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View Full Version : 911 or game warden?



dalpal
Jan. 24, 2010, 04:51 PM
Today I had my dogs out for their daily hike at a 150 acre farm that has been donated to the city for a nature park.

As we were out, Suddenly another girl's pointer came barreling down the path..halti and all, so I knew she had escaped. Was able to get a hold of her, but she took off before I could call the number on her tag.

So I took my three dogs up to the field in hopes of finding her owner so we could search for her together.

As we came out of the woods, I heard what sounded like gunfire in the woods. I thought, NO WAY. My poor golden was about ready to jump out of her skin..and then they started shooting again.

Now A. we are in a city park B. It's Sunday and C. deer season ended on New Years Day.

I see everyone exiting the field with their dogs and my golden was ready to get the hell out of dodge.

When I got to the parking lot, there was one lone Dodge Ram in the parking lot...I'm assuming that was the people hunting. The pointer dog's mom had left...so I am very hopeful that she found her mom. But I was too afraid to go back in the woods to search and make sure. I keep telling myself that I wouldn't have left the park without my dog so surely she found her mom.

There are lots of neighbors in this area....so I debated on whether to dial 911, but I admit that I didn't. Would this be a 911 situation or would you need to call the game warden? I have no doubt that some of the neighbors took care of it.

I guess I was just stunned that someone just blatenly did this on a Sunday in a city owned park.

Buffyblue
Jan. 24, 2010, 05:42 PM
WOW! I think if I were in a park with my dogs and heard gunfire I'd dial 911 ASAP! I hope the dog found its owner and went home safely!

Renae
Jan. 24, 2010, 05:50 PM
Call 911 if human lives are in danger, and in this case it sounds like they were. If no human lives are at risk and no other non-game laws are being violated then I would call the DNR.

dalpal
Jan. 24, 2010, 05:54 PM
I will if it ever happens again. I know I should have done it this time....but I have a real hang up about dialing 911...don't know why. Everyone had exited.

It was definite hunting rifle fire, so I have no doubt that someone had decided to sneak down and poach a deer.

I had been told a long time ago when I started going out there, that sometimes hunters will still try to sneak onto the property and hunt (used to be private property)....but good lord, hunting season is over and even if it wasn't, it's illegal to do so on a Sunday here in NC. So I never thought about encountering hunters today.

wsmoak
Jan. 24, 2010, 05:55 PM
There is usually a police non-emergency line that you can use to let them know that you're concerned about something. Then they can decide whether to come out or not.

cloudyandcallie
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:01 PM
You call 911 and get the police out there. I worked along side city police for over 20 yrs and then alongside sheriffs in the sticks for over 8 yrs.
They actually like to help people and they want to help you. (except those last 15 minutes before their watch ends!)

So call 911. Get to know the cops in the area. Yes in states like mine, DNR game wardens have the same police powers, but they are not right there for you like the cops are.

So next time call 911. The cops can get the game wardens by calling them at home. Heck when we heard shooting in Atlanta parks, we all ran to see who (not animals either) got shot. My dogs and cats knew that sirens were good news and help was on the way.

Alagirl
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:03 PM
Considering that a halti is not a collar you put on around the house, it stands to reason that the owner of the dog was also in the park...thus gunfire is potentially dangerous.

I do believe calling 911 under those circumstance is warranted.

Hope the dog didn't get shot...

dalpal
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:15 PM
Considering that a halti is not a collar you put on around the house, it stands to reason that the owner of the dog was also in the park...thus gunfire is potentially dangerous.

I do believe calling 911 under those circumstance is warranted.

Hope the dog didn't get shot...

Yeah, I know the owner was in the park, we got there at the same time...and have actually had conversations before, so I vaguely know her/knew the dog when I saw her. I just wanted to make sure that Tilly found mom before I left. Hopefully we'll run into each other again this week.

foundationmare
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:21 PM
I would have had no qualms about calling 911: you had ample reason to believe that there was illegal hunting in a public area. Firearms and people walking dogs in the woods are not a good combo. For all you knew, the pointer's owner could have been shot. I understand the reticence to call 911 and risk looking foolish, but this situation warranted it.

dalpal
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:28 PM
I would have had no qualms about calling 911: you had ample reason to believe that there was illegal hunting in a public area. Firearms and people walking dogs in the woods are not a good combo. For all you knew, the pointer's owner could have been shot. I understand the reticence to call 911 and risk looking foolish, but this situation warranted it.


Well, I know she was alive and well, because she had driven out. If I had seen her car there, I certainly would have not left without calling the authorities.

Agreed though, that I should have called and regret not doing so.

Bluey
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:32 PM
When hearing gunfire in a public place, better call.:yes:
It could have been other than hunters.:eek:
The police needs to know, so they will keep a closer watch on the place, for everyone's safety.:yes:

ESG
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:36 PM
I called the county sheriff's non-emergency number a month or so ago, when I heard gunfire in my neighborhood. Silly woman who answered (dispatch?) put me on hold, then disconnected me, then put me back on hold for at least five solid minutes before finally coming back and asking what I wanted. She said deputies would be out to see what the trouble was, and that they would contact me. Never heard/saw anything of them. So, you can bet I won't be calling non-emergency again.

IMO, gunfire = 911 call - period. :yes:

I'm glad you and your dogs got out of there without getting shot. And be pleased that you listened to that little voice that told you to be afraid to go back in the woods; it was right! :yes:

asb_own_me
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:47 PM
There are lots of neighbors in this area....so I debated on whether to dial 911, but I admit that I didn't. Would this be a 911 situation or would you need to call the game warden? I have no doubt that some of the neighbors took care of it.

I wouldn't be so confident of that. Many times, that is the reason cited when people are asked why they didn't act in a situation that required action - that they assumed someone else would.

Definitely call 911 in a situation like that. Did you write down the license plate number? Call the police now. Obviously since we're hours after the fact, 911 isn't appropriate, but please do call the police and share any information you remember. Time, make/model/color of the truck, license plate if you got it, etc.

LoriO
Jan. 25, 2010, 03:05 AM
I called the county sheriff's non-emergency number a month or so ago, when I heard gunfire in my neighborhood. Silly woman who answered (dispatch?) put me on hold, then disconnected me, then put me back on hold for at least five solid minutes before finally coming back and asking what I wanted. She said deputies would be out to see what the trouble was, and that they would contact me. Never heard/saw anything of them. So, you can bet I won't be calling non-emergency again.




ESG, did you ever think that maybe you got put on hold on a ROUTINE call line becuase the dispatcher was busy taking a call on 911??? 911 calls take priority over the routine lines. Also, just becuase you didn't see an officer does not mean they didn't respond and check it out.


To the original OP and others, any type of situation where you suspect gunfire is invoved is definately a 911 situation please call us! IF you aren't sure, call us and if we determine it isn't an emergency most of us will direct you to the correct number to call.

If you are nervous about calling 911, have the routine # for your local PD programmed on your cell phone and use that instead.

Meredith Clark
Jan. 25, 2010, 03:17 AM
I also would have taken down the plate number of the truck you thought may have been the hunters.

Obviously there's a big chance it may not have been the people who were driving in that truck but if it wasn't them then there would be no issue.. if it was then they would have gotten caught!

WaningMoon
Jan. 25, 2010, 08:21 AM
I will if it ever happens again. I know I should have done it this time....but I have a real hang up about dialing 911...don't know why. Everyone had exited.

It was definite hunting rifle fire, so I have no doubt that someone had decided to sneak down and poach a deer.

I had been told a long time ago when I started going out there, that sometimes hunters will still try to sneak onto the property and hunt (used to be private property)....but good lord, hunting season is over and even if it wasn't, it's illegal to do so on a Sunday here in NC. So I never thought about encountering hunters today.

Can't hunt on Sundays? What is that about?

Alagirl
Jan. 25, 2010, 08:22 AM
Can't hunt on Sundays? What is that about?

To make the choice easier whether to go to church or have fun I suppose...it's a Southern thing.

MistyBlue
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:27 AM
Nope, not just a southern thing.
Sunday hunting isn't allowed in Connecticut either.
Well, recently there's been some debate on that subject to allow hunting by special license on Sundays only in areas overpopulated with deer.
But in general, no hunting on Sundays period.
Reason is to give everyone who might be nervous about hunters a day off from dogs, gunshots a weekend day to go hiking or trail riding or 4-wheeling or just enjoying not hearing rifles going off.
And yes, whenever hearing gun shots in a park or off season for hunting, call 911. Even if it is a rifle, doesn't mean the person is hunting. Could be target shooting or screwing around or possibly a nut-job. Which all 3 of those are also highly illegal in a public park. You just call 911 and report shots fired at whatever location. 911 will make the determination whether or not to send game wardens or POs.
Also makes sense to holler out that there are people in the area in case the moron with a rifle isn't quite aware that s/he may be firing towards humans.
And in case it was 3 shots fired, a 911 call that there's a person lost or injured...and has a rifle. 3 shots are an SOS. Means a person is either lost or injured.

WaningMoon
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:52 AM
NOthing Ive ever heard of, we can here. This is kind of interesting about it.http://www.capecodoutdoors.com/sunday.html

Apparently it is the law in a lot of states. Im thinking Christianity comes into it somewhere. Huh.

MistyBlue
Jan. 25, 2010, 10:13 AM
Interesting.
Most likely our no Sunday hunting law started as a pilgrim law. But it was kept as a "no noise and nobody accidentally shooting people, dogs and horses" day.
Which I do agree with keeping no hunting on Sundays. And I'm a huge supporter of hunting and have had my hunting license more seasons than I've been without one.
And I know 95% of hunters in our state are responsible experienced folks who don't fire willy-nilly at anything that moves. But despite that fact...there is also the fact that there are multiple accidental shootings during hunting seasons every year in state. Dogs, livestock, ATVs, people, vehicles, etc.
Last season there were 37 accidental shootings. And it's understandable that the majority of folks would want a day free from worry if they want to hike, camp, picnic or even sit on their decks near the woods and enjoy some peace and quiet. Trail riders can't trailer out to most trails due to there being nowhere to park to offload, all open areas taken up by hunters' vehicles.
So for our area it's understandable to keep Sundays a hunt-free day.

wendy
Jan. 25, 2010, 10:13 AM
IMO, gunfire = 911 call - period.
depends I guess. A lot of people around here like to target-shoot on sundays (no hunting here on sundays either) and you can hear gunfire a long ways off. Calling 911 everytime you hear a rifle go off would drive the cops crazy and waste their time.

ESG
Jan. 25, 2010, 10:51 AM
ESG, did you ever think that maybe you got put on hold on a ROUTINE call line becuase the dispatcher was busy taking a call on 911???

I suppose it's possible, but I wasn't aware that the sheriff's department had its own 911 dispatcher. I doubt that anyone in an emergency would take the time to dial a number with area code, instead of just three digits.


911 calls take priority over the routine lines. Also, just becuase you didn't see an officer does not mean they didn't respond and check it out.

Well, since I was told that I would see an officer (or perhaps more than one), that that's where the assumption came from.



depends I guess. A lot of people around here like to target-shoot on sundays (no hunting here on sundays either) and you can hear gunfire a long ways off. Calling 911 everytime you hear a rifle go off would drive the cops crazy and waste their time.

I live in a subdivision. It's law here that you can't fire a gun within 100 feet of any building. If someone's shooting in my neighborhood, it's illegal. Apples and oranges.

WaningMoon
Jan. 25, 2010, 10:59 AM
depends I guess. A lot of people around here like to target-shoot on sundays (no hunting here on sundays either) and you can hear gunfire a long ways off. Calling 911 everytime you hear a rifle go off would drive the cops crazy and waste their time.

Absolutely! The cops would laugh at you here if you called them because you heard gunshots. You have to be able to follow that with something like, so and so has a gun pointed at so and so and says he IS going to shoot him. Otherwise, they surely would not be coming.

There are gun shots heard here EVERY day. Ppl target shoot all the time. And one hunting season seems to run into another. There is usually something that can be hunted I think. I hate it.

hntrjmprpro45
Jan. 25, 2010, 12:23 PM
If you are concerned call the police but DONT call 911 (this is for emergencies only)- call their non-emergency phone number (which will be in the phonebook if you don't already have it). As a hunter, it really irritates me that people always jump to the conclusion that the sound of gun= someone illegally poaching deer. If you saw a pointer running loose then they were probably training their dog for bird season, and I am assuming they were probably using blanks to accustom the dog to the noise (many hunters spend their off season working with their dogs). Secondly, in many states it is legal to hunt on sundays, though I am not sure about your state. I wouldn't jump to conclusions about the "hunter" but if you are concerned call the non-emergency police number or call your local game warden.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 25, 2010, 12:33 PM
I have my local Sherriffs non-emergency # in my cell phone directory, mostly because we get loose horses, cattle and goats periodically, and it is handy to have in those cases. And they are very responsive out here when I call.

Alagirl
Jan. 25, 2010, 01:17 PM
If you are concerned call the police but DONT call 911 (this is for emergencies only)- call their non-emergency phone number (which will be in the phonebook if you don't already have it). As a hunter, it really irritates me that people always jump to the conclusion that the sound of gun= someone illegally poaching deer. If you saw a pointer running loose then they were probably training their dog for bird season, and I am assuming they were probably using blanks to accustom the dog to the noise (many hunters spend their off season working with their dogs). Secondly, in many states it is legal to hunt on sundays, though I am not sure about your state. I wouldn't jump to conclusions about the "hunter" but if you are concerned call the non-emergency police number or call your local game warden.

You missed the original post:

Public park
No hunting Sunday
Halti on the dog - that is NOT a working dogs attire!

So in that context gun shots are not good. Even target shooting would be dangerous.

hntrjmprpro45
Jan. 25, 2010, 02:55 PM
If the park is 150 acres there is a very good possibility that the person shooting the gun had a permit for whatever reason (maybe they were firing blanks, maybe they had permission to shoot targets, maybe they were doing an animal population control... who knows). Public property does not necessarily mean no hunting/shooting, though city limits would have an effect on the laws (I don't recall the poster actually saying the park was in city limits though she called it a "city park"). It is a very real possibility they it may have been the game warden himself out shooting. I know of several people who work for the state game/fishing department who get special permits to shoot animals (and they aren't required to follow the normal rules- hunting out of season, hunting with spot lights at night, etc). They occasionally require this for population control and also herd management (they take in the bodies for examination to determine if any diseases are present in local populations). The dog could have been random, the dog could have been with the shooter, who knows. So it seems extremely silly if the OP called 911 without seeing who was shooting. If it were a bunch of teenagers with pistols, then yes call the police. If it was an adult with a rifle I wouldn't think too much about it though I would call the game department. It just seems like too many people are jumping to the conclusion that gun shots=hunter out poaching or hunter up to no good.

Alagirl
Jan. 25, 2010, 03:04 PM
If the park is 150 acres there is a very good possibility that the person shooting the gun had a permit for whatever reason (maybe they were firing blanks, maybe they had permission to shoot targets, maybe they were doing an animal population control... who knows). Public property does not necessarily mean no hunting/shooting, though city limits would have an effect on the laws (I don't recall the poster actually saying the park was in city limits though she called it a "city park"). It is a very real possibility they it may have been the game warden himself out shooting. I know of several people who work for the state game/fishing department who get special permits to shoot animals (and they aren't required to follow the normal rules- hunting out of season, hunting with spot lights at night, etc). They occasionally require this for population control and also herd management (they take in the bodies for examination to determine if any diseases are present in local populations). The dog could have been random, the dog could have been with the shooter, who knows. So it seems extremely silly if the OP called 911 without seeing who was shooting. If it were a bunch of teenagers with pistols, then yes call the police. If it was an adult with a rifle I wouldn't think too much about it though I would call the game department. It just seems like too many people are jumping to the conclusion that gun shots=hunter out poaching or hunter up to no good.


You are making assumptions that are quiet unsafe.

A gun always has to be considered loaded and unsecure until checked to proof otherwise.

I am not 100% sure, but I believe I have been told by an experienced armsman that blanks have a very distinct sound, and no, they are not 100% safe either.

The individual may or may not have had a reason to fire the gun but given the circumstance it has to be assumed that they were not legal.

And if they were, the dispatcher could have made that decision.

In almost all cases if it looks wrong, it is.

hntrjmprpro45
Jan. 25, 2010, 03:24 PM
You are making assumptions that are quiet unsafe.

A gun always has to be considered loaded and unsecure until checked to proof otherwise.

I am not 100% sure, but I believe I have been told by an experienced armsman that blanks have a very distinct sound, and no, they are not 100% safe either.

The individual may or may not have had a reason to fire the gun but given the circumstance it has to be assumed that they were not legal.

And if they were, the dispatcher could have made that decision.

In almost all cases if it looks wrong, it is.

Yes guns should always be handled as if they were loaded but that is completely irrelevant in this discussion.

Yes blanks sound different but I imagine the OP would not have been able to tell the difference as they sound inexperienced in the hunting/shooting department.

Like I said if the OP felt concerned about then they should call game warden or non-emergency police. I am just saying that it probably wasn't a crazy hunter (as so many people like to assume).

atr
Jan. 25, 2010, 04:44 PM
Around here, if you suspect poaching, the rule as stated to my by the cops is stay away, call 911 and they will call fish and game, and the whole damned lot of them will arrive loaded for bear.

Marshfield
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:05 PM
Is it possible the shooting you heard was actually dog training? Near my in-laws there is a state park with designated dog training grounds.

Minerva Louise
Jan. 26, 2010, 01:33 PM
I had read this thread and thought 911. Then I saw this article in the local news section.

911. Definitely. Hunting is not the only reason someone would be shooting a gun in a park.

The headline is, "Man shot in face at park"

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2010/jan/26/man-shot-face-park/

EqTrainer
Jan. 26, 2010, 01:39 PM
The police in my area have told me to never hesitate to call 911. I am sure yours feel the same way. I do also have the game wardens number and if I suspect poaching call him, too. Glad you were all ok!

halla
Jan. 26, 2010, 03:06 PM
As a kid I had it drilled into me, I guess at school, that 911 was only ever for emergencies. Then I moved into Philadelphia, where they tell you to call 911 for everything, so my instinct now would be to do that. If they are going to tell me to call 911 because my car window was broken and wallet stolen a half hour ago in an entirely different location, I would certainly call if I heard shooting. While Philly obviously takes it to a bit of an extreme, it did make me realize it doesn't really take up that much of their time to transfer you elsewhere, and they will know the right person to send you to.

Is this the same park you thought was sketchy enough you were considering carrying a gun? I do admit I'd be more likely to call 911 over the game warden in certain places (and vs versa).

cloudyandcallie
Jan. 26, 2010, 03:19 PM
I worked along side cops for over 29 years in both the city (over 20yrs) and country (over 8 yrs) and they laugh at a lot of things, but not at calls to 911.

They are there for you. And you should get to know the cops on your beat (at least 3 cops because of the watch shifts) and at places where you walk your dogs and ride your horses.
Then when you do need a cop, you will get help right away.

"My" cops in Atlanta tried to foster good relationships with children so they would not be afraid of cops, and would call them.

If they are busy with a murder or an armed robbery or rape, your call of gunfire will wait behind the other call. But if they are sitting at Dunking Donuts or KrispyKreme (Atlanta rule, no more than 2 uniform cars out front, the rest must be behind the building:lol:) then you'll get immediate help. It's criminal triage.

You elect the sheriffs and you pay the salaries of cops and deputies. You need to use their services. And thank them when they help you.