The LoopholeThe Loophole

When Mike Belderrain hunted down the biggest elk of his life, he didn’t know he’d stumbled into a “zone of death,” the remote home of a legal glitch that could short-circuit the Constitution—a place where, technically, you could get away with murder.

At a time when we’re surrounded by preventable deaths, we document one journey to avert disaster.

• Mike Belderrain is a hunter and former outfitter in Montana.• C. J. Box is the author of more than 20 novels, including Free Fire, a thriller set in Yellowstone National Park. • Brian Kalt teaches law at Michigan State University. He wrote a 2005 research paper titled “The Perfect Crime.”• Ed Yong is a staff writer for The Atlantic.

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This episode was produced by Julia Longoria and Alvin Melathe, with editing by Katherine Wells and sound design by David Herman.

Music by water feature (“in a semicircle or a half-moon”), r mccarthy (“Big Game,” “She’s a Gift Giver, She’s a Giver of Gifts,” and “Melodi 2”), Ob (“Ell” and “Ere”), Parish Council (“Mopping”), h hunt (“11e”), Column (“Quiet Song”), and Bwengo (“Première Mosrel”); catalog by Tasty Morsels. Additional audio from Montana State University Library’s Acoustic Atlas, the National Park Service’s Sound Library, C. J. Box, CNBC, C-SPAN, Vox, NPR’s All Things Considered, Idaho News 6, @ItsKeyes, and C-SPAN’s Book TV.