A federal judge refused last week to dismiss a civil suit against four corner-crossing hunters, ruling that Elk Mountain Ranch owner Fred Eshelman has a “plausible claim” to bring in his allegations of trespass and damage.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl’s July 20 order advanced the court action on Eshelman’s claim that he has a right to exclude others from the airspace above his property. The four Missouri hunters crossed from one piece of U.S. Bureau of Land Management land to another at the four-corner intersection of private and public property arranged in a checkerboard-pattern of ownership.

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