Duck Hunter Harassment YouTube Video Viewed More Than 2.8M Times

An April 2023 jury trial has been set for a landowner charged in harassing a group of duck hunters in east-central North Dakota.

Duck Hunter Harassment YouTube Video Viewed More Than 2.8M Times

Photo: Screen-shot from Jacob Sweere YouTube video.

As an editor with a major media company in the outdoor space, it pains me to cover stories such as this one. During the past few months, the video mentioned in this article’s title has been suggested/teased to me several times as I’ve watched other outdoor content on YouTube, and it’s also appeared on my Facebook Feed. But I didn’t want to watch it. Why? Because I was knew it would reveal an ugly side of hunter/landowner relationships. I’m very much a “glass half full” type of person, so I do what I can each day to limit the amount of negativity that enters my mind.

That said, it’s my job to cover current events that matter to outdoorsmen and women. The video below was uploaded to YouTube in late October 2022. It was filmed by Jacob Sweere, one of the duck hunters in the field that day. At the time of this writing, it has been viewed more than 2.8M times. By the time you read this story, video views might surpass the 3M mark; I simply couldn’t ignore it any longer.

The 31-minute video goes into great detail about what happened on Oct. 21, 2022, in Eddy County, North Dakota. You’ll see it all unfold on camera, so there’s little reason for me to explain it all in detail here. But I will provide an update on what has transpired after the incident. 

Dustin Wolf, one of the duck hunters who claims harassment by Jeffrey Erman of Bismarck, North Dakota, plead guilty to criminal trespass in late-December 2022 and paid $250 in fines and surcharges. As you’ll learn from the video, some of the grass from the duck hunters’ blind was touching a couple corn stalks on the adjacent property, which is owned by Erman.

Wolf and his group had permission to hunt the harvested soybean field, but they placed their blind a bit too close to the property line. Note: The landowner of the bean field told Wolf’s group not to hunt near Erman’s property (a picked cornfield) without his permission. They didn’t do so. Setting up near the property line isn’t illegal, but in my opinion, they made a poor decision by not following the bean field landowner’s instructions.

You’ll see Erman race up to the duck hunters’ blind in his side-by-side. It’ up to the jury to decide whether his behavior satisfies the legal definition of hunter harassment; to me it’s clear that he did so.

Twice Erman says he’ll leave the hunters alone if they pay him $300. As you’ll see, they say “no.” I’m not a lawyer, but I learned in the two follow-up videos by Jacob Sweere regarding this incident that Erman has been charged with “trading in special influence” for this money demand. In addition to being charged with “interfering with the rights of hunters and trappers” (what I’m calling hunter harassment), Erman is also being charged on a third count, disorderly conduct-obscenity. As you watch the video, you’ll certainly understand why he’s charged with this behavior.

A jury trial has been set for April 6, 2023, in the Eddy County Courthouse in New Rockford, North Dakota. In November 2022, Erman pleaded “not guilty” to the three charges.

FYI: In North Dakota, trading in special influence is a class A misdemeanor, and the other two charges are class B misdemeanors. Punishments for a class A misdemeanor can be up to 360 days in prison and up to a $3,000 fine; class B misdemeanor, up to 30 days, and up to $1,500. I can’t imagine a scenario where Erman receives any prison time, but I expect he’ll have to pay a fine. I’ll update this story with that information when it’s made public.

Normally at this point I’d write something such as “enjoy the video,” but if you’re like me, it’ll be uncomfortable and stressful to watch.


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