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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    May 2001
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    Michigan
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    New Holland TC40D Supersteer

    Default Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    I'm trying to fit in and develop a more "rural" attitude, but sometimes I need to know if my expectations are inappropriate. Here's an example:

    We purchased 20 acres and built our "farm". There is a 1 acre split out of one corner of our property that has a small house where a young couple lives. We've met and talked a couple times. At 10:00am Sunday, we're inside and I hear a loud "boom", the windows shake, and I'm convinced my new tractor blew up outside. I run out, only to hear another "boom" from my neighbor's house. As it turns out, he's firing a high powered rifle into a target on a hay bale on our common property line. This is no 22 cal - I don't know guns, but this is a BIG bolt action rifle with a scope. This goes on for 70 - 80 shots over the next hour. My 11 year old daughter locks herself in her bedroom. My wife wants to call the police. The downfield trajectory of this firing position bisects my property, running about 100 feet east of my house. This means I'm pinned down, unless I'm willing to accept this guy's feeling that he would never miss, there will never be a ricochet, and a hay bale is an adequate backstop for rifle fire. I talk to other neighbors - they state he does this "all the time" and is a "gunsmith". They shake their head when they say this. I'm a little worried about getting on the wrong side of the "gunsmith", especially since we're not in the house on a full time basis, and he has a gun. What is the proper "rural living" approach to this situation?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    I don't see how a hay bale would be a sufficient back stop for any caliber gun, much less one the size this one appears to be. I would go talk to the guy and let him know that your family is 'pinned down' when he's doing this. Is there some other direction he could fire?

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    This fellow may also NEED SOME RURAL ADAPTATION. Firing that close unanounced and across occupied land is downright dangerous. If he is a serious gunsmith he should be setting up a proper range with a proper backstop. He may even be in contravention of some local bylaws by what he is doing.

    A discussion with him is definetly in order and don't be shy about it.

    Egon

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    I'd HAVE to have a talk with that gentleman. I'd hate to get into a feud with a neighbor, so I'd start friendly with a comment such as, "You scared the daylights out of us the other day when we heard that gun going off", but if the ensuing discussion didn't result in a safer environment, I'd consider whatever action was necessary up to and including a restraining order.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2002
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    Default Re:good neighbors

    a good neighbor would not do this so you can take it from there. i would talk to him, and discuss the safety of your family and your property. if that does no good, i would have the sherriff or state police talk to him about this reckless behavior. you need to make this stop if he is firing in any way that is close to your house. now that said in my neighborhood we do use our rifle on sundays, but only shooting into a earthen berm. not a a straw bale, that wont stop much. this is a dangerous practice and since it places you and yours in peril you need to have very frank discussions with the neighbor about this.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    May 2001
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    QC, Canada
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    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    Definitely say something. Rural living has a lot to do with mutual respect.

    Maybe you could offer to help him build a nice backstop with your NH.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    I'd have to jump on the other side of the fence on this one. That's part of living in the country is so that you can shoot firearms. In most states there is no law against the discharge of firearms on your property in the country. If in fact he is spraying lead on your place that is another story but to get the law and everyone else involved just because he wants to shoot his gun in the country I don't think is right. If the guy is a gunsmith then that is his job. He probably moved to the country so that he would be able to do this. It's hunting season here and there are probably 10-20 shots or more every hour. Before that you would hear alot of guys practicing. Heck I've shot over 300-400 shots before with my friends shooting clay birds.

    Also I would assume that this guy is not just shooting into a straw bale. I'm sure he has some kind of break behind or in the straw bales. They make rife bullet breaks that are small and then you can put up something like a straw bale wall around them. That is probably what this guy has.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    Richard, I'll agree with you . . . maybe. I understood the guy was shooting at a target no larger than a hay bale, and in the direction of Chris's house, in which case I'd want to put a stop to it. If he has an adequate backstop AND is shooting in a direction away from the house, then yes, we were quite accustomed to hearing shotguns in our old neighborhood and didn't worry about it, since a shotgun is considerably different from a high powered rifle, and they were generally on the other side of a heavily wooded area.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Belleville
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    Still looking

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    Chris,

    Found this on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site, thought you might be interested!

    Safety Zones Around Buildings
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Safety zones are all areas within 150 yards of an occupied building, house, cabin, or any barn or other building used in a farm operation. No person, including archery and crossbow hunters, may hunt or discharge a firearm, crossbow or bow in a safety zone, or shoot at any wild animal or wild bird within a safety zone, without the written permission of the owner or occupant of such safety zone. The safety zone applies to hunting only. It does not apply to indoor or outdoor shooting ranges, target shooting, law enforcement activities or the discharge of firearms, crossbows or bows for any non-hunting purpose.


    Good luck!!
    WVJeremy

  10. #10

    Default Re: Rural Living Adaptation of a City Dweller

    Hi,

    Since you are from the city...Richard [and Bird too, now [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]]

    Maybe you could ask for a shooting lesson, something that you never could do while in the city...offer to buy a box of shells [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]. I'd bet your neighbor being an obvious gun enthusiest[sp?] would accomodate that.

    Then see if what is happening is safe...express concerns if you feel it is not...go back home and feel better about things if what is being done is actually safe upon closer look.

    You may be surprised and find all is not like it first appears. Then again, maybe it IS as bad as you might think.

    We are not really in the country here, but we do hear a number of shot during deer season. You can never be sure of what the shooter is doing, but when you can at least assume that the shooter is safety concious it makes those bangs less worrysome.

    Bill in Pgh, PA



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