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AITA/negative encounter.

Chimney7

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Jan 12, 2020
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Am I the ahole in this situation?

Just had a pretty negative encounter with an otherwise pleasant neighbor (neighbor A)in the woods. So a little backstory: neighbor A and I both hunt a mutual neighbors (neighbor b)30 acre property. We’re in a pretty heavily populated area, not quite suburbs but pretty close. So a 30 acre chunk is a good size property. I killed a buck and a doe there last year. So it’s a good spot that I don’t want to just abandon. I absolutely have permission as I ask every year. The very first year I asked for permission, about 7 years ago, I asked if anyone else hunted in there and neighbor B said no. I’ve been pretty polite to this guy as far as hunting goes, the first time I met him years ago he was telling me that he was hunting close to where my trail cameras where and he saw me checking them when he was hunting. I told him no problem, I didn’t know you hunted there and told him I would move them, which I did. Last year I tried to help him track a doe that he shot on the last day of the season, I saw the deer out my window up in the woods and helped him out the best I could. I have a ladder stand on the property which is roughly 200 yards away from one of his stands, that I put up a few years ago. Hunted out of it a few times during gun season and it’s still up to this day. The stand is close to my house, and that one of his is close to his house. I don’t think it’s an issue, found out today that he does. It’s also worth mentioning that neighbor A has at least 3 stands he hunts out of, possibly 4.

So today’s incident goes like this. I’m in a tree 6.30 ish that is actually close to two of his, like 70 yards. There is a stand behind me and one in front of me, it’s at the opening of a bowl, that is a pretty good spot where the deer come through often. Kind of close, but hey it’s 30 acres, the property does not belong to either of us and he has 3 stands that I know of all in the spots a hunter would want to be and are up year round. So I see him walking from the direction of his house with no bow, I don’t know what he’s doing. So I whistle a few times, get his attention and wave, friendly wave. He keeps walking towards me and walks right on by, further into where deer would be coming from, looks up at me and I wave again, nothing. As he’s walking away he says to me: if you’re going to hunt that close to my stand you might as well use mine. It takes me a few seconds to process what’s happening and that he is upset. So as he’s walking away I ask him if he’s got a problem. He says he does. I try to resolve it right then and there but he isn’t interested. He gives me the ‘ive been hunting here 25 years’ line. I ask him if he doesn’t want me hunting on the property at all, he tells me to hunt wherever I want, sarcastically. He also mentioned that he wasn’t happy about my ladder stand that is in my opinion more than far enough away from all of his setups. Long story short we resolved nothing, I was pretty angry, got out of the tree and came home. Now I’m pretty mad at a neighbor that I had no problems with before this, not only did he ruin tonight’s hunt, he tried to bully me out of hunting close to his spots by giving me the 25 year hunting spiel.

I can hunt this property after work so I do, I have just as easy access to this bowl area as he does. Am I wrong in what I’m doing? Does the fact that he has a bunch of stands up all the time mean I shouldn’t hunt near them when it’s on someone else’s property?

If you made it this far thanks for reading. Love to hear some feedback on if I owe him an apology or if he’s the a-hole.


(Edited to add that it’s an urban area and worth hunting IMO)
 
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Nutterbuster

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I'll refrain from calling anybody an a-hole, especially without hearing both guys' sides.

But, I am hunting a public parcel that's 40 acres this Saturday if I can wake up at midnight and drive 2 hours and get there first. The hunting is quite good, but it's kinda a one man affair in my mind. I wouldn't bother hunting 30 acres unless the hunting was excellent and I got along great with whoever else hunted it. Much like Germany playing a game of Risk, competition brings out the worst in me.
 

Bowtie747

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To me not his property, not yours. It’s whoever gets there first. I look at it like public land. Its everyone’s land (referring to public) and hanging a stand doesn’t mean you own that spot because you literally don’t own the land. It’s like saying if I go and hang 100 treestands on public I have rein of all 100 spots and I don’t. So I’m your case he to me he doesn’t own those spots. If he wants to hunt them then he needs to be there. He can’t run what you do one when he wasn’t even there. I would add if I knew someone hunted it and it’s only 30 acres I probably wouldn’t bother.
 

Chimney7

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Jan 12, 2020
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I think the situation sucks & you have to treat it like it’s public land. Are there times when he definitely doesn’t hunt?? I’d smooth it over & probably minimally hunt there.
He works the night shift, I don’t know what his schedule is. I only hunt in the tree I did tonight occasionally as it’s a good doe whacking tree, and only on weekdays trying to avoid what happened tonight thinking that we wouldn’t run in to each other if he works nights during the week.
 

boyne bowhunter

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The very first year I asked for permission, about 7 years ago, I asked if anyone else hunted in there and neighbor B said no.
Is it possible that neighbor A has been hunting neighbor B's property without permission for 25 years? After all, it appears that 7 years ago neighbor B had no idea that neighbor A was hunting there. Oh, its too much work keeping track of neighbor's letters. Is it worth a question to the landowner if the other neighbor actually has permission? Is there a risk that you'll get shut out? It almost sounds like your confrontational neighbor is trying to do that to you anyway from your description.
 

SCSaddleman

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I don’t think ur in the wrong but if ur gonna keep hunting there (and I would) I would reach out and offer to let him know when and where u plan to hunt and ask the same from him. Hopefully a little communication smoothes things over. It sucks being at war with a neighbor if u can avoid it. My 2 cents..
 

Plebe

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Am I the ahole in this situation?

Just had a pretty negative encounter with an otherwise pleasant neighbor (neighbor A)in the woods. So a little backstory: neighbor A and I both hunt a mutual neighbors (neighbor b)30 acre property. I absolutely have permission as I ask every year. The very first year I asked for permission, about 7 years ago, I asked if anyone else hunted in there and neighbor B said no. I’ve been pretty polite to this guy as far as hunting goes, the first time I met him years ago he was telling me that he was hunting close to where my trail cameras where and he saw me checking them when he was hunting. I told him no problem, I didn’t know you hunted there and told him I would move them, which I did. Last year I tried to help him track a doe that he shot on the last day of the season, I saw the deer out my window up in the woods and helped him out the best I could. I have a ladder stand on the property which is roughly 200 yards away from one of his stands, that I put up a few years ago. Hunted out of it a few times during gun season and it’s still up to this day. The stand is close to my house, and that one of his is close to his house. I don’t think it’s an issue, found out today that he does. It’s also worth mentioning that neighbor A has at least 3 stands he hunts out of, possibly 4.

So today’s incident goes like this. I’m in a tree 6.30 ish that is actually close to two of his, like 70 yards. There is a stand behind me and one in front of me, it’s at the opening of a bowl, that is a pretty good spot where the deer come through often. Kind of close, but hey it’s 30 acres, the property does not belong to either of us and he has 3 stands that I know of all in the spots a hunter would want to be and are up year round. So I see him walking from the direction of his house with no bow, I don’t know what he’s doing. So I whistle a few times, get his attention and wave, friendly wave. He keeps walking towards me and walks right on by, further into where deer would be coming from, looks up at me and I wave again, nothing. As he’s walking away he says to me: if you’re going to hunt that close to my stand you might as well use mine. It takes me a few seconds to process what’s happening and that he is upset. So as he’s walking away I ask him if he’s got a problem. He says he does. I try to resolve it right then and there but he isn’t interested. He gives me the ‘ive been hunting here 25 years’ line. I ask him if he doesn’t want me hunting on the property at all, he tells me to hunt wherever I want, sarcastically. He also mentioned that he wasn’t happy about my ladder stand that is in my opinion more than far enough away from all of his setups. Long story short we resolved nothing, I was pretty angry, got out of the tree and came home. Now I’m pretty mad at a neighbor that I had no problems with before this, not only did he ruin tonight’s hunt, he tried to bully me out of hunting close to his spots by giving me the 25 year hunting spiel.

I can hunt this property after work so I do, I have just as easy access to this bowl area as he does. Am I wrong in what I’m doing? Does the fact that he has a bunch of stands up all the time mean I shouldn’t hunt near them when it’s on someone else’s property?

If you made it this far thanks for reading. Love to hear some feedback on if I owe him an apology or if he’s the a-hole.
Geez, this is tough, because the most important player is the property owner. As far as I'm concerned, you didn't do anything wrong. I'm hoping this other hunter sleeps on it and things can return to cordial....but, that doesn't always happen.

It's so distracting to enjoy hunting in contentious scenarios when you are a decent fellow and stuff gets unreasonable. Maybe give it some time and try to figure things out outside of the woods with this neighbor where maybe everyone can be a bit more conversational.

I wish you luck. It's sad when your energy is focused on neighbors rather than deer, and I've been there...which is why I'd rather drive hours to big woods than hunt some really big bucks on small properties I have access to.
 
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Patriot38

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Tough to tell who's fault it is. If it were me I'd probably bring a six pack over and apologize and have a conversation about how you both feel about the situation and establish some ground rules. You are very lucky to have a private spot right next to your house. It could be gone like the wind if the owner finds out you aren't getting along. Not to mention it would suck to be on bad terms with a neighbor. Just work it out and establish expectations for the future.
 

Plebe

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Is it possible that neighbor A has been hunting neighbor B's property without permission for 25 years? After all, it appears that 7 years ago neighbor B had no idea that neighbor A was hunting there. Oh, its too much work keeping track of neighbor's letters. Is it worth a question to the landowner if the other neighbor actually has permission? Is there a risk that you'll get shut out? It almost sounds like your confrontational neighbor is trying to do that to you anyway from your description.
From experience...

An issue came to light with a neighboring property owner who believed some stands on his land were mine...but they were another neighbor's who was telling me he had permission to hunt this other neighbor's property...and setup right on the property line to the property I hunt.

It took awhile for this to come to a head...which was unfortunate given how this other neighbor was undercutting us both.
 

boyne bowhunter

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As I think about this it occurs to me that I've experienced similar situations a couple of times on private property . . . my own. I'm an absentee landowner. My sister and I have a couple of pieces of property inherited from our parents a couple of hours away. I can think of three times where I was asked to leave while hunting my own property by neighbors and in one instance by a guy with absolutely no connection to the land. After clarifying I was the actual owner I was given the whole "been hunting here for decades" spiel and "your dad gave me permission", a dad by the way who had been deceased for 30 years at that time. People will do/say whatever they can to maintain their access to "handy/exclusive" hunting property.

In all three instances I brushed off my initial ire and said by all means keep hunting here but understand my presence will take precedence. The bottom line is they live there and I don't. I can't control what they do on my property when I'm not around. For me its better to try to keep happy neighbors than private hunting land.
 

thedutchtouch

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if i were you i'd go have a chat with neighbor B (landowner), just out of courtesy, from the angle of "hey i ran into neighbor A on your property, he was pretty annoyed that i was hunting close to where he hunts. i don't have a problem with him other than that he mesed up my hunt on purpose the other day, it is what it is, nor do i want problems in the future and i'm sure you don't either but just wanted to let you know since it's your land" and see what he says. of course use your own best judgement if you think this could potentially result in you losing permission.
 

Jtaylor

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I'd shrug it off and keep on keepin' on. Go hunt some public for a couple weeks and hit that spot on really good days. It's neither one of your properties and could be shut down at any time. You both should just be happy for the opportunity.
 

slonstdy

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The answer to your question is yes and it's your own fault.
You might as well have placed a billboard in the woods proclaiming "I HUNT HERE" with that ladder stand. You're supposed to be a saddle hunter and if you had acted like one then neighbor dumbazz would never have been the wiser to your lurking about in his "private" spot, lol.

I would speak to the property owner and ask if he is aware of neighbor dumbazz's entitlement to his property and would not bother trying to be the "better" man and approach said dumbazz to clear things up. His actions spoke volumes about his character and to expect a change of tune from him would be foolish. He seemed to be ok with his bullying attempt and childish behavior and confronting him may give him the satisfaction knowing that his actions got to you.

Unless the property owner evicts him there is nothing you can do to prevent future encounters unless you give up hunting that property altogether unfortunately. Use this incident as a wake up call and get out there and find a new honey hole you can call your own.

Hope it all works out for you.
Good luck!
 
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kyler1945

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I avoid confrontation with strange humans at all costs. Especially in remote areas, with less people to judge, and especially when weapons might be involved.

getting shot in the face for confronting a dude over who has the mostest rights to shoot big rats on someone else’s tiny property seems like a crappy way to die.

They’re deer. There’s a lot of them. Find a place that doesn’t have psychopaths fighting you for the right to kill them.
 

dlist777

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No. You're not the a$$hole. The fact that it upsets you that he's mad shows you're not an a$$hole. A$$holes don't care what others think.

I had a similar issue on a lease I shared with a guy. He put ladder stands in all the good spots and I hunted from a saddle. He said he had no problem with me hunting anywhere...I could even hunt from his stand when he wasn't there. Then I noticed as I had more success, he started getting more ornery. The final straw was a time I shot a buck one Wednesday 150 yards from his stand and sent him a pic (we used to exchange pics). It was real nice buck. He got mad at me because he was going to hunt the next day and I messed up his hunt. How would I know he was going to hunt on a Thursday? Furthermore I wasn't even real close to "his stand" and he said it as OK if I actually hunted in it. It really bothered me. I tried to talk to him about it but he was just immature and wanted to be angry.

It was a great property but I didn't renew with him after that. I'd rather shoot less deer or smaller bucks somewhere where I don't have to deal with this aggravation.
 
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kyler1945

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The good doc: “I don’t really do hunting leases. Deer don’t like human intrusion. I can’t control human intrusion. The only way I’ll do a lease is if I’m president and make the rules. Why? I don’t want people hunting the same place as me. I’ll split the lease into different sections, let everyone else pick their sections. I’ll take the least desirable section with one simple rule - no one is allowed to walk scout hunt or otherwise spend any time in it.”

Besides the fact the feller might shoot you in the face, deer don’t like constant human intrusion. You might think the hunting is good, but there’s probably better nearby. And if not, there’s still a feller willing to confront you - you who has high ground and a weapon. If his critical thinking skillset led him to that path, I want to be as far away from him as possible should the roles be reversed.
 
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Weldabeast

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I heard that a couple weeks ago on public land....u messed up my hunt....hello, ur hunting right off the road... What do u expect. I truly do apologize...but I'm thinking in my head u weren't gonna see nothing regardless. Over 9k acres and he's sitting within 200yds of parking and right off the only way in and out of the area....I'm thinking who's really the jerk here. Sped off.. spinning the tires over throwing some dirt...He was older and I was respectful even though I really didn't want to be respectful
 

raisins

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i don't know both sides, but i'm sorry this is happening

i'll make the comment that it stinks that aggressive and unreasonable people that take offense easily and are willing to manipulate, often end up with superficial advantages in life

i've dealt with it many times
 

Maverick1

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From your point of view? From his point of view? Or from the people on this forum? The answers might be different.

Either way, it might be good to talk to him about the situation and overall plans for the season. Outside of the hunting season is likely better. Either before or after. The time to figure things out is not when one guy is up in a tree and another is walking past. Not going to go well.
 
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