A Sign from Ross


When Ross shows up, he often arrives with a little gift for me. (Such a nice boy!) Last weekend, he brought me this sign:

It feels a little unfriendly! But it’s the type of sign that suits Ross’s sense of humor, so I view it fondly on those terms. Ross will be arriving this Sunday and has TEN days here for Thanksgiving! He’s so excited about hunting, I’m not sure he’s thinking about anything else right now. He mail ordered ammunition that is being shipped here this week, and yesterday he emailed me to remind me to take the animals out of the pastures. Aww. How sweet! He’s worried about accidentally shooting one of my cows! Maybe he will like to help me lift Glory Bee’s tail so we can get a better look at her bee-hind?

Or not….

I wrote him back that I would be taking the animals out of the fields for the two-week duration of the hot, wild primary gun season but not because of him! HE knows they’re there! What I’m always worried about is the poacher straying across my property lines who doesn’t know my animals are there. My animals will be confined to the front and back barn yards and the barn until it’s over. I’ve never lived any place where deer hunting is so insane as West Virginia. This is a very enthusiastic hunting state, and the start of gun season on deer is the craziest. I moved in here last year on the first day of gun season, and that was my first week here. I learned then to expect poachers. From my front porch, I watched men run down the hill across from the house on four-wheelers dragging deer off my land and loading onto their pickups. It’s not Ross I’m worried about at all…. (I would rather that sign said POACHERS would be shot.)

On the upside, I have an empty chest freezer, and mayhap it will be filled with venison soon!


  1. WvSky says:

    It would be a good idea to go around the perimeter of your property and post “No Hunting” signs. In a court of law, they can really help your case. To soften the issue, add “Farm Animals Nearby” to the signs. This should only take a day or two. Of course, a 4 wheeler would help. 🙂

  2. brookdale says:

    AND, be sure to wear something blaze orange colored so the hunters can see you when you’re up there! I’m wearing my “hunter orange” scarf and mittens when I just walk out to the end of my driveway to get the newspaper in the morning. I often hear shots off in the woods. Deer tracks in my driveway. But no venison in my freezer unfortunately!

  3. Joell says:

    Love the sign, but hate deer season, our property backs up to a huge woods, we have hunters come up into to our yard!! I dont really want to agure with a man carring a loaded rifle, but you would think they would have enough sense to know where they are hunting. I may duplicate that sign and post it.
    As the two previuos readers said, you really should post signs, and wear something bright orange and be careful!!

  4. ramseybergstrom says:

    I agree with everyone above, post the property, get out the blaze orange. I am in Virginia and have a son that hunts. Good hunters stick to where they have permission. Some guys that have been allowed to hunt a property for several seasons (maybe your prior owner allowed it) start to feel like they have implied permission. They’ll figure it out when you post and if Ross gives them the heads up when he sees them on the place. Might take a couple of seasons, but it can get better. I have friends that put blaze orange blankets on their horses, I’ve never gone that far! Mmm venison, I make a good marinade if you need a recipe! 🙂

  5. ramseybergstrom says:

    Well, Ross sounds like a capable, and probably very convincing young man..he can let them know it’s not cool with him or his mama…and Lord help them if they cause trouble for her and her animals!

  6. Remudamom says:

    We have actually caught people camping out on our ranch because “It looks like a good place to hunt”. Yeah, good place to raise cattle too. I wonder how they’d feel if we camped out in their front yard and used their trees as………..toilets?

  7. Anita says:

    I’d favor printing the word POACHERS on a piece of paper and taping it over “trespassers” just for the season. The post the sign on the front porch close to the trail off that hill across the road. Of course, posting “NO HUNTING” everywhere is a great idea, too. Good luck!

  8. Leck Kill Farm says:

    I live in PA, another hardcore hunting state.

    Yes, you definately want to keep all the animals in the barnyard. I also worry about the dogs, keep them close too.

    We are friends with a state forrest ranger and a couple of game commissioners. They all say the group that causes the most problems aren’t the young ones, it is the older hunters that can’t get around the woods anymore, that they are the ones most likely to try to shot something in your yard or fields.

    You should put up signs, either Posted/No Hunting and/or No Trespassing. It isn’t as simple as the prior owners not giving anyone permission. As crazy as it sounds, a hunter might not need your permission to hunt on your land. In PA, property owners need to clearly (like every some many yards) mark our property lines to make trespassing a crime.

  9. jeandf says:

    last year we were visiting Wisconsin on the first day of deer season. I kid you not — the newscaster lady had on her cammo and bright orange. Then on our way back home, you could see little dots of orange all over the place a few hundred feet from the main roads.

    Hope you stay poacher-free and that your animals remain safe.

  10. bonita says:

    How great that Ross is home for the holiday. . . bet he’ll make take some time away from hunting to enjoy a great home-cooked meal. Will there be three offspring +1 at dinner?
    As for hunting, posting is helpful if there’s any legal problem down the road.

  11. Leck Kill Farm says:

    Concerning the dogs, I didn’t finish my thought – each year our newspaper is full of awful stories of “mistake” identities when it comes to livestock and pets getting accidentially shot. You would think people could tell the difference but some don’t care, some can’t see very well, some shoot before it is fully daylight and so on. I know people that have orange blankets for their horses that they keep within the barnyard fence.

  12. bonita says:

    the vegan girlfriend

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Oh–re the vegan girlfriend, I don’t know. She is at WVU with Weston this year. She and Weston are together ALL the time now, so I imagine her family would like to have her with them at their home next week–while we want Weston here! So they may have to endure a week of separation.

  13. yvonnem says:

    You definitely need to post your property, Shortcake will come in handy for that, you don’t need a four wheeler! Of course, you want to get it done ASAP. I know deer gun season doesn’t officially start until Monday, but I’d be wearing some blaze orange anyway!

  14. wannabeafarmgirl says:

    Hope you all stay safe this hunting season! Love reading about your life since I can’t live like that myself…lol!

  15. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I have a blaze orange vest for my dog, but I still worry.

  16. proud mountaineer says:

    Atta boy Ross, You WV boys know how to take care of your mammas.

  17. Katharina says:

    Hunting is huge in WI too. Having Ross hunt your property will only help in keeping others off. I LOVE THE SIGN. It is the sort of sign I would put up here. Maybe it seems unfriendly to people who don’t belong on your property, but that’s the point! Your friends and those people who are invited should have a good laugh. Enjoy!

  18. joykenn says:

    I worry about your white dogs. The crazy (drunk)hunters in the upper midwest will shoot at anything when they see a flash of white and think it is a whitetail deer. There have been incidents over the years of accidental shooting when they see a flash of white and bang away. Sigh!

  19. KarenAnne says:

    Around here perimeters are posted every six feet or so. A couple of years ago, someone shot his own grandson fatally. And people wonder why hunters have a bad name.

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