The latest chapter of the wild confrontation between a North Dakota landowner and a group of duck hunters involves a few misdemeanor charges, an ongoing investigation, and an accusation from the landowner’s son that the hunters edited out certain parts of the video before posting it to their YouTube channel.
Bismarck landowner Jeffrey Erman approached the group of duck hunters hunting a property line on Oct. 21 and berated them for trespassing on his land and ruining his hunt. One member of the group filmed the interaction and the footage has since racked up 1.7 million. Erman was charged with interfering with the rights of hunters and trappers and disorderly conduct-obscenity, both of which are Class-B misdemeanors. He was also charged with trading in special influence for offering to call off the game warden for half the price of the hunters’ fine. Trading in special influence is a Class-A misdemeanor.
Meanwhile Dustin Wolf, the hunter with the long brown hair and brown hat, was charged with criminal trespass, a Class-B misdemeanor. According to North Dakota law, an individual is guilty of Class-B criminal trespass “if, knowing the individual is not licensed or privileged to do so, the individual enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by actual communication to the actor by the owner or an individual authorized by the owner or by posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.” Wolf is a North Dakota resident from West Fargo.
North Dakota is one of the only states in the country that still allows individuals to walk on private property if the property is not posted against trespass properly. In this situation, Erman’s explicit outburst did the job of “actual communication” just fine. It’s unclear why Wolf, the most vocal hunter in the group, was the only hunter charged with criminal trespass.
Erman’s son, Dustin Erman, told the Grand Forks Herald that he believes the hunters altered the video by removing the parts where they provoked Jeffrey into his rampage.
“These guys hunt and they do videos all the time, they edit [stuff] all the time,” Dustin Erman says. “They edited out every single thing they said to provoke that farmer to get to that point.”
Presumably Dustin Erman is referring to his father when he says “that farmer.” Wolf and Jeffrey Erman have initial court appearances scheduled for Nov. 10.