Free rangers being stolen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I bought ducks and chickens with plans to free range so as to keep the bugs down. I have a problem though....we had a hunter come right up to the back door, gun in hand, to try to get the ducks who were hanging out waiting for breakfast. My 10 yr old son walked out on this, and thankfully, he did not get hurt, the hunter just hid deeper in the woods. I called the police and their opinion was I should keep the kids in during hunting season, regardless of chores, and expect free ranging animals to be taken, even if the hunters have to come up to the door to get them. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you handle it? I have five acres that I am thinking of hot wiring, but that is expensive to run the fencing and alot of work. I am thinking maybe just hot wire the big pen so at least they will be safer there, but the roosters like to roost on the fence edge. Any ideas on how to handle this situation? Moving is not an option, we just moved out of town to get away from stuff like this.

-- Cindy in Ok (, January 10, 2001


Post signs around the perimeter "Private Property. Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again." Further in - "You already passed warning signs to enter this private property. You have no excuse. Trespassers will...." and so on. When you see a trespasser, fire a shotgun shell in the air. Load some shells with rock salt, and be prepared to fire (just) over their heads if they seem to be ignoring you.

And above all, get fences. If you've got no fences, you've got no excuses. If they pass a fence, they have no excuse. Without it, some people may actually still not notice they've entered your property. Bit different if they're hanging round your back door. However, they could come onto your property, a hundred yards from your house, and really not know it. And fire towards the deer in the direction of your house. And miss. The deer, anyway.

-- Don Armstrong (, January 10, 2001.

cindy: We have 120 acres in Stilwell ,south of u and the local native american population does what it wants. Just be sure to pen anything u dont want shot. We still dont understand how they think at times.

-- Charles steen (, January 10, 2001.

I have posted signs, all over the place, saying "children at play, no hunting" "No trespassing" etc.. all over the trails, all around the perimeter of the property, only to have the signs pulled down and deer pee in bags hung on the nail. I haven't called the police on the ones far out on the property, I have been out there, you can not see the house. But this business of coming right up to the back door (not once but daily during hunting season) is wrong. I have nailed who ever it is once or twice with the sling shot ammo. I have special needs children and I am very afraid to have a gun in the house, so I bought the sling shot. They are not strong enough, nor have the motor skills to shoot the thing. The neighbors are thinking of seeing if we can get a sign posted on our street saying "No Hunting, hunters will be shot" something like that. I LOVE the sign idea of survivors will be shot again! LOL I had not put something like that out there. hee hee I want to get the whole acreage fenced...I guess that better be top priority....thanks for the posts!

-- Cindy in Ok (, January 10, 2001.

The hunter was within sight of your house and the police told you to just keep the kids inside???!!!!! My jaw is hitting the floor! In most places now you don't have to run fencing....just post signs and paint trees etc with purple paint every 10-12ft. By the way a fence doesn't necessarily deter them. When I lived in Texas we had a private 5 acre lake behind the house that was barely visible from the road. I got really tired of running the same trespassers off time after time so hubby got me a nice little snub nose 38. When I saw them out there I would call the sheriff and go down and keep them busy till they showed up. No I didn't pull the gun on was just extra assurance. No telling how many deer hunters I ran off of our fully fenced ranch. Had one fellow that was bold enough to put up a deer stand on our place and then chain it to the tree(I guess so nobody would steal his deer stand off of OUR land)! Needless to say I broke it into tiny pieces and left him a note. I'm sure he was upset...that stand took some work to put up.

I'd call the sheriff and inquire about trespassing laws. See what is required to press charges. I would personally patrol my land if I were you...or at least the nearby roads. If you see a vehicle parked by the road that is empty take down a license plate. The local 'boys' soon learn that it is a hassle to hunt near your place and they will find another 'free' hunting lease somewhere else. I walk my 16 acres almost daily...while wearing hunter orange or really bright clothing. I just bought this place and there were several of the locals that were put out by me....they had been hunting here for years and saw no reason why a new owner should make any difference. My fencing is in a shambles and I think one contributing factor is folks hunting here(climbing over the fence or busting it down to get a deer over it once it had been shot). If all else fails....a 12 gauge with a load of buckshot in it makes one heck of a roar when it is fired. If they don't have to change their shorts after hearing it they will at least get off your land quick.

-- Amanda in Mo (, January 10, 2001.

We had trouble with the neighbors dove hunting onto our property from their side of the fence. (Then, of course, they would climb over to get their bird. ) I asked them several times to stop, because I was offended that my small children should have to stay in all season because of them. They only laughed at me. However, after the sheriff came out and spoke to both offending neighbors, they stopped. Seems he explained to them that the game warden could take away all of their guns if they didn't behave and leave us alone. If your law enforcement won't help, I would suggest looking up your local game warden. I'm betting he will.

-- marygarcia,tx (, January 10, 2001.

I believe Cindy,I believe.One place ,I had them walk up my driveway,throw down some litter, and hunt behind my house with two dogs and three guys.

It was the litter that really tee'd me off.Yes,I HATE litter.

When I confronted them,I had a shotgun muzzle pointed in my face.That set me off so bad,I was ready to rip them apart barehanded. I guess he could tell by the look on my face that I was not particularly pleased.The guy backed off then.It could have gone the other way tho,just as easily.

Put your signs up, with an extension ladder.They are too lazy to shinny up a tree to tear them down.To prosecute anyone,you have to show you had it posted.

Citizen arrest.

My friend's dad was having his breeder catfish stolen out of his ponds.He is in aquaculture and it is his livelihood.The were coming in the back way, in a volkswagon,and loading up their freezers. They EVEN had the nerve to tell other people how to do it.

He's even the county judge. I figured they'd be scared of that, Not.

So his son slepted in the camper, back there, til he caught them.Marched them down to the county jail and had them arrested.

Welcome to what's left of the wild west,or east in my case.The good,the bad,& the ugly!

-- sharon wt (, January 10, 2001.

Two sugestions, 1, beware of dog signs [ might keep them on there toes 2, a flock of geese[ i wouldnt go past them].

-- kathy h (, January 10, 2001.

A friend of ours put up fake cameras, and posted signs that read you are now under surveillance, that kept people off his property. When we rented an old farmhouse in AL we had problems with people shoting from all directions during hunting season. I kept the kids in the house on the weekends till dark.

-- Judy (, January 10, 2001.

Cindy, An electric fence isn't really all that expensive. I ran mine tree to tree, alternating hot and cold wires. Four strands would be enough for what you need. The only problem I had was that the deer were not used to the fence being there and ran into it, pulling it down. They now jump over it. I also started with a thin wire which was a real waste. Now have 12 gauge up. You can even electrify barbed wire. Don't use solar, not hot enough.

The roosters won't perch on a thin hot wire, believe me. Oh, can you picture one of these guys climbing over the fence and the pulse shoots through when he's half over?

-- Dee (, January 10, 2001.

As my (good) neighbor says, "these guys aren't real hunters".

Post the signs high and many. Yes, it is a pain, but using a ladder makes a difference. So does posting them the proper way for your jurisdiction. Mine requires an address and a signature. Do this prior to every hunting season.

Tear down any deer stands or duck blinds, etc.

Tell all your neighbors and anyone who will listen how opposed you are to strangers on your land.

Meet and greet all who enter your property. Even if its for friendly talk you have interrupted their bullying, oops, hunting. Yell out a friendly greeting and ask them to sit a spell, out on your porch. Let the neighborhood watch know this is your mode of operation for your own safety.

Be patient. It took two fulll hunting seasons (over two years) for us to truly own our property. We own lots of blaze orange and wear it during peak times. Even when hanging laundry. Safety first!

-- Anne (, January 10, 2001.

I like Dee's pulse hot-wire idea. You can adjust those things quite a bit. When it's on low for our horses, it's rather like running into a thistle. When it's cranked higher, it'll rattle your teeth for the entire day, not an experience you forget quickly.

A friend of mine had this problem. Deer hunters walking down their driveway directly toward the house and the kids. Her dad went out and asked them to leave and they casually turned their guns in his direction and basically said "who's gonna MAKE us?" He took the kids into the house and the next day they found a bullet in the siding. Unfortunately he was too rattled to have gotten their license numbers off their backs (if they had them, I don't know). Word of caution in firing over the heads of hunters with loaded weapons -- they might not aim that high.

You could always borrow a neighbor's kid who is learning to play the trumpet to practice in your yard when they're around. If that doesn't scare off the game, it'll probably annoy the hunters enough that they'll leave... seriously, contact your game warden and let him handle it.

-- Julie Froelich (, January 11, 2001.

If the police officer you talked to doesn't give you a satisfactory answer, talk to a different one until you get one that will help you. And I definately agree with going to the game warden! You will very likely get more help there. I have had very mixed results talking to police officers/sheriff's deputies. Some are uninformed, lazy blowhards. Others are very concerned, knowledgeable and willing to do whatever it takes to help. You just have to keep trying till you get the right one.

When I lived in another county, I had several situations that required help. In each case, I first ran across officers who did not know the law and were totally out of line in telling me what they did, or not responding. Once it took a lawyer to threaten to sue the county, to get things straighened out, but the other times it just took some time to get an officer who knew what he was doing. One situation was much like yours (extremely dangerous trespassers) and the officer went over the heads of all his supervisors and went to the D.A. to get me the help I needed. So keep trying. If the police WON'T help you, try the D.A., the mayor or whatever. Perhaps the State Police. You might call the State Attorney General. Call your local media and ask for help. These hunters are trespassing, tearing down no trespassing signs, stealing property. They aren't hunting, they're stealing. Not that it makes any difference if it's on your property. I don't know about where you live, but that's serious business around this area, and they are subject to arrest.

-- Lenette (, January 11, 2001.

Hi Cindy,

I'm in OK also, NE of OKC. What most all the neighbors around here have done is they have posted signs around their properties NO TRESPASSING TRAPS, or just TRAPS. Couple of our neighbors told me they stopped having problems years ago after they started doing that. Also loud radio's are fairly effective as hunters figure no game where there is noise.

Also, do get pictures and drivers license info etc and if no joy from the sheriff's dept call the media and let them know what is going on.

-- Stacia in OK (, January 11, 2001.

I'm curious to what you mean about the Native I have several friends who are Natives and I know that they still resent that people have moved into lands that were formerly theirs but as long as you're nice to them they'll leave you alone. But not all natives are like that..alot of them have alot of respect but just was wondering what you meant...


-- Ted Hart (, January 11, 2001.

Though I understand your concern and frustration, I would not fire over ANYONE'S heads ! You could get charged with atttempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and who knows what else! I agree with suggestions to contact your local game warden. They are usually quite helpful. Monica

-- Monica (, January 11, 2001.

Hey Cindy! I have an idea that may help with your problem. Try getting a dog to lick them to death! ;-) There's nothing a hunter would hate worse then smelling like a dog! Then he would scare away the deer! And the Ducks! :-> But then again,the dog might get shot. So maybe you should disregard this message. ;-)

-- Cosmic Country Girl (, January 11, 2001.

Ooohhhh I like the idea about playing a trumpet. I remember when I was first learning to play the flute and the about a nerve wracking very loud annoying noise! You ought to be able to pick up a used instrument really doesn't have to be in good shape...just loud. I'd tell my close neighbors what your plan is if you follow that route so they won't get annoyed with you though.

-- Amanda in Mo (, January 11, 2001.

To follow up on Ted's comment. Is it the local Indians causing you concern? That would explain why the sheriff wanted nothing to do with the problem and will continue with that position along with other local officials. If it is and you fire a warning shot, you can be charged with a federal crime.

-- JLS in NW AZ (, January 11, 2001.


I agree about calling the game warden. Find out who he is and get to know him. Same for the sherriffs deputy that responds to your area. They are much more likely to respond to someone they know on a friendly basis.

The next time you see someone with a gun on your property, call the sherrif's dept. Tell them there is an armed man within sight of your house and if he gets any closer you plan to shoot him. How do you know he is hunting? If someone is wandering around on my property, you can bet he is going to meet my 12 guage as I protect my family!

-- Mona in OK (, January 11, 2001.

It was Charles Steen that commented on the natives problem. The people that I am having trouble with are covered head to toe so I don't know what they look like. I called the police and told them that I have seen the guns, the first time, it took 45 minutes for them to get to my house, the next time it was only 6 minutes. That was the police officer that told me that if I had free range birds I should expect them to get stolen. I explained to him that the person was up by my back door, showed him the foot prints and the direction "he" ran etc... He laughed and said that that is life in the country. He got more serious when I pointed at the bird pen right in the front yard (temporary spot, will move them in spring) and he saw foot prints there and marks on the pen door. My son had also seen this guy point the gun at our dog. We have fencing on one side of the property, but it is very bent down, looks like someone has climbed over it more then once. I have 6 children, so it has not been a problem making noise! ;-) I know we have frustrated hunters more then once. Thanksgiving we had someone out following the kids on trails even. >:-( My Dad and brothers were over so they took off running full steam ahead. Things were quiet for a few days, then it started back up again. I figured it would be a while to get the point across that we did not want hunters, I just didn't expect them to come up to the house. I WILL call the game warden!! How do I find out who he/she is? Ihave talked to my good neighbors , they are aware that we are being noisy to keep them away, so it is ok. I do have one grouchy neighbor right next to us that is not happy with the birds etc..though they have some of their own. They had the land surveyed because he was trying to claim squaters rights on our land hee heee, he lost, we still have all of our land. I would think he was behind this, but he is really old. It could be his sons though..I don't know. We have torn down the tent area and keep a look out for those yukky bags of pee. I pull those down. I have even found jars with pee looking stuff in it. I put those in the garbage. (being VERY careful to not get it on me, since I am not sure what it is). We trimmed the trees away from the best deer area, and have trails that we follow regularly. I miss seeing the deer all the time, but would rather they be safe. They come around once in awhile and come look at us, then they are off hiding again. I know they can be troublesome if you have too many,but we don't, too much hunting. Maybe I should make notes to put in everyones mail boxes telling them of my intentions....when is hunting season? I sure do appreciate all the posts on this. It is good to feel like I am not alone. I am sorry , though, that you have had similiar experiences and worse ones.

-- Cindy in Ok (, January 11, 2001.

I second the traps signs, maybe get some dog whistles. They play hell with a hunter's best friend. I came out one day to the baying of hounds and found 3 guys with shotguns over their shoulders in my front yard and one guy literally bounding through at a dead run shooting at rabbits. Well, I have tailless cats, so you can imagine my state of distress. They were quite firmly told to leave. When they came back next year, I sicced the sherriff on them.

-- Soni (, January 11, 2001.

I will post trap signs and I just LOVE the dog whistle idea!! I have used that in town for dogs in my gardens. I had not thought about using it on hunters dogs. LOL!!!

-- Cindy in Ok (, January 11, 2001.

Cindy, It is too bad that a few unresponsible hunters make life dangerous for the rest of us. I had a friend in Tennessee, post signs that said Attack Dog Traing Area, Enter at Your Own Risk!!! He did have several Dobies so it even looked possible. A couple of big dogs really do help, and they do not need to be really mean. A couple of Great Pyrenees or Anatolian Shepards will keep all strangers off your land. You can get a shotgun and just fire it in the air, that will scare off any deer and then there is no reason for the hunters to be there. You can get trigger guards for the guns so the kids won't get hurt. Good luck

-- karen (, January 13, 2001.

Do you have a video camera?

-- Jerry (, January 13, 2001.

I did not have time to read all the posts, but I will opine that these ARE NOT HUNTERS!!! They are idiots with guns. I am a hunter and would never do what I have seen described here, nor would any of my companions. If nothing else works, call (I'd tempted to say "Wire Palladin") me and I will do anything I can to help. Do not give in! I suggest you contact a local hunting/gun club and tell them of your problem. Any good sportsman hates these yo-yos even more than you do. GL!

-- Brad (, January 16, 2001.

We had trouble with hunters when we first moved in too. We are in NE OK and I would say that the game warden is the guy to call. I know ours for Delaware county if you are anywhere near here. He might know the others. e-mail me for his name. Oh...I had noticed when I started practicing my violin that they stopped coming around as often. I even scared my own cat half to death!!!! My own children run in fear of my violin!!! Something about Mom could peel the paint with that soundLOL!!!!! You might try to get in contact with some of the good ole boys in the area and put the word out. They are great gossips and will embarrass the poo out of anyone stupid enough to come into your yard!!!! Befriending the neighbors is a great thing to do if you can. Mine have come to my defense and rescue plenty of times! Except of course when they hear my lovely violin!!!!!

-- Nan (, January 17, 2001.

If you really feel that firearms aren't something you can have around your home, are firecrackers worth a try? Maybe even several times a day? Say every two hours? Should make anything that's been shot at before go away. And (in conjunction with suitable signs) make people who haven't been shot at before have intimations of mortality.

-- Don Armstrong (, January 17, 2001.

I am glad to see that there was a hunter post and that that is not the standard. My hubby talks of the way the guys he knows hunt and they won't go up to a house. I am so glad my son was not shot!! Something has happened to my dog the last few days. My guineas were going nuts,so I looked out. I could not see anything so got bundled up to go outside. By the time I got out there (not very long),my dog who was barking, was cowering in her dog house. :-( I have seen the hunter put a gun to her head before. I have not been able to find the game warden's number yet ,still trying. It is probably right under my nose and I have just missed it. I let my billy goat out to free range as well. He is a playful critter and enjoys a good butt to butt. I have not seen any foot prints out by the goat pen since I have let him out. I know, since he is really gentle, that if this person found out that he won't butt hard, that would be the end of the safety at the goat pen, so I need to work on something else. I plan to light up the yard area like I did in town, that helped there. Thanks for the wonderful ideas and support. Oh, for those that have wondered, I live by Lake Thunderbird. I can see the lake from my house..if you stand out in the street...but it is technically a lake view. ;-)

-- Cindy in Ok (, January 18, 2001.

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