No class friends


March 21, 2011, 12:13 PM
I have a friend who has recently gotten back into shooting. He has much more free time than I, so I gave him permission to shoot on my private land (not where I live, but 20 minutes away). He has said that he would love to put in some labor out there to show his appreciation. Well, he has also been taking friends with him, and they to said how much they wanted to lend a hand to show their appreciation. Well, this past Sunday it was arranged that we would all work through the morning, then I had to leave at lunch, and they would stay and shoot. Sure enough, I am out there with chainsaws, bow saws, clippers, loppers, chains and cables etc. I work my butt off solo untill lunchtime, then as I am leaving they show up. None in boots, all wearing nice clothes, obviously no intention to help work.

None of these guys has kids or much obligation, I on the other hand do. So I rarely get to shoot, but I always need work done on the property. I only asked for one morning in several months, and I got a bunch of guys too lazy to lift a finger. Just a shame. They get to go shoot at the public range they loathe so much, I will continue to shoot on my own place, and no more permission for these guys.

Sorry to vent, but I have to ask, am I being to uptight, or would anyone here shoot for free with friends almost every weekend since hunting season ended and refuse to even lift a finger as a show of appreciation or as some sort of payment for getting 50 acres to shoot on every week?

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B yond
March 21, 2011, 12:17 PM
They offered to help and thrn didn't follow through?

I wouldn't trust them to follow through with anything, and I sure as heck wouldn't let them shoot on my property unattended. For all you know safety goes out the window when you're not there. You obviously can't take their word for it.

March 21, 2011, 12:23 PM
You are discovering why gun clubs have dues and work requirements not to mention selective addmission policies.

You are now effectivley running a gun club, so you're probably going to have to start treating it like one. No you're not being uptight, but you need to be upfront and clear about what you expect your friends to contribute.

March 21, 2011, 12:23 PM
Real friends don't act that way.

March 21, 2011, 12:25 PM
Not to mention the liability issue if someone gets hurt or killed shooting on your property by your permission. People like your "friends" would be first in line to sue you.

March 21, 2011, 12:32 PM
Those certainly don't sound like friends.

March 21, 2011, 12:58 PM
What they said. Time to revoke the invite.

General Geoff
March 21, 2011, 01:07 PM
This might have just been a simple misunderstanding. They may have woken up late or been very cavalier about showing up early because they figured you'd wait till they got there to start working.

As for nice clothes, I work in "nice" clothes (button down shirt, slacks, etc) all the time. I don't own a single pair of jeans. That doesn't keep me from working hard and getting dirty. That's what the washing machine is for. :)

I would schedule a make-up day to give them the chance to follow through, and make it clear to them that it is important to you that they show up EARLY, and to expect to get dirty & sweaty. Friends deserve the benefit of the doubt.

March 21, 2011, 01:09 PM
I'm with Gen. Geoff.

Ala Dan
March 21, 2011, 01:49 PM
Shame on those invitee's; they might need YOUR services again, soon~! I
would simply remind these folks how they handled business during our last
get-together; and not let 'em shoot on my property. I hate too be that way,
but they gave you their "word"; and broke any trust that you might have put
in them~! ;) :uhoh: :(

March 21, 2011, 01:54 PM
I've been in a similar situation and acted about as you did. IMHO, in today's culture where everybody carries a phone, there's no excuse for that.

From here they'll have to earn your respect back.

March 21, 2011, 02:05 PM
When you are repaying a favor you show up when asked, and if you can't make it you call. And while some do manual labor in nice cloths that is very uncommon...they weren't planning on working.

March 21, 2011, 02:49 PM
Not to mention the liability issue if someone gets hurt or killed shooting on your property by your permission. People like your "friends" would be first in line to sue you.

Unfortunately in today's litigious society, this has now become a major factor for consideration.

March 21, 2011, 02:51 PM
I'd be more than willing to help out for the opportunity to have a nice place to shoot at my leisure. (and I have my own tools)
Sorry to hear your alleged friends have put you into such a situation. Some folks just have no sense of appreciation.
I reckon if you cut off their access, and they're still friendly, you could give em another chance, provided the help part came first.
If they get uppity about it, I reckon you're better off without them.

March 21, 2011, 03:34 PM
I'm with you on this. I can relate the arrangement I had several years when I was on a (paid for) deer lease. We paid for the hunting privileges but whenever the landowner needed help with fence mending, lambing in the spring, road maintenance on the ranch, or whatever, we gladly lent a hand.

There's absolutely no excuse for guys to tell you they would be there to help, and then not call if one or more of them couldn't be there for any reason. But ALL of them to no-show? Man, that's bad.

March 21, 2011, 04:06 PM
I agree that there should be no more free shooting privileges. I'm an active member of a shooting club with approx 300 members, work days come and its always the same 10 guys who show up. Years ago back in the '60's I was a Scout Master, and it was always the same parents who helped, if one gets 10% to help, you've got a real crowd.

March 21, 2011, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the input everyone.

I might give these folks another chance, but really, they drive past a free public range to get to my land, and it wont be the end of their world to shoot there. For now, I will reserve my land, which my wife and I pay for and work by ourselves, for my family. If these guys really like shooting on private land, then maybe they can find someone else, or better yet, save up some money and buy a place. Land around here is as cheap as it has been in twenty years. If they call me up and want to go do some work before they call about any shooting, then maybe I will try to do that, but I aint holding my breath.

March 21, 2011, 04:26 PM
For the love of Pete, did you TALK to them about it? Or, are you just inferring all of this "not wanting to help", by the way they were dressed? Sit them down, explain to them what you expect, and that next time you want them to show up and get x, y, and z accomplished. We are turning into a "text only" society, where we don't want to offend, but then will "vent" on a public forum about it. Get in their face! YOU are taking all the risk, and they are reaping the reward....

Peace, love, and BBQ!

March 21, 2011, 04:29 PM
I'm definately with the General. I am about to crawl under my car to possibly replace the clutch, hopefully just adjust it, in my dockers and button up shirt. Too warm for the coveralls. Doesn't matter what they are wearing, I would be very hurt and feel used, revoke the welcome sir and enjoy shooting on your own land by yourself, or with real friends.

March 21, 2011, 04:35 PM
No unescorted guests on my property.

March 21, 2011, 04:38 PM
I may just be a dumb hillbilly, but when folks agree to show up for work at 8:00 and work till I have to leave at noon, then shoot...well, that means show up at 8:00. And if any of you all are willing to run a chainsaw and swing an axe wearing tennis shoes...we need to talk some basic safety. I even got a text the night before, confirming least one guy of three could have made it, and no one texted or called to say they couldn't. Then they show up as I am leaving at lunchtime. I think there was no plan to work by any of them.

And like I said, they still can shoot for free at a public range that is closer by half to where they live, so I am not denying them much. I just cannot rely on these fellows.

March 21, 2011, 10:29 PM
its amazeing nowadays how most peoples word means nothing.i was taught that if yu said yu were gonna be somewhere at 8, you were there or yu died fact i like to be there a little dont cost nuttin to leave 10 min early.most people have a tough time getting out of bed for some reason.thats just the way it is nowadays.

March 22, 2011, 01:02 AM
I guess for me it would depend on how much of a friend the person whom you gave the permission to shoot there was. If he was a good friend then I would ask him what the hell happened. If not then I probably would not let them shoot there anymore at least until he proved himself worthy. Did you ask them what happened? If so, what did they say? If not, why not?

However, and this is a huuuugggge however, you gave permission to a friend to shoot on your property and then he turned around a gave permission to others to shoot there as well. Am I reading that correctly? If so, I would be absolutely livid with that, he didn't have the common courtesy to even pick up the phone and ask me first if he could bring some friends along. He did not have that permission to give. That would have been the end of it there for me. I take something like that extremely serious especially when you are talking about shooting firearms.

Like I said, if he was a good friend I would probably give him the opportunity to redeem himself and if not then most likely that would be the end. To bad I do not live close enough to you, I would jump at the opportunity to have a place like that to shoot for the cheap cheap price of some sweat and perhaps a blister or two. Hope it all works out for you and your family.


March 22, 2011, 02:32 AM
If I were in their situation, with a private place to shoot for free, I'd be asking what I could do to help out with the place before you got the chance to ask for help.

No excuse for bailing. Let them take care of themselves.... elsewhere.

March 22, 2011, 02:40 AM
When me and my buddies go and shoot, some of whom are unemployed, and don't own their own firearms. I don't mind taking them shooting, and they return the kindness and favor to me by helping me clean my firearms.

March 22, 2011, 05:27 AM
Are you being uptight? No. They said they'd help, then they didn't. Shooting on your property obviously isn't very important to them.

March 22, 2011, 06:11 AM
Regardless of attire, these people showed up not 15 or 20 minutes late, but FOUR HOURS late. In a world where everyone has a phone (and even those who don't typically have one within 5 feet @ any given time) there is no reason to assume this was some sort of misunderstanding, or that they really DID intend to work (on their own schedule, no less), but were just running "a little late". While talking to them may be the best route, under the circumstances, I'd be surprised if he got anything but excuses. I just don't understand people sometimes. Maybe it was being raised in the manner I was, but when you give your word to a friend, you all but kill yourself to keep that word. If you agree to be @ a jobsite@ 8AM, that doesn't mean 8:30, or whenever I decided to finish my coffee and get there. I see it all the time. Even jobs with scheduled, posted hours are fair game for abuse. I know of MANAGERS who don't think twice about being 20 minutes late.....when, for me, as an employee, I'd feel like utter crap for simply expecting someone do to the job i was SUPPOSED to be doing for an extra 20 minutes. And yes, circumstances change, things come up, etc.....thats inevitable and to be expected....but maintaining communication is ALSO expected, and if you are goingf to be four hours late to a meeting with ME, I'd darn sure like to be aware of it ahead of time and not informed 4 hours beyond our SUPPOSED meeting time. I don't CARE if you show up to work cattle in khakis, loafers and a shirt and tie, so long as you actually WORK like you made the agreement to. Rips, tears, and stains aren't my responsibility.....

Friendly, Don't Fire!
March 22, 2011, 06:26 AM
I helped my own brother about 25 years ago with some pretty hefty work, every day - ALL DAY, for about a week, he didn't have money to pay me and I had just purchased a parcel of land and wanted to clear a road. I just needed some help pulling the trees so they would not drop across the adjacent paved highway.

Well, the next morning, I was there on my property when I said I would be there and I was waiting, waiting waiting. I started sawing one tree, but it started to lean towards falling in the road. I was totally frustrated to say the least.

Then he pulls up, opens the window of his pickup and asks what am I doing? I told him that it must look pretty clear what I am doing, I have a chainsaw in my hand and there's the rope and this tree has rope around it high up, I need a hand helping to pull the tree.

He basically sat there with his 16 oz. Miller beer, sipping it and told me "I don't feel like doing that, I've gotta go!":fire:

He has done this same kind of thing more times than I can even write about. :banghead: After many years, I have basically dis-owned him as my brother.:rolleyes: Brothers don't treat brothers that way (at least in my book). My other brother would have been there in a heartbeat.:) Not to mention, this was going to be a trade-off for the full week I got him going and excited about getting all this work done on his new (old) place!

I trust people's word and I trust they will do as they say they will do. If, after so many times, I have been lied to, it finally gets to the point where I simply do not trust them anymore, at all! From then on, in my book, they need to earn their trust and respect back from me. To this day, he has yet to earn my trust back. As far as I am concerned he is evil and everything is always his way or to his benefit.

March 22, 2011, 07:15 AM
tell them the range-property is closed untill further notice

March 22, 2011, 07:42 AM
You gave these guys an opportunity to enjoy their firearms and they didn't have the decency to stick to their word so I would agree with everyone else... Range is closed. If they can't keep their word then I wouldn't trust them. Someone else mentioned the liability and a leach would be the first one to sue you if they hurt themselves on your property.

March 22, 2011, 07:17 PM
I've learned the hard way, to put your faith in any other human is a set-up for disapointment, at the very least.


March 23, 2011, 01:06 AM
Real friends don't act that way. This in spades. You are right, there was never any intention to work. Personally, I've given far too many second chances and simply been further disappointed. My neighbor is going through this right now, he's simply a nice guy and can't see it. A one-sided friendship is always doomed to eventual failure. Save yourself some grief and your land for your own family.

March 23, 2011, 03:29 AM
Several folks here mentioned being members of a public gun club and having selected "work" days. Let me get this guys pay for a membership and then are expected to work also? I don't understand that. If I'm paying for a membership, I'm not working. If I was using something for free I wouldn't have a problem working for it.

March 23, 2011, 04:44 AM
I'm with Geoff. Talk to them. maybe give another chance.

a good point was also made with the legalities of it. if you don't know these people well, and are unaware of their shooting practices, it may be wise to put the kibosh on the whole thing. especially if there is a free public range down the road. I wouldn't feel bad about doing that at all. save your land for the enjoyment of you and your fam!!!

March 23, 2011, 07:29 AM
I agree...friends don't treat friends that way. You gave them a chance, kept your word and they broke theirs. If they want a second chance, I'd let them come and ask and then perform......first.

Not to mention the liability issue if someone gets hurt or killed shooting on your property by your permission. People like your "friends" would be first in line to sue you.

Unfortunately in today's litigious society, this has now become a major factor for consideration.

Fortunately, here in Wisconsin, landowners are protected from people recreating on their land as long as there is no unreasonable risk(such as a mean bull or other known dangers the land owner does not inform them about) and they are allowed access for free.

Mr. Bojangles
March 23, 2011, 07:38 AM
It sounds like you found out just how good of friends they really are.

It does make one appreciate it when we find a true friend, though.

March 24, 2011, 02:20 PM
and they return the kindness and favor to me by helping me clean my firearms.

Call me picky but nobody cleans my firearms but me. :o I'd much rather that they clean up after themselves and maybe help out with range maintenance chores.

March 24, 2011, 05:27 PM
I'd make a point of calling the friend, and let him inform his friends that he invited. "Sorry, man, but I've still got too much work left to do on the property to let everyone keep coming over." Leave it open for a second chance at work - if they can't show up ready to work and on-time, that person is uninvited.

I still can't get over the gall of an invited friend bringing others along. And seriously, nobody was prepared to cut trees and logs in slacks and loafers four hours late. Jeans and steel-toed boots are my uniform for that.

March 24, 2011, 05:43 PM
You said land was cheap near you so Im guessing your no where near DFW. Too bad. I would give alot of my time and efforts towards maintenance for a place to shoot freely. Some people dont realize what thats really worth.

March 24, 2011, 09:39 PM
I prefer to over-repay the favor. Show up on time to a work crew, and do a little something every time I'm using somebody else's property. You know, leave it better than you found it kind of thing. It's just how I was raised.
No excuse for what they did. If they were really good friends, it might be a different story. But friends of friends? Nope.

March 24, 2011, 09:50 PM
did they all ride together? why did they all show up at the same time?

I'd be wondering if there was one or two guys that were running around trying to get the gang of deadbeats going and 4 hours late was the best they could do. Maybe they're not ALL deadbeats. maybe one of them is ok.

Baba Louie
March 24, 2011, 11:42 PM
Wow. I'd be disappointed and PO'd and I'd sure as hell tell them all in exact mano e mano terms they clearly understood. Probably too much alpha male in me, but it's your land, your liability.

Second chance? Only after two or three work days with no shooting whatsoever. Make them earn it with sweat and blisters, dressed however they want, with safety in mind (a lot like shooting safety preventions in that regard).

And a few new hard & fast ground rules. Or they can use the public range, right?

March 24, 2011, 11:56 PM
You're being completely reasonable. If they want to use your land, then they need to pitch in and help. Hell, if someone told me I could use their land to shoot and set up a private range, I'd be there almost every day doing as much as I could to make it a nice place to go.

March 25, 2011, 08:53 AM
Thanks everyone for all the input and perspective.

I think that when they call to see if they can go shoot, I will simply say that it isn't a good time, I have too much work do do on the place, and I cannot get much done when folks are shooting. This will open up a huge chance for them to make an effort, or allow them to close the door completely for future shooting at my place.

I have a feeling they have done their last shooting on my place. No skin off my back, and I walk away a little smarter for the experience.

Broken Anvil
March 25, 2011, 11:42 AM
No class is right. I had this happen to me years ago. Brought some "friends" to my property and how do they say "thank you"...????? They bring their drunk friends back when I'm not there. They'll be spending time in jail the next time. Get some new friends and a big lock for the gate.

March 25, 2011, 11:47 AM
I'm casting my vote with the "keep them all off your property" crowd. But my guess is that now you're going to have people using your property without your knowledge.

And since you've already given your permission, if anyone gets hurt, you're liable.

March 25, 2011, 04:22 PM
No, people wont be out there without my permission more than the guy that poaches deer out there and access it through the neighbor's place. My family lives nearby, and the local sheriff goes out there to hunt and look for morrels. These guys wont be back without permission.

o Unforgiven o
March 25, 2011, 04:32 PM
Sure enough, I am out there with chainsaws, bow saws, clippers, loppers, chains and cables etc. I work my butt off solo untill lunchtime, then as I am leaving they show up. None in boots, all wearing nice clothes, obviously no intention to help work.

So what happened after that? Did they end up working, give you an excuse, what was said between you all etc.

Big part of the story missing here.

March 25, 2011, 04:34 PM
I am with the OP. When someone is doing you a favor and you get the chance to repay it you do so.

I would love to have a private place to shoot, if I ever find one, and the person providing it needs help maintaining the property, I am there 15 minutes before he is waiting with extra coffee. It is simply a matter of consideration. Yeah, let them go to the public range a bit. You stuck you neck out in letting them shoot there in the first place.

March 25, 2011, 06:18 PM
Real friends don't act that way.

I don't think I've ever seen truer words posted on the internet.


March 25, 2011, 06:39 PM
When your "friend" brought his buddies on your property did he pre-clear it with you?

Considering you are the one with the name on the deed and where a bullet gone wrong would be considered yours, that isn't a small matter.

It sounds like you made a mistake with the first guy. His 'friends' are just like him.

The comment on the same 10 people is an apt one. I took up creating and maintaining the clubs website since it was the only give back that fit into my work schedule and distance from the club.

Outside of sight in days where we open the range for a fee to hunters to sight in and that I schedule vacation time to make sure I'm available, it is hard to fit my schedule and distance into the clubs needs.

Most members never do anything other than pay their dues. 250 members < 20 doers.

I am so thankful that our retired guys keep the club going. Thirteen more years and I'll be free for any work day and any event.


Wes B
March 25, 2011, 09:14 PM

What you described is the exact same thing that happened to me; but instead of friends it was brothers and friends.

I got used to spending time with just my kids at my own private range.

March 25, 2011, 10:13 PM
"Uptight".....really? You need to ask? This is Your Property, right? And they want something from You, right? Something you can refuse, right?

Hey....anyone who wants something you have that they don't have and that they can't get from anyone but you....they need to pay your price....and adhere to your terms.

Work first, shoot when the work is complete to your satisfaction (you get to define what that is after the work is done). Don't like it? Hit the road and a better deal elsewhere. Show up late? Deal's off. Get off my land.

Unless.........they wish to counter-offer with a better deal, like lots of additional work to make up for the bad faith as thus far demonstrated.

Life is negotiation. Don't get bummed, don't get frustrated....learn to negotiate. Fair is fair....right?

March 25, 2011, 11:12 PM
Yep! I know exactly how you feel. It's hard to deal with. Put the skids under these guys quick and tell them why. Don't let them cry on your shoulder about the public ranges, either. Let them back in and they will continue to treat you the same. :fire:

My experience. My brother let a friend move onto our parents place. (I said OK because of his bad situation) It was for 6 months...MAX. We are now approaching 18 months. He shoots on our range....and leaves his trash. he barely lifts a hand to help with anything. My brother put his food down...gone by April! We'll see. :scrutiny:

Good luck with trying to change them...if that's what you're thinking.


March 26, 2011, 01:06 AM
Ive had "friends" and family do exactly this kind of thing, but auto-racing related. Whats worse, is this kind of free loader will almost certianly trash-talk you as a pre-emptive strike due to what he has done, and how people are bound to talk. Its a crap situation, and makes you feel like the bad guy, but be strong, find new friends.

Hell, dont know where you live, but If I had a chance to shoot on public property like so, I'd offer up the work up front.

Life is more fun when you only deal with straight up and square people.

March 26, 2011, 03:18 AM
I chewed on this one for a few days, and I haven't read from about the tenth post until here.

If the guy was a good friend, he wouldn't have done that. If it was a mistake, he would have gone out of his way to make it right. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't have enough friends that I just let them go with no thoughts on the matter. If you think the guy is worth working it out with, work it out. But set the 'you do the things you said you were going to' out, right from the beginning. If he hems and haws and backpedals and gives you nothing but excuses, you are wasting your time. In that case, I would say that your relationship had been one of convenience for him, with little regard to you.

If the guy already trash talked you, or was doing things outside of what you had agreed (other than not showing up to help), I would call it a day and be done. Life is too short to waste on people that aren't worth <decomposing piles of defecation>.

'I see no problems between us that could not be solved by your departure.' -Mark Twain. Sums it up pretty well if the second is the case.

If it is a guy that you have other social interactions, make sure that you let your side of the story get some air time. You might make some other acquaintances that would be both more appreciative of the offer and more willing to lend a hand. Just don't let yourself get painted as a bad guy out of all of it. Because you aren't. If you had a deal and he didn't stick to it, then he has the short end of the stick, no matter how rumor spreads it. And if you have any social or work interaction with him, it will be an issue to some degree if you tell him that he and his are no longer welcome on your land.

And if you do remove permission, post the land, and send him a notarized letter that he is no longer welcome on the land and that his presence will be considered trespassing. My biggest concern at that point would be that he would go and do something stupid, like go start a fire or something. I'm not a real trusting fellow, with ample reason. Don't forget that whole liability thing in either case. If him and his friends go out there and something happens, even if you aren't there, I'm not sure what your liability is.

Regardless of how the issue pans out, I would look into that liability angle. Especially if he is taking other people that you may not know out there.

March 26, 2011, 05:39 AM
Thanks everyone for all the input and perspective.

I think that when they call to see if they can go shoot, I will simply say that it isn't a good time, I have too much work do do on the place, and I cannot get much done when folks are shooting. This will open up a huge chance for them to make an effort, or allow them to close the door completely for future shooting at my place.

I have a feeling they have done their last shooting on my place. No skin off my back, and I walk away a little smarter for the experience.
I'd be up front and honest with them. Maybe give them another chance if they seem apologetic and tell them if they want to use it, they better contribute, as you're not maintaining a range just for them.

March 26, 2011, 08:06 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // It sounds like you gave them a chance to prove their friendship.

More than fair, on your part, as it was not even a stipulation for shooting more of a gesture of thanks for letting them shoot.

I target shoot where we hunt, and definately put in my share of work with a smile.

Often I drop off targets, boxes of clays, ammo, cleaning supplies ... things we will always need, that I find on sale. The others guys do the same without prompting.

12:00 instead of 8:00, unless they had two flat tires, got detoured by a stopped train and had a wreck, I'd be wondering about the friend/user equation. At least your "friend" should have shown up/called if not the other two.

As for the clothes, if you get the job done I don't care what you are wearing.

OTOH I choose to wear boots and depending on the time of year brush pants when running a chainsaw or swinging a brush axe. Without them it is kind of hard to jump right in there and get er done. Here in S.C. we have snakes and yellow jackets, briars and cats claw to think about.

March 26, 2011, 07:56 PM
a true friend would have shown up on time, if not early.

March 26, 2011, 09:33 PM
I have had two people come to shoot with me in the last 5 years. Gotta have friends first to have this issue come up - the few I had backstabbed me pretty good, and were cut loose. :)
Hope it works out well for ya!

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