A snow goose hunt that was interrupted in northeast Arkansas on Feb. 17 has since spilled over into the public eye. This is mainly because the interruption—to put it mildly—was caught on video and shared widely on social media. The video shows a farmer intentionally driving though a field full of goose decoys on his tractor with a stubble roller attached to the back. The hunters, who are still out in the field at the time, look on and film. At least one law enforcement officer is also present as the farmer discs through the spread at high speed.
The above video, shared on Facebook yesterday by Lone Star Outdoors Show, is actually a combination of two separate clips. The first 38 seconds were filmed by one of the hunters, a friend of local waterfowl guide Mark Spiller, who says he has a lease agreement to hunt ducks and geese on the land.
“The sheriff is watching. He says there’s nothing they can do,” the hunter says during the clip as he pans between the tractor and the Cross County Sheriff’s Department vehicle parked nearby. “It’s a civil matter they say, because they both have a lease. But yet, he’s literally discing through the decoys—here he comes, going to do it again right through the center of them. Look at that shit.”
The next 29 seconds show the view from inside the tractor’s cab. This clip was filmed by the farmer, Dustin Lloyd, who says he has a lease agreement to farm the land. Lloyd says he was trying to make a point because Spiller owed the landowner money but refused to leave when he was served an eviction notice.
“God dang, those geese won’t get up and move!” Lloyd jokes at one point in the video while an old country song blasts over the tractor’s stereo. “Gotta fix all these ruts!”
The video has already been viewed nearly 300,000 times, and most commenters seem to be taking Lloyd’s side. Their opinions likely have a lot to do with the video’s description, which reads: “Farmer discs entire snow goose spread after hunters refuse to pay lease fee and get off his property.” After all, with this cut-and-dry summary, who can blame the farmer for running off a bunch of deadbeat and dishonest goose hunters? The only problem is that it doesn’t tell the full story.
A Longstanding Disagreement Over a Snow Goose Lease
The dispute that led to last Friday’s incident is between Dustin Lloyd, the farmer who rolled hundreds of snow geese decoys into the ground, and Mark Spiller, a waterfowl guide who operates First Creek Outfitters. Neither man owns the land where the video was filmed. Both men claim to have leases on the property, but each one says that the other’s lease is illegitimate. Neither party was willing to share copies of their respective leases with Outdoor Life.
As for the landowner, she’s an 80-plus-year-old woman who has a difficult time conducting business transactions on her own, according to Lloyd (her nephew) and Spiller. Meanwhile, members of local law enforcement—both the local sheriff’s office and the state fish and game agency—refuse to take a side. They’ve told both parties that it’s a civil matter and is out of their jurisdiction. Neither the Cross County Sheriff’s Office nor the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission immediately responded to requests for comment.
Which means that until more information comes to light, it’s a case of one man’s word against another’s. Lloyd says that Spiller owes his aunt money and wasn’t holding up his end of the agreement. He also says that Spiller’s lease is fake because his aunt never actually signed it.
“He’s taking advantage of the laws put in place,” Lloyd says. “I’d do it again to the same person if the situation was the same. I wouldn’t just blatantly plow up some decoys because it was on some ground I was farming.”
Spiller claims that his lease is legitimate and was signed by the landowner in 2020. He’s also been living in a house on the property for the past several years with the permission of the landowner and her daughter. He says that he’s always operated within the bounds of their agreement, and that even if he did owe the landowner money, that would be between him and the landowner—not him and Lloyd.
“His contract is not even valid. He took advantage of an elderly lady,” Spiller says. “I’m not gonna throw jackrocks under his tractor, because two wrongs don’t make a right. And if he thinks I did wrong, then why is he doing me wrong to try to make it right?”