Sunday, November 25, 2012

Poachers at Cold Antler

I was in my blind, on my property, watching for a deer and knocking a pair of antlers together when I saw a green Ford F250 slowly drive along my property line. A few moments later I heard two shots a few hundred yards from me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was livid. "Are you friggin' kidding me?!" I said through gritted teeth. They had shot towards me, since the deer was between us.

I hopped out of my blind and walked through my property to the road where the truck was driving along. In my bright blaze orange there was no mistaking me for a deer. As I came out of the woods I saw a man in camo walk out of the truck with a gun. I knew now there was a driver and a passenger. They saw me storming down the road and sulked off. I scanned and searched the woods for blood trail or a dead animal and found none.

Thinking that was that, I headed back home through the woods. Knowing my hunt was ruined for the morning and quite mad about it. If there was a deer (and clearly there was since they shot at it) It was dead or long gone. And just as I was packing up my optics and blind cloth I heard another shot, just down the road. Now I was pissed.

I got in my truck and sped down the mountain. There they were. I pulled along side the F250 and a kid in his mid-late twenties stared at me, saying nothing. Brownish red hair dirty under a hat and a scraggly start to a beard. He seemed either in shock or drunk. "You are shooting from the road into private property and towards me in my blind! Now LEAVE or I'm calling the police!"

He just stared at me some more, slowly turned his head forward and drove off. I took a photo of their truck and plate and headed home. But then I felt weird, and decided to wait a little on the road. Sure enough they were heading back. I yelled "Get lost' and they hollered some obscenity back and I then drove home and called the police.

I drove back to where I saw them and saw a buck, laying with his head up and legs tucked under him. As I was walking toward it a police cruiser came up behind me. I waved, pointed to the buck in the brush (the officer could not see him, brown on brown isn't exactly easy to view to a non-hunter's eye). I asked if it was okay to scare him off, because I was pretty sure that was the exact reason they were driving up and down the road with a gun. I walked 30 feet up to him and he took off. I couldn't tell how large of a buck it was. But I was thrilled to see him able to run away. I felt protective of him. He was from my forest, my pasture. If me or another legal hunter with permission took him from the mountain, well okay. But some scumbags taking cheap shots on posted land don't deserve a buck like that. Take cheap shots on your own property.

Right now state and local officers are on the mountain road. They have their plate number and description. IF they have the nerve to come back I hope they get caught. It was scary, dangerous, and stupid.


Blogger Bitha said...

How awful and scary! I'm so happy you stood your ground!

November 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Lynnanne said...

Good deal. With the plate number, they can track them down. Dumbasses.

November 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Becca at Rabbit Moon Farm said...

There's a huge problem with poachers and hunting clubs at my in-laws' place in southeast Georgia. People will just drive up onto their 20 acres pretty as they please and start gunning. So glad you didn't get hurt and that you got a picture of them and all.

November 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, that's awful. I hope they are dumb enough to get caught, that's so scary. When I was a kid we had hunters illegally shoot onto our land and kill our dog. He was an Irish Setter, but seriously quite a ways from a white tail.

November 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Photo evidence is brilliant. I did the same thing when I had intruders in my carport. Just be careful because obviously these people have guns and guns+supidity+anger=danger.

Glad the cops are on it!

November 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

You might want to consider no hunting and no trespassing signs on your property as a visual deterrent. Any hunter who knows you and wants to hunt your land will ask permission. Glad you're safe and you turned them in.

November 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

My land is posted.... They didn't care.

November 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger MKandtheforce said...

That is INFURIATING. I hope they get punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm sorry that happened to you. It could have ended very badly. D:

November 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Bloody foolish miscreants. Poaching is problem in the UK too but as compartively few houses have land, they are mostly 'out over there'.

Hopefully the police will be able to update you with a result soon.Fingers crossed.

In the meantime stay safe x adrenalin has whizzed me through a couple of situations where afterwards I have thought hellsteeth I could have been x,y,z whatever. Its a natural reaction to be indignant and protective. I would bet the fools dont have anything of their own to be that towards to even begin to understand how wrong, dangerous and downright rude they were.

Am snarling here for you.

GTM x x x

November 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Wow, that is seriously illegal and dangerous. I'm glad you reported them and have evidence. We also had a local dog killed by someone shooting from the road during hunting season. No way did they think it was a deer, it was in a kennel. Please be careful when dealing with such idiots, they don't seem to understand the basic facts about actions and consequences.

November 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Mare said...

Good for you Jenna. There certainly are a lot of arseholes out there with guns! I was walking on the Cohoes BIKEPATH last month and heard shots go off along side me!!!! Idiots shooting in the woods inside the city line! After that i started wearing my bright red jacket on my walks. I don't even allow folks to drop cigarrette butts or spit on my little piece of land here so i totally support you protecting your good land.(this post really touched a nerve for me!)

November 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Bad business, this. Glad you are not hurt. Any possibility they lose their license (if they have one) and compound their guns?

November 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Idiots like that give the rest of us hunters a bad name. Bear in mind they now know where you live, so be vigilant. Glad you have a goose Farm Alarm System.

November 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

That is soo scary and dangerous. I hope they get caught. People like that give hunters and gun owners in general a bad name. Glad you are ok and glad the deer wasn't harvested by their gun!!!

November 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger JoAnne Schnyder said...

I hope they are caught. Be careful. Be safe.

November 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Kerri said...

Add "lazy" to that list. Seriously, how lazy is it to be shooting from a truck?!

November 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

I'd say that you handled it perfectly, Jenna. Glad you are alright and that you kept the miscreants from getting their prize. Barbsbirds13, while it's possible that the dirtbags may lose their hunting tags for this year and possibly a nominal fine, unless things are very different in NY than here in Michigan, (also a BIG hunting state) it's unlikely that it will go any further. Having their guns taken away is hardly likely with the far too lax gun laws we have in the States. (To forestall a slap down I am not anti-gun, I just think that the "right to bear arms" isn't an absolute. I think it is one that you should prove, by your actions, that you deserve.)

November 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Di-Zee said...

Go get 'em Jenna!

November 25, 2012 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger maria said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger maria said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger maria said...

That is scary and infuriating. I'm so glad that you and your animals were unhurt. Hopefully the sight of the cruisers driving up and down your mountain roads will deter any further poaching.

On another note, did you get the small paypal donation that I made on my birthday a few weeks back?

I'm not really familiar with how that works and if you are notified.

November 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Mist said...

Damn fools. I hope they are found and penalized. And I'm really, really glad that you weren't hurt!

November 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Haley said...

Glad you reported them! Poaching is serious business!!

November 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Haley said...

Glad you reported them! Poaching is serious business!!

November 25, 2012 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger small farm girl said...

Were you sure the buck wasn't shot already? It's not common to get within 30 ft from a deer without it running away before. Just thinking.

November 25, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

And they give hunters a bad name and non-hunters more ammo for outlawing hunting. Idiots.

November 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Glad you didn't get hurt! I would have pee'd my pants! I hope justice gets served to those d-bags!!!

November 25, 2012 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

Some people are just morons! Deer season ended here in Maine yesterday, but not without a few injuries and at least one death that I know of, because some idiot decided he would shoot uphill at deer not a stones throw from someone's house, and not knowin the area, didn't realize that there was another house up that hill!

November 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Perhaps these guys will respect you because you too had a gun however I would consider moving the sheep farther to the back for a while. Those boys are the types that don't like being faced down by a female and are probably capable of some underhanded stuff. In Maine, the Game Wardens would probably interview those boys and build a case with multiple violations. Hope it works out that way in NY.

November 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

Oh my god, Jenna, I'm so glad you're safe! That's so frightening thinking that you wouldn't be safe sitting on your own land, that you'd have to think to wear bright colors to be seen *even from the road* by poachers (assuming they'd even care). How completely awful. I'm proud of you for standing up to the asshats, and for having the presence of mind to photograph them to have evidence for the police. I can't help still being afraid for you still, though, thinking that those idiots know where you live in case they seek vengeance. *shudder* I'm so glad you've got good, loud dogs and pushy, protective geese, and the strength and armed know-how to stand against them again if need be.

As a side note, when I voiced the thought of driving home (to KC) from Wichita the other night on back roads (thinking only of seeing more of the beautiful Flint Hills than one gets from I-35), my parents (both farm-bred) strenuously argued against it. Their main reason was because it's hunting season and the back roads would be full of drunken hunters weaving all over the road because they're seeking their prey from their vehicles. It hadn't even occurred to me that I could be endangered by people *shooting* from the road! Ridiculous. (To ease their minds, I took I-35 home; needless to say, I'll continue to do so throughout hunting season.) Ugh!

November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be very wary in the next little while. You may not know them but they are likely to know who you are and know your circumstances. You are a woman alone and have livestock in yards and pastures - fair game for this type of person. Better to observe, take pictures, get licence numbers and call the authorities without tipping your hand.
Sundays here there is no hunting allowed, and deer and residents alike can relax their vigilance - poachers and those from further afield are less likely to be around during the week, so it makes one less day for potential unpleasantness.
Stay safe!

November 25, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Karen C said...

I had a client tell me that's called "redneck hunting". Sounds like dangerous stupid entitled hunting to me.

November 25, 2012 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Wowza, stay safe out there!

November 25, 2012 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Wayne Jones said...

Good Girl. Stand your ground. Most poachers are like bullies and cowards. They will not stand up to real confrontation. Be careful in case a situation like that does get nasty but I'm glad you didn't bury your head in the sand.

November 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
Didn't you once say that your neighbor that allows you to ride Merlin on his property is in law enforcement? If that is correct, you might want to go over and knock on his door and let him know what happened.
Lisa in Maine

November 25, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Echoing everyone else, how infuriating and scary! So glad you are okay and good for you standing up and reporting them. What idiots. Keep us posted if you hear anything from the police.

November 25, 2012 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger J.D. Collins said...

Full moon's rising stirring up the crazies. Crazies with a guns = dangerous.

November 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

I'm glad you're ok and that you stood your ground.

November 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

That makes me SO angry! Thank God you are OK. I hate gun season for that reason alone. I don't hate the harvest of deer and I don't even hate the harvesting of deer with a gun. I just hate stupid people.

Gun season opens tomorrow. I am praying for my husband and all the hunters we know for their safety.

Again I am so glad you are safe!!

November 25, 2012 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

If the police let you know that the jerks were caught and charged, let us know too. Hopefully they will get more than a slap on the wrist.

November 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

You did the right thing and I hope you stay safe.

November 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

I'm so glad you're okay. I hope they get fined and lose hunting privileges!

November 26, 2012 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

It's not normal behaviour for a buck or doe to be laying sternally in the middle of all that gun fire. He was probably hit and was either bleeding out, or was just starting to. If you can, go back and look for a blood trail. Just because an animal is not down, does not mean he/she has not been shot- adrenaline will allow them to run several yards before they succumb.

November 26, 2012 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Roslyn Phipps said...

Glad you stood your ground and are okay. If they were after the buck they probably just wanted the antlers for a trophy. A true hunter in my opinion hunts an animal for the meat it will provide, not a wall decoration. That makes these guys plain killers. My husbands family had a similar situation many years ago. Unfortunately for the lazy hunter, before he could load the deer and take off they had him trapped. Vehicles on all four sides of him and they held him there at gunpoint til Fish & Game Officers could get there. Amazingly after that no one else ever hunted from a vehicle on that road. Guess the word got around.

November 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

post. put up an obnoxious number of signs. I forget what the law indicates but I know it is tons and they have to be replaced yearly, otherwise the poachers get off. (of course if they shoot from the road it is always illegal.) we give the signs to the hunters who are allowed on our acreage and they post for us. and I scream at them when I catch them too, it makes my blood boil.

November 26, 2012 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

make sure you report it to the local DEP office, they WILL follow up for sure and they will get back to you on what they do. They have arrest power, like the State police, and they act more aggressively on these issues then our local sheriffs do.

November 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

DEC numbers (think I referred to them as DEP, sorry), "Poachers and Polluters 1-800-TIPP-DEC"

November 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

UGH. There were hunters that would cross the property lines at my childhood home growing up, and I stumbled across them multiple times. It was pretty jolting, being a teenager and hiking in the woods, only to come face to face with someone who didn't belong there, carrying a gun that would blast me to kingdom come. Jolting enough to get sassy with them, I guess, although mouthing off to strangers with guns doesn't look like such a great story now that I am older...

November 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

What idiots! Here's hoping they stay away from your land.

November 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna - i had someone drop a buck 50 ft from my country house in Pa--
they shot from the road on posted property- $500 later and loss of license for 5 years will give them something to think about- if they had loaded it in their truck- state would have had another one to auction off-this was a while back- so not sure what rules up there are now-most hunters use good judgement but then there are always the few who think they make the rulse

November 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Road Lawyer said...

One of the hazards of farming that doesn't get talked about. We've had slob farmers trespass on our place for about forever. I remember one day, Dad was in the west cornfield when he had a pheasant fly over him and then a 12-gauge blast. Dad wasn't exactly invisible; he was on one of our Farmalls. He looked down the row, and there was the little jerk, hot-footing it for the road. The jerk was lucky he picked on the generation he did; Dad is easy going to a fault. Grandpa and I would have thrown it into road gear and run him through the picker.

November 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM  

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