Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hunting Near An Active Volcano Is Dangerous

I was out earlier this week checking the progress of the citrus trees. I am excited by the number of fresh, juicy oranges, lemons and grapefruits that will soon be ripe for the pickin’. While taking inventory, a shot rang out. I ducked! Seconds later, more shots. I hit the ground! Holy shit!

Laying on the ground and biting the dust during shotgun fire is a weird experience. All kinds of things run through your mind – like, when is it safe to stand to a crouch and run like hell for cover. After a few minutes, I bravely headed back up to the house. Half way to the security of hiding in my bathroom with the door locked, another shot rang out. And, it was much closer than the previous shots. I hit the ground…again!

If I could just reach my truck, I would honk the horn to let them know there are people in the general vicinity. I began crawling along the ground like Rambo. Man, am I out of shape! Belly-crawling takes a lot of energy, especially when your heart is already pumping 90-to-nothing. Okay, I…can…make…it. Not to mention, this would be an inopportune time to meet up with, yep, a rattlesnake. I had to put that fear behind me and continue crawling.

I finally made it to the truck, but why in this world did I lock the damn thing? I’m out in the middle of nowhere, last check - zero crime. Just a little further and I’d be in the house. (And, speaking of bathrooms…) I finally reached the door, whew, safe and sound. I grabbed the keys and ran back to the truck as if I were Flo Jo and could outrun the spray of speeding pellets. Adrenaline, obviously, gives me a false sense of my true abilities. What a rush!

Looking like some whacked out cartoon character - dirt on my face and clothing, darting from cactus-to-cactus and then fumbling with the keys - just to honk the horn. I decided to play a little tune rather than laying on it, figuring they’d think someone was in trouble and come running to help. So, I played “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. I kind of got into it, I was singing along as I beeped. It was a difficult selection to play on the truck-horn, but effective nonetheless.

I did have enough sense about me to know they weren’t shooting at me, I hoped. But, who wants to be in the line of fire? I walked back into the house and checked the Arizona Game and Fish site and discovered it was deer season. (Reminder to self: Print and post hunting schedules to refrigerator.) The landscaping hides the ranch house from all angles, they probably weren’t aware they were so close to anyone’s home. I’m sure they were aware after my tribute to AC/DC.

As I thought more about the hunters, I decided putting signs up along the property line might be a good thing. I wondered what would capture their attention. You know, so they’d be more careful. I went back to the computer and began designing warnings to hunters. Here’s a few I have placed in clear plastic sleeves and posted along the fence:

If You Want To Keep Your Privates

Hunting Near An Active
Volcano Is Dangerous!

Armed Wildlife
On The Premises

And, my personal favorite…

I Don’t Hunt in Your Front Yard
Don’t You Dare Hunt In Mine!

I can only assume these signs are working, no shots have been fired anywhere near the ranch since their placement. And, if I do here shots again, I already have my next truck-horn song prepared – “Janie’s Got A Gun”. I did hear a truck stop down on the road late this afternoon. It was really quiet and out of the silence came laughter from a couple of guys - the truck then pulled away. I high-fived myself and went about gathering wood for my evening fire. Ahhhh, life here at the ranch is good.


Related Posts:
Meanwhile Back At The Ranch…
Call Me Ellie Mae
Western Daze


  1. Thanks for a great Saturday morning read. One of the real perils of living in the wild of Arizona actually comes from the good guys. Kind of ironic isn't it.

  2. Wow, am glad you are still here! I'd have pooped myself. Great story though and love the signs.

  3. Great story, glad I ran across your blog. I'm jealous that you are able to go out and pick you own fruit.

  4. This is better than the Saturday morning paper. Your creative signs are so-o-o clever. You are one funny lady!

  5. Ya know, I was just visiting Naked in Eden <:O and commenting that I haven't had television since 1992. Who needs it? Reading about your adventures in cowboy boots is far better than anything on the tube!

    Saddle up, rope 'em in!

  6. Wow! And I thought coyotes were bad... ;) Who knew that stepping out your front door would've taken you straight into a Louis L'Amour novel! (...although I think there's usually a little romance in those when the shooting is done.)


    Maybe next time.


  7. Very funny story considering the circumstances. I’ve never had to do an army crawl to save my hide. Definitely seems like you kept your cool. Glad the signs are working---it just wouldn’t be any fun picking fruit otherwise.

  8. Ah, this could explain why I still get trespassers - my signs merely state, "No trespassing." I'll have to be more creative.

  9. such is the power of written word...the desert of Arizona would surely rank high in the wish list of places to visit for many people after reading your piece...

  10. Aloha, Thank you for your slice of life in the Arizona desert. It took me back to my childhood in Yucca Valley!

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for a great read, but then again arent they always? I know I wouldnt have been that calm! And I live in South Africa where the crime is really bad!

  12. Wow!!! I really enjoyed this. Your creativity, humor, sense of adventure and timing are perfect... You are so much fun!!!

    I have added this wonderful blog as a link to my site. Keep up the great stories. You're so cool!


  13. Nice Reading :-)
    Hi from Italy!

    Fahren451heit - MyUSICA

  14. Heh heh. I wouldn't have kept such a cool head throughout all of that. I would've probably just run screaming from the scene and filled my pants behind some shrubbery.

  15. OMG! I live in hunting country, too, and can appreciate your situation. I think you handled it much more calmly than most would have, and your signs are hilarious! I particularly love the private/privates one - is that the one the hunters were laughing at? People in our area have died while hanging their laundry out during hunting season; if your signs are working, you should sell them online!

  16. That was hilarious...I'm glad you're okay.

    btw, thanks for making me spit red-flavored kool-aid all over my screen and keyboard. I too, love the AC/DC.

  17. Stopping over from AVCr8teur's place...what a funny story but I would've messed my pants if that had been me....stray bullets do kill!!! You have a very fun writing style....hope the hunters avoid your property now with the very creative signs you have placed!

  18. Me-Me King, "Another One Bites the Dust" is performed by Queen not AC/DC. Freddie Mercury was the lead singer. I never paid much attention to Queen until I watched a PBS special on them a few months ago. I like their music now. Freddie Mercury died in 1991.

    I have only been to Arizona once, in October of 2000. I visited the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona and Paige. I loved it all. I called it the "thirsty" state because I was always thirsty and putting Carmex on my chapped lips.
    My wife's sister moved to Scottsdale a few years ago, so I will get out to Arizona again eventually.

    I found your blog through Blogcatalog. I read "Hit Me With Your Best Shot!" and submitted my blog for you to review. Thanks again.

  19. Oh man, I'm still laughing...darting from cactus to cactus...buhahaha! I can JUST see you. Playing tunes on your car horn. Oh my again. One time I was at Kit's ranch (or should I say cupla-acres-with-Quonset-hut) and I heard gun fire and I ran out in my leopard skin nightie and yelled at the top of my lungs. They were so startled at the image of me, that they just stopped and stared. And then they skulked off as if I was their mama and I'd just shamed them. It was fun, while it lasted. :-)

  20. You really need some good dogs that can bark at strangers. That how we tell back in the hills of Kentucky that we are getting close to a house.

  21. I love how ideas cross. While you are writing about putting up signs, Ettarose over at Sanity on Edge is declaring that she will ignore all signs. Good thing she is on the coast....


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