Greeley hunting store owner faces charges after officers say he fired on hunters | VailDaily.com

Greeley hunting store owner faces charges after officers say he fired on hunters

Tommy Simmons
tsimmons@greeleytribune.com

Jim Arnold

GREELEY — The owner of a Greeley hunting outfitter store now has a court date scheduled to face felony charges after Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say he fired a gun at hunters and shouted racial slurs east of Kersey.

Jim Arnold, 38, owner of Waterfowl Haven Outfitters, was charged Monday with two counts of felony menacing. Those charges stem from April 22 and 23 incidents in which Arnold fired multiple shots at hunters on a neighboring property. According to the report, trouble had been brewing between Arnold and the hunters for quite some time.

Arnold owns property on the South Platte River just east of Kersey, near Weld County Road 388. A few years ago, the report states, Kevin Dunnigan bought property next to Arnold's. Dunnigan often let Arnold use the property for hunting as well as business, since Arnold also worked as a hunting guide. Problems didn't begin, the report states, until the Dunnigans began to hunt turkey on the property themselves, along with a few friends.

The report states Arnold would "harass" the Dunnigans and their friends from time to time, and the situation was tense enough for Dunnigan's son, Taylor, to expect trouble when he was out hunting with a friend. But things escalated on April 22 when two family friends of the Dunnigans were using the property to hunt turkeys, the report states. Arnold "came out and harassed them by screaming…and shooting his guns," the report states.

Arnold reappeared the next day, when Taylor was on his family's property hunting with a friend. They had set up a hunting blind — a camouflaged tent with holes through which to shoot — in the bottom of a riverbed and were waiting for turkeys. Taylor later told officers he was about 70-80 yards from the border of Arnold's property.

The two were in the tent when they saw Arnold's 2000 Ford Excursion appear on the property line, the report stated. The driver's side window was rolled down, and Arnold was looking at them through binoculars, according to the report.

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"Here comes Arnold," Taylor told his friend. The report noted Taylor had previously warned him about Arnold.

The two recorded a video of what happened next, which served as evidence for police. In the video, Arnold, in front of his truck, fired a round into the air, flushing a group of turkeys from nearby trees. He then reloaded his shotgun.

"All day," he yelled, according to the affidavit. "All (expletive) day. A bunch of (derogatory slur) hunting on the fence, just like (expletive) (derogatory slur)."

The report states Arnold fired multiple shots at the small tent where Taylor and his friend remained huddled. Taylor later told officers the shots were hitting bushes between 5 and 20 yards from the tent, and said he was afraid for his life.

For the next two hours, Arnold paced the property line, fired his gun in the air, and drove along a nearby road. Taylor and his friend waited until Arnold made his way into a nearby group of trees, the report states, then made their escape.

Taylor and his father spoke to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers about the incident the next day. Arnold's arrest came the next week, and he was booked into the Weld County Jail.

Waterfowl Haven Outfitters did not immediately return a call for comment.

What’s next

Jim Arnold, 38, owner of Waterfowl Haven Outfitters, faces two counts of felony menacing after Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say he fired a gun at two hunters and yelled racial slurs at them. He is next scheduled to appear in court 9 a.m. June 7.

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