Residents take cover in shooting incident in Wapiti

Posted 12/8/22

Cory Williams was outside his Wapiti home along the North Fork Highway (U.S. Highway 14/16/20W) early morning on Wednesday, Nov. 30, scraping ice off the windshield of his truck when he heard …

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Residents take cover in shooting incident in Wapiti

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Cory Williams was outside his Wapiti home along the North Fork Highway (U.S. Highway 14/16/20W) early morning on Wednesday, Nov. 30, scraping ice off the windshield of his truck when he heard gunfire. He wasn’t immediately alarmed; he hears a lot of gunfire during hunting season in the area. Then a bullet “whizzed” by his head.

“I’m like, holy crap, that was a bullet. So I got down behind my truck,” he said.

At that moment, his wife, Renae, came out of the house when they heard a second bullet “snap” over their heads. 

“She was like, ‘What the heck was that?”’ he said. “I yelled, get down.”

They immediately called a Wyoming Game and Fish Department game warden and the Park County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement from both agencies responded to the scene. 

In a Wednesday morning interview, Sheriff Scott Steward said the hunters were on the south side of the highway, but some of the bullets ended up crossing the highway, putting the Williams family in danger.

“The animals were not across the roadway, but the shots did cross the roadway,” he said.

He added there were several dead elk in the field on the south side of the highway at the scene and the herd “was running everywhere.” He said there will be a citation issued for reckless endangerment to one individual and the Game and Fish has or will soon be writing multiple citations as well.

Game and Fish Cody spokesperson Tara Hodges said because this is an ongoing case, they can not provide specific comment. 

Williams is the manager of Trout Creek Ranch, which grows hay and raises and trains horses. He said they have had issues with gunfire in the past — he has found farm equipment with bullet holes after hunting season — but has never felt in danger prior to the incident.

Willians said the bullets came from a group of hunters who fired “25 to 30” rounds while harvesting several elk. He said that after the complaint on Wednesday, the same group were back at it Thursday morning.

“I would have hoped that [the complaint] would have slowed their roll a little bit, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the case,” he said.

Very little was said about the incident until Tuesday, when the sheriff’s office issued a report on their social media accounts that read; “On November 30th, 2022, at 7:41 A.M. the Park County Sheriff’s Office received a report of unsafe hunting on the Northfork Highway near the 3600 block. There are no injuries or property damage reported. Both the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming Game and Fish responded to the scene. This is an ongoing and active investigation, and no further information is available.”

The post sparked debate, with several people commenting on the incident. 

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