Had a nice adrenaline rush...

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Thread: Had a nice adrenaline rush...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Had a nice adrenaline rush...

    I had quite a nice adrenaline rush Thursday night, and learned a few lessons from my reaction. This is a long-winded rant, no obligation to read it

    Around 10:30 PM I was sitting on my couch, alone at home, eating a slice of homemade pie and watching TV. I heard a very loud "thump" noise, almost sounded like a door was slammed outside or etc... in the general direction of my garage. My garage is separate from the house but attached by a covered porch.
    I grabbed my 12 gauge pump, flashlight, and cell phone (with 911 on speed dial) and proceeded quietly outside to investigate the noise. I slowly opened the door to the garage, and just as I did, I saw the back door (on the other side of the garage) swing open. That's when the adrenaline hit.
    I backed up and went around the garage "the long way", over to where the back door is, with shotgun at "low ready" and with light off... Just before I rounded the corner, I heard a noise, very close.
    I sidestepped around the corner with the shotgun in "low ready", lights off, ready for anything....
    and came face to face with a very large raccoon. His eyes got as big as dinner plates when I flicked on the light.

    The thump I heard had been him knocking a few pieces of firewood off the top of the stack near my back deck (found them later), which explains why it sounded so loud from the living room. I don't know why he was up there - maybe trying to get on the roof.
    Apparently after loosing the encounter with my firewood stack, he had found his way into my garage (the back door to the garage may have been unlocked, I'll start double-checking it nightly...) and I scared him out when I opened the door on the other side.

    I chose not to fire - a round of .00 buckshot from 10 ft would have vaporized the 'coon, shot up my garage wall, left me with a heck of a mess to clean up, and a bad case of ringing ears. I yelled at him and kicked some dirt his way, and he proceeded to leave with a few angry "hisses".

    Lessons learned:

    My reaction time and night vision is pretty good - my critical thinking under pressure could use some more work. When I saw the back door to the garage creek open, in all reality I should have taken it as a very serious threat and chose to retreat into the safety of the house rather than farther investigate the problem - someone could have laid an ambush for me on the other side of the garage, and I would have had mediocre odds at best.

    The posse of raccoons living around my house has become a serious problem and warrants mitigation.

    There's a fine line between being cautious and raising false alarms - would you have called the cops? I almost did. In this case I'm glad that I didn't, but would it have been a legitimate threat, I would have regretted not calling earlier.

    Anyone else learn anything from a "bump in the night" lately? Any comments on mine?

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


    "Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown

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    Member Array target1911's Avatar
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    My uncle lives out in the sticks. Every night he feeds 25-30 coons on his porch. It is really cool watch them.

    Glad all is good for ya
    David

    Ride hard and Shoot safe

    The first rule of gunfighting should be to know when the gunfight starts - being the last one to get the news certainly won't put the odds in your favor.

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    Member Array state6three8's Avatar
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    I would have armed myself then called the cops while I watch the back door from the safety of the house.

    Glad it turned out the way it did though.

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    Lying in wait , listening beats trying to investigate most times. Motion lights might be a good idea.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Living in a rural area like I do, I would have done the same thing. Except my dog would have been out the door first.

    It takes 45 minutes to get a police response out here, and if I make too many calls for racoons, it will probably end up taking 2 hours to get someone here. There is such a thing as crying wolf. Even if you do it unintentionally it ends up getting the same reaction.

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    Sounds like things worked out well, darn raccoons can really cause problems...smart little varmits...determined, too!

    When I think I've heard something, my 125# Rhodesian investigates...he's backed up by a 60# Retriever...my Rhody has increased the speed of backyard varmits from 0 to 60 in just a few seconds.

    Stay armed...stay safe!
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    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    My uncle lives out in the sticks. Every night he feeds 25-30 coons on his porch. It is really cool watch them.
    Love living in the country, don't have much use for the coons though, I do have as many as 10 deer at a time in the backyard (might be the feed trough of corn and salt lick) but they do not make much noise; so motion lights really are not a good alarm. Out here police response is slow and one does what one must, but I am hesitant to go outside, I tend to ID the location of the noise and listen for a while to try and figure if it is a threat. I do go out if there is a persistent noise from the same location and have several options for exit; front, rear upper deck (3 sliders), rear ground level, south side deck, north side lower garage and do not go out with just 1 gun, usually the shortie AR and the Glock 10mm

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    A big dog is your best bet for rural bumps in the night. It's my 90# labs job to investigate any noise in (or out of) the house first. My job to back him up with the firearm. It may sound cruel but if someone in my family is going to get shot I hope its my dog, and not my wife, me or my kids. If it's a racoon or a oppossum he can handle that too. WOOOOOF!!
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Thanks to those that posted :)

    Just to reply to a few points:

    I used to have a 95 pound German Shepherd. Love the breed and will probably never own anything else again. She ended up with some pretty bad hip problems at age 13, last year, and I did the kindest thing I could for my old friend. The value of a well-trained dog in the country is very clear, but I'm planning on moving south (think Costa Rica or Panama south) in the next 2-3 years and taking a dog would be a very large hassle, so I'm probably not going to be getting another pooch before then.

    I do have some motion lights - three, 500w halogen flood lights to be exact - but none that cover the back of the garage. Good idea, and will probably do that next paycheck :)

    I guess my real purpose of this thread was to ask, "Have any of you learned anything from your own reactions to 'bumps in the night'?"

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


    "Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown

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    Sorry about your dog bro. It sucks to lose a good pal.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Sorry about your dog bro. It sucks to lose a good pal.
    Well, thanks. Of course it sucks to put down a friend, but 13 years of faithful service and friendship is all I could ask from a dog. It was kind of a sad day, yes, but I don't look back on it as a bad thing. I look forward to my next German Shep, and intend to find a purebred one - none of this American crappy genetics that get hip dysplasia.

    My dad trained police dogs for quite a few years and has shown me the ropes of it - really training a dog right takes 1-2 hours a day every day for several years. It's a big commitment but is very rewarding. I'm really looking forward to doing it again.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


    "Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I think you handled the situation very well. We used to live in the sticks and I know how long it can take to get a LEO response out in the middle of nowhere. You have to take care of things yourself a lot of the time.

    You sound like you are ready for what might come your way and you did everything I would have done.

    Living out there in the sticks, you know as well as I do, you do not call the police for every thump and odd noise. If you did, the cops would soon have you on the "jumpy little ninny" list and would stop taking you seriously if you ever had to call for a real problem. You have to take care of things yourself most times.

    Good job.
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