What would you do in the woods? 2


January 10, 2003, 06:16 PM
While deer hunting this season in the Davy Crockett National forest this year, I had a pair of nice hogs (probably around 100-150 lbs) step out and I dropped one in its tracks. I was 25 to 30 feet up a tree in a climbing stand. I sat and smoked a cigarette with a clear view of the carcass.

After I had stood up, turned around and secured my firearm in preparation of climbing down, I heard noise behind me and turned around to see 2 guys in camo picking up my hog! I shouted "Hey that's my pig". As they ran off, one yelled "Thanks" and they laughed.:cuss:

I have told lots of people of this incident (both hunters and non hunters) and am amazed by how many people say they would have fired a round (mostly a warning shot in their general direction).

While I could have easily unlimbered my gun and done so, I never even considered doing so.

What would you do?

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Art Eatman
January 10, 2003, 06:26 PM
I'd have tracked the guys. Hauling the hog, they couldn't run all that fast. That at least lets you get the license plate number, and probably worries the heck out of them.

You have the right to make a citizen's arrest, but I'm not sure of the wisdom of such an effort: The word of two of them vs. one of you.

So, a gray area. I ain't gonna say, in public, just exactly what I might do. :) Reasonable odds they'll walk home, however...


Ron L
January 10, 2003, 06:37 PM
I would have trailed them to where ever they were going, car, truck, home and then called the police. Without knowing all the hunting regs in your state, seems to me that they stole your property and if they claimed they didn't, they could well have been in possession of poached game. In either case, whether a CO or LEO could have done anything or not, I would have at least made a report. These same jokers could have also been stealing stands and who knows what.

January 10, 2003, 11:58 PM
Yell, "You got the Pig so ya better start squeellin boys!"

Then start following them while humming "Dueling Banjo's!"



January 11, 2003, 02:59 PM
I've never had anyone steal my kill... but I was advised long ago how to stake your claim.

Carry a bic lighter, or other recognizable object and if you can't pack it out right away, insert the object under the hide, where its not easily dislodged.

I magine the look on the game warden's face when you say "Yeah that's my deer, how else did he end up with a pink plastic bic with my NAME written on it in sharpie pen up his nose?"

You also are NOT required to TAG your kill until you transport it, so here in Colorado, its wise NOT to fill out your tag until you get it into the truck (meaning if for some reason you have to leave it overnight and come back the next day to pack it out)

January 11, 2003, 03:58 PM
I can't imagine NOT chasing those guys down! Two guys carrying a 100 pound hog wouldn't have covered ground very fast.

No way would I have submitted to this like you did. I hope that doesn't sound too judgemental, but in many ways people surrendering to crime (and this was a crime!), explain the prevalence of crime.


January 11, 2003, 06:16 PM
I'd be concerned about going after any one crazy enough to steal something in plain sight of its owner. God only know what else they would be willing to do.

You may have been armed, but guns are a defensive item for law abiding citizens. Be thankful they didn't shoot when you yelled.

January 12, 2003, 03:58 PM
I'd have hunted em down, an left em tied together, hands an feet back to back. An stuck a knife in the ground for em about 100ft away. ;)

Probably would have followed at a distance, trying to keep out of sight. Get license plate/ and or assign walkin papers (let me know how comfy them boots are walkin fellas, I may buy a new pair sometime :neener: )
Jerkoffs might have decided that carryin your hog off was work and left it layin somewhere between your stand and their ride/camp too.
Really depends on situation though. If they were visibly armed, an how serious they were about takin your hog. Its a shame, but its not worth escalating into something serious. You lost out on the meat but you still got the time in the woods, an you'll get another one soon.
I really really hate people that steal though, especially something like that. If your hungry an need the meat, ask. I'll probably give it to you. :cuss:

January 12, 2003, 04:04 PM
Another argument against the use of climbing stands! By the time you'd gotten down they'd be in the next county.

January 12, 2003, 09:05 PM
Reminds me of a converstation that occured between a friend of mine and two scumbags a few years back. Them-" What are ya gonna do... shoot me over a pheasant?" Him -"Yep". After thinking about it for a few seconds, they walked away pheasantless while muttering some choice words.

I wouldn't recommend that approach however. Art has the right idea.

Byron Quick
January 13, 2003, 03:41 AM
Officer, I could have sworn that was two deer running off with my hog. Terrible accident, terrible.

January 13, 2003, 10:39 AM
I did climb down and follow the blood/scuff trail about 1/2 mile through the woods where it ended at some tire tracks on the side of dirt road. Didn't get there quick enough to get lic. plate number.

The pig had no distinguishing markings (just your typical piney woods rooter) visiable through the scope. Feral hogs are Non game animals in Tejas and don't require tags.

I did report the incident to Game Warden that evening and he felt I showed admirable restraint (said he woulda been tempted to put another round in the pig since it was running off and all). He was pretty sure who it had been (a couple of brothers from local area he had some run ins with before) and would go check it out but wasn't likely that any evidence was still around (and its not likely my round was still in carcass even when they picked it up).

While I am hesitant to take a human (being charitable) life except in self-defense, I ethically have no problem with shooting a thief, particularly ones taking food outa my kids mouths (I have been outa work for over year and a half).

Yes they were both armed (looked like pump shotguns) but I had a scoped 308 and for close up a kimber custom royal (my normal ccw). I shoot IDPA scenarios on an almost daily basis in my back yard and put at least 10 rounds a week downrange with the 308 so am very confidant in my ability to place rounds where I want with both weapons.

The fact that they were not wearing blaze orange (required in National Forest) and willing to grab my kill so brazenly tells me they had little respect for the law. If they had come outa the woods while I was standing over the pig, I'm pretty sure I would have been able to discourage them, and probably would have shot them if pushed as they were armed. BUT, even though I could have fairly easily done so, I just can't see sniping them with the 308 as they ran off. And I was taught that you DON'T fire warning shots, If you pull the trigger it is with the intent to kill.

It was a very frustrating experience but feel I dealt with it as best I could. I mainly told story both because so many people have told me "They woulda at least tossed some lead over the scums head because they mighta dropped my pig" a course of action I see as fraught with danger and so others can think it through in case they have a similar problem.

January 13, 2003, 10:42 PM
No one can argue with the fact that you are here today to tell the story! :D And we are all glad about that.:rolleyes:

;) ;)

January 14, 2003, 06:38 AM
I think I would have done exactly the same as you did. People talk a lot about warning shots and such, but I believe and hope most of it is bluster and wishful thinking.

There were some less than ethical "hunters" at a place I used to go. They would hurry over to the area a shot came from in the hope of finding and "finishing off" the deer another hunter had shot. Unlike your two, they would at least acknowledge a hunter’s claim if he was at the dead deer. The two in your case sound like they might be dangerous. Good choice on your part and I hope the next pig is tasty.

January 20, 2003, 02:21 AM
I have to agree with Art they would be walking home.

January 20, 2003, 04:31 AM
I probably would have fired my rifle into the ground just below my tree stand. They are running away, and so they have no idea that I didn't shoot toward them or anywhere near them. I get the feeling that the loud BOOM! would cause them to drop the pig, not to mention causing them some incontinance problems. :evil: :cuss:

January 20, 2003, 07:03 AM
The folks here who advocate "warning" shots just aren't thinking.

The two scum had pump shotguns which were, in all likelihood, loaded with slugs. They had already displayed contempt for law-abiding action.

Now what if you do shoot and they start shooting back?

All bravado aside, they are mobile and on the ground where they can find cover and shoot from a safer position. You, however, would be a sitting duck in a climbing stand. No place to find cover and climbing down would make you an even better target.

Jeremae did the right thing. It's just a pig. It's not worth your life.

On the ground, I would have been more forceful. In the stand though, I would have done the same thing.

Think before you shoot folks.

January 24, 2003, 06:15 PM
And to further what Guyon just said, if it does turn into a gunfight you now several possible scenarios, none of which will play in your favor:

1 - If you get killed (treestand isn't very good cover) the two guys can truthfully say that you started shooting first. As far as they're concerned you were shooting at them and missed.
2 - You kill one of them. Survivor claims you shot first, they returned fire defensively.
3 - You kill both of them. At least yours is the only story, but you have to explain to the police and DA that the first shot really was just a warning. And that they realized this. DA might be sympathetic, but might not.
4 - You all survive. Word of two against one that you started shooting at them, when all they did was pick up a pig they thought was theirs. You say warning, they say you missed. You get prosecuted.

Just like when you CCW, you need to be very sure of why you are pulling that hogleg. Cuz once it's out, everyone else is reacting.

All in all Jeremae, you did fine.

ed dixon
January 29, 2003, 12:07 AM
You were smart. They were crazy. They openly challenged somebody they knew to be armed. There was a real chance it would have escalated. They are likely to run across someone just as nuts as they are at some point, whether in a bar, a bedroom or the woods.

January 29, 2003, 01:34 AM
It's posts like this that remind me how important "wisdom" is.

When I was 20, I probably would have immediately turned it into a mano-a-mano thing, they would have dropped the pig or died, or else I would have died. Gee, that's sure smart... end up dead or in prison over a pig.

But it's been a long time since I was 20, and sometimes I can't believe I made it this long. Maybe it's just the "lower testoserone" thing I keep hearing about on the radio ads for forty-something guys. But this isn't even a close question. Jeremae did the right thing, the only sensible thing.

January 29, 2003, 10:15 AM
I don’t believe in warning shots. As has been illustrated by others, they can cause too many secondary and “after action” problems. That said I would probably have been sore tempted to shoot the hog again while they were walking off with it. Avoiding that, I probably would have tracked/chased them down. Two men walking with a 100+ lbs hog should leave a pretty obvious trail, and I should be able to move much faster than they can. Knowing my personality as I do, I think I would have ended up confronting them and forcing their hand. Since there were two of them and one of me that probably wouldn’t have been the most prudent thing to do. Of course, I never claimed to be prudent, just hardheaded, especially in the face of wrong-doing. And I can’t stand thieves. Don’t plan on letting a couple of them get away with thievery right in front of my face.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2003, 11:00 AM
SteelyDan, I reckon it's less of a testosterone thing than a testosterone-in-control thing. Age tends to bring a better appreciation for risk-reward analysis. :) Still got the wanna-shoot'ems, but know better.

In many situations, one's emotional response is for total destruction. Common sense says that response is usually located between dumb and dumber. Doesn't even take a lot of wisdom...

:), Art

January 29, 2003, 09:39 PM
Very well put, Art.

I also appreciate your finally giving a name to that feeling we've all had one time or another: the "wanna-shoot'ems." Too good.

January 30, 2003, 01:35 PM
About ten years ago my brother and I were down in the Floridas Mts in SE NM on a Persian Ibex hunt. I shot a nice billy who in typical goat fashion took a death leap and fell/tumbled all the way to the base of the mountian several thousand feet below.

We started down the treacherous slope and after about 30 minutes we watched as three hombres who'd been keeping an eye on us from the bottom walked over to the kill and started to drag it towards their truck.

My first instinct was to introduce them to Mr. .300 Weatherby. My brother leaned back and said the most perfect satement..."Well that saves us 2 hours of climbing and we get to shoot another one." Well said and well done.

These guys are scum they will get theirs and you did the right thing.

January 30, 2003, 11:13 PM
Officer, I could have sworn that was two deer running off with my hog. Terrible accident, terrible.


February 6, 2003, 01:18 PM
Houston Chronicle


Man killed in gun battle over wild pig.

There are no winners in pursuing this stupidity and gall.

Sorry about the pig.

February 9, 2003, 06:31 PM
In the days past, or future, when the loss of a hog means the family starves, then you protect yours.

If the loss only bruises your ego, just write it off. I would still get their tag number, and let the game department know. Where I hunt, all the game guys are buddies of mine. :D

Agent Z
February 12, 2003, 05:16 PM
I lament your loss. I truely do. I feel your pain in such close proximity to the frustration of it all that all I can advise is to be the better man and simply do as you did. They had guns too and no dead pig is worth getting into a fire fight over. Though I'm sure you would have attained complete satisfaction by mistaking them both for deer.

I had a similar experience though the alertcation was not over a dead animal but rather a stolen tree stand (mine) and a zone near a rub that I had placed tarsel glands nearby and an ignorant screw ball who thought he could pull his rifle on me faster that I could my .357 from a tactical holster. Needless to say I was the bigger man.

But before I left I picked up the tarsel glands (yelling and screaming) and I pissed everywhere I could. He didn't get my buck needless to say. Some 16 year old kid dropped my first deer instead (8 point) If ya want the details about that I can post the story. But I was happy knowing that clown didn't get it and that we both walked away alive. (yes I had the drop on em if you have to know).

Again, Sorry about yer pig. It probably tasted like crap anyway ;)

June 16, 2003, 12:18 PM
If one had a paintball gun along, you could use it to mark them :D

Seriously, shooting for anything but self defense is going to be worse than letting them take it.

A camera would be a good idea though.

June 17, 2003, 03:12 PM
You talked like the hog is around there like a gray squirrel is around here. Which would make it not as upsetting. If it's something like that, then I let it go. If it's a 150 class buck, then that's when the "young and stupid" that everyone talks about when they get old, would come out in me. I'm halfway upset just thinking about it. Mannlicher has a great point though. If it was starving children or meat, you're faced with a real problem. I feel for ya. I hope that hog tasted like burned liver when they ate it. :D

June 20, 2003, 02:20 PM
As much as I would like to say that you should have used your 308 for two perfect head shoits, buried the bodies in shallow graves, and had a barbecue, I have to concur with everyone who said you did the right thing. It was just a pig and not worth a life. I feel bad for you, though, that you killed a pig and had it stolen. That sucks, but you totally did the right thing.

June 20, 2003, 07:00 PM
If my family were starving, and depending on me to bring home the meat, one response might be warranted. Since the freezer at home, and at Publix is well stock, then I guess I would just have to let them go.

June 20, 2003, 07:59 PM
I carry a digital camera in my pack.

Being in a tree stand is a huge tactical disadvantage (against 2 people) if you can't get cover. But given that you were fairly well gunned up and practice -

I would have made sure that I could get the tree between them and me , readied my weapon in one hand, and then snapped a picture with the other. If they chose to escalate the situation, then I'd have hoped that my first shot was a good one.

June 20, 2003, 08:14 PM
Something similar happened to my dad in his youth. Dad, being the imtemperate SOB that he is, dealt with it by giving the offending party an ultimatum.
He had just dropped a 7-point with his Bubba-fied SMLE Lee-Enfield. He always carried the gun loaded to the hilt, 11 crammed into the mag and one in the chamber. He had just shot the deer and was walking to it when he was approached by two other hunters who claimed that they had just shot the same deer and that it had ran away. There was a bullet hole in its spine where the neck meets the back, so there was no way that it had ran anywhere.
My dad explained this to them, and he explained that he had just shot it through the spine at which time it fell down and stayed down.
My dad was 15 at the time, and both of these guys were older, in their early thirties. Thinking that they could get away with bullying the kid, one of them began going for his tag. This is where my dad's classic charm paid off.
My dad worked the bolt on his .303, pointed it at the pristine hind-quarters of the deer, and explained to them that they could have the deer if they wanted it. He also pointed out that he still had eleven rounds in his rifle and that he felt it was only to humane to make sure that the deer was really dead. He planned to do this by shooting it eleven more times.
The two guys left and my dad got the deer.

June 21, 2003, 02:45 AM
Nah.... They might have shot back.

Leaky Waders
June 21, 2003, 11:38 AM
Hmmm...sounds like a good reason to quit smoking...causes lung cancer, heart disease, and more apt for pigs to be stolen out in front of ya ;)

Seriously though...maybe the guys didn't know it was yours....maybe they thought they had shot it. Or maybe they just down right stole it to be mean. Either way, you did the right thing. I'd probably would've called the game warden and reported their descriptions and license number if possible.

On the flip side...how could you live w/ yourself making a life and death situation over a pig? Just talk to any Hatfield or McCoy and ask how bad a feud one pig can start.



June 21, 2003, 05:10 PM
Reminds me a little about a story a friend of mine told me. Guy bought a couple of hundred acres of woodland, prominently posted "no tresspassing" signs, and built a couple of somewhat permanent tree stands. Well, one day he goes out to hunt, finds the gate open and the lock freshly cut, a nice car and a nice SUV a couple of hundred yards in. AND a couple of guys in HIS tree stands!

He wasn't seen, but didn't choose to confront a couple of armed tresspassers.

But, as Art would say . . . the guys walked home. And their vehicles lost a lot of trade-in dollars besides the tires.

Tresspassing to hunt can be costly. :evil:

rock jock
June 24, 2003, 05:46 PM
I'll be honest - I wouldn't shoot them but I also wouldn't vote to convict anybody who did.

June 26, 2003, 10:40 AM
Lots of good posts on this topic.

In another age, back when hunting was less a sport than a necessity, and an empty-handed hunter meant a hungry family, I could easily see defending your kill by any means necessary. Today, however, most juries probably wouldn't see it that way.

For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing. It has been my experience in life that scum such as this usually gets its comeuppance eventually. Maybe the next time they try that stunt, the intended victim won't be so balanced and collective as you were, and there'll be two dead pig-pinchers next to an expired porcine carcass and a suspect who is never found.

June 26, 2003, 02:56 PM
You did the right thing on a number of levels.

Maybe that's why I don't use a climber.

To be honest, the level of resistance I would use might vary.

On public land, they skate with the pig, unless I can get their picture, license plate, etc.

On my land, it's a different story. At the least they'd be walking home. You let them get away with it on your land, it open's the door to all poachers, dope growers, etc.

On public land, the character that took the pig know that at least 95% of people won't escalate. They also work where they have the numerical advantage. It's rare that you see them alone.

kentucky bucky
June 26, 2003, 08:36 PM
No doubt they were a couple of INBRED MORONS, but you did the smart thing (but not the easiest thing). Those kids you were trying to feed need you at home not dead and rotting in a tree.

July 4, 2003, 02:35 AM
Even if you could have shot both of them and gotten off the hook as far as the law is concerned, the guilt for shooting someone over a pig, would be enormous (at least for me).

July 6, 2003, 01:12 AM
No shots, that'd be extremely bad for you. Just a call to the local constabulary if you got their plate number. Report the theft.

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