Update: (To my thread entitled "Very Angry")


June 29, 2006, 02:37 PM
I was doing some shooting with my .22 out in the woods, behind my house. I was probably half a mile deep in the woods. It's hunting land with tree stands and stuff out there. This lady across a lake is screaming at me to stop shooting. I ask her whats wrong. She starts screaming how its private property. Unfortunately she was to far to see clearly so it's hard to have a conversation. I tell her its public land and hunting land and she starts screaming more. I was out shooting at paper. The way its set up is my house is on a road lined with woods behind it. Hers is 5 houses down and set back. I was well beyond 300 feet of a house or dwelling. I was about 500 yards away. She was way back in the woods behind the house on the edge of the lake. Its more of a giant pond really. But I didnt know she was out there so when she started yelling i had to turn around and scan the treeline 200 yards across a lake. The thing that pissed me off was how she was screamingit was private land when I was on hunting land that my neighbior often hunts. She didn't know I livved down the road becuase shes never ben seen before. I think she has people issues. But I yelled across I'm not on her private property. But started screaming more so I hiked home. It really made mad that becuase she must be deaf when she hears hunters in the backwoods of NH she tries to claim the miles of wilderness are her private property. I debated going to er house to talk to her and explain but I assumed it would cause more trouble and maybe bring the police out there. But I was acting in a completely legal manner and have reveiwed the laws and my neighbor who I am freindly with unts out there on that land. So I can't understand how she can hike oput there and then yell across this lake that its her private property and there's no shooting allowed. What really makes me mad is that im out there At least once a week and haven't had any complaints. I dont want to have to go to the reange and i really need advice on how to handle this. I hand't even let off 5 rounds so my hike was worthless. If you care to help or can't understand my rant I could make a diagram of the land if anybody knmows. I just really need advice because nobody knows this lady becuase she doesn't talk to anybody and acted like she was queen of the forest. Since I'm 18 she may think Im a stupid kid and not take me seriously.

If you enjoyed reading about "Update: (To my thread entitled "Very Angry")" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
June 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
I had this happen once when I was alot younger and some friends of mine and I were duck hunting. The people across the creek and down about 400 yds claimed they were their "pet ducks"...wild mallards.

We continued to hunt.

I would suggest that if you let someone come out and scream you out of the woods, they have won. If it's public land and perfectly legal to target practice then you continue to do so. Don't be an ass about it, but do what you have the legal right to do.

June 29, 2006, 02:52 PM
Even though I know its perfectly legal, I dont know if ill get a hard time for the cops becuase I think she might be crazy, and im 18. Though I look about 25. I kept saying to myself I'm going to go talk to her, but I had no idea where she was yelling from. She was so far away all I could hear was the direction she was yelling from. After I said yelled it was on public land she tried the children thing. THHERE ARE CHILDRENNNN OVER HEEERE!! I'm really debating going to her house, but like I said nobody has ever seen her before, and she could very well be crazy, and I be uncomfortable knocking on her door. If I couldve seen her I wouldve hiked across to talk to her. I just dont want this to jeopordize my leagl target shooting. I just dont know if i could et screwed and dont want to make this a legal mess. Although I would be in the right. Im thinking I shoot keep shooting out there and if she starts yelling again, I should go and find her.

Car Knocker
June 29, 2006, 03:12 PM
You think she's crazy and you plan to seek her out when she's yelling at you from across the pond? Why would you want to do that? You don't really think you can have a constructive conversation with her, do you? Don't put yourself in a position where she can accuse you of doing something you didn't do. Maintain distance. If you absolutely must talk to her, do so with a credible witness present.

If you're shooting legally and safely, let her yell all she wants. If she calls the cops, fine. They are trained to deal with irrational people.

June 29, 2006, 03:12 PM
The first thing to do is to be absolutely sure it's "Public" land. Just because people hunt on land, owned privately, that does not make it public. There are also rural ordances that limit shooting in populated areas, even if property tracts are more than a few acres. You still have to verify the local laws.

If you find out that it is private land that is not posted to tresspassing or hunting, then contact the owner and get in writing that it's OK to target practice or hunt in a safe manner.

Do not go to this woman until you have the facts in writing. Your county auditors office will have the information on the land. If she calls the cops, they'll make you stop until the facts are verified. A cop may verify that you have permission, have a safe area to shoot with verified bullet stop down range, without her home or property down range. He'll be the one to confront her and let her know that you are shooting in a safe manner on land with permission from the owner, or on public land. Clean up your litter.

She's worried about safey of her young'ns and the noise. Why is she quiet during deer season? Because she's well out numbered. She's probably not crazy.

If you'll get to know your neighbors, you'll all probably get along better. This is not the moment to get to know her though. If she's running a daycare without license, you might have a chance to strike a deal. You don't turn her in, you shoot the other direction. If she's got a business like that, with license, you might have to quit shooting there whether it's public land, if you have owner permission or not. A judge will probably override you on that one.


June 29, 2006, 03:13 PM
paragraphs, man, paragraphs.

June 29, 2006, 03:19 PM
To qualify for a rant, it doesnt have paragraphs. lol. And I know for a fact its public land, but where do I get the in depth info on the land? Is there an online source?

June 29, 2006, 03:21 PM
First, make sure you were/are 100% legal.

Second, you call the police and tell them you were on that land and acting legally when harassed by some woman who lives across the pond. You don't want them to do anything, just be aware of the incident.

Third, do not seek her out or engage her in any kind of arguement. If it happens again, call the cops right then and there in front of her.

Fourth, make sure you were/are 110% legal.

June 29, 2006, 03:23 PM
1. Call your town hall to confirm that it's public land.
2. Be sure of your target and what is beyond.
3. Go shoot there every day. :evil:
4. Once you've made your point, buy a suppressor. It will make everyone happier.

Art Eatman
June 29, 2006, 03:35 PM
Yeah, YOU be the first to go to the local law. Not to file any complaint, but to inform them so if she calls in they'll have some clue as to what's going on. A written statement is best.

But darned sure, stay away from her.

It sure wouldn't hurt to double check the boundaries of private and public lands around there, just as insurance.


June 29, 2006, 03:46 PM
In Wisconsin much Public "hunting land" is just that. You can shoot a game animal but not target practice. You may not shoot unprotected species also. In this manner, there may be only a few loud noises per hunter per day.

June 29, 2006, 03:54 PM
go to the courthouse (and leave your gun at home) and get their map. it will show you who owns the land

June 29, 2006, 05:42 PM
Do the whole legal doublechecking of the land thing, then if your good to go shoot every freaking day at really odd times:evil: when she comes start the s*** tell her it public land, then start shooting again :evil: :evil: :evil:

June 29, 2006, 05:45 PM
Nobody does, my family was the first person to move into the area. When we got her 20 years ago, it was all woods. A road was cut into it, and we built a house back there, had to get water and electricity run in. Now its a development.

I helped cut that trail. This is where the lady was screaming from. This is clearly not her property becuase when I was a boyscout we constructed and cut trails through the area she was screaming from. I'm in those woods all the time and if we were allowed by the town selectmen to contsruct trails and bridges I very much doubt she can try and claim its her land, but I already knew that. maybe in her mind, wherever she can hike to from her house becomes her land. It makes me angry shes trying to kick me out of an area I help to make.

June 29, 2006, 08:35 PM
Anyb ody have some advice? Or shooting ranges near me since I doubt I will get this solved?

June 29, 2006, 09:03 PM
respectfully, the posts encouraging you to piss her off are neither clever or humorous and are appreciably shy of the High Road.

The worst thing for you to do is sit around and grouse about it on the internet. Civilized people COMMUNICATE. Just go friggin talk to her.

June 29, 2006, 09:10 PM
Go shoot some 300 WIM MAGS there around 2 am. She won't be able to see you and you can hike home before the cops get there. Like you said, she don'ty know who you are. Might was well wake her up at 2 am about five nights in a row just for ****s-n-giggles. :evil:

(ya I know its immature)

June 29, 2006, 10:41 PM
Immature but funny. lol. and talking can always make things worse. Everybody knows those types of people who feel like you are after them if you talk about it. Shes obviously an anti, so Im not sure letting her know who am is a good idea. it could just bring me more trouble. You all know the person whos gone nuts on you for attempting to talk rationally and you wish you said nothing. Maybe keeping my identity a secret will work out better. Ill see what happens when the next deer season rolls around. Until then I'm gonna wait a few days and eother try going out again, or rethinking my options. It just makes me mad because Ive bewen out in those woods before people even knew they were there. My families been here for a decade longer in theswoods and this neghborhood too.

June 29, 2006, 10:42 PM
Let's not suggest felonies even as jokes. Some people might not get the humor.

June 30, 2006, 12:04 AM
Where in NH? We have a lot of MA folks who have moved in and are to put nicely MA&^%(%.

I shoot in a sand pit that belonged to the police chief in my town.(town and state recognized range) I have shot there since a teenager as have many police from the area. Then a person from MA buys property next to it. I am talking acreage, now every time someone shoots in the pit this moron calls the police.

He has even made false statements that my 1919 was bouncing bullets of his roof. Kind of hard as his house is 90 degrees from the line of fire and there is a hill in the way. Tried being nice about it to him but it did not help. Now I call my chief and let him know I will be shooting there. To bad if he does not like the noise he BUILT next to the range!

Check at town hall as to owns the land. Public property in NH is multi -use. When you are target practicing you must be 300 ft from a house, trail, and attraction i.e. picnic area ball field etc. and must have a safe backstop. Follow these rules and you will be fine.

June 30, 2006, 12:06 AM
most of these are very good advice, and some others were kinda humourus. but take the responsible road.

talking with the law first is a great idea, and like they said, get it in writing that you are allowed to shoot there. also, get the lawman's name you talked with and badge # if it was an officer. have them put a day and time that this was written up and always carry that with you to the area.

when you get that, take it to her, address her with respect, give her a COPY of the written statement and the name of the law person she can call for questions. tell her that you are a responsible adult and will use all safety precautions. let her know that you will not tolerate being harrassed. ask her if there are any certain times of the day that she would perfer you to shoot, maybe she has a very young child that takes a nap during the afternoon?

see if she has any interest at all in what you are doing, invite her over some time to watch how you handle yourself and the safety percautions you take. now dont do this if she is a psycho of course LOL. you may even ask if she would like to learn something about shooting and give her a safety talk and, if youre comfortable with it, let her shoot a few rounds. who knows, maybe you can make a convert! memorize some pro-gun statitics about women and guns and anything about guns in the home preventing crime and share these with her.

see if she is married, try to get in good with the husband. you dont have to hang around or anything, just familiarize yourself to him, show him youre a responsible shooter and he and his wife have nothing to fear. maybe invite him to shoot sometime.

It feels great to make a convert but it can be hard work. if nothing else she will see that you are a decent young man and you will have the pride of knowing you did all you could as a gentelman and did not give shooters a bad name by yelling, threatening, and not caring about your "neighbors.

Best of luck, let us know what happened. -Eric

June 30, 2006, 12:15 AM
Civilized people COMMUNICATE. Just go friggin talk to her.
She sounds unstable to me, so I'm not sure talking directly to her is a good idea.

Our culture has moved beyond civilized into litigious.

I was going to post pretty much exactly what jonnyc posted. I still stand by that.

Don't try to "communicate" with her (because some people confuse "communicate" with "confront" and this lady sound like one of those).

Do all you're "communication" with the fine folk down at the Sheriff's office (via non-emergency lines of course) give them the heads up on what happened/is happening and then just ignore this woman.

Knocking on her door and trying to calmly come to some sort of civilized agreement is a good way to end up with a restraining order (which is an automatic end of your Second Amendment "rights").

June 30, 2006, 12:24 AM
She sounds unstable to me,

that's because you're hearing ONE side of a story, from an 18 yr old who started a thread titled "Very Angry" with a self-described rant.

June 30, 2006, 12:41 AM
So being 18 makes me an irresposible liar when you have no idea who I am or what kind of a person I am? Passing judgement solely on age doesn't work.

And I'ts not a rant, just typed quickly so details are not forgotten. I think the details and circumstaces are relevent to the situation. And my side of the story is not a threat to this woman or any other kind of rave. The title is appropriate becuase this upset me and I'm merely asking for advice.

I beleive if I posted this as a hypothetical situation you would have responded differently. I'm just asking becuase I'm sure others have encountered this and may be knowledgable.

If you read more closely I'm upset becuase I feel that somebody tried to deceive me in making me leave land I have been on as long as I can remember in which I have reviewed the legality and abided by the applicable laws. I am also very familiar with the type of people that perceive conversation as confrontation so I am weary of going to this woman's home.

I will triple check this week though. My town hall should have land maps on public record right? And then maybe a drive to the local PD to talk to them? But advice is appreciated, and I hope any advice found here can be used if anybody else encounters this kind of situation. Thanks again.

Gezzer: I am in Plaistow, right on the border. Literally 2 miles from it. Mass residents frequently shop down route 125 because there's no sales tax.

June 30, 2006, 01:02 AM
I helped cut that trail. This is where the lady was screaming from. This is clearly not her property becuase when I was a boyscout we constructed and cut trails through the area she was screaming from. I'm in those woods all the time and if we were allowed by the town selectmen to contsruct trails and bridges I very much doubt she can try and claim its her land, but I already knew that. maybe in her mind, wherever she can hike to from her house becomes her land. It makes me angry shes trying to kick me out of an area I help to make.
Since you asked for advice, I'll begin by suggesting that you calm down and get your facts straight. First, your initial post began by saying the woman yelled that it was "private" land, but thereafter you ranted that she was claiming it was "her" private land. Which is correct? It doesn't need to be her land in order to be private land. Did she claim it was "her" land, or did she just tell you it was private?

Secondly, you claim to "know" that it's not private land, yet you don't appear to know who owns it. You're in New Hampshire, Mate, one of the original 13 colonies that existed before the American Revolution. There isn't a square inch of New Hampshire that doesn't belong to somebody, so if it doesn't belong to the State or the town -- it belongs to some private entity. The way for you to find out is to go to the town hall and ask the tax assessor to show you the assessor's maps. Find the parcel of land on the map. There should be some kind of a reference code, and the assessor can use that to look up the record and tell you who owns it.

Another thing to consider -- if it's open or public land, anyone has a right to be there. The land may (or may not) be open for hunting during the hunting season, but right now isn't the hunting season. So wandering out there and shooting without a proper range, backstop and berms may not be the wisest course of action even if it is legal. Remember the four rules. One of them is to always be sure of your target AND WHAT'S BEYOND IT. Do you know for a fact that there was nobody else in those woods in what might loosely be described as a "downrange" direction? If not ... you are lucky you didn't wound or kill someone.

Otherguy Overby
June 30, 2006, 01:40 AM
Be respectful to animals. Shoo them away before you go shooting.

Get a propane cannon: http://www.suttonag.com/Zon.html

That should keep the lady entertained... :)

June 30, 2006, 03:31 AM
Go to the county registrar's office and find out EXACTLY where the land boundries are. Get a topographical map and clearly mark the boundries on your map. When she screams at you, ignore her. When she calls the sherrif on you, you will be able to prove you are in the right.

Don't sweat it, but make sure YOU are doing the right thing.

June 30, 2006, 06:10 AM
My $$ is on this land having an owner, which is not an 18 year old boy with a .22

June 30, 2006, 08:38 AM
Two key points-
1. Make absolutely, positively sure you're in the right and have the right to be shooting there, and get it in writing (i.e. property maps, permission, copy of pertainent law).
2. Document the incident(s) with the authorities. Make sure they hear from YOU, before they hear from HER. He who speaks first, wins.

Good Luck, illegitimi non carborundum.

June 30, 2006, 08:58 AM
JackofAllTrades and Hawkmoon have the best-detailed advice in my opinion, but everyone who's advised you to check the legal ownership (etc.) is right. And as much as you may not like it, there's some validity in the statement by Taliv that's because you're hearing ONE side of a story, from an 18 yr old who started a thread titled "Very Angry" with a self-described rant.

Not to nitpick, but none of that is inaccurate; the fact that you're 18 is not dismissive, but by your own admission you lack the experience to know how to proceed. "Very Angry" and "self-described rant" (though it may have been, admittedly, tongue-in-cheek) were your own descriptions of your state of mind, and most likely reflects your handling of the two-way screaming.

In any case, from the link you posted about the Scouts cutting trails, etc., that news report claims that the land is a "200-acre-plus town forest". That doesn't make it clear to me that you have a right to shoot there. It's critical to establish who owns the land; newspapers screw things up all the time, but I wouldn't normally expect that "public" land with cut trails through it, is qualified for indiscriminate informal target shooting. Most lands that have trails are usually posted, aren't they?? That is to say, shooting areas in such lands are defined within the acreage in most cases. Your family may have moved in 20 years ago, but that doesn't give you any more legal right to shoot on the land if you don't own it, unless it is truly public land that you can shoot on. BigFatKen makes another excellent point--some hunting lands are not shooting lands. She may have never complained before (as far as you know) because all the previous gunfire may have been sporadic from folks who're strictly hunting.

Your first task is to find the bureaucracy that can tell you who owns the land. Deeds of Title are what you're looking for; down here, and in all the counties I've ever lived in, the county/chauncery clerk has those records and corresponding maps. Once ownership is established, as so many have advised, you'll need the landowner's written permission (stipulating no end date). At least by this point, I'd check in with the local PD or Sheriff's Dept.

When I bought my property, I wanted land I could shoot on; I researched ownerships on all the properties around mine, contacted the owners in writing (and all but one responded--there were only 3), confirmed the legalities of local ordinances to be sure of my ability to shoot on the land, and then checked with the Sheriff's Dept before I bought the property. Here, too, the limit is a minimum of 300 feet to the nearest property boundary. However, even though one has the legal right, common sense and the Sheriff's Dept can deny your right to shoot if it is deemed unsafe because of 1) direction, 2) LOS (line-of-sight) 3) privately owned building structures along the line of shooting (to include about a 60* angle swath depending on the Sheriff) in front of the target line. The Sheriff's decision is arbitrary. Some will now the geography and deny you outright for some geographical feature or limitation. Others will prohibit you if there's a tool shed in the line of sight. You're at the Sheriff's mercy there, so it behooves you to be rational, cooperative, (yet firm) and sure of your legal ground.

You've got a lot to overcome, but it's not that daunting. It could take as long as several days of legwork depending on the efficiency of the local bureaucracy; and then you "should" contact the PD/Sheriffs. Borrowedtime69 ain't far off the mark either with his suggestion that you contact her in the manner he prescribes, but I wouln't do that until (as he infers,) you've got all your ducks lined up, and she's the last obstacle you face.

June 30, 2006, 08:59 AM
taliv, I was thinking the same thing -

pdowg881 - Don't be like her and scream back. I don't think that would accomplish much. Also, dismiss the fact that being 18 is a negative. Nothing quite so impresses people as a polite teenager. Here is what I would do.

1. Continue your normal shooting practice and if she repeats her performance ignore her.

2. Make sure that where you are shooting is an OK place to be shooting. (double check that you are in the right)

3. Demonstrate, by your careful actions, your high concern for saftey. Making sure your target is clear, no populace beyond it, backstop, etc. You don't have to show this or prove it to anyone but just be doing it the right way.

4. You might want to talk to neighbors with whom you are friendly to see what they know about this person. That may tell a lot. She may be the new neighbor that will be a pain (to a lot of people) for years to come. Maybe she had a loved one who was involved with a firearm injury or fatality and is SCARED and upset. Maybe she is a nice person who is simply misguided. Whatever, find out waht you can about her. I wouldn't approach her without some idea of this.

5. Knowing what you are getting in to, you may choose to to talk to her. Be the sweet, freindly, polite, helpful, law abiding neighbor that we all know you are. (Do NOT apologize or hedge because you are only 18)

6. If she persists, go on the offense. Call the local sheriff, game warden, etc., and ask what you can do, if anything, to end the harassment. She does not have a right to do what she is doing.

I am afraid that what you describe is going to become an increasingly occuring scenario for many in our country.

Good luck to you.

June 30, 2006, 09:31 AM
I disagree with Hokkmike a little, on this:If she persists, go on the offense. Call the local sheriff, game warden, etc., and ask what you can do, if anything, to end the harassment. She does not have a right to do what she is doing.

Not as a "point by point rebuttal", but the tone of "if she persist, go on the offense" comes across as 'belligerent from irritation', if that makes sense. Stay polite. Do not wait for her next complaint (be it personal--directly at you, or public--her reporting to the local PD). Contacting the local LEO is one of the first and more important things you have to do; if "offense" is too 'aggresive' a word (in my opinion), "reactive" is definitely not the action you want to portray. That is to say, you cannot afford to be caught in the position of looking like you're answering an accusation (of any kind, personal or public). You must look like you're concerned for the public welfare, and if that is the case, your contacting the PD/Sheriff's Dept first is a good display of your (perceived) intentions. Be sure to take a name and badge number, date and time, when you consult with the LEO.

It's not "harassment". She has as much right to bitch as you might to shoot on the property. I shoot on my land all the time. I'm safe; extremely. And though my neighbors have never complained to me (probably because they can't establish the direction of the gunfire acoustically), I have no doubt that they bitch sometimes. But I contacted them before I ever shot on the land, and explained that I'd researched the entirety of the subject, and with LEO approval, was "legitimate". I asked my neighbors if they had days/hours that they'd prefer I shoot on, and *poof!* it was done. But I have no doubt that they are always concerned that I might let off a round in the wrong direction. I wonder about that when I hear distant neighbors cut loose; if I could figure out where they were, I'd go check them out too, just to confirm that I'm safe on my land when they're shooting. She's got every right; that doesn't make it "right", but it's something you might have to contend with. As Hokkmike says, she can be a pain for years to come. Try and nip that in the bud by the appearance of cooperating "in her best interests". She doesn't have to like it, she just has to accept it, and she'll be the most willing if you present your side in a friendly manner. But you can't ignore her; if the neighbors around you are 'on the fence' or more aligned with her than you, you'll have a problem if she bands them together against you. You have to get her understanding; like I said, she doesn't have to like it, she has to accept it. You can't let her get a 'ball rolling'. Remember, you're not talking about the "uncommon" sporadic gunfire that one hears during hunting season; you're talking about continuous gunfire from targetshooting. People (neophytes) are usually less tolerant of that. (the folks around me probably never reckoned that "target shooting" on my property would entail rapid-fire, double taps, and 50AE Desert Eagles; I'm sure they'd be just as happy if I'd stop)

June 30, 2006, 09:32 AM
So being 18 makes me an irresposible liar when you have no idea who I am or what kind of a person I am? Passing judgement solely on age doesn't work.

hold up now. I'm not calling you irresponsible or a liar. I am not passing judgement. In fact, I'm doing the exact opposite. I am suggesting none of us pass judgement prematurely on this woman based on one side of the story, and based on that, give you bad advice.

please let us know how this turns out

June 30, 2006, 10:46 AM
Some good info in this thread. But it's outweighed by the bad.

June 30, 2006, 02:35 PM
After triple checking I have shown her house, and her land outlined in black, and a red dot across the lake where I was shooting. There are already distance markers that indicate I am well outside of 300 feet and where I'm shooting is legal, and the black line added is her driveway to the street.

Discharge Restrictions/Compact Areas: It is illegal to shoot a firearm or bow and arrow within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or occupant, or from the owner of the land on which the person shooting the firearm or bow and arrow is situated. A firearm may not be discharged within 300 feet of any commercial, educational or medical building, or outdoor public gathering place.

I have marked my field of fire. the 300 feet is just for a reference point for the distances on the map. This shows I am shooting well outside of 300Ft.

I am just asking what to do if she confronts me or how I should handle this. Im just providing this map because some people are too skeptical to offer advice. I should have asked it hypothetaically I guess.

June 30, 2006, 02:42 PM
There is one more thing to do now and then you'll be covered.

Draw your fan of fire on the map. That means, superimpose a tiangular area showing lines from your shooting position out to your target, indicating your left and right limits.

Good job!

June 30, 2006, 04:46 PM
You mean for when I need to show someone what Im doing is ok?

Matt G
June 30, 2006, 05:23 PM
Isn't that what you're doing here-- trying to prove to us that you're doing right, and that you're improperly being persecuted?

Hey, this thread was closed before. I merged it with the "Update" for simplicity's sake, which reopened it.

Explain please what NH law says about distance required to maintain from dwellings when shooting for target practice. I see a 300 foot line on your map that doesn't seem to take into account the lady's house.

June 30, 2006, 06:02 PM
Yes, keep it on you while shooting there.

Also, send her a copy via mail (no return address is necessary) stating the following:

"Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to the neighborhood. I apologize if you've been around a while and I'm just now getting around to welcoming you. I've lived here most all my life and helped create the improvements to the beautiful public land adjacent to where we live. After you've been here a while, it seems like such a wonderful place you never want to leave. As I said, I've lived here most all my life and don't intend to move anytime soon!

All through my childhood and up through today, I've loved the neighborhood, the neighbors, and the convenient use of the public land adjacent to our property. My family and I have enjoyed hiking, target shooting and nature watching on this public land for decades, and we've been active participants in helping to develop the land for recreational use by all of us.

Recently, there have been some reports of people who either don't value the use of this land for recreation, or who wish to monopolize the land for their own use disturbing others who are engaged in lawful recreational use of the land. The land is public, free for the use of all for any lawful purpose provided they are being safe in doing so. We want to preserve the use of this land for all lawful recreation. We have consulted with area law enforcement as to what has been happening, and they (as well as the local zoning board) were quick to confirm that the area is legal for use by hikers, target shooters, nature watchers and other harmless recreation activities by the public, and they said to inform them if similar episodes occur in the future. They verified our longstanding belief and practice that one is within the law when target shooting on public land if one is at least 300 feet from dwellings and shooting in a safe direction with a proper backstop. If you notice anyone approaching (or on) the public land on the enclosed map (section highlighted) who is harrassing (yelling, etc) those who are lawfully enjoying the public land, please report the harrassing party to the police, as this is what we have been requested to do by local Law Enforcement.

Again, welcome to our wonderful neighborhood! We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!


Your Neighbor"

June 30, 2006, 06:06 PM
bruss01, That's simply brilliant.

June 30, 2006, 06:11 PM
This assumes that you have actually checked in person with local law enforcement as stated in the letter and have solid assurances that what you're doing is completely kosher and that there are no caveats or policies that you're overlooking. If you're headed for "push comes to shove" territory, you want to be completely sure you're RIGHT, and not operating under any false assumptions. Heck, even if you've been doing it for years there might have been a law passed a month ago that you don't know about. Get the honest to God straight dope from people in the know.

You said you tripple checked. I'm assuming that means you have ironclad assurances from at least three entities (no, asking the same cop three different times doesn't count). I'm talking about the local police, the zoning board, and the public lands administrator. (that would be 3, right?) or whatever your local equivalent would be. Including a copy of the state statue or the BLM policy covering shooting on public land would be a VERY GOOD IDEA as well.

June 30, 2006, 06:16 PM
Ok. Thanks a lot for the help.

June 30, 2006, 07:15 PM
A nice 18 year old young man should teach his fellow Scouts
a thing or two about gun safety, target shooting and hunting.

It's for the children.

Stories like this are common, people move from gun free zones into the free
rural areas without realizing that the sound of gunfire is the sound of freedom.

I have friends who live near the Burningman ranch in northern NV
and they have informal class three shoots near the time of the burn,
they have called the police (California burningman devotee's) , only to be told "I wonder if he'll let me shoot that cool MP5 he has"

BTW please book mark or save to fave this: http://www.spellcheck.net/

Black Knight
June 30, 2006, 07:35 PM
Find out if it really is private property. If it is check with the owner. The owner may give you written permission to shoot there. If it is Public land make a friend of a Deputy Sheriff, invite him out for some friendly practice. If she comes out then he'll take care of her. If she doesn't you still have a friend that is good to have. One other suggestion, when flustered like this find a way to release the anger. Try hanging up a punching bag or something. Don't go looking for her to talk to her. This may easily be misconstrued as a kid looking for trouble. You don't need that. Alot of folks here have given good advice, consider their words. Good luck.

June 30, 2006, 07:54 PM
Reading the law about general restrictions regarding shooting around residences may or may not apply to your situation. If all you've done is get a map that shows that it's public land, that still might not mean that it's o.k. for you to target shoot on that public land. If you have free access to it, then don't other kids also have access to it? You're just setting up targets in some woods that are relatively near populated areas. Can't you see the possibility that others might be walking through those same woods?

The advice to check with somebody in authority about the restrictions on that particular piece of land is right on the money. Your assuming that everything's o.k., based on your understanding of the regulations/laws that you've posted might be a really poor assumption. The least of your potential problems is that some housewife might call the cops to investigate your shooting. Pop a kid in the head with that .22, and you'll find out what real problems are all about.

June 30, 2006, 08:56 PM
I agree with the advice to contact the local police. You should inform them that you were out shooting on public land and one of the late-comers to move to the area started screaming at you and tried to claim that you were on private property. You should then request that they swing by your place and you'd be happy to show them where you were shooting and would they please show you where the boundaries are for the public land you were on so you could be certain not to have made a mistake.

The map from the county is an excellent idea as well. This will allow you to be prepared to show the cops where you were shooting before you walk the property with them.

If your family has been there for several years they may know one of the local cops. Try to contact that individual when you ask for assistance.

I agree that it's probably a bad idea to talk to her, at least until you've talked with the police and they've come to the property to verify that you were on public land. After that you may ask them to talk to her and explain that you were on public land and that you were completely in the right.

Regardless of the juvenile suggestions to do things to harass her, DON'T. You'll end up looking a bigger fool than she is and possibly be breaking the law. You'll also make all us shooters look like immature idiots and become one of those bad examples antis use all the time.

June 30, 2006, 10:24 PM
Discharge Restrictions/Compact Areas: It is illegal to shoot a firearm or bow and arrow within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or occupant, or from the owner of the land on which the person shooting the firearm or bow and arrow is situated. A firearm may not be discharged within 300 feet of any commercial, educational or medical building, or outdoor public gathering place.

I have marked my field of fire. the 300 feet is just for a reference point for the distances on the map. This shows I am shooting well outside of 300Ft.
But that map you linked to shows lines. Those are property lines. The place where you show yourself shooting is on a specific parcel of land, which parcel has an owner.

The regulation you cited states that it is illegal to shoot a firearm or a bow and arrow without permission from the owner of the land on which the person shooting is located. You don't even seem to know who owns the land where you were shooting so, aside from the fact that you were probably trespassing, you pretty clearly didn't have the owner's permission to shoot and therefore your shooting was clearly illegal.

July 2, 2006, 02:03 AM
first thing you should do is make sure the land really is public land. Call your department of natural resources or whatever it may be called, they should be able to steer you in the right direction as far as tracking down the land.

second, call the police once you verify the land is public land. Seems to me in this world half the battle with authority is won by getting your story in first. Tell them you were in public woods and a crazy lady showed up and started screaming stuff at you. Tell the police you were doing nothing illegal and you expect them to stop her from harassing you again.

This will go a long way in your favor if it ever happens again and she calls the cops and tells them some story about you shooting a gun at her.

July 2, 2006, 11:06 AM
Do not take people being critical of you as an excuse to be offended.

They are simply asking questions and making statements that others will ask and make.

These types of critical statements and questions give you a broad insight and give much information to prepare you for when you go face to face with people in this situation. It will lend to your maturity and your social interaction. Do not get emotional, stay almost deadpan. Getting emotional shows your hand, keep people aware of what they do not know.

This pridicament has already shown you much and you have learned much about land rights for someone who is 18. I only wish I knew half as much as you have learned from this.

You might want to think about real estate:)

July 2, 2006, 04:16 PM
I'm with Hawkmoon 100% on this when he says:

But that map you linked to shows lines. Those are property lines. The place where you show yourself shooting is on a specific parcel of land, which parcel has an owner.

I'm tryin' to make sense of your map.. I think you're stating that the red circle is your 'point of fire' and the red-outlined fan at the right of "Elevation 202 USGS" denotes your 'shooting fan'. Is the circled black area to the right of "Kelley" your 'adversary's' house? and that black line from the red circle is her driveway to the street?

If so, you've got one thing going for you; you're shooting in the opposite direction, but that's the only thing you're map (and claims) posit.

I've reread your intial post, and it's still not clear how the topographical and geographical features are laid out. Your "field of fire" is of course, not limited to the map you've posted. What lies beyond the maps you've shown, in the direction your shooting? (and the "direction" is not just a 10-degree arc.... for safety's sake, I think you need to consider at least a 90* arc in front of you for that one accidental time in your life when you have that AD or ND "somewhere in front". Most ranges enforce a 180-degree rule, and even my 90-degree suggestion is 50% lacking.

I stand by my two previous posts in this thread. Even though one has the legal right, common sense and the Sheriff's Dept can deny your right to shoot if it is deemed unsafe because of 1) direction, 2) LOS (line-of-sight) 3) privately owned building structures along the line of shooting. Also, as has been stated before, "hunting" land isn't necessarily "target-shooting" land. You need to find out about that, too.

July 3, 2006, 12:31 AM
Well,I'll toss my hat in.
1.Your map shows the area as a conservation area.
Don't know about NH,but here generally means no firearms.
2.At least a half a dozen folks have
suggested to find out the property
owner.Have you?
This whole thing is a waste of time

July 3, 2006, 01:35 AM
Hang in there. You're taking the right steps. Make sure target practice is legal in the conservation area and get it in writing. After that take written proof that the target practice is legal there, along with your USGS map showing your shooting area to the local Sheriff's Dept. Tell them your plans and inform them that your neighbor has complained to give them a heads up. Then I'd wait a week or two for things to cool off. You mentioned she has kids. Perhaps this will be an opportunity. After things cool off she might even be interested in going out there with you and letting you teach the kids how to shoot a BB or pellet gun. You're a Boy Scout, so if she has a son a good approach might be talking to her about Cub Scouts. Now that she's out in the country it might appeal to her that the scouts could provide the boy with constructive and supervised activities out in nature; fishing, nature walks, BB guns, camping, etc. Keep a cool head and maybe she'll warm up.

July 3, 2006, 09:55 PM
Contact your local Fish & game CO. he can tell you show him your map etc. Or submit it to the F&G legal office in writing they will have to answer correctly in writing.

For you others NH lands including conservation trusts etc are MULTI USE and include hunting and shooting rights where SAFE!!

If you enjoyed reading about "Update: (To my thread entitled "Very Angry")" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!