When Strangers Trespass – Life in the Rural Woods

When Strangers Trespass – Life in the Rural Woods

When Strangers Trespass

I’m a little freaked out. I usually know what’s going on here. Intuition, observation and game cameras keep me on top of what’s happening. It’s nothing to grab a gun and meet trespassers at the end of the road in our wood yard. There have been four uncomfortable situations when strangers trespass in the 18 years we’ve lived out here in the woods. Once, someone took firewood. He didn’t know the land had been sold and that he couldn’t take wood anymore. We straightened that out quickly.

The second incident involved out-of-state hunters who grew up hunting this piece of land and weren’t going to stop because it had been sold again. They. Were. Mistaken. Funny story, that one. They left the keys in the ignition. I shoved them up the tailpipe and left a note inviting them to have a chat with me at the house. In return, they’d get their keys. They had little choice. They haven’t been back.

Someone stole firewood and I went after him. Didn’t catch up to him thankfully. He’s in prison again for something far worse than firewood. Trying to kill a game warden and drugs are on his list.

This time, someone was here while I was here, and I didn’t know. This stranger in a blue coat, probably a tall man, was caught on camera, but only an arm. The camera that would have shown his entire body including face didn’t have a card. I’d been too lazy to take an empty card out there. He is a fortunate trespasser. The place where he entered is clearly marked – No Trespassing. This is the bobcat camera trap, on a trail off a trail, not visible from the road.

when strangers trespass

Dealing with Trespassers

So, what happens with strangers are trespassers? I take Ruger with me when I go out, every single time I go out. A Ruger 9mm, a birthday gift two years ago to help me stay safe from predators. I’m not worried about the four-footed predators all that much. It’s the two-footed trespassers that piss me off and make me feel unsafe and creeped out, and pissed off. I mentioned pissed off, right?

Law enforcement will be around, and so will I.


15 thoughts on “When Strangers Trespass – Life in the Rural Woods

  1. I am so with you on this issue. I just completed an article for Waccamaw Outdoors , April Issue about feeling vulnerable in a ground blind during turkey season. I played down all the circumstances that could occur so as to not freak out my readers, but the reality is you need to be prepared for poachers, and criminals even when you should be in a safe area to hunt. I always have my friends – Smith and Wesson with me! Stay safe.

    1. Steve was shot in a hunting incident so we’re very fussy about where we hunt. If there’s any indication of another hunter in the area, we’re out.

  2. On the ranch, my dad had poachers( who had also cut fence) point a gun on him when he told them they were trespassing. Called the sheriff who returned their call 3 days later. They lived quite a ways out and didn’t want to bother with poachers that far out. I like the keys in the tailpipe idea if they aren’t at the rig.

    1. Three days! That’s terrible! Our wardens are allll over poachers, especially our local warden. I can’t imagine having a gun pointed at me. That must be a combination of fear and extreme anger.

  3. Most of our trespassers are neighbors that know they’re not supposed to be there but come anyway!! Forgive the poor fool that ever interrupts my deer hunting and turkey hunting because I’ll just have to wing a couple bullets above his head or at his feet!!!! Tired of it!!!

    1. It’s taken a long time but I think we’ve finally gotten the message across – don’t go there, it isn’t worth it. There aren’t deer worth dealing with us over. As far as this person goes, there’s nothing here that’s worth seeing when it comes to how miserable I’d like to make his life through the legal system. A neighbor was the worst of them. She’d bring her dogs here to use our wood yard as a bathroom. Nothing like going for a nice walk and stepping in their mess.

  4. I LOVE the keys in the tailpipe!!!
    We don’t have a trespasser problem, but I’ll gladly take any advice offered on how to discourage the Jehovahs from trying to ‘save’ me.

    1. I was cleaning cages in the commercial meat rabbitry years ago when they arrived. I came out with a full five gallon bucket of droppings in each hand, set them down and extended my hand for a handshake. I offered to listen if they were willing to help me while I worked so we wouldn’t be wasting anyone’s time. They didn’t take me up on the offer. I didn’t see them for years. Everyone is welcome to their own beliefs but I don’t want it pushed on me. I already have my beliefs and I’m pretty firm in them.

    1. hehe That makes me laugh. I needed to force them to come talk to me and see the error of their ways, but this would have been amusing. 🙂

  5. The other day someone sat outside of our cabin on the phone for about ten minutes. Who does that? Then he gets out and starts walking to our garage. I was out the door gun in hand. He backtracked fast. Turns out he was from the insurance company. He had called and been at our house the day before, but forgot to take photos of the garage. He took his photos and got the heck out of there. He called my husband later and apologized profusely for not letting us know he had to return. I am no shrinking violet, if you aren’t invited get out!

  6. Here in Saskatchewan this is a growing problem. On a farm not too many miles from ours, a man is on trial for murder. Four people cam onto his property and tried to steal his quad. He was home and went to the shop to to get a weapon. He shot into the air to scare them off and then shot again and killed one of the trespassers. This is not the first time that people had been stealing from him. And yet… Because these people were First Nations, people are crying foul.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should just go shooting people but if you don’t want to get hurt, stay off people’s land and stop trying to steal from them for petes sake.

  7. On the back part of my property where I have one of my game cameras, I always see my neighbors dogs run through. They believe that animals should be able to run free. The dogs are big and have been running off the deer and wild pigs. I told them their pets won’t come home one day.

    1. That’s maddening. We’ve had seven dogs and two litters of pups (18 pups total) in the 18 years we’ve lived here, and not once has one of our dogs killed or even attacked our livestock and poultry. Neighbors however, can be jackasses. One neighbor’s dog killed birds two days in a row. Another’s two dogs got into the hen house, and they thought it was funny. Another had her dog out for a walk and it killed a duck. One neighbor’s dog wiped out nine birds in 2015. I’d have blamed the loss on wildlife, and the neighbor would have gotten away with his denial of what happened if the dog hadn’t been on the game camera. We occasionally have people who don’t know what a game camera is look directly into them, and then later they’ve denied they were here. You never know what or who you’ll find on a camera.

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