenient for you. You can't have it both ways. If they are such a pain in the ass, get hunters in there to chase them out. What comes around goes around. Fact of life. We have rules for a reason. If you don't like them, work to change them.

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outwest 6 years, 1 month ago

Hunter

So if we have a hard winter again this year, can we expect you to call the CDOW and offer to keep a few head of Elk and Deer in your yard? I know that you probably watered your lawn all summer so there is some grass for the animals to eat. I also believe that you will probably know how to keep the elk from destroying anything in your yard--unlike Rodney, who couldn't keep them from destroying his fences. Please make sure that you let the newspaper and radio know that you are helping to keep the animals alive that you adopted for the winter. Otherwise, we will all start thinking you killed our elk (since you get two a year). There's not enough elk to go around if your killing 2 a year.

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Okay you Rodney supporters. He broke the law. That's it. Plain and simple. You don't like it, work to change the law. Otherwise, it's just sour grapes. The point I've tried to make over and over, is, RODNEY WANTS THE ELK THERE! What don't you understand?

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dogfan 6 years ago

hunter, how do you know they weren't starving? Did you actually go out and see them? Talk to ranchers who had them invading their feeding grounds all winter, talk to people who went out hunting this fall and seen lots of carcassses from animals that had starved to death last winter. There were alot more animals that starved to death last winter than the wonderful dow wants people to know about....

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hunter 6 years ago

No matter how you put it he knowingly and willfully broke the law. He deserves the penalty. A person only has the right to protect themselves and property if doing so is done with legal means. He loves having hte elk there for the months of Septmenber through November when people hand over money for them, but then they are just supposed to leave?

I do not care if elk die during a hard winter, that is part of the cycle. I try to do my part to help the DOW use the best population control they have. That is hunting. There are many ranchers around here last year that managed to get by without killing animals. Yes every year we have to fix fence and some hay may get stolen, but most people are smart enough to put up the pannels, and have 8 foot fences around stacks. He had plenty of other options than shooting elk at will. He also had no right to act as if he was above the law. Both he and his wife often take this approach even with neighboring ranchers and county employees.

Simply put, if you own a ranch in this part of the country you have to deal with the wildlife. Just like ranchers in Neveada have to worry about water, farmers in the plains worry about hail etc. If you can not make a living while dealing withte natural pressures of the area, then get out. So far this whole oreal has cost him way more than the feed and fence repair cost. I also hope eventually it cost enough to put him out of business and lerave room for someone who can ranch with 1/2 a brain.

I will continue to support and work with ranchers who choose to work within the confines of the law. For him he is a criminal and deserve to be treated like one.

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workinprogress 6 years ago

Hunter and Donna (granny) Yet more lunacy falls from your fingertips. Donna, you should open the camper door, it sounds like the fumes from the holding tank have engulfed your brain. It is very easy to make judgement from a distance with only the reports from the local one-sided newspaper to fuel your thoughts . Hunter, just sit back and watch the broncos play, all reallity seems to stop for some of you people when Sunday rolls around. Trust in the government , they will make all your hopes and dreams come true. The losses of liberty and justice won't last forever......... You both should check the facts before spewing thoughts. The haypens in question were constructed of double stacked woven wire bringing the elevation to at least 8 feet. RFW is not in play on this ranch due to contractual obligations imposed by the DOW (mainly the parts that state the DOW will access the property any time they want to). Let us imagine that the ranch has to be sold to cover costs incurred . Can we guaranty that the land will end up with another rancher, or might we see the land split and developed in smaller acre parcels. Of these smaller parcels, how many will end up as horse farms with little to no natural vegetation, and how will that effect the local housing markets or wildlife habitat?. Had our forefathers had the mindset that you both seem to share, then we could have this argument over some fairly expensive tea.

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hunter 6 years ago

Defend it how you want the guy did something totally stupid and is now paying for it. He made a choice and now has to deal with the consequences. Just like he made a choice to ranch in this area. He does not have to ranch here, if hte elk are so bad then how could anyone possibly make a living here as a ranch. If he does loose the ranch or the property, then it is his own fault for being a criminal,

I need no reports from the local paper, I have first hand knowledge of hte situation. I also saw whwere some elk were accessing the feed. There were no deterrents in that case. only a single fence. Our forefathers had a different mind set than you might imagine. This is the reason that wildlife belongs to the people and not some idiot who owns lots of land. Yes a good chunk of the Culverwell property is in RFW. Yes he makes good money off of the hunting of all the property.

I will leave you once again with this argument. The guy is a criminal who broke the law. He is no different than any other low life criminal. He desrves to be punished and forced to serve out his sentence. The great thing about America is our ability to handle matters in legal manners. We have the opprotunity to change the laws and policies if it is needed. So next time you want to fight for a noble cause go do it. Do not waste your time here trying to defend the guilty. There is not possible way for him to win this case because he is guilty and has no good defense. Unfortunately for him being dumb is not a defense.

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grannyrett 6 years ago

workinprogress--I have known the Culverwells for more years than you have probably been alive. I have known ranching around Craig probably for more years than you have been alive. Do you think this is the first and only time ranchers have had problems with elk eating hay? Yes, last winter was a hard one. Do you remember winters in the 60's? Those were hard ones. Of course, we just thought they were normal winters. There would still be banks of snow under the scrub oak up until July. There would be winter kill, and no one thought anything about it. That is how it was. Have you stood out in the snow after feeding to chase the elk and deer away while the cattle were eating? There is no way you can say that Rodney does NOT want the elk there. There is no way you can say that Rodney did not break the law. That's the way it is. There are things he could have done that he didn't do. He knew before he shot those elk that it was wrong. Is it okay to break a law because you don't like it, it doesn't fit into your plan, it's inconvenient? I don't think so, and apparently the jury didn't either. Oh, and workinprogress, it's okay to use my name. I'm not ashamed of it.

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Tencman 6 years ago

So, DOW had the resources to station agents to spy from a snow fort to try and catch Culverwell doing something wrong ( they didn't ) but couldn't find the resources to help him do something right?

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buck523 6 years ago

Wow....I see everybody trying to defend Rodney....but....Rodney. Why is this? In a way, the arguments I am hearing remind me of the movie "Fun With Dick and Jane". Dick lost his job and they were getting ready to lose everything they owned. So, Dick and Jane went on a robbery spree. In the movie, they were breaking the law even though they were doing what they thought they needed to do to get the money to keep their goods. Any way you cut it, it was illegal. What Rodney did was no different. He can claim he was doing this to save his "land", but that's a bunch of crap. It was still wrong. What amazes me is the people that feel he is in the right and that breaking the law is okay. I challenge Rodney to login to this site and tell us his side. Maybe then my opinion of this situation will change.

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hunter 6 years ago

Tencman,

What resources did the DOW need to offer that htey were not already offering? They offered hay to bait elk away from feeding opperations. All that was needed was the transportation. They offer 12 foot pannels every year to area ranchers to enclose the feed. Most importantly they give these guys wildlife worth tons of money. Can you imagine a the amount money lost if the elk were not here. Not only would the majority of ranches go out of business, but hte town would die as well. This area would dry up if the hunting was not good here. Even with te oil and gas comming in it would stil be extremely hard on the town.

They only went into investigation mode once they had evidence that a crime had occured. Good for them, that is thier job. They protect and enforce the law surrounding wildlife. They are not here to save every rancher from going out of business. If the elk population is too high they do have limited resources. Offer more tags is one. Guess what they offer more tags for the area than peopple typically buy. On top of that Mr. Culverwell and other area ranchers tend no to let people on to hunt with out paying a fee. Kind of double sided. Are you seriously in denial that he did nothing wrong? He broke the law. Plain and simple. No matter how you look at it he broke it multiple times.

What else were the DOW to do? ranch for him? Feed for him? Take a poop for him? seriously the guy deserves what he gets. Here just months before our little town recieved a great honor as a top spot to live for sportsmen. Now we are known as the place where wealthy ranchers shoot game at will anbd other local idiots support it. He is a black eye for our community and a disgrace. A common criminal who broke the law and should pay for it.

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Tencman 6 years ago

Actually, narrow-mindedness and an overwhelming amount of common blather is more of a black eye on a community than a guy that shot a few starving elk.

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hunter 6 years ago

Tenc,

I actually have seen more negative press as a result of this one incident than anything else that has gone on inour community. The national media took this and exposed to nation wide. In the last issue of FS they cite his action as one of the lowest, actions a person could commit.

The elk were not starving, I do not know where you get this from. Yes there were some that starved last year, but that is not why he shot hte animals. One of the bulls he shot laid out and had no ribs showing, no protruding hip etc. It was fine, looked as healthy as any oteher elk last winter. Again no matter how you justify it, he is a criminal who committed a criminal act against the people of this state and he deserve his punishment. No different than any other criminal who breaks the law, or takes it into thier own hands.

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Taxpayer 6 years ago

Different rules for different people here in Craig America/Moffat County -- DOW has different standards depending upon your name or family --

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lostyermarbles 6 years ago

Taxpayer you hit the nail on the head there. they think they are so sneaky tho... The good ol boy system. I am dealing with some of this right now myself...

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Taxpayer 6 years ago

Good Luck! It will probably be a very bumpy ride for you! Watch your wallet and your back! ;-)

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hunter 5 years, 11 months ago

To answer the questions yes I did see at least one of the animals he shot. A 4x5 bull. Not all ribby and not with pointy hips. It appeared to be in great shape.

The guy is using hte starvation issue as an excuse to break the law. That makes him a creiminal. I do not see how any one can agree that he is not a criminal. If you have issue with the policy of any organization you have to change that policy in accordance of the law. You simply can not go and break the law.

He is a criminal. End of story. He knowingly and willful broke the law.

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lostyermarbles 5 years, 11 months ago

Well then if he was so "in the right" why did he lie about all the stuff he did in the trial?? And why when the DOW went there they didn't get back with them but still some were shot?? He handled it all wrong... Doesnt matter who he is. When you stack em around you know what your doing. He knew and just had a temper tantrum. If your kid was on the wrong side of the fence cuz the popsicle was there on a hot summer day what would you think?

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oldsage 5 years, 11 months ago

"We will provide you with panels to keep the elk out but you have to return them in the spring" which is a waste of time. Every year spend a week hauling panels and setting them up and then a week taking them down in the spring and taking them back to the DOW yard for storage.

The question is and always was "do you have a right to protect your private property from animals that are stealing it?" And the DOW, the District Attorney say NO and so did some of the dumber residents of Moffat County. (The jury in question!) No doubt, dumbed down by the schools. (Juries get to decide if the law being applied is constitutional and I bet none on that jury knew it.) Fact is the DOW would now be a hell of a lot more responsive if the jury had correctly concluded that the "home owner/resident" (rancher) can kill the trespassing theif animal if the owner (DOW) doesn't keep their animals from breaking and entering into private property and stealing the private property from the home owner.

If you think it is ok for animals (Two or four legs) to steal private property from people lets have Grey wolves introduced into Craig to solve the deer population problem. And I hope they eat your lunch too. They will you know, right after the finish off your kid!

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buck523 5 years, 11 months ago

Oldsage, usually I agree with what you write....but this is just plumb off. An animal "stealing property"....you have gotta be kidding me. The issue here is how he handled the situation. He did not follow the proper channels and even denied the assistance that was offered to him. Your second paragraph is just insane. Just insane.

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oldsage 5 years, 11 months ago

INSANE! What? Animals don't steal? Let us look at who is not thinking correctly or consistently! The DOW claimed under oath that they own the animals. And in the case of a pit bull owner who's dog attacks a person the owner of the pit bull is held responsible for the instinctive actions of that animal. Fines and damages! And since the instinctive reaction of elk is to acquire food from any source particularly the easy source called the rancher, who has cut, bailed, and stored hay for his animals to eat.

The hay is private property owned by a human being and is used to feed animals that are also private property owned by a human being. Correct? Now if the rancher feeds his privately owned animals with his privately owned hay on his own private property and someone else's animals (Not the DOW's elk) enter his private property and take the food the rancher has fed his animals, what do you call it if it is not stealing? I might add that the elk armed with antlers on there heads do this to livestock through the use of physical intimidation, coercion, and threat of deadly force with a non-concealed weapon located on their heads against unarmed "innocent"domesticated animals.

Elk can and are very dangerous to humans and livestock. And yes, they steal food and damage private property. Just because it is instinctive for them to act that way does not relieve the owner of the aggressive animal(s) of the responsibility to mitigate and compensate for the damage their animals cause.

The jury in this case removed the responsibility from the owner (The DOW) and placed it on the victim (The rancher) and many of them are now regretful of their decision except that envious one who kept pushing for the guilty verdict like that scum bag in the old movie 12 angry men. Envy can be just as bad as racism and ignorance when it comes to getting a person wrongly convicted!

He killed aggressive animals who were in the act of stealing and damaging his private property. Just exactly what part is insane Buck? I know what went on in the deliberations.

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buck523 5 years, 11 months ago

If you know what went on in the deliberations.....fill us in. Maybe you can change my mind. But as for the elk....here is a scenario. I'm driving down the road and I see some of these elk eating some ranchers hay, It is okay if I stop and "pop" a few to help these ranchers "defend their property"? Heck, I'm just doing my duty to help these ranchers out. Maybe, even maybe they will let me hunt there the next year without paying thousands to kill the elk that they herd and want on their property during the three months or so of hunting season.

As far as the insane part.....it is agains the law to shoot animals without tags. Even if you are out in the woods and have a bear charge you and you shoot it, you have to prove it was self defense. You have to bring the DOW back and show them exactly what happened. I could understand what he did if they were "charging" his big ol' tractor and he felt the need to shoot one and he proceeded to call DOW to report it and let them know what happened. But, instead of doing that....he shot (what is the unofficial number...somewhere in the 30's) and kept on going. This is the insane part. What is even more insane is that there are people out there defending him breaking the law. D

During the hunting seasons, these elk are as good as gold for many of these folks. I can understand wanting to make a buck off of them. What I can't understand is the way they keep them on their property by herding them on there all fall and then expect them to disappear when the hunting season is over. I know many ranchers who were disgusted by what happened.

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grannyrett 5 years, 11 months ago

Buck--You got it right! He wants those elk there during hunting season. How are they suppose to know it's time to go?

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George Robertson 5 years, 10 months ago

Good Lord how long are we going to kick these dead elk?

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