“Well, bully for you.” Evidently the phrase came from Theodore Roosevelt.
This weekend’s topic of discussion was the neighbor at the end of the valley. Her ranch is at the end of the road, which physically (sort of, as it was mostly washed out during the flooding over the summer) goes beyond her house about a mile, and ends. In the old days (1970s maybe), it went all the way through the valley and met up with Highway 83 on the way to Parker Canyon Lake. However, a different neighbor dynamited the canyon wall so that people wouldn’t be able to drive through, thus sealing off the valley.
It’s hunting season. No one in the valley wants the hunters to shoot any cows, horses, dogs, or people by accident. No one is particularly interested in having a hunter forget to put out his or her fire and have the valley go up in smoke. Yes, the valley is surrounded by forest service land. Land that the Game and Fish department assigns to hunters to go try their luck in shooting antlered white tail deer between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
So occasionally burly trucks drive down the single lane dirt road past the ranch houses in search of access to the forest service land. Most of the forest service land around the valley is leased out to one of the ranchers to run his cows on. Although he too is a hunter, he doesn’t hunt on his leased land – because that’s where his cows are.
The neighbor lady is 86 and her daughter is in her 50s somewhere. They both have houses at the end of the road – but not within visual distance. They have a locked gate at the beginning of their property. The key is hidden in a rock, but generally people just telephone first to say they are coming up. Not a big deal. They like their privacy and they own the land. The road does not go through. There are other ways to access the forest service land.
Thursday, the daughter of the neighbor lady gets a note on her door (which is behind the locked gate – which has a three-strand barbed wire fence attached to it – not hard to skip the gate, but…) that says something like, “Hi. I’m hunting in this area and would like to camp in the valley beyond your house. Here’s my number.” The daughter ignored the note.
Then a hunter shows up at her mother’s house and asks to pass through (even though he’s already on the property). She says “get the hell off my property.” And he says, “Lady, this is a public through road. You can’t keep me out. I’m going to cut the gate if you try.”
The neighbor lady calls the sheriff, who comes out and confirms that it is not a public through road and it does not go through and please call him if the hunter shows up again.
The hunter shows up again while the lady and her daughter are out. One of the neighbors is up doing some care taking on a different house, sees the hunter and says “This is private property, you need to leave.” The hunter reportedly says “I told that lady I’d cut her gate. She can’t keep me out.” The care-taking neighbor lets it go but his wife reports it to the lady (whom she happens to see at the store), and adds that “That hunter’s a nutball.”
So the lady and daughter return home to their ranch to find the fence around the gate cut, and obviously the hunter has gone in and out. But now the lady is scared because the hunter “is crazy” and might hurt her if she calls the sheriff.
So she doesn’t.
And the hunter is walking all over her. Bully.