Buffalo from Monte Downare’s ranch ran through the thin fence put up by Jeff Hawn, a newcomer to Park County, Colorado, and so Hawn allowed some hunters to kill 32 of the bison. The buffalo were left where they were shot, or where they eventually fell, and the community of Fairplay was thrown into an uproar, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.
Colorado is an open range state and so the ethic and the law is that property owners are responsible for keep animals off their property — and that you never kill a neighbor’s stock. But Hawn came from Texas, buying 365 acres (at best, a “ranchette”) next to the Downare’s place. The buffalo would cross Hawn’s fence and the Downare’s would come bring them back. Hawn claimed they did damage to his property, including destroying a satellite dish. And then the strong-willed bison crossed again and the animals were shot.
The incident has spawned lawsuits and a letter to the editor calling the hunters “gang-land style killers.” Police are investigating.