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Confrontation with a mountain biker

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Selvagee, Aug 21, 2004.

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  1. Selvagee

    Selvagee Member

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    So I was out in the National Forest shooting at my usual spot this morning. Nice day; I was just finishing off the last couple of magazines of the morning when I see this guy on a mountain bike down at the bottom of the hill waving his arms frantically. He was all upset, telling me it wasn't legal to shoot there (it is) then started giving me all kinds of c**p about there being a trail nearby and it "scares all of us when you guys shoot here since we don't know where you're shooting, also you people leave a big mess -- look at this place; nobody cleans up and the area is a mess, why can't you go to a target range" etc.

    Now, the area is pretty heavily impacted; I have seen where obviously jerks/kids have been out shooting cans, trees etc and messing it up. But I'm always conscientious about cleaning up after myself (and a bit more), I bring my own targets and only shoot paper, and make sure I have a good hillside behind my target. The trail he was talking about was actually on the ridge *behind* (uprange) from where I was shooting.

    So I listened to him but didn't get too excited, but didn't give in either: I was legal, safe and clean and felt it was his problem if he was "scared", though I didn't say that. I don't know if the Glock in my OWB made him a little more excited than he might have been otherwise :eek: . I don't think he believed me when I said I clean up and never shoot towards the trail because "everybody always says that." Eventually he sort of huffed off.

    Totally harshed my mellow from a nice hour of shooting :mad:

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on using a heavily-impacted area like this. It's only 15 min from my house which makes it the most convenient for a quick morning getaway. But hikers/bikers do seem to be getting more comon all the time.
     
  2. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Sounds to me like the "jerks/kids" are going to get your shooting area shut down pretty soon.
     
  3. nhhillbilly

    nhhillbilly Member

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    Jerks and Kids will shut down the area fast. Suggestion get some people together and have a clean up day. When someone else yells and gets upset invite them to shoot. They might enjoy it.
     
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Are there signs posted on the trail that shooting takes place there?
    Even if you put up an "unofficial" poster, it would warn some of the bikers/hikers about it, and hopefully they will realize that it's not verboten.
     
  5. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    I'd get a few of your buds together and clean the place up. I know it won't last but if you don't you might be out of a place to shoot.
     
  6. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    To paraphrase our dear buddy SW:

    "I'm sure I'll always miss the mountains and the sunny climate"

    :D

    TallusedtoliveinColoradoPine
     
  7. 444

    444 Member

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    You should have volunteered to help clean it up, and asked him to help you. After all, if he is that concerned about it, he shouldn't mind.


    The place I shoot has a HUGE problem with red necks dumping junk there. Mostly appliances, TVs, computers.... The thing that kills me is that I would estimate that it would be about the same distance to take it to the actual dump, and the dump is free: there is no reason not to.
    I would be happy to HELP clean it up, but no one I know is interested. Their excuse is that it won't stop the dumping, what we take away will be quickly replaced with more.
     
  8. Selvagee

    Selvagee Member

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    I'd get a few of your buds together and clean the place up. I know it won't last but if you don't you might be out of a place to shoot.

    Cleaning up is a good idea, though like you say it won't last. I usually bring a trash bag of junk out with me, but maybe it's worth stepping that up. But there's not much I can do about shot-up trees :( . And I did see plenty of evidence of people shooting in the direction of the nearby trail.

    The guy had a point, I'm a biker/hiker myself, but it did p me off to be lumped in with those who trash the forest; maybe it's worth finding a nice out-of-the-way area on my own. But it seems counter-productive somehow, if there's an area that's "shot-up" might as well keep it in one spot.

    Thanks for letting me vent; believe me I know how fortunate I am to be able to just drive up the road to shoot anytime I want!
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    There's nothing like a shortage of bliss ninnies who believe their outdoor activities take precedence over all others.

    When confronted with individuals like the one described above, I tend to state the facts and give reasoning with them a try, but a.) I never try longer than a minute or two, and b.) I find it impossible to take them seriously. Life is too short to waste time trying to reason with those who embrace unreasonability or worry about their precious little feelings.

    I used to shoot at a trashy range in the boonies of northern Michigan years ago. I hated the look of the place. Eventually, I began to take home a bag or box of junk every time I shot there. I doubt it make a significant impact on the raw quantity of trash, but it had to have helped at least a little.
     
  10. mete

    mete Member

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    NY state believes in multiple use so if we hunters and shooters have to put up with hikers and such they have to put up with our guns. And it's not just the shooters who are slobs. ..Yes you should have asked him to help clean it up.
     
  11. trapperjohn

    trapperjohn Member

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    I used to shoot at a place like that. Looking back I am not sure that they do not hurt our cause. It was horrible, shooters would come use it as a dumping ground, the area was always littered with cans, bottles, empty cases etc. and there were not decetn bullet backstops. I can easily see how non shooters would get peeved at us shooters for what was done to the area. The place I went to was eventually shut down by the state.
     
  12. Sean T

    Sean T Member

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    I used a similar range in Boulder, CO called Left Hand Canyon. The area was used for two things, shooting and offroading. Everyone shot into a hill and about 20 feet up was a trail. Occasionally, we would see people riding up there and stop shooting until they had passed. Never had any problems.

    Here in San Diego, the NRA sponsers an annual cleanup of all the shooting areas in the Cleveland National Forest. They provide soda and water, you provide the labor. Might be a good idea to do a similar thing at your range.
     
  13. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Selvagee,

    First off, since nobody mentioned it Welcome to the High Road

    Second, check the Rallying Point. We're having a Colorado Get Together Sept. 11th. Consider coming, sounds like you are our type of people. PM me for details/directions.

    Larry
     
  14. esldude

    esldude Member

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    Similar place around here. Public range and public shotgun area in wildlife management zone. Also bike/hike trails. In this case, the shooting area is well down in a long valley. No problem with the trails.

    If the positioning is less good I think I side with the biker. He rides along using only the area around him. You are shooting something that could travel a couple miles and do harm. Now if you were shooting in a safe direction and don't trash up the joint should be no problem. I just wouldn't get too upset with the guy. He has some reason to worry I think.

    Now to me bottom line, you cannot ever shoot in that place without being lumped in with all the jerks who abuse and trash it up. Even if you do your part and then some. I would suggest going somewhere else. Unless it is manned to regulate activity you will never keep it clean.

    That is what happened in the public range I mention above. It got so trashed up it was crazy. I also witnessed a few very unsafe actions by others. Like shooting from a bench with a couple other people I didn't know. One fellow though seeing others shooting a string of targets wouldn't wait a handful of shots to go replace his. Would say, "f*ck it, I am going out there, stop shooting" and walk downrange. That is rather stupid, and I just didn't want to be around when such a jerk got shot one day.

    Some jerk was apparently shooting on a cold day. And busted up one of the shooting benches to build a fire. This is in the middle of the woods and walking a few yards would have given him dead tree limbs to burn. How can people be that ignorant. Especially bothered me as a friend and I built onto some of those benches to make them better.

    Another range put up lights for night use. Idiots kept shooting them out with rifles. Looked like a machine gun had been turned on them. How stupid can you be to shoot out the very lights you are using. In short, I decided the public as a whole doesn't deserve such facilities even though a minority probably do such things. And not wanting to be lumped in with them, you just have to shoot elsewhere. Either on private property with permission or a private range you belong to as a member.

    Is a shame, but I just don't go there now.
     
  15. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Member

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    I like the idea of posting semi-official looking signs and cleaning up the area. Might even post a 'range rules' sign.

    My thought is that the commons belong to everyone, including shooters. People use bike trails and in the process the bike trails become a right of way. People use a certain hillside as a backstop and it becomes, guess what, a backstop. :D
     
  16. pauli

    pauli Member

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    personally, i would have asked if he does trail maintenance. if he says no, then i'd probably let the implications sink in. if he says yes, i'd see about an organized trail/range maintenance group.

    then i'd invite him to shoot :)
     
  17. 45 Fu

    45 Fu Member

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    I would have taken a few steps back and inform him of the article you read in which an innocent shooter was mauled to death by an angry mountain biker trying to protect her cubs who were on tricycles near by.

    Seriously, I had something like this happen when a female Granola began to berate me for my eeeevil assault rifle when I wasn't even shooting. I asked her if she had ever shot before to which she replied she hadn't. I told her it was not logical to condemn something without having ever tried it and, after a short safety lesson, let her shoot. I didn't think I'd get my rifle back.

    I took a bad situation and turned it around. You might not could have done the same in your situation but keep it in mind in case the opportunity presents its self.

    If anyone ever sees a hairy-legged, Janis Joplin looking wild woman in SOF you know who to blame :D
     
  18. LAK

    LAK Member

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    .... I would use it more often then. And bring some friends, encourage others to use it.

    The hikers and bikers need to be conditioned into hearing it regularly there so they can not say it is "something new", band together and complain and maybe get it shut down.
     
  19. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Wow, cool, you guys get taxpayer land to shoot on?!?! I've always wanted to ride in the wagon. . . maybe someday. *sigh*

    The downside is that you have to deal with your fellow taxpayers. Just remember that those that do not regulate themselves will find themselves regulated.

    Pick up your gear, organize a "range day", break out the trash bags and shovels for your fellow shooters, be a good neighbor. Don't you wish that suppressors were Title I? Hey, maybe ask biker boy to sign a petition to move suppressors to Title I that way you wouldn't harsh his mellow?;) :)
     
  20. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    He's got a point.

    BTW, it is illegal or severely frowned upon to shoot at informal ranges in the National Forests in some states. Here in Va, the rangers have a fit if you do. We get away with it during hunting season though. However, in NC, it apparently isn't a problem. Many years ago, when a bunch of us went on a camping and mountain biking trip in the Pisgah forest in NC, we asked ahead of time if it would be ok to do some target shooting. The ranger's office said sure, just pick a good backstop.

    BTW, mountain bikers are about the only non hunter group devoted to open land access anymore. Horseback riders are the worst. As far as they are concerned, if you're not on a horse, you don't belong in their favorite, public, places (as a political force, not all of them).

    Chris
     
  21. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    For a second, I thought this was going to be a "What gun for mountain bikers" thread... shucks :(

    :D

    Ya know, I can't think of a single informal range around here.
     
  22. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    Where you at?

    There's one down in Slaughterville that I used to use quite regularly, but the yahoo factor can be way up there, especially this time of year when the once a year shooters are sighting in for deer season. After I had not 1 but 2 idiots sling bullets downrange while I was setting up my target, I started to go to Candian Valley. I figure at least if someone shoots me there they can call an ambulance from the office phone.
     
  23. MikeB

    MikeB Member

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    I used to shoot there as well, when I lived in Nederland, CO. One thing I really miss about CO after moving back to PA. Nothing like that I've found in eastern PA yet.
     
  24. Classified00

    Classified00 Member

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    "For a second, I thought this was going to be a "What gun for mountain bikers" thread... shucks"


    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
    :p :p :neener: :p :p
     
  25. Gunsnrovers

    Gunsnrovers Member

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    esldude, why should a shooting range have to be given up just because you can be lumped in with the jerks? I've seen plenty of mountain bikers and offroaders do more harm then a shooting spot ever could. Ranges tend to be isolated lumps of crap from the things folks don't bring out when they leave. Bikers and off roads lead wide swaths of garbage and damage in their wake.

    Have seen plenty of "dedicated" bike and 4wd areas also trashed by idiots in that community as well.

    One persons hobby and recreation doesn't nulify someone elses. Idiots have the advantage of numbers and geography. It's amazing the places they show up.

    Tell the biker you understand his concerns, that you appreciate his issues with the trash, and that you do your part to be responsible. Then go back to shooting and tell him to enjoy his ride.
     
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