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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought my first firearm less than a week ago. I've had private lessons and plan on getting a CCW for my Kahr P9. I work on private property my family owns. I'm a farmer and carry the weapon for protection, because I'm the only woman out there and it's miles away from anything.

Recently I encountered a dog fight. Three dogs were attacking one. Was I right in firing a round five feet away from myself into the ground? There were no other people around and the ground is guaranteed to not have anything that a bullet could ricochet off of as it is an orchard.

This may sound like a dumb question and while I think my actions were within reason, my aunt/ boss now doesn't want me carrying the weapon.

Any opinions and/or resources would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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If you are that far out, and on private property, you did nothing illegal. Of course the property owners can limit what you can and can't do.

But, what if those were feral dogs and decided to attack you? Happens more often than people think. I believe you are smart to have a little something handy to protect yourself.
 

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In that scenario if it did the trick I don't have any problem with your action.
And I am pretty sure that there is one dog that was mighty glad that you did what you did.

Tell your Aunt that there was a good chance that when those three wild dogs finished killing that one poor dog they could easily have turned their attack on you.
 

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Try and sit them down and calmly/politely/rationally/respectfully explain to them what happened and why you intend to keep on carrying.
 

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Warning shots are generally not considered a good thing, but that's with respect to interacting with humans. In this case it seems you were attempting to distract the dogs at no risk to people or property. Given the relatively sterile environment, I'd say you acted reasonably. Did the gunshot have the desired effect?
 

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You didn't do anything illegal, but you did something unsafe and IMO unwise. Firing a round at the ground in close proximity to you is very dangerous. Luckily, it turned out fine this time, but I strongly discourage ever doing that again. That goes in the safe category as firing a 'warning shot'. If you shoot something/someone, it is to incapacitate immediately or kill, not to scare or injure, you CCW class will (or better) teach you that.
 

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I work on private property my family owns. I'm a farmer and carry the weapon for protection, because I'm the only woman out there and it's miles away from anything.

Recently I encountered a dog fight. Three dogs were attacking one. Was I right in firing a round five feet away from myself into the ground?
Why were you concerned about breaking up a dog fight? Was it the family dog you had responsibility for that was being attacked by three others? Or was it just four dogs mixing it up?

If not your dog that you had responsibility over, I'd say (without knowing your state's or your county/community ordinances pertaining to use of deadly force against dogs) that you probably didn't have much justification to do that. But that's just a guess.

Had it been your family's dog, though, then it becomes essentially a family member where you've got far more leeway in making the determination to protect it, if its life is clearly threatened.

From the perspective of a peer who'd be judging your reasonableness, IMO it would not be reasonable except if your own dog or one over which you had clear responsibility. Merely having a desire to breaking up a dog fight, IMO, isn't sufficient justification. But that's just me.
 

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You did fine...I would have done the same thing.
Being out in the boonies, and all alone, you need to be armed.

I'm sure that if your aunt were out there with you...away from the car, and three dogs headed your way, she'd be glad that you were armed.
 

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Congrats on taking private lessons. You are already a step ahead of 80% of firearm owners in doing so. With that said, and not knowing any of the detailed facts, I.E. how dangerous or how big the dogs are, I would say that was the right thing to do. Especially if you are far away out in a rural area.

As for making your aunt ok with you carrying. Ask her if she is ok with you getting raped and murdered in the middle of no where, while you're 100% defenseless. Being armed is the equivalent of playing it safe, especially if the police have longer response times where you're at. Stay alert and stay armed!
 

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Was the dog being attacked your aunt's? Ask her how she would feel if it was and you did nothing?

Suppose it was you being attacked. Ask how she would feel if you were unable to protect yourself.

If she has a question about tactics and weapon selection you can have a reasonable discussion.

If she wants you out there on your own then you need to think about whether you want that job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The three dogs attacking were dogs I was responsible for (they r my aunts) and the dog being attacked was my supervisors.
 

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You won't find anyone on this forum who would tell you not to carry - even those who supposedly are watching us wouldn't be that obvious. You have a right to protect yourself, period. Talking with family can be difficult, but if you are reasonable your aunt should care enough about you to want you to be safe.

As for the shot, my thought is that you were on private property, you cleared your background and you took action to protect animals you were responsible for - you did good. I obviously don't know the topography, but I might shoot a little further away from myself. Regardless, it was an encounter that turned out OK.

Sleep well knowing you did the right thing. And, welcome to the forum!
 

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I think your actions were reasonable, though keep in mind that warning shots arent necessarily embraced as a good idea.

From what you wrote, I don't have a problem with what you did,as a farmer myself, I've saved injury and death among dogs because my rare warning shot broke up their frenzy ratio on some unfortunate animal. It usually gets their attention, and they scatter.

Be very careful and by no means make this a habit. Keep up with the lessons too.

I have respect for the landowner, she is the boss, but I think I'm more bothered by the aunt.
 

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^ Ditto, on ppk's remarks.

Given they were dogs you had responsibility for, and given it was on property where you had responsibilities at the time, using that method in a responsible manner to break up such a fight and stop the killing of one of the dogs seems reasonable.

Though, if it were not your own dogs or you were just out and about along a public road, path or other property, I wouldn't advise using deadly force to break up a "junkyard dog" fight. Bad juju, given how most folks will react to such claims of "necessity." Translation: I would also be careful of making this a habit. Or, if you prefer, avoid the tendency of viewing all problems as nails in need of your hammer.
 

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As long as you put no one in danger, you are fine. You used a tool and got the desired result.
 

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I think you did fine. People need to use some common sense--there's nothing wrong with firing a gun in a rural setting in a safe direction. And if you are the only woman out there for miles around, you need have your gun with you for your own protection. Your aunt/boss should care more about your personal safety more than whatever their concern is about shooting the gun in that circumstance. If they are concerned about your judgement in using the gun then maybe you should offer to keep it holstered at all times while at work unless needed for self-defense.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

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enegrete, welcome to the forum. I am familiar with the Fresno area, I live about 80 miles north of you. Considering the soil in your area is very sandy I dont see a problem w/ the warning shot you took.

If I was working under the conditions you described, I would be armed. If my wife was working were you are she would definately be trained and armed!

I hope you can convince your aunt why you need to arm yourself considering your isolation when working. How are the almonds doing?
 

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If your Aunt is just Anti Gun, you'll probably not get anywhere. Explain to your aunt that rather than getting mauled by wild dogs, and bleeding to death in the field, you chose to try to scare them off, and it worked. Also let her know you where well in rights to defend yourself.... its hard to explain to LIBERALS this concept.
 

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I think the only thing you did wrong was tell about the incident. Good job. At lest you did not have to bury anything.
 

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Don't assume that the ground is a safe direction to shoot. Bullet skip is very real and I have witnessed it many times. You will hear a "peeeoooo" sound along with the shot; that is the sound of the bullet skipping off the ground and continuing through the air in an unknown, uncontrolled direction. It's very common on hard clay ground but I've seen it happen on soft rain-soaked ground too. Just depends on the angle. Always be aware of what is near and beyond your target. Ricochets can happen if the projectile happens to strike a rock, a tree trunk, etc.

I carry a .357 revolver when I'm in the outdoors, mostly because of the ammo versatility. .38 ratshot is a great option to have for snakes and varmints. The tiny shot pellets spread and lose momentum rapidly after leaving the barrel and don't pose as big a danger as a single projectile. The same gun can shoot .357 or .38 hollow points for situations that call for decisive lethal force. You can even load a variety of rounds at once - just know which will be the next to fire. (It's the round in the 1:00 position if the cylinder advances counter-clockwise when viewed from the rear).

You might also consider carrying bear spray to disrupt situations that don't quite justify lethal force (like the one you described).

Overall, I think you did okay. It's unfortunate that your aunt/boss doesn't agree.
 
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