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Unsafe hunting partner

Old 11-28-2016, 05:49 AM
Typical Buck
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The "empire" state-NY
Posts: 583
Default Unsafe hunting partner

This thread:

prompts my thread here.

( and yes, its long)

Last year, I hunted a few times during the firearms and muzzleloading seasons with an acquaintance of mine. (while I've known him, tangentially, for maybe 15 years, we are not really what you'd call friends; that is to say, he's a good guy but we do not spend a lot of time together.)
Anyway, he went to his stand and I to mine; we both came out a dark.
End of story.

This year he asked if I would be interested in splitting the cost of brush-hogging($800) a few fields 3 ways to gain hunting access from the owner.
Being bored with all my usual hunting grounds, and up for a challenge, I accepted.

75 acres, 3 guys. What could go wrong..?

Archery season was great, no deer harvested, but it was fun figuring out the turf and patterning deer.
It was also simply nice to be out since I've had a few rough months, healthwise.

On opening day of firearms, the other of the three of us decided to bring in 2 other guys.

Frankly, I was much less concerned with hanging a tag than I was with safety.

One of the invitees, an older fellow, came on the last day of archery to "sight in" during which he was being constantly reminded by his friends to put his safety on, not point the gun anywhere but the ground, make sure it was unloaded,etc.

I noticed all of them would lean their loaded rifles against the car during the target session.

These were friendly,nice guys but,IMO, unsafe.

I sat out opening morning...

- - -

During the following week, it was just my acquaintance and I.

2 guys, 75 acres- what could go wrong..?


Let's backtrack-

a week before the opener, he asked if he could sight in at my backyard range; of course, I allowed him to- which is permission I'll rarely grant.

I did tell him my bench was not set up, I had no time to do so, and he would be on his own as far as all that went.

I was working in the front of the house but, finally, went to check on him after hearing several shots.
First thing I saw was that he was using a bench my grandfather had built, turned upside down as a rest. Somehow he had managed to slip and blow a leg off it.

I stopped his session right there and told him he needed to get a proper rest. No he did not replace or repair the bench.

This incident, however, made me wonder about him.

Onto the first week of firearms:

He insisted we use a set of walkie- talkies which I thought was great. Problem was, he had no idea how they worked and had thrown the instruction manual into the trash...finally, I figured them out ; apparently, he did not because his communications were spotty. He did not understand which buttons to push or when.

I both told him and showed him on an aerial view where my blind was located which I had also tagged with orange survey tape. He mentioned having walked this property at length the last 2 years and knowing it very well, which was odd, because while we were posting it for the owner, he had no idea what the actual boundaries were. Luckily, I had procured the survey.

The next afternoon he informed me that he'd found a great spot but thought it odd there was survey tape on 2 trees there.

I told him that is the blind I'd been sitting, you hunt it, and moved to the middle of the property, down in a hole. That evening, as we came out, he began telling me of a field he saw, while walking around, in the middle of the property at the bottom of the hill he was going to hunt the next day.

I related that that was exactly where I had moved to but he was welcome to sit there the next day.

So, I moved to the opposite end of the property.
That evening I made the mistake of telling him the lay of the land down there.

Later the next morning, we communicated by walkie- he was in the field up above and had just taken a shot at a buck, but it was a clean miss.
We agreed that he would backtrack through the open fields, drive his car down to my end, come in slowly, sit, and I would push the pines toward his location on my way out.

45 minutes later, just as I'm about to radio him, he popped up 30 yards from me, sits down, and radios to tell me he's found a great spot with tons of sign!

First thing I replied was to look to his left- I'd be the one in blaze orange. He looked, I waved, but he still didn't see me though we were making direct eye contact.
I took off my orange hat, waved it at the end of my rifle; he finally saw me.

I inquired what happened to our plan of him getting the car,etc. he told me he got turned around.

Against my better judgement, I suggested that he stay put, I'd work my way above the pines toward the road and he push down to me.
He agreed.

The road was, maybe, 175 yards away, clearly visible with snow blanketing everything,houses and another road also clearly visible with him standing in the middle of a logging road which he was to follow, maybe, 500 yds straight down to a field at the bottom- also clearly visible.
20 minutes of stillhunting later, I radioed that I was in place.

No reply.

Not 2 minutes passed and he's crashing through the pines straight at me, having left the logging road because he didn't think he'd see any deer on it and because he "didn't know the land very well and got lost."

The place is bounded by fields and roads on all 4 sides, and is just shy of 1/2 mile at its widest point- how are you getting lost?!?

That was Thanksgiving morning.

During the afternoon, I found blood in the snow which trailed off the property. Backtracking, I discovered that the source was his earlier "clean miss"...

The next day all 3 of us met there; the 1 fellow headed to a tree blind, I mentioned I was planning to go to my original blind. My acquaintance, of course, says he's going to hunt the corner behind where I am which is A) the property line with a house adjacent and B) no more than 75 yards from me at any point before crossing the property line!

I told him to sit there, I'd go to the opposite end of the property where I saw no deer but more fresh blood in the snow; I presume his wounded buck, neck shot it turns out, is still wandering around.

That night we spoke and made plans for a hunt the next morning. I told him I'd go where I'd been the night before.
Again,he agreed.

The next morning, while en route to the property, I rec'd a text from him saying that he was also now planning to hunt the area I would be in.

I hit the brakes, turned around, and went home...

Finally, and embarrassingly, it could no longer be ignored: the guy is a slob hunter.

He's 66, overweight and out of shape, a nice guy; he is also unsafe, unskilled, not particularly knowledgeable and unwilling to listen or learn.

(for example, he came upon a few " big scrapes" in the snow at the base of trees which were all places I'd stood/sat a watch...you'd think boot prints would be a clue.)

At this point, I have broken down our split of the 'hogging per diem with the thought to pay for the time I've hunted to date(1/2 season) and let him have the property all to himself. The other fellow is a very casual hunter who will probably hunt 1 week, total.
Frankly, money is not the issue for any of us.
As always, it's the principle.

The dilemma I have is that I do not want to be a jerk just because he is an unsafe, slob hunter.

I also do not want to get wounded or killed!

It's impossible to communicate with him, perhaps this will make him think.

If you've read this far, your opinion is more than welcome!
ModernPrimitive is offline  
Old 11-28-2016, 06:21 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: central wi
Posts: 629

Dump Him completely life is too short and hunting time too little HH
Hatfield Hunter is offline  
Old 11-28-2016, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: idaho
Posts: 2,773

x2! cut him loose. I would rather stay home then spend time hunting with a guy like that
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:19 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,695

You sir have a great deal more patience than I. Your first incident at the property would have been enough for me to say "see ya bubba, you are on your own out here".
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
Posts: 2,603

Anybody can have an occasionally brain fart, but it sounds like his elevator isn't going all the way to the top.

IMO, two kinds of people who I won't hunt with. Alpha, take charge types, whose opinion of themselves far outweighs their actually knowledge.

And your basic incompetent. Who either refuses to listen or is incapable of understanding simple instructions.

If you get both in one individual, run as fast as you can, as far as you can.

I've guided a few doozies. Told one guy, shoot any Hog but the lead Sow, she is by far the biggest in the sounder. He shot her (I guess) and when I asked him about the shot I heard, he said it came from the neighbors lease. A couple of months later I was bush hogging and found her bones. She went down within fifty feet of this guys high seat. When I questioned him about it, he deflected and accused me of stealing his gloves, which kind of screamed guilty to me.

We don't shoot the lead Sow, she is what makes the sounder kind of predictable. We shoot the 1-2 year olds. We leave the young and mature sows alone, which is what harvesting really means.

He eventually gave up calling for another hunt.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:04 AM
Super Moderator
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,145

There is absolutely no reason to hunt with a person who you can not trust. Come right out and flatly state the problem. If he gets upset - thank him and move on.
People only get one chance with me. I am a Hunter Ed instructor and Teach Like I hunt and Hunt like I teach. I don't deviate otherwise what type of instructor would I be?

Tell him flat out in a calm cool manner what the problem is. He starts to argue - stop right there then thank him and move on. Which means you are done with him. Your life may count on it!

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Old 11-28-2016, 08:06 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,926

After my father passed away I do 99% of my hunting solo. I go with my brother once in awhile but he's more of a fisherman than a hunter. I don't know anyone I'd fully trust hunting with now that Dad is gone.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: idaho
Posts: 2,773

I have a few friends I hunt with but none I trust or enjoy the time with like I do my brothers. we grew up hunting together and they are still my best buds
kidoggy is offline  
Old 11-28-2016, 11:08 AM
Typical Buck
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The "empire" state-NY
Posts: 583

Primarily, I hunt alone.

I do have a couple guys I'll hunt with without reservation because I know that they are safe.

With this guy, he is out of shape, but seemed to enjoy the hunt, so I figured it would be fun to have a place we could go out together since most of the terrain I hunt would be too hard on him physically.

Any way, I cut him a check for slightly more than 1/2 the season and wrote him a brief note telling him why, specifically, I am out.

If he's butthurt, he's butthurt.

I, however, learned a valuable lesson: truly know who it is you are hunting with.

It's a shame because this was great habitat- a lowland swamp, one hillside of tall pines, 3 open fields, and a logged area with a mix of hardwoods and pine, everything one could ask for in deer country.

Essentially, he turned exclusive access to this diverse 75 acre lot into an experience akin to hunting state land with everybody up from NYC.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:31 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pa.
Posts: 478

Cuttin ties with him was a wise move.It doesn,t even sound like he attempted to ever follow up his so called clean miss.
GOOD OLE BOY is offline  

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