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CO - 2 Ranchers Accused Of Trapping Game, Hunting

2 Ranchers Accused Of Trapping Game, Hunting

ROUTT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) ― Two ranchers from Routt County are accused of trapping deer and elk on their property and then collecting fees from hunters who would kill them.

Edward Kruse and Sean Sulzner have been indicted on felony charges in federal court.

According to court documents, Kruse was collecting money for four years, charging hunters at least hundreds of dollars to kill migrating deer and elk. He owns the Buffalo K Ranch between Steamboat Springs and Hayden. The ranch is about 620 acres.

Kruse and Sulzner are accused of constructing one-way earth ramps that allowed deer and elk to get onto their property. But then they would get trapped by fence he constructed that was 7 feet high. The fence was built along a migration route that the animals used.

According to state law, deer and elk are the property of Coloradans. It's illegal to attract, trap and capture them. The earth ramps and fences were, in fact, a way of stealing the animals according to court documents. Therefore the hunts on the ranch were also illegal, according to court documents.

Transporting illegally-killed wildlife across the state line is a felony and all of the hunters were from out of state.

Kruse and Sulzner are scheduled to make their first court appearance April 24. 

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