I love living in the country. There is distance between our house and our neighbors. We enjoy a more private life, a more peaceful life, and despite the hard work of having a small farm, it’s more relaxing than living in the city….until hunting season rolls around. And then it becomes a free-for-all, every-man-for-himself, noisy, insane, big-boys-playing-with-new-toys, game!
I cannot believe that in this day and age of so many gun fatalities that the kind of hunting that goes on around Brookneal and many other areas in Virginia is still legal. Any other time of the year, men patrolling the roads with guns…men I don’t know, who often don’t even live around here, would be arrested. But during hunting season they are allowed to patrol the roads in their trucks, guns in laps, or sit parked with their guns pointed out the window, waiting for their dogs to run something out of the woods. And they walk the roads, guns slung over their shoulders…although not more than about 50 yards from their trucks, waiting for deer to run out so they can shoot them. Shooting a deer on the road is illegal. Nobody is going to convince me that these guys run into the woods to shoot a deer when they see one…how would that even work, with the dogs running the deer OUT onto the road? Of COURSE they are shooting within 50 feet of the road. How naïve do they think people are?
So, who is to prevent them from shooting me? How do I know they have good hunting skills, or won’t shoot me instead of a deer? Why am I subjected to their “game” whenever I need to go to work or to the store? Men with guns kill people every day. Just because they wear an orange hat I’m supposed to feel better? I’m supposed to somehow “know” they are not out to shoot me?
Dealing with the “sportsmen” on the roads everyday isn’t enough though. In this densely populated area, with nothing but small parcels of private property, hunters turn out their dogs anywhere they see fit, and then go sit in their trucks drinking beer while the dogs run and bark through the woods. This morning I had people shooting on both sides of my property. People I cannot see. People I do not know. Not only were they shooting time after time, I could hear other “hunters” further down the road also shooting round after round. And the whole time these people are shooting, someone else has turned a frantic gang of barking dogs loose in the woods and they are baying and yelping all around my fence line for over 2 hours.
I was outside cleaning a horse paddock and could hear the bullets, see the dogs on occasion and hear them constantly. I have goats that are pregnant and it panicked them so bad they ran through the fence and I’m seriously worried they will abort from the stress. Was I dodging bullets? I don’t know. Guns were going off all around me.
I don’t understand for the life of me why this type of hunting is still legal. This is an EXTREME upset to our simple life here. We don’t bother anyone. We certainly don’t go to people’s houses with guns drawn and turn our dogs loose on purpose to harass their family and livestock, no matter what the reason.
Hunting should be done on your OWN property or on large tracts of land such as national forests or privately owned land that is leased to hunters for hunting and NOT in highly populated rural farm areas. This is a cause for immediate concern and remedy. If the law won’t require it, at least hunters should have the decency to not harass people with their hunting “rights”. This has gone too far and is something that needs to be changed immediately. I will NOT continue to be a sitting duck here on my OWN private property, with bullets whizzing by from who knows where and my livestock being harassed by dogs whose owners I do not know and so cannot hold responsible. I moved to the country to live a more peaceful life. I want my peace back and I want hunters to “man up” and keep their dogs and guns out of my neighborhood, no matter how many rabbits or deer they see dodging through the thistles on the side of the road.