In light of some hunting stories and threads about self protection, I have a story to share with RTF, involving property rights, hunting season and a different approach to solving a serious problem.
For the first time 12 years we have had a quiet—no trespassers shotgun season Our county is heavily wooded with crop fields scattered all throughout—perfect deer country. There is a group of ‘hunters’, in reality they know nothing about hunting, who have a camp 1 mile down the road from our 40 acre home place. They are notorious trespassers, love to drive around with loaded guns and alcohol and will set up along property lines driving deer out and shooting anything that moves. My husband does not hunt our home place he hunts at our other farms, so I am home alone every deer season. I don’t let the dogs out of my sight, can’t train in my fields, ect…. Extreme? Hardly--4 years ago this ‘merry band of idiots’, the main one being a neighbors 40 yr. old son, was out on our north property line when I heard a bunch of shooting and slugs went flying over my head as I was walking with the dogs, on leash, 200 yards from my house on the pond dam. I then did something not very smart, I ran back up to the house, jumped in the truck and drove the to the north property line. This group of 10 fully armed guys, drinking beer, was standing on my property along the road. I got out of the truck and confronted them—absolutely furious and not thinking straight. I cussed them worse then any sailor or Blago could ever cuss and I got right in a big fat ones face. One particularly nasty piece of hillbilly garbage, in total grossness, whips out his wee wee and urinates towards my truck tire—my reply was “They have pills for that problem a@#$H*&.”--which then led into another shouting match. Another neighbor who was hunting, heard the commotion and showed up—most likely why they left--his wife called the game warden. They got in their trucks and left. I then called the sheriff, explained what had happened and listened to his good old boy crap for 20 minutes. (Remember this is Illinois folks—the good olde boy network) The game warden showed up the next day, the sheriff did nothing. Our mailbox was demolished that night. One month later I got an anonymous letter, threatening me, my family and the dogs. The reference to the dogs both terrified me and made me see red, about matched my hair color. So I did the one thing I could do, my husband, who at this point is really pissed, and I responded to the letter in a professional manner (really no cuss words) and sent it and a copy of the threatening letter to every homeowner in a 3 mile radius. Including the neighbor (whom I have always adored and despite this still speak to-it is not their fault) whose son is the ringleader of this group (of course we sent it to him as well!) Needless to say the neighbors were very supportive and outraged. Some who have lived here forever spoke to the sheriff. These guys were now being watched by everyone and were thrown off of two farms(completely, as in your family is no longer farming this ground). For the next 3 years our mailbox was destroyed each deer season and I never let the dogs out of my sight, ever. We have a friend who is a deputy and he comes by the house for a once a week drive thru-still. The game warden makes a visit to their camp like clockwork each shotgun season and they are the laughing stock of all the camps in the area. This year we have a mailbox, I still drive the roads and carefully watch this group. It’s been quiet and no one is trespassing. We had 3 big 140+ bucks on the deer cam at home this year—a first. Could it have been a terrible incident-yes. Was I not very bright-yes. But sometimes the old fashioned way of publicly shaming people still works.