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jillpine
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2020 06:22PM
I do not hunt grouse. I support the sport; I care for dogs who live for it. So that's the groundwork - I am not anti-hunting and I am not anti-gun.

OK, here is the scenario:
I am walking on a marked ATV trail outside of the BWCA in the SNF. I am simply walking (doing a bird count, if that matters). I have a fluorescent yellow vest because that's what I had at my cabin, and it was 74 degrees today. My blaze orange 'sconnie gear is packed away for November. So I'm walking along, enjoying the day and a shot goes off in front of me - close. I move to the side of the ATV road and hunker down a bit. Three more shots. Pretty soon, two guys come out of the bush, see me and charge at me, angrily saying that I "ruined their shot" and "WTF are you doing out here- don't you know it's grouse season" blah blah.

To avoid confrontation, I stayed quiet, let them finish the rant, apologized and turned around and left. I'm pretty upset. It has been a s***-show here this year. Crowded, litter (I felt hopeful until mid-July), rude behavior for the folks making $13/hour at the service station, just really pretty gross for an area I spend more time (and money) in than my permanent residence.

So, what is etiquette for going into the woods during bird season? Am I not allowed to walk on marked ATV trails from Sep 19 to Jan 3? During gun season for deer in Wisconsin, I simply don't go out, period. But it's brief.

What do I need to do to safely walk in the SNF during the the 3.5 months of gun season for grouse?

Thanks.

 
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Unas10
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09/22/2020 07:13PM
You were fine. They were the ones out of line.
 
billconner
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09/22/2020 07:23PM
Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."

+1
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12797)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/22/2020 07:56PM
You were fine and to me you ran into some creepes. If it was me, I would show you some respect and maybe open the breach of my shotgun to not intimidate people not hunting.

Like all activities, if number of participants is significant, you have some bad apples.
Some are also on a ego trip, they have to get that bird or animal - its the most important thing in the world. People like that may be few and far between, but that is why some hunters quit or do not take their kids out.

I used to hunt the Pow Wow Trail in its prime and there were a lot of hunters and non-hunters. Most respected each other.
 
dudz3636
member (25)member
 
09/22/2020 07:59PM
As an avid grouse hunter, I’ll echo that these fools were out of line, and just plain inconsiderate. There’s bad apples in every group, it’s unfortunate you met a couple of them.
 
boondock
member (47)member
 
09/22/2020 08:02PM
Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."
Absolutely they were out of line. I hunt grouse and when engaging non-hunters on the trails I want them to come away with a hopefully positive experience.
 
09/22/2020 08:12PM
As a avid upland bird hunter I’ll echo what others said. They were in the wrong.

First of all you have just as much right to be there as they do. Second they have guns so they have the most responsibility for safety. If you are hunting public ground you know this can happen(I am talking about them not you). I am a little concerned they said you messed up the shotyet they seem to have shot 4x...

The only thing I can think of is there are folks who purposefully try to disrupt legal hunts and maybe this happened to them before and they lumped you in. That is very presumptuous of them and I am reaching for an explanation on that one...

I’d say, though you have no blame, if you enter the woods during hunting season wear something bright on your head. Blaze orange baseball style hat or stocking cap. That bright yellow shirt/vest is not as visible as you may think. The high point of your body is the most important part to be blaze orange. It is cheap insurance, you can buy anywhere if you forget, to lessen your risk.


T

 
nofish
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09/22/2020 08:15PM
Unfortunately its all too common to run into hunters who think they are the only ones allowed to be on public land. You are free to enjoy the trails as you see fit, same as them.

They were way out of line in their behavior and there is no excuse for it.

Only advice I can offer is for you to keep on keeping on. Don't let the bad apples spoil the outdoors for you. If you do run into future issues its not a bad idea to keep your local conservation officer and sheriffs phone numbers handy. If possible see if you can determine what truck is theirs can get the license plate number or if they are on atv see if you can get any sort of registration number. I'm guessing they might like to have a chat with hunters who are acting like this.
 
airmorse
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09/22/2020 09:28PM
billconner: "Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."
+1"

+2
 
RunningFox
senior member (68)senior membersenior member
 
09/22/2020 09:41PM
There is no excuse for their rude behavior. I hunt grouse. The hunters you ran into were jerks (to put it politely). I sincerely hope that things go better for you henceforth.
 
MN_Lindsey
distinguished member(2146)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2020 09:47PM
I agree, they were out of line. On Sunday I made sure to have blaze on - while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail south through Duluth (although not sure how much hunting would be done in the area I was in... ) but they were out of line.

I will say, however, much of the Superior Hiking trail is closed during November due to the firearm deer season because much of the SHT crosses private lands. If you're not on a trail that crosses private land, then its anyone's game... literally, just wear your blaze to be safe.
 
Jaywalker
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09/22/2020 09:51PM
 
Jaywalker
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09/22/2020 09:51PM
Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."

100%. I am an occasional grouse hunter, and to me this is a black and white issue -not and etiquette issue- they were both wrong and dangerously reckless. You have the right to walk on public lands, hunting season or not.
 
hexnymph
distinguished member(987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 08:31AM
Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."

Absolutely agree with this.

I sometimes question the theory of "Minnesota Nice". When I lived there in the 90's I saw it but it seems to have faded away.

Hex
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12797)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/23/2020 08:38AM
hexnymph: "Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."


Absolutely agree with this.


I sometimes question the theory of "Minnesota Nice". When I lived there in the 90's I saw it but it seems to have faded away.


Hex"
Its there, but it is in hiding. I have noticed over the years people seem to be more afraid to or don't want to strike up a conversation as much as they once would.

That said this board has expressed gratitude for all the people who helped each other on the portage etc.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 09:12AM
Agree with all above.

While they came across as ***holes, I wonder if you startled and/or scared them, and the only way they knew to express that, sadly, was to behave like jerks. My professional work occasionally work brings me in contact with these type of men: emotions of fear or startle or vulnerability equals weakness, and their default expression of it is what you experienced.

Not excusing it at all. It sucks. Nobody should have to put up with that.

Mike
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(975)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 09:49AM
timatkn: " That bright yellow shirt/vest is not as visible as you may think.

"


Yeah, wearing yellow in the fall is not as effective as orange. The fall colors can make the yellow not stand out as much as you think it might.

Not trying to defend those guys but maybe they had a close call there and didn't see you until after that first shot. It's unacceptable to blame you, but if they are freaking out thinking they almost shot a guy, then I can understand why they might go off about safety and being careful. Unfortunately he was the one that needed to be on the receiving end of that, not you. Not the first time I've seen someone unload on the wrong person though.
 
Pinetree
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09/23/2020 09:53AM
Mike I agree, maybe they new they should of not even shot at the grouse, especially if they knew where Jillpine and her dog were.
Maybe they were covering up for their error of poor gun handling safty? So they went into a rage?
Either way keep thinking and most hunters are much more cordial and with the increase in women hunters maybe a little better hunter critique will follow.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1727)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 10:27AM
I'm sorry to hear of your episode. That does sound disturbing.

I frequently walk long portage trails in the fall when camping and occasionally run into grouse hunters. I feel a little bad for them since I have kicked up anything as I have walked but it is a trail and we are both equally permitted to be there.
Tom
 
DanMN
member (6)member
 
09/23/2020 11:06AM
Unas10: "You were fine. They were the ones out of line."
+1
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 11:11AM
Pinetree: "Mike I agree, maybe they new they should of not even shot at the grouse, especially if they knew where Jillpine and her dog were.
Maybe they were covering up for their error of poor gun handling safty? So they went into a rage?
Either way keep thinking and most hunters are much more cordial and with the increase in women hunters maybe a little better hunter critique will follow."


Yep. Maybe they knew they were in the wrong but could not admit it. Easier to get mad at someone else than be responsible for their own behavior.

Mike
 
tonyyarusso
distinguished member(1382)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 11:24AM
So, here's the way this SHOULD have gone down:

Ideally they'd notice you right away and not shoot in the first place, but maybe they don't see you at first and take that first shot. You then yell or whistle loud enough to make sure you're heard even by someone who might be wearing ear protection. Either way, whenever the hunters notice you they would immediately stop shooting, unload their guns, figure out where you are, and possibly talk to you to apologize for not noticing how close you were and find out what your plans are for the rest of your walk so they can avoid running across you again, and then you both go on your merry way.

Agreed that proper blaze orange is more visible than yellow (which basically matches the leaves), but as a non-hunter you aren't *required* to wear anything special at all - it's still the hunter's responsibility to see you. Visible clothing just makes their job easier (and they'll appreciate it if you do).

In the future, an encounter like this absolutely merits a notification to the local Conservation Officer. Unless you have a name or license plate number to go with it the odds of them being able to do anything are likely low, but they would still like to know about it.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2192)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 11:45AM
At least for the moment blaze orange is not significantly more visible than the high-vis yellow. In my woods in Ely (today) there is more orange than yellow.
 
TominMpls
distinguished member(630)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 11:59AM
So, related question. I know OP was talking about SNF outside the BWCA, but my question is about inside the BWCA.

I hike a lot in the BWCA in September and October, and only became aware that hunting was allowed there a couple years back. Learning that it was just grouse hunting that was happening in that time frame, I've never worried about it at all. Deer hunting season, I avoid the trails, but grouse hunting has never struck me as a concern. I dress the same in Sept and Oct as I do any other time, which means nothing high viz on me, and I'd been led to believe that was appropriate in the BWCA during grouse season. Is that not true? Should I actually be wearing blaze orange?
 
GickFirk22
distinguished member (147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 12:13PM
TominMpls: "So, related question. I know OP was talking about SNF outside the BWCA, but my question is about inside the BWCA.


I hike a lot in the BWCA in September and October, and only became aware that hunting was allowed there a couple years back. Learning that it was just grouse hunting that was happening in that time frame, I've never worried about it at all. Deer hunting season, I avoid the trails, but grouse hunting has never struck me as a concern. I dress the same in Sept and Oct as I do any other time, which means nothing high viz on me, and I'd been led to believe that was appropriate in the BWCA during grouse season. Is that not true? Should I actually be wearing blaze orange?"


Tom, as you're just hiking and not hunting you're not legally required to wear any blaze orange or blaze pink. However, it's certainly a best practice and good courtesy to have some blaze orange/pink garment (hat, vest or sleeves) if you're hiking an area that's open to hunting.
 
inspector13
distinguished member(4105)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/23/2020 12:18PM

You did the right thing Beth. I make myself as visible as possible when in the woods starting with small game opener. Luckily for those bold enough to wear it, there is almost nothing natural in the woods in the fall that looks like this.

 
09/23/2020 12:42PM
Banksiana: "At least for the moment blaze orange is not significantly more visible than the high-vis yellow. In my woods in Ely (today) there is more orange than yellow."



That’s what I was thinking too. Green is probably more visible with all the bright colors.
These guys were jerks!
 
09/23/2020 12:46PM
GickFirk22: "TominMpls: "So, related question. I know OP was talking about SNF outside the BWCA, but my question is about inside the BWCA.



I hike a lot in the BWCA in September and October, and only became aware that hunting was allowed there a couple years back. Learning that it was just grouse hunting that was happening in that time frame, I've never worried about it at all. Deer hunting season, I avoid the trails, but grouse hunting has never struck me as a concern. I dress the same in Sept and Oct as I do any other time, which means nothing high viz on me, and I'd been led to believe that was appropriate in the BWCA during grouse season. Is that not true? Should I actually be wearing blaze orange?"



Tom, as you're just hiking and not hunting you're not legally required to wear any blaze orange or blaze pink. However, it's certainly a best practice and good courtesy to have some blaze orange/pink garment (hat, vest or sleeves) if you're hiking an area that's open to hunting. "




In the bwca it’s a little different now a days. Right now your blaze orange or whatever isn’t going to show too well with the bright leaves. During an early hunt once for deer I was thinking it was more like camouflage. It’s up to you the hunter to know if the trail is occupied by anyone else. Just like rifle during deer hunting you need to know what is in the direction of your shooting. Now the bwca is used much more come fall than in years gone by. Hunters need to be ready and aware of surroundings. If they can’t they need to not be hunting there.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (336)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 03:10PM
I guess there will always be a few bad apples but it's going to be more disturbing when they are aggressive and carrying guns. I've found myself uncomfortably close to hunters many times and still get a little upset when I think about the time that a shotgun pattern hit the water right behind where my friend and I were paddling when we were in plain sight of the hunter.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6957)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/23/2020 05:54PM
Yikes, Beth! You channeled your inner Teddy R. to a bit, walking away softly from the men who carried big boom sticks.
 
gopher2307
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2020 09:57PM
Shoot back?
 
Northland
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 02:44AM
I was involved in an incident once where, unbeknownst to me, someone was hunting ducks on the opposite side of a small pond from where I was. They had no idea I was there. It was a fairly remote area, so they shouldn't have. They shot at some birds and steel can raining down on top of me. I yelled out, they yelled back, and I moved around the pond to get out of their way. They met me halfway as they were coming to see if I had been hurt. They were EXTREMELY apologetic.

That's how your scenario should have gone.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 07:00AM
Thanks for helping me understand the situation better. I especially appreciate tips that I didn't think about: wearing something orange on the head even when it is 74 degrees outside. Giving a shout or whistle when a shot has been fired to let the hunter know I am near.

I wondered if it was poor etiquette to be on any trail other than a designated hiking trail. This was two track trail, marked for multi-use, and typically used by ATV. It was nowhere near private land. It's not near designated hunter-walking trail areas. I saw no sign of a parked truck, ATV or other vehicle on or near the ATV trail where I left my car, or anywhere around. Had I seen a vehicle, I would have turned around and not gone that direction.

I had on a red baseball cap that blended perfectly with the leaves. I wasn't as visible as I thought I was. But like Banksiana said, there is as much orange and red right now as there is yellow.

Looking back, they did seem shook-up upset. Yet the guns, cursing and level of anger were unsettling. The event fed into theme of this season's chaos.

I did not have a dog with me. I did have an InReach and mace.

Thanks again - really appreciate the insight from those who hunt grouse.



 
jillpine
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 07:25AM
missmolly: "Yikes, Beth! You channeled your inner Teddy R. to a bit, walking away softly from the men who carried big boom sticks. "

It wasn't the boom sticks so much as it was the f bombs.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 07:28AM
inspector13: "
You did the right thing Beth. I make myself as visible as possible when in the woods starting with small game opener. Luckily for those bold enough to wear it, there is almost nothing natural in the woods in the fall that looks like this.


"


Brilliant, Steve. Even the wild sarsaparilla can't match that color. Buying now. :)
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12797)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/24/2020 08:47AM
jillpine: "Thanks for helping me understand the situation better. I especially appreciate tips that I didn't think about: wearing something orange on the head even when it is 74 degrees outside. Giving a shout or whistle when a shot has been fired to let the hunter know I am near.

I wondered if it was poor etiquette to be on any trail other than a designated hiking trail. This was two track trail, marked for multi-use, and typically used by ATV. It was nowhere near private land. It's not near designated hunter-walking trail areas. I saw no sign of a parked truck, ATV or other vehicle on or near the ATV trail where I left my car, or anywhere around. Had I seen a vehicle, I would have turned around and not gone that direction.


I had on a red baseball cap that blended perfectly with the leaves. I wasn't as visible as I thought I was. But like Banksiana said, there is as much orange and red right now as there is yellow.


Looking back, they did seem shook-up upset. Yet the guns, cursing and level of anger were unsettling. The event fed into theme of this season's chaos.


I did not have a dog with me. I did have an InReach and mace.


Thanks again - really appreciate the insight from those who hunt grouse.


"


Get a blaze orange hat at least maybe a vest?
Being a person who is red-green color blind(I can still see these colors but red especially does not stick out) red is really a poor safty color for many people to see, it may not stick out at all. For hunting areas get yourself a blaze orange hat-they stick out so much better. Once Minnesota required only red for deer season but now require some blaze orange instead and hunting accidents of people being shot has dropped significantly.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13370)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/24/2020 09:29AM
These guys were wrong on so many levels, it’s kind of hard to list.
1) never pull the trigger if you don’t know what is behind the shot.
2) after learning that they could have shot you, they should have apologized to you.
3) after they discovered you they yelled at you.
4) they valued a lost shot more than possibly shooting you.
5) they assumed you were not supposed to be there.
6) charge out at you swearing at you.

I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12797)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/24/2020 09:43AM
Savage Voyageur: "These guys were wrong on so many levels, it’s kind of hard to list.
1) never pull the trigger if you don’t know what is behind the shot.
2) after learning that they could have shot you, they should have apologized to you.
3) after they discovered you they yelled at you.
4) they valued a lost shot more than possibly shooting you.
5) they assumed you were not supposed to be there.
6) charge out at you swearing at you.


I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong. "


agree
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1845)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 10:36AM
Pinetree: "Savage Voyageur: "These guys were wrong on so many levels, it’s kind of hard to list.
1) never pull the trigger if you don’t know what is behind the shot.
2) after learning that they could have shot you, they should have apologized to you.
3) after they discovered you they yelled at you.
4) they valued a lost shot more than possibly shooting you.
5) they assumed you were not supposed to be there.
6) charge out at you swearing at you.



I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong. "



agree"


Yep, agreed. Those hunters were assholes and give hunters a bad name with their example. I'm sorry you went through this but you did nothing wrong.
 
WIMike
distinguished member (144)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2020 08:33AM
Savage Voyageur:

I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong. "


I agree the hunters were out of line and she did the right thing by not escalating the situation but I wouldn't be inclined to follow someone with firearms who had just verbally assailed me. IMO it's best to distance oneself from the threat and not possibly provoke further confrontation.
 
09/25/2020 08:51AM
Sorry you had to deal with those ash wholes.

I wish hunter behavior was not so regularly an issue, but it is, I have seen it firsthand too. And I say this as a hunter who is afield a lot more than most...something like 45-65 days per year.

These idiots are the ones that get remembered. Most state agencies and hunters know declining numbers of hunters are a problem for the future of hunting, and yet we have this type of behavior, as well as self-appointed national spokespeople/'celebrities' who are flat-out repulsive.

No wonder hunter numbers are declining - it's self inflicted wounds.
 
09/25/2020 11:31AM
sns: "Sorry you had to deal with those ash wholes.


I wish hunter behavior was not so regularly an issue, but it is, I have seen it firsthand too. And I say this as a hunter who is afield a lot more than most...something like 45-65 days per year.


These idiots are the ones that get remembered. Most state agencies and hunters know declining numbers of hunters are a problem for the future of hunting, and yet we have this type of behavior, as well as self-appointed national spokespeople/'celebrities' who are flat-out repulsive.


No wonder hunter numbers are declining - it's self inflicted wounds."


Agree with this 100%. It's been a few years but I have grouse hunted in and around the BWCA in the past. Always very much aware that I was sharing the woods/trails/portages with everyone else. We would go way out of our way to avoid others. If anything I felt like I was intruding on other people's right to enjoy an autumn walk in the woods.

As mentioned earlier, anyone out in the woods during season should be wearing blaze orange (or hot pink), of some kind - especially headwear.
 
Northland
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2020 04:51PM
Savage Voyageur: "These guys were wrong on so many levels, it’s kind of hard to list.
1) never pull the trigger if you don’t know what is behind the shot.
2) after learning that they could have shot you, they should have apologized to you.
3) after they discovered you they yelled at you.
4) they valued a lost shot more than possibly shooting you.
5) they assumed you were not supposed to be there.
6) charge out at you swearing at you.


I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong. "


Yup. And as previously mentioned, the person with the firearm bears the most responsibility. With that said, dropping angry F-bombs on someone WHILE ARMED is extremely irresponsible and just plain bad judgement.

Also, the trails belong to everyone. A lot of hunters think they have more of a "right" to be on them because they buy licenses, but I have a different opinion. Tax dollars (paid by everyone) also fund trails, parks, etc. Plus, a good portion of hunting/fishing license fees go towards things that are specific to those activities, anyway, like species management. And finally, when you buy a license and hunt or fish, you are potentially TAKING something tangible/of value from the state, i.e. from all of us. Hikers take nothing but experiences.

Don't think for even a moment that you don't have as much right to be on that trail as a hunter.
 
Nigal
distinguished member (210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2020 05:56PM
Public lands = multi use

Never apologize for using public land. Eff those guys.
 
3Ball
distinguished member(739)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2020 07:38PM
Hunt, don't hunt, whatever.

Just be kind and be cool.
 
mc2mens
distinguished member(3335)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/26/2020 06:45AM
Savage Voyageur: "These guys were wrong on so many levels, it’s kind of hard to list.
1) never pull the trigger if you don’t know what is behind the shot.
2) after learning that they could have shot you, they should have apologized to you.
3) after they discovered you they yelled at you.
4) they valued a lost shot more than possibly shooting you.
5) they assumed you were not supposed to be there.
6) charge out at you swearing at you.


I might have followed them and got a license plate number and then contacted the cops. Sorry there are people like this. You did nothing wrong. "


What he said
 
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