A Casper man who flew a drone over the equal rights march on Saturday said the number of participants was higher than most estimates.

Devin Butler knows this because he counted 749 marchers on the video he took from his drone, he said.

Butler had been talking with his wife about the Jan. 21 demonstration in Casper that would coincide with similar demonstrations worldwide.

She persuaded him to join the event. but he thought it would be an even better idea if he fired up his DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone and record the event, he said.

"I feel like I could make a bigger impact if I could record this and share it with people, just show them solidarity, you know, show them they're not alone, that there's a huge bunch of people in a hugely red state like Wyoming that care about this cause," Butler said.

Butler, a hobbyist drone operator who owns Phoenix Aerial Imaging, started at the beginning of the march at Second and Beech streets and walked alongside the marchers to The Lyric at Second and Ash streets.

The initial estimate of the crowd was about 250-300, and Casper Police said it was between 400 and 500. Butler also heard of an estimate of 700 to 1,000.

None of those estimates seemed right to him, in part because the observers and estimators were on the ground, he said.

"I thought it would be helpful and actually go in and count heads," Butler said. "My number was based on the amount of people actually marching and didn't include some of the press that were on the sidelines, or anybody that showed up before and left or showed up at the reception (at The Lyric) and left."

He knows he may have counted some people twice, likening the tallying to counting a bunch of beans on a plate.
Meanwhile, Butler's wife, Britney, and their young daughter, Lily, were among the crowd of 749, he said.

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