"It's part of living in the country"

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Wolf mom, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    Appalachian Foothills
    That's the reply I got when I told my neighbor that last night I woke to one of my dogs barking. When I looked out back towards the forest (My house is about 150 feet from the national forest) there sat a small pick up or car with it's engine off and the headlights aimed at my house!

    Talk about shock! I just stood there - back-lit in my nightie - at 11:30 at night. Couldn't see the vehicle for the lights. When my big dog walked outside, they turned on the engine & backed away.

    Lot's of thoughts of shoulda', coulda', but now I'm so concerned (how about paranoid) I'm carrying my hand gun so when I come home from work I'm prepared for any suprise.

    I called the county sheriff as other things have been stolen (small stuff) from my other property & I know someone was poaching a few weeks ago. Their reply wasn't very encouraging.

    I just hate low life! I'm so angry I'm ready to set trip wires - if I knew how, and my dogs wouldn't trip 'em.
    This is really NOT what I bargained for when I moved here!

    Is this normal around the country??? How do you all handle situations like this? I'm even thinking of fencing everything. Realistically I can't afford to, but my brain is on overdrive due to this.
  2. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 13, 2006
    can you start to put up fence posts? thats what we have done and it has kept people off our property. Id be scared as H3LL if I woke up to see that. Would you be able to use your gun tho if you were confronted???? sereiously I know I wouldnt id freeze and they would get the gun and use it against me.

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    The response your neighbors gave you, that "it's part of living in the country" remark, means they know who was parked behind your house. Hopefully, the angry look in your face put the fear of God into them and they'll be telling those folks to knock it off.

    The sheriff not really caring part is pretty much right on, unfortunately. Where I live, we can count on a 3 day response time. That's not an exageration.

    Do some target shooting on your land. Pull a crazy-lady-with-a-shotgun routine.... something to let the neighbors know you're armed and actually use the thing.

    edited to add: I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this on top of everything else you've gone through in the last year! :(
  4. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Is it possible you could put some lights out and about? I have flood lights in strategic places around my property. We had a lot of thieving going on until I put the lights up. Switches in the house so I can turn them on and off as I please (the ones furthest from the house use motion sensors). Nothing scares em away like a flood light suddenly coming on (unless it's a huge dog suddenly in their face.)
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Oct 18, 2004
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    On your land or not? I didn't catch that part.
  6. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    Yup, your neighbor is mostly right about that (and I don't think that means they know who it was). We've only been here two years, but our neighbor tells us I'm known as "Sheriff Paula" up at the store...and I hope it stays that way! I don't hesitate to take down license plate numbers and call the sheriff's dept. and I have been known to go ask someone what the heck they think they are doing! I have no problem with folks not liking me. I don't care to be friendly with folks who don't respect other's property. They think I'm crazy? GOOD! I know how to shoot a gun and the neighbor has told 'em up at the store what I good aim I am. And EVERYONE knows we have eight big dogs up here. Plus, we've put a chain with a NO TRESPASSING sign across our driveway.

    I am not one to go out of my way looking for trouble, but if trouble comes looking for me I'll stand my ground.

    I highly recommend the "crazy lady reputation" for scaring off trouble.
  7. Oceanrose

    Oceanrose Driftin' Away

    Mar 25, 2005
    Where the path takes me
    Man, good thing you wear a nightie to bed.. I don't, they either would have run in fear or come back every night.... :eek:

    Seriously, GOOD fences, and more dogs. And a shotgun (even if just for show). It should not be part of living in the country.
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Sep 26, 2005
    my question was also zeal's, on your land or not?

    if it was on your land i would not hesitate to unload a few shotgun blasts at the headlights. no ifs ands or buts.

    one way to get a response out of the law enforcement is to tell them you have a gun and are getting ready to use it asap. maybe even blast off a few rounds. you will definately get a response. i cannot say it would be a favorable response but at least the law would come...and with lights and sirens most likely.
  9. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2003

  10. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    Quite a few years ago there was a peeper in the neighborhood. Everyone was running scared, pulling shades etc. One night our elderly Jewish neighbor lady was at home alone and she heard a noise by her kitchen window. She looked and the peeper was looking in her kitchen window. Mad as a soaking wet cat she ran outside, armed only with her sharp tongue and confronted him! "What do you want? Why are you looking in my windows?" and so on. She gave him a thorough tongue lashing then told him to get out of there and never come back. She shamed him, his parents and anyone else he'd ever known. LOL We never saw that guy again. We had other peepers come around, one my parents had arrested but never saw this one again.

    This kind of thing goes on everywhere and it is a shame that people can't stick to their own business. If it was me I would have done my "mad bull scream" while running at the car, waving a shotgun and screaming "Don't move so I can kill you!"

    We had a drunk guy pulling up my newly planted tomatoes while slurping from a giant can of Bud. Our DS snuck up on him military style and chambered a round in his shotgun. That guy froze then took off. Guess he'd seen DH, me and our Akitas were out there too. Nothing like that shuk-shuk of a shell hitting the chamber to make them take notice. After that we were "All crazy"~good!
  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I had an old timer friend/neighbor who, when I told him I carry around the property, he said GOOD! The more who know that, the better. I said oh no, I don't want people to know. He said SURE you do - that way word gets around and people are less likely to mess with you!

    I agree with the "crazy" act... tends to scare people off when you seem a bit crazed and you're carrying a gun. LOL.

    One night my husband had to do one of his rare overnighters at work and I just happened to step outside and walk around a little. I saw something far beyond the barn (it would have been out of the view of the front of our house)... and determined it was a pickup. I thot oh gads, someone could be trying to steal tools, etc., out of our barn!

    I quietly went in the house, got dressed, got my gun, cellphone, the high beam flashlight and my keys, then quietly got in the car, (said a fast prayer for protection and wisdom) started it up and took off down the driveway like a bat outta heck. I stayed back just far enough and hit my high beams on the car and 3 men standing there. One of them was a guy I know... and he apologized profusely. He'd delivered something my pastor had asked him to bring out to us... he meant to bring earlier in the day but they'd been out hunting late with his friends. I was madder than a hornet and read him the riot act - what the HECK did he think he was doing out here this late at night - don't ever do that again. I ranted and raved awhile and told him - "That's a good way to get shot out here!" Believe me, he'll never do that again. LOL.

    I wasn't about to tell him my husband wasn't home in the middle of the night, especially with 2 strange men that were with him! But I immediately shot off an email to my pastor telling HIM that... and that I didn't ever want that sort of scare again. He promised it would never happen again too. It hasn't.

    I guess in that situation, had I felt my life was in danger, I'd have used the gun AND the car.... whatever it took to protect myself... and worried about the consequences later. I'm just thankful I didn't have to point the gun at anyone.

    My cellphone was ready to "dial" my closest neighbor, who would have been there in a heartbeat. Make friends with your neighbors... and be a friend back to them. One day you may need them. Using a car with high beams is a good way to approach people like that too. Carry a loaded shotgun and know that you may have to make the decision to use it or not. Get one of those high beam flashlights that are blinding when you point it at someone. You'd be amazed how far those beams will reach and what you can see!

    Don't take chances. Try to be as prepared as possible for situations like this.
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    It sure wouldn't be normal here. It would illicit an armed response. Now whether that escalated to something else would be entirely up to those in the vehicle. Hopefully I could make some determination of their intent once I got own there and asked them.

    Now in my instance the whole episode would be recorded by surveillance cameras and I would have been alerted they were there when they got close to the property by sensors out there.

    If they would have been 150 feet away with their headlights pointed at the house I would have already been able to have advanced to their vehicle from a position of cover and concealment. (can you tell I've already planned and practiced this sort of thing) If they advance up the driveway I have the same sorts of places along the way to confront them from positions of cover and concealment. I can see and talk to them but they can't see me. If the worst happens I am forced to use deadly force I'm also in a position to shoot from a position of cover where I'm not exposed to their fire.

    It's not just pretty landscaping. It's done with a specific purpose in mind. Always plan ahead.

    That isn't likely to happen around here though. If it did you would deal with it yourself and have all the neighbors down here to back you up with guns a blazin'.
  13. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

    Nov 26, 2005
    Beautiful Milton, New Hampshire
    I'm sorry about your things being stolen ~ I have no room for theives!!! :flame:

    Is it possible that somebody stumbled onto the edge of your property by accident? I know that when I grew up around here we would take off in the 4x4's and follow the old logging trails through the woods and mud...and every down and then we would head down an old road that led to the edge of someone's property. We would sit there for a moment and try to get ourselves oriented...but then we would be off again. I might be a bit nieve, but I try not to think the worst right off the bat.

    I hope things get better for you...nobody deserves to be scared in their own home. :)
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    That must have been a very scary and shocking event. But not necessarily were you in danger or watched, imo. Perhaps it was someone poaching if he didn't know someone lived there full time- that would explain the headlights. Some "sportsmen" just go to kill and don't care about laws. It might also have been someone drunk or messed up out of their minds. Cooperation from law enforcement depends on a few things like if they might be related to the perpetrators (happened to very good friends when they moved out to the country- law didn't do anything about thefts so they staked out their place and set up the thieves to be caught- embarassed the sheriff whose cousins were caught).

    Maybe you can put out motion sensors, there are solar powered ones. Also post your property just in case. Find out from local law enforcement what is within the bounds of laws in a situation like that (perhaps call the next county over). Oddly neighbors have asked me if I have firearms. I have said yes. Right by my bed, and I'll shoot anything that steps in after dusk.
  15. rggambrell

    rggambrell Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Also my question, was the vehicle on your land or the national forest land.That makes a big difference in the course of action.
  16. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 23, 2005
    South Louisiana
    A shot from a shotgun 50 feet over their heads helps ALOT!!! Those you fire over won't be back. You've created the crazy woman with a shotgun in their mind and believe me, word travels quickly!!!
  17. Triffin

    Triffin Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2005
    sw Ct / sw Va
    Kinda defeats the purpose of country living
    if you feel you must be armed to the teeth or
    have to assume a 'crazy' persona in order to be
    left alone by the 'neighbors' .. Not much point
    in living in fear ..

    that way word gets around and people are less likely to mess with you!

    Triff ..
  18. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    Hand held million candlepower rechargeable spotlights are about twenty, twenty five bucks or so. Next time you have someone parked with their headlights on your house get your spot light out and return the favor.

    I've done this in the past and they took the hint right off.

  19. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I guess I don't consider it living in fear. It's just knowing for a fact that the sheriff won't do squat so you can't rely on him. There's actually a lot less crime to worry about in the country than there is in the city. The big difference is in the city the police are out within a reasonable amount of time to handle it. That's not true when you get out of city limits.

    I've never actually had trouble on my land. My "crazy lady" routine was running into the woods to go after a coyote who was getting my guineas. I was in a nightgown in the middle of the day because I was sick with food poisoning.

    See, here's the thing. I didn't put on that show for anyone's benefit. It turned out some new neighbors were staking out their property and watched the whole thing. The people across the street have had some things stolen and had their house broken into. Nothing's gone off of my property. I don't think that's just a coincidence. Nobody looks at me strangely. Nobody shies away and avoids me. They just leave my property alone.
  20. PineRidge

    PineRidge Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2006
    I second the flood lights. I have one of those driveways that everyone thinks is a turn around (pet peeve of mine) Well, that sets the dog off. One night he didn't stop barking after it looked like someone turned around. I went out and couldn't see anything, so I flipped on the flood lights and a few seconds later I heard a car door slam and the car pulled out. I don't know if they were planning anything or not, but they knew I was awake and looking.

    At my old house I heard someone walking up the gravel driveway about 2 am (dh not home) so I got the shot gun and went out the side door. I let them get about 20 yards away before I put a shell in the chamber and they took off like lightening. I'm glad they ran because I was ready to step around the corner.

    We ran into a neighbor up in our woods (with permission) and dh had his pistol on him because there are feral dogs around sometimes. So when we talked to the neighbor dh casually mentions that I wanted to go out for targt practice.

    So I have the dog, the lights, a gun I'm comfortable with, and hopefully a rumor going around that I can shoot.

    And don't count on the police, unless you are in danger, they will not come out. They probably won't take a report. If you don't have a dead body around you will probably be told it's a "civil matter" Atleast that is how it is here :rolleyes: