Mudding in Montague Upsets Farmers

Some landowners and farmers are outraged in Montague County after their fields were torn up by a group of off-roaders.

The crime is actively being investigated by the Montague County Sheriff's Office and the Game Warden.

Consider this, a simple joy-ride in a muddy field may seem like a good time, but crops are being damaged in the process and that can destroy lives.

According to Game Warden Jason Jones, "it's a constant battle that these farmers are facing, just about after every rain."

A battle that tears up fields and destroy crops. So far, several farms in Northern Montague county have been hit by careless mudders who some believe they aren't doing anything wrong.

"A lot of it has to do with no fences along the county roads, so they think they have free reign," explains Warden Jones.

Yet that free reign is expensive and has long lasting effects. Warden Jones says even if a crop hasn't been planted, mudding can cause erosion which can affect future crops.

Not all off -roading is bad, however. Paul Bata, a self proclaimed off --roading "addict" says that many respect the land.

"Belonging to a club teaches you to enjoy the land," says Bata, "and leave it better than how you found it."

The Warden doesn't think that these vandals belong to an organization and he also says that many don't realize the harm that they are doing.

"It hurts those families that are farming, it hurts their livelihood. That's their income, the crops they are growing, that's their livelihood, " emphasizes the Warden.

Warden Jones also says alcohol is part of the problem and that many of these people have a couple of drinks and feel that mudding is a good idea.

To report anyone who may be involved, call the Montague County Sheriff's Office at 940-894-2491

Mary Moloney, Newschannel 6