Three men are accused of harassing and herding antelopes with a helicopter near Prescott last August, possibly to help a guided hunting outfit.
A group of hunters in the area reported seeing a black-and-red helicopter buzz herds and solitary antelopes repeatedly on August 22 and 23, according to a federal complaint filed this week. The animals were "freaked out" by the chopper's aggressive maneuvers, which in part seemed designed to drive the antelopes toward a ranch, witnesses said.
Named in the complaint are Chris Atkinson, owner of Sendero Helicopters in Texas, and his firm; Chad Smith, a manager at O RO Ranch and the owner of Vaquero Outfitters; and another man allegedly in the chopper at the time, Andrew King. Atkinson's firm is also a named defendant.More »