This is a discussion on Camp"fire" within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My Brother and I were camping out on a Friday night to get an early start for a Saturday morning deer hunt. We were on ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array HRnTX's Avatar
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    DFW, TX


    My Brother and I were camping out on a Friday night to get an early start for a Saturday morning deer hunt. We were on private land that is many miles from the nearest town, but bordered by other privately owned land. There are no houses or even barns nearby, but it is not uncommon to look across a fence line and see a deer blind or tree stand. This Friday night was very foggy and visibility was limited to about 50 yards of decent vision with a spotlight. My brother already had set up camp on the edge of a large field, he had small fire going when I arrived at 11pm. Approximately 11:30pm we heard some squealing. Our best guess was hogs. Recently they have been tearing up the fields, and three were caught in a trap a few weeks ago. I grabbed a spotlight and flooded the two nearby fields in hopes of spotting them. Across the fence line, about 500 yards away, I get a faint reflection of a stable object, silver in color, but really hard to tell what it was with the fog and distance. I’m shinning the light directly on it when I hear, “ Hey you, turn off the light.” I quickly obliged and ask my brother if he had any idea who was camping over there. He had no idea anyone was there and I was starting to feel bad about lighting up what was likely a guys tent. Then we heard about 10 shots fired. I was shocked. My brother and I both eased into the woods nearby and circled around about 100yards away and just set and listened for awhile. After 15 minutes or so or hearing nothing we slowly came back to our camp, put out the fire and went to sleep. When we got up the next morning it was still dark and we walked to our deer stands on foot. By the time we came back to the camp and the fogged had burned we looked back across the fence, but there were no signs of any tent or campsite. So what do you think? Did we return to camp way to soon? What should we have done? Needless to say I did not sleep very soundly that night.
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; November 30th, 2007 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Deleted a language workaround

  2. #2
    Member Array knpjdad's Avatar
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    Myself.... Well after shot being fired... I would have been on the phone with the locals, and telling them about shots being fired at 11:30pm!! and then been sleeping elsewhere that night!!
    I wear a seatbelt, but I hope to never need it, I use smoke detectors in my house, but I hope to never need them, I carry life insurance, but I hope to never need it, I carry a weapon, but I hope to never need it.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    I would probably have also left after lighting them up and gunshots being fired. If it was gunshots only at 11:30, well I hear them a lot out in the country, and I would have stayed.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    Without knowing for sure what you spotlighted, it's possible they were poachers and they may have been shooting at game or hogs. Or it could have also been someone hunting coyotes. They often use an animal distress call that is usually some sort of high pitched squeal. But without knowing what they were shooting at, leaving the area might be the best course of action. As remote as that sounds, you would probably have to meet LEOs somewhere else anyway.

    On a side note, I would be very careful about taking a spotlight deer hunting and even more careful about using it. I'm not sure what the game laws in Texas are like, but in many states the combination of spotlight and rifles equals felony. You need a flashlight for camping and walking to and from your deer stand in the dark. But a spotlight could be considered overkill. You are in a better position to know Texas law and I could be wrong. I would hate to see you get in trouble over something like that.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    I would guess they where poaching…. Because of confrontations with Fish and Game officers, no one I’ve ever hunted with would consider hunted coyote, at night during deer season.

    Florida as well as most other states laws pretty much says that spotlight and firearm equals jail time. Just having a firearm in your vehicle or in camp, when you’re shinning is a violation.

    If we had a deer run off, and we had to track it at night, we would put all the rifles, in a vehicle and sent them back to camp. One of us would keep a pocket gun just in case we found the deer half alive.

    Where we use to hunt cell phones would not work. So, to get up and drive 11 miles back to the nearest phone to call the COPS, wait around for 20 minutes for them to meet you then drive back. No poacher in there right mind would still be there. So what’s the point? I would have done the same thing you did, and turned over and gone back to sleep.

  7. #6
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    While I'm not for sure, I would say that in general, hunting seasons that allow night hunting, like for coons and coyote don't coincide with deer seasons, but I may be mistaken. (I do hunt deer, but not an avid hunter for other types of game so I am not up on all the wildlife seasons and methods of taking game other than deer)

    However, Missouri presently has a ferrel hog problem and Mo. Conservation has given permission to shoot ferrel pigs on sight anytime of year for at least the last 2-3 years.

    I do not know if there are any constraints about hunting them after dark, especially during deer season.
    Semper Fi

    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    In Texas there are no seasons for coyote, or feral hogs, or non game species. Yes you can use a spotlight or shine those species at night for hunting purpose with a valid hunting license. Those nongame species can be hunted the same time that game species are being hunted, lots of people do it.

    My suggestions are that you get to know the property owners around where your hunting. They may very well have thought the same things that you were thinking. Especially since you were shining or spotlighting across a property line.

    You say that visibility was only about 50 yds with the spotlight but then you say you can see something at 500 yds. I find that a bit hard to explain.

    Maybe it was someones pickup truck, the shiny thing, that you saw, and they were trying to call in predators or hogs. I think it is unwise to immediately think that they were poachers or whatever or up to no good, any more than for them to think the same of you. Those shots could have been at hogs or whatever after the squealing you described. Could you tell the direction of the shots, were they in your direction, although with heavy fog, it would be hard to determine I would think.

    Anyway, glad everyone is safe, and get to know your neighbors.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  9. #8
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    Shots at that time of night should probably have caused a 911 call. If I'm camping and someone is shooting, I want the cops to know two things...someone is shooting, and it's not me!

    Stay armed...stay safe!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  10. #9
    Member Array HRnTX's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input always good to hear others take. Since then we were able to visit with the neighboring land owner. He like us, does not live on the property so we rarely see each other. He confirmed he was not there that weekend and had no idea who was on his place. My guess is another hunter was likely hunting/tracking those hogs we heard and took some liberty in crossing property lines in his pursuit. As another poster mentioned cell phone service is at best 15 minutes away and a "shots fired" report is not exactly news in this part of the State. In an attempt to clear up the visual sighting with fog etc. I was trying to say, I could see with the spot light within 50yrsds, but further then that was pretty tough. I know we where about 400 yards from the edge of out property and the stable silver object i saw slightly elevated due to the land contour, so perhaps thats why I could see it, but not quite make it out. Again thanks for your collective insight.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Especially in TX, I wouldn't be "lighting up" in a rural area- if you spotlight someone's weed harvest or "immigrant transfer" it could get terminal.

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