Coping: Dark Side of “Hunter’s Rights?”

I don’t know if it’s the NRA who has slammed legislation through 48-states, but a buddy of mine up the street has been charged with a misdemeanor.

The heinous crime of this chum?

Well, he lives on County Road 404 and a neighbor of his likes to hunt.

But the catch is, my neighbor has about had it with people ignoring his “Posted: No Hunting, No Trespassing” signs being ignored. So he called the game warden with the latest complaint about bullets crossing property lines. Unless you have specific permission, they are not supposed to.

Game Warden, to hear his side of it, didn’t want to come out because my neighbor has complained many times.

So she mailed a ticket for “harassing a hunter” to him and now, he’s on the Docket for the County Commissioner’s Court on the 29th. The penalty – if found guilty – is up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

But here’s where it gets tricky – as such items do here in the Outback.

His “crime” was committed nine months ago and she sat on the charge until she got tired of enforcing the laws. Word is that there are a bunch of laws that the local Sheriffs don’t mess with, simply because it would mean a lot of extra hard work and other problems (like our expanding meth trade) would not get needed attention. Time and resource issues – but then ain’t it always?

What’s more, now my friend has hired an attorney and he’s hot on the case.

You know, the same exact wording in a Connecticut statute was thrown out last year as unconstitutionally vague.”

Seems even yelling at a hunter is a crime. But then again, game wardens do have a workload so there is all that in the mix, too.

What do you do, George?

Well, we’re blessed. People who own the property across the street don’t allow hunting. And the folks up the hill from us are bow hunters and only one or two animals per year and the rest of the time they manage the resource. Put in rye grass and such – and they have upwards of 150 acres.

“Mostly, I stay inside. When I go out on the property, I carry the AK-47 and several magazines, shot-gun over the back, Glock 17 on my hip and a boot gun along with a cell phone, FRS radio and a ham radio, too…then there’s my TacMedSolutions wound pack and spare QuikClot…why?”

I’m not paranoid, but as I’ve told him before, no one is allowed to hunt on my property, and when I hear people shooting on the lower 16 acres, no problem calling the Sheriffs and complaining about “Armed Trespassers.”

I figure if I ever complained about someone hunting that would open up too much local bias.  But trespass is clear and distinct and we have purple trees and signs galore.

My friends “crime” was 9-months back to hear him tell it. He’d stopped his truck on the one-lane road (one torn up by gravel trucks a while back if you remember that adventure). Yelled at the hunter to keep his #$%^&* bullets on his side of the line.

Now, his read of the Constitution (and he’s been a sworn peace officer) is that you can say anything you want from a public road.

Except in Texas.

Whether it was the NRA or whoever else can pass identical “hunter protection” laws in 48-states, isn’t the point.

He’s worried that Hunters are becoming something of a super-group of citizens.

So come the 30th, or so, we will find out if the D.A. is going to drop a case where the Game Warden sat on the citation months before sending and then seems to have sent it because my friend called to complain again about violations. OR whether this will go to court where it promises plenty of real drama.

You know about two weeks back, one hunter shot another – through the chest, mind you – up by the Volunteer Fire Station?”

No, I hadn’t heard. But that’s instructive, too.

So I came up with a novel idea – and not sure how it would fly with hunters, but Ure’s solution is simple:

Require that people’s eyesight be tested before allowing them to get a hunting license. Have classes of hunting license set to how good your vision is. 20-20 would be an unlimited. 20-30 would be restricted to scopes only. 20-40 or worse and like driving, you hang it up.

Another equivalency I’d like to see would be applying the same blood alcohol level to hunters as drivers. Buzz hunting is to murder what buzz driving is to vehicular homicide.

Since this would be challenged by “gun rights groups” let’s simply require Game Wardens to respond (politely) even if they don’t want to and it’s inconvenient. Generally they do a good job but there are exceptions who abuse position.

We are either a nation of laws, or someone’s getting away with murder – whether accidental or whatever – and strong, even-handed law enforcement when comes to game regs is something we can’t live without.

At least until January with the annual replay of the Tet Offensive ends.

Or, at least it is supposed to.

It doesn’t though. Especially when one of the local “Unsportsman-like Conduct” clowns sees a 12-point buck out of season.

Then? All bets are off.

And you want your orange gear on, the AK, the trauma pack and an extract team on speed-dial.

It’s sad that Texans are not superior shots to sportsmen of any other state.

They do, however, I’m sure, lead the World in ounces of lead dispensed annually per person with this year’s other contenders being Syria and Afghanistan.

Factoid: 30-06 and .308 rounds are nominally good for 1,000 yards. That’s a lot of “reach out and touch.” Even my buddy who teaches Barrett 50-sniper skills goes out of state to find a large enough field of fire – and he’s a Texan! Yes. People’s rounds go much, much farther than they can see. That ain’t right.

Setting out feeders full of corn and drinking whiskey in a “deer stand” waiting for a victim to get hungry is just a wee bit shy on the “sporting” side to my way of thinking. Track elk up in the wilds of the Rockies?   Up from Weston Colorado, for instance…that’s a different story. Bow hunting? Stealth and brains. Taking out wild hogs from a chopper because they are tearing up land seems reasonable, too. Coyotes have to eat, too.

But a .308 at 300-feet with a buzz on and a combative attitude? Uh…that’s a bit shy of the well-regulated militia in the Constitution. And sportsmanship to me infers about equal odds for the hunter and the game.

Once upon a time, meat hunting was reasonable.  But the way costs have gone, by the time you pay the cut and wrap, and tags and ammo and, and… well, you can buy a lot of hamburger and it’s way more reliable.  No telling when you’ll find a wasting disease animal but they’re out there.  Not sure how many buzz hunters even know about CWD, let alone how do you spot it before it presents?  And you’d eat that?

Me?  I’ll take my chances on USDA inspected prime beef.

No quarrel with guns or meat, but we’ll hunt when the stores run out – and so far they never have.

Filet Mignon of beef, thanks. A little asparagus and Béarnaise on top? Sure. But please don’t stand too close to the propane tank in case of shrapnel.

This is Texas, after all.

Home Handy-Bastard Report

Among the many projects this weekend was this pair of night stands, prior to being finished in a chocolate brown. I was going to varnish, but it wouldn’t have gone with “the look” we’re after in the guest quarters.


Paint and grout to follow.

Yes, that’s more of the 89-center ceramic floor tile cut down on the tile saw…

I used some ¾ inch birch on this, but I could have made the whole thing from about 8 2-by-4;s if I’d had more time.

Which gets to an interesting contest: Who can build the coolest piece of furniture for $10-bucks?

That’s about what these would come in with 2-by-4s and a lot of patience at the table saw and jointer….

Go ahead, send in an entry…

Write when you get rich,

26 thoughts on “Coping: Dark Side of “Hunter’s Rights?””

  1. My dad was a policeman in Seattle for over 40 years. He was invited hunting with friends, not his bag, but he went. Tired of hunting, he went back to the camp, leaned over to pour some coffee and heard something go past his head. One of his buddies comes through the weeds looking for his “kill”. Last hunting trip for the dad, he found police work much safer.

  2. Yes George there are a number of A-Holes who hunt, but lets not brand all hunters as being in the same class for there are many if not most who respect landowner rights seek permission to hunt and pass up a shot not knowing where their hunting partners are,in fact the son passed one up at a ten pointer yesterday morning because he didn’t know where the grand-son was.@@

  3. Hmmm. Hunting is forbidden in (my) the Jewish religion. Maybe neighbor can claim religious exemption to having bullets crossing property etc.
    And how exactly is having bullets zinging around your property NOT hunting people?

  4. Sounds like the “neighbor” who likes to hunt is politically connected, the key is “freedom of speech” and the issue is not gun rights. They will throw the case out, if they are smart.

    • I’m scared that Ures truly my be the current high IQ in this-here county. That should keep the gentry at bay

  5. Out in Idaho. It happens here, too. A friends place where I bow hunted this year has a hole through his house. Unknown shooter. BUT he still allows responsible gun hunting. We aren’t all slobs but there are a few……

  6. Eyesight grading would not be enough to prevent field accidents. It’s not lack of sight, but sense. Why do people fire when they are not certain of the target? I’m so glad I took firearms training from a certified trainer when I bought my handgun. It is worth every penny. Safe handling and use comprised about 90% of the training with actual firing being 10%. I guess too many hunters didn’t get proper training or don’t give a flip.

  7. Having been an NRA member for around 66 years it doesn’t sit well well with me having the NRA bashed for your local idiots behavior. Sounds like you have become a ‘Libera’l in bashing without facts.

    • fact 1 – law is the same in 48 states/ that ain’t no accident.
      act 2 – my pal up the road called out hunters whose fire was crossing his property line.
      No quarrel with the NRA – but couldn’t they – you know – add an iq test??

      • remember out here judged by 12 or carried by six has happened often enough to make it worth mentioning

  8. Unfortunately having a vision restricted hunting license is likely just another law no one will or can enforce. We don’t even know if the drivers going legally 80 mph in MT are wearing the correct eye lenses. And which highway patrolman carries equipment to check the eye lens on a traffic stop. These type of laws are to tell the good guys what to do not the bad guys. Or maybe they are used the add on charges after something bad has happened. The people that care wear their glasses use scopes and aim, the ones that don’t care just point and shoot.

  9. None of the issues or tests you mentioned would be necessary if everyone just used the one thing that is missing in our world anymore. Respect. From both sides of the equation in anything, hunting, driving, or crossing the street. Not respecting a property owners wishes is just a bad as a non hunter interfering with a legal hunter. There are a$$h&les everywhere and in everything.

    Nice looking side tables by the way. Would like to see the finished product some time.

  10. I moved to the wilds of southwest Virginia from San Francisco Area in fall of 1998 (moved to the city in 2012 due to age). Anyway around my little 14 acre parcel on the adjoining lands I saw all these So and So Hunt Club signs. I was expecting a war zone during hunting season. It never materialized. I found out the local landowners got together and posted their land this was. This was much more effective than No Trespassing signs. There was also one neighbor who patrolled around and drove off anyone who did not have permission.

  11. In my state hunting with long range rifles is illegal. Shotguns only. TX might consider that.
    Amend. 2 doesn’t specify which KIND of gun we are entitled to, does it?

    • Shotguns were around when they penned the BoR and, no doubt more than a few were used in the skirmishes during the war. I’ve never understood, however, how hunters in the Northern states keep from really messing up a lot of meat when they bowl a deer over with one. Granted your deer make ours down in the arid South look like side dishes but I can’t understand how a shotgun is better than a well-placed rifle round. “Well-placed” being the key here. I’ve always aspired to quarter-sized patterns at 125 to 150 yards. Outside of that means the rifle or the operator needs some attention. Usually the latter.

      • Our standard round is a 12 gauge rifled slug for close-in large game. doesn’t create automatic hamburger so much.

      • Yep a bad shot with a shotgun is pretty hard on the meat. But a lot easier on the neighbors and their livestock. Bow hunting is the big deal now, there are not so many gun hunters as there used to be. (thank heavens) I amend my comment to add that ‘pest permits’ issued by the DNR out of season allow hunting with rifles. But not too many people get these. You have to have a farm and prove deer damage, and the kill is regulated with…you guessed it…paperwork! And also, yes – our deer are magnificent animals compared to the southern variety.

    • Except that the 2nd was meant to keep us free as in ‘state of liberty’ or ‘free state’, NOT simply ‘allow’ hunting. What part of ‘right of the PEOPLE to KEEP AND BEAR’ did you NOT understand? Oh, and before you re-construe the 2nd, here’s the preventative, in the form of the 9th Amendment: ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’

      A TRUE Conservative

      • About the 2nd and hunting:
        Bill, you are right of course that the 2nd does not specify hunting, It says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
        So I stand by what I said before: it doesn’t specify what kind of Arms.
        I mentioned the 2nd because it is the trigger issue (no pun intended)that keeps our nation divided when really we do believe in the very same things (overall). This was proved out by your assumption that I was re-construing the 2nd and in your defensive tone.
        We need to get over this. IMO.
        ANOTHER TRUE conservative and eater of venison.

  12. I’ll never understand how people think they can get away with high powered rifle hunting on the little “ranchettes” that Texas has been divided up into over the past couple of decades. I know people are feeling dispossessed of the opportunity to hunt given the huge increase of the population but opportunity exists where you find it and, like real estate, God ain’t making any more of it outside of Hawaii.

    We count ourselves very lucky to have the hunter group that have leased our ranch since the 70s and are now looking at upgrades to accommodate and educate the second generation from their group. We’ve had several instances where “the kids” have brought friends down that had no clue how to conduct themselves out in the sticks which led us to post some rules after the fact that we’d assumed were common sense. Silly us. As a baby boomer that was always raised a stone’s throw from “the sticks”, and sometimes in it, I’m incredulous that people can’t think of someone’s land like they would a neighbor’s back yard where they have been invited over for a bbq or something. Enjoy yourself but mind your manners, THINK about what you’re doing with high powered equipment and the results of it, clean up after yourself and if you borrow something make sure you give it back in as good or better shape than which you received it in.

  13. I researched my 7.62x54r Mosin M91/30 and found it has a potentially lethal range of over 5 miles (almost 2800 fps @muzzle with 148gr light ball). In this area, modern firearm hunting is FORBIDDEN west of I-5 for the reason that high-power rifles can have a MUCH greater LETHAL range than ‘accurate’ range. Shooting across someone else’s property without permission is clearly illegal, dangerous, and may invite return fire, as it well should for those who eschew firearms safety in favor of ‘what feels right’. They are a danger to EVERYONE and should be treated accordingly.

    A TRUE Conservative

  14. I’m also from North East Texas. FYI, most of the deer leases are bought up from the big $hot$ from Houston & Big “D” (that’d be Dallas for all yankees). Locals can no longer afford to get on a lease so they hunt on friends or kinfolks land. By the time they could come up with $1,000++ for their part of a lease they can buy a cow or two to fill their freezer. The big $hot$ from “big D” come in and do the brush shooting & shooting at noises and other such stupid things. Thanksgiving weekend is the highlight of these idiots, and then they are gone until next year. I do agree that most hunters ambush their deer in deer stands over a baited area.

  15. 44 Super Blackhawk with 10 inch bull barrel 180 grain copper jacket hollow point a’int going far even with a red dot scope.

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