Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Deer Hunters

The day started out pleasant enough with walking the dogs as the sun was coming up.  Carl walked the dogs around the front of our property, and I took the more scenic route in back.  I had our boy Sam, and Toby on a leash and Hamlet tagging along behind us.  Sheba, Rudi and CarrieAnne are always excited about our walking in this direction and ran ahead and out of site into the open field at the top of the hill.  In the next moment, chaos erupted.  I was about halfway up the hill when I heard voices and Sheba, and CarrieAnne came running back towards me, tails tucked underneath, both were looking back over their shoulders.  Knowing something was wrong, I hurried up the hill and saw 2 bow hunters--One was picking up an arrow.  I'm not sure what came flying out of my mouth next, but I can assure you it wasn't pleasant!  They told me they were aiming at the deer, and not the dogs who had scared them off--I didn't and still don't believe them.  It was a pretty heated 'discussion' in which I told them they were on private property and to close to our house.  One informed me that hunting on private land is only illegal in Virginia if the property is posted with no trespassing or no hunting signs. I have to admit that I've never heard that.  I then told them that I was going to check with the owner of the property who had given me permission to walk the dogs there.  Not even the echo of my very raised voice could convince these two that they were doing something wrong or make them apologize.  

With wobbly knees, my heart in my throat, and my blood boiling, I walked back towards the house.  All three dogs had returned--I have to admit I'd forgotten about Rudi--Sheba remains unusually subdued and quiet.  I'm not sure how serious these two hunters took an old lady in gray flannel pajamas with Golden Retrievers in tow, but I have a feeling the word might be out about the crazy lady on Mountain Road!   

**As a final note, I will add that I am not against hunting, just against those do it irresponsibly--Like the two this morning. 

45 comments:

Tina Eudora said...

Kim I can sympathize with you as for 8 months of the year it is unsafe to walk anywhere in or near the woods.
I will come out firmly and say I am against hunting. I feel it appeals to the baser instincts in man and my prayer is that we will rise above deriving pleasure from killing.
Poor dogs they must have been terrified, not to mention you Kim. Thank God you didn't become another statistic today. Here in upstate New York/Vermont we have many accidental shootings each year. Very sad....
Try to enjoy the weekend and stay safe!
Tina xo

Catherine said...

Oh you poor girl ~ I'm so glad you and the dogs are OK! I wouldn't think hunting on private property would be allowed anywhere! My goodness, children, horses, other pets and people could be out and about. What a scary morning you had. I hope the rest of your weekend is much more subdued!

xo Catherine

Jo said...

How unsettling for you and your goldens. I'm so pleased they are ok physically, and hopefully the experience will fade from their memories soon.

x

Nancy K. said...

Good for you!

I once had a very beloved Dalmatian shot by a bow hunter. I never allowed the dog to run loose but he had escaped out the door when a child was entering or exiting. When "Blue" returned, a day later, he had a huge hole in his upper front leg and appeared to be in shock. I thought he'd been shot by a rifle but found out years later that the offending hunter had bragged about shooting him with his bow & arrow!

I spent three weeks sleeping on the floor with Blue until his leg had healed enough that he wouldn't lick it open. He absolutely would not accept the Elizabethan collar that the vet sent him home wearing. Once the anesthesia completly wore off, Blue went absoltely crazy, trying to get the collar off. I was so afraid that he'd further injure himself, or reopen the wound, that I just stayed with him 24-7 until it was healed enough that it was safe to leave him again.

Sometimes, I think that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals deserve to have the same act performed on them.

Sam said...

I'm with you - bow hunters seem to have an open door and have different rules than regular hunters. I'm glad you and the dogs weren't hurt. I'm so nervous during hunting season - I worry about the dogs getting "accidently" shot...

Sam

Angus said...

The adrenalin must still be rushing through the system. Once I was loading the car in front of the house when a hunter fired a gun and the shots hit the wall just above where I was standing. Wilf and Digby went careering into the house. Believe me there were Italian phrases used that would make you blush ! Sadly, there are some selfish hunters who think they own the countryside and just don't get the idea that they have to stay well clear of folks and their dogs. Ruins it for the sensible guys. Hope you calm down by dinner time.

Mogley G. Retriever said...

Boy, that was scary. We are hunting fans, although we don't actually hunt much anymore, but we also don't like to have close calls of the hunting kind. If someone is going to hunt, they do need permission of the landowner, even if only as a courtesy. But looking at the bright side, scaring the deer away probably saved a deer from harm. Everyone should be happy that another deer lived to see another day.

Mogley G. Retriever

Parsley said...

This gets my bloog boiling! I'm not against hunting either but you get a weapon near my family, dogs, or home and I wouldn't be pleasant.

Mogley G. Retriever said...

Just a suggestion. At WallMart or any outdoors store they sell very cheap (3.99 or 2.99) orange hunting vests. During this time of the year it might be worthwhile to remind everyone about them. If you run in the woods, wear a bright orange vest.

Mogley G. Retriever

KT and Lady said...

OK crazy lady, you did the right thing. Don't think you'll be seeing those two assholes again. How pathetic that signs must be posted to have people practice safety and common sense. Hope your doggies are OK. I guess that rules out strap on antlers for Halloween.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

way to go KIM
lol I guess the night clothes didnt give you the authority your voice had!!!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Hmmm.... I'd check with your local Environmental Conservation Office. In our state of NY a verbal of NO HUNTING ALLOWED is binding although to prosecute you need posted signs marked at the legal intervals and at each corner. Sorry that this happened. It's the bad hunters that ruin it for the good ones. Their behavior and the dogs' reactions sound like something nasty happened. So sorry.

Carolyn said...

How frightening! I'm very glad you and yours came out unscathed. Something definitely happened to scare your dogs!!

As someone who has hunted, let me just my two cents in on what they told you about the alleged law....I think they are full of it. They were in the wrong and you busted them.

I would be shocked if the state of Virginia repealed private property rights for hunting season. At the very least, these guys were required to know how far they are from buildings/out buildings.

If you run across hunters again, ask for their hunting license numbers. They shouldn't mind giving you that info if they are on the up and up.

Okay, that was more than two cents, lol, but irresponsible hunters really tick me off. :)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh man
I know how you feel about this!
All the peacefulness that you were wishing for this morning was robbed from you! I don't believe those hunters either,,, because we have the exact same kind here. And MOST of the hunters we encounter are poachers,, who even kill the fawns.
I cannot mention the number of times that I have come face to face with them and given them a few words. But, it never stops them.
Hunters don't seem to go to the wilderness anymore, they seem to bw drawn to rurual homes, where the deer hang around and are an easy catch as they nuibble on fallen apples - sometimes right in your own orchard.
What ever happened to the "real hunters" who used to go to the wilderness and hunt fair?
I better stop before I say to much.
I am sorry your peace and quiet was ruined by these creeps.
But we are happy that you and Carl and all the dogs are safe.
love
tweedles

The Life of Riley said...

I'm so glad that both your dogs and you weren't injured by a stray arrow. I hope the hunters find somewhere else to hunt, so you are able to enjoy your walks on that property again.

Sheila and Bob said...

Well; We are not hunters , but these two sound like that they not only were not hunters in the manner that we think of hunters, but JERKS in the truest sense of the word.
Glad everyone is safe.
Sheila & Bob
Hamish & Sophie

Jabacue said...

Good for you Kim to confront those two. Now maybe they will think twice before they 'take aim' on private property. That was too close for comfort.
Jim

Sharon said...

Yes, I would talk to the owner of the property and see if it could be posted or if he just lets anyone hunt there. Me thinks they were going for a golden before they saw you! Believe I would still be screaming at them. How awful that would have been!!!!

Karine said...

I'm glad you laid into those two men, I definitely would have done the same thing and with my Irish temper would have been more than happy to send THEM scurrying off with their tails between their legs! I've done that to a few people before since they don't expect someone as small and mild-mannered as me to have the ability to blow up the way I do...Good for you and I would definitely look into those laws and see about getting some signs up around your land to deter hunters from getting too close to your house!

Canyon Girl said...

It's that time of the year. I wonder if things had been different if you had walked with about 5 rottweilers instead. I bet the guys would have been long gone. Hope the rest of your weekend will be lovely.--Inger

mimi said...

Oh my gosh Kim---I can hardly think about what would have happened if one of those arrows would have struck one of your precious babies. I know I would have done the same thing yelling at those hunters!!! I may have even called the police. I am so glad that everyone is ok!!!
xoxoxo
Mimi

KB said...

What an awful start to your day. I don't know the VA laws but in Colorado, a hunter is required to know whether s/he is on private land regardless of whether there are signs. Moreover, they lose their right to a hunting license for at least one season if they trespass to hunt. I know all of this because I've had an experience a lot like yours except that the guy had a rifle. He was hiding behind some brush only about 50 yards from my house when my dogs sniffed him out.

I'd encourage you to call wildlife officials... and if those guys were in the wrong, nail them. They'll probably be back given their attitudes. I "nail" the trespassers on our land by photographing their license plates and calling our Div of Wildlife asap. I don't know the procedure in your area.

I'm so relieved that your dogs are OK. Those were some awful hunters. I agree with you - there are many stripes of hunters - some are ethical and safe while others are not.

Nancy@el vigilante said...

Here in Nebraska, you must get permission to hunt on private property, or you are trespassing. Doesn't matter if it is posted or not. I would imagine the same goes for most states. Regardless, I always wear orange when out with the dogs on our own property during hunting season. You just never know. Sorry you had to experience this. Those guys were lucky I didn't run into them. I would have called the sheriff.

Ninny said...

Wow Kim, how scary! You might ought to wear some bright orange when you go out in the woods for a while.
Liz

Sierra Rose said...

We are echoing KB. Those moments when we are so stunned that something like this has occurred and so thankful that nothing really bad happened to our loved ones. Yet....the nerve of these folks! So sorry.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Ms. ~K said...

So happy no one was hurt...we have the same problem every year and it scares me to death...we have signs posted all over our property, but some people have no respect...
Hopefully the word will get around that there is a crazy, pj wearing dog lady in the area and other hunters will stay away!
Hugs to you and the pups,
Kit

Barbara said...

Can I just say that these two "hunters" would have not had knees if I had been there. Unacceptable and I probably would have got myself arrested. Do NOT mess with my dogs.

By the way, this is YOUR LAW:

On Posted Property:

It is unlawful to hunt without written permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $2500 and/or 12 months in jail.

On Property Not Posted:

It is unlawful to hunt any unposted property without permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Landowners may post their property by any of the following methods:

* Using a paint mark of aluminum color paint consisting of a vertical line at least 2 inches in width and at least 8 inches in length, no less than 3 feet and not more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface and visible when approaching the property.
* Signs that specifically prohibit hunting, fishing or trespassing on the property.

Did they have your landlords permission? Me thinks not. One call to the cops would have cost each of them $500.

Get your property posted ASAP.

Grrr!!

Barbara said...

Here's a link to the hunting law

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/privateproperty.asp

Chambray Blue said...

So glad the dogs are doing fine... It is so upsetting when people act this way and are not respectful of other people AND dogs. Hope this never happens again...

Chambray Blue said...

So glad the dogs are doing fine... It is so upsetting when people act this way and are not respectful of other people AND dogs. Hope this never happens again...

Thor said...

How scary! I'm glad that you and your doggies are ok.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Have a great Sunday!
Love,
Thor

A Brit in Tennessee said...

It seems to be the same problem around these parts also, however the authorities seem to deal with the ones who are not willing to follow the rules.
I can only imagine what a scare that would have been for you, I'm glad you took those hunters in hand, and let them know they were indeed in the wrong.

bad penny said...

I have an image of you in grey flannel PJs now !
How frightening & I'm sure you were fuming. Let us know what the land owner said.
I was quite shocked to read this, we get men with guns shooting pheasants here you hear the shots sometimes but I've never seen a bow man. They have gundogs ( labradors ) with them...funny to think that Dill is technically a gundog !

When I was a nanny in Antigua, a man with a spear gun was fishing & threatened the family dog who'd come with the boys & me to the beach. I shouted at him so he threatened me !

Jeanne said...

That was just too close for comfort. I'd definitely be looking into the laws re:hunting on private property.

I'm glad everyone is okay. ♥

Toni aka irishlas said...

You are so brave!

What print did your PJ's have on them? Maybe that helped voice your authority!!

All kidding aside, what a scary situation!

sophie... said...

Wear that moniker proudly...hunters should be banned or maybe even hunted themselves. Let them know what it's like.
Kim...yell and scream as much as you can because I'm behind you all the way.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hi Kim and Pups,
Boy that Barbara is a good friend to have!! I would surely want her on my side!!! So glad you were ruff with those hunters, maybe they will not be back. If you see them again call the police!!!
So happy to have Tom home and the surgery done!! He has the best looking scare I have ever seen!! He is doing great!! Did I tell you I fell? I wasn't doing very good while he was gone.
XXOO, Bambi & Fern

Martine said...

Hello Kim !
All this is very frightening... I'm glad to hear that you and your dogs are well... Take care !
Hugs from Alsace/France
Martine

The Witch said...

Kim,
Stand your ground my friend because some hunters, not all can be happy shooters for all game. We don't have any deer here thought they did try and introduce it years and years ago and guess what? Yup they were all killed. So sad. My Grandfather hunted for years only out of necessity to raise his family
There was no waste because you had to do the work afterwords.
Not like some hunters now who just kill for the fun and actually leave the (birds) behind.(geese)
They pay big money to come here for a week to hunt and you know they are not taking it home with them.
You can never be to over cautious.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I am totally against hunting and glad you told them off, luckily they didn't think you were a deer!!

Gill in Canada

Kritter Keeper said...

your reality is my fear. i cannot stand trespassers and loathe them worse than getting the flu! in west virginia, it STILL is against the law to trespass regardless if there are signs or not. please turn this awful experience into a positive one and what i mean is call DNR and report them so it is on record. that way the next time it happens the proper authorities will be able to see they are not abiding by the law. also, i always carry my camera in the woods with me. i caught trespassers and snuck up behind them several months ago and they didn't even know it...if you want, look it up on my blog under the category 'fear'. thank heavens you and your babies are safe. i have a love hate relationship with this time of year. love the colors and crisp weather but absolutely hate the hunters that think they own my land and i have huge commercial no hunting signs all over. and don't worry about what people think. i am a pitbull when it comes to our farm...

Sue said...

Our house backs up to woods and we hear gunshots during hunting season. The area is much too close to the residential area to be firing guns and there is a public trail that runs thru it, too. I worry about even having the dogs run in their own fenced yard during hunting season.

Louise said...

Darn hunters! The Masons, who own the property next to me, don't want anyone hunting on their property. I went over to their building and told the maintenance people this Spring that someone had pulled all of their signs down (metal and nailed to the trees no less.) I don't think that they ever did anything about it, and a week ago, when bow hunting started, I saw the neighbor from the tract across the street, who knows that there is no hunting permitted but could care less, coming out of the woods with his bow.

polly's path said...

so glad you all weren't hurt!!!
Years ago I caught teens shooting on our property, behind my daughter's playhouse. I was livid.
After fencing in the property we haven't had any problems, until this year when i found a bow sticking in the dirt behind one of the chicken houses. I don't know how it got there, but it could have hit any one of my dogs-they roam that pen daily.
Like you I don't mind people hunting, but responsibly and not on someone else's property, without permission to boot.

MAXMOM AND TOBY IN SA said...

How frightening, Kim...
I hate hunting...period!
Glad you are safe my friend!
Lotsaluv
Maxmom