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WishIWasHunting's picture
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Pawnee National Grasslands and IDIOTS!

So, stupid people annoy the crap out of me!  Out on the Pawneed National Grasslands, there seems to be a higher percentage of stupid people with guns that make the rest of us gun owners look bad.  In the last couple months within a two-mile radius of a common target shooting area, there have been three grass fires started by stupid people.  At least two of the fires were started by people shooting tracer rounds when the grass was incredibly dry.  Besides starting fires, some of these idiots are destroying private property by shooting up fences posts and fence wires.  Also, apparently these same intelligent individuals also ignore basic gun safety, and place their targets on hill tops instead of using a nice backstop.  On top of starting fires, destroying private property, and endangering the public, these same types of individuals also have no regard for common decency and leave all sorts of trash behind when they are done shooting.  You can always tell where they were shooting by the tons of cases left behind, and the shot up appliances, computers, and other types of trash.  

I am sure this type of behavior is not limited to the Pawnee National Grasslands, but it is where I have seen the worst of it.  The most frustrating part about it is there is not a good way to stop these idiots.  More rules and laws would do nothing to stop this kind of behavior since you can't fix stupid.  All more rules and laws would do is stop law-abiding citizens from enjoying public property like we should all be able to do.  Sorry about the rant, but I don't know what else to do.

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Denver Post Article

So, the Denver Post recently did a short article on this very issue.  

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I am going to start out by

I am going to start out by saying that I don't condone any dumping on any land.  Public, private, or where ever. 

Now after saying that the government is in a way forcing us to be law breakers one way or another.  These days the regulations of getting rid of house hold waist, old appliances such as refrigerators, paints, and chemicals is way too high for the common person.  Lets say that you have a old beer refrigerator that you didn't give back when you got your new one.  Then something goes out in it that is way too expensive to fix.  You have to have a certified person remove the freon from it and get it tagged that it was removed before you can take it to the dump.  So you pay to have the freon removed and you have to pay at the dump.  Now the dump fees are not that bad but to have someone remove the freon is going to cost you.  I ran into the same kind of problem years ago.  My dad had stored quite a few 5 gallon buckets of a oil based paint, and after he passed away it was up to me to get rid of it.  Now the "recyclers" wanted to charge me $50.00 per bucket to get rid of it for me and I had 20 buckets of the stuff.  I managed to find a painter that told me that he would get rid of it for me but I was still gagging from the $1000.00 that I would of had to spend to get rid of it myself.  The funny thing was that I was told by some people to just go out and dump it on the ground and throw some dirt on it. 

But as for leaving trash where you are shooting at in inexcusable, but so is leaving empty beer and pop cans all over the road out to where you plan to do your shooting. I have a nephew that makes a pretty good living during the summer by picking these up and taking them to the recyclers.  As for the tracer rounds starting fires that is up in the air weather they do do don't.  A couple of years ago they blamed tracer ammo in Utah of starting some fires so the local sheriff decided to check it out.  After firing quite a few he finally decided that it was unlikely that they started the fires and the perhaps it was someone throwing out a cigarette butt or something else.  But tracers have been known to start fires and one at Camp Williams in Utah last year is a prime example but they fired thousands of rounds to do it. 

Now after being on my soap box for a while I will admit that usually every summer where I go shooting I will bring home at least of truck load of shot up wood, furniture, and other trash that others have left in the area.  I just wish that at some time I could catch someone out there dumping this stuff just so that I can turn them in. 

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Critter, it can be a

Critter, it can be a challenge to get rid of old appliances and paint or oil.  The city I live in has several opportunities each year (mostly in the summer months) for residents to get rid of these very kinds of items in a safe and FREE manner.  Don't know about other cities in the area, but this has been a very popular way for the city to keep itself clean and avoid having "junk" piled up in the backyards of homes and such.  And I would agree, charging ridiculous prices to dispose of hazardous trash simply forces some people to dump it somewhere, making it a public problem instead  of a personal problem.  It would make much more sense to me to include the extra cost of disposal in the purchase of the item and simplify the how one can throw it away with reasonable cost and effort.  This is already done for tires.

We also pick up bunches of trash when we go shooting on public lands.  Unfortunately, I can't say I've ever seen anyone else do the same.  I would not hesitate to write down a license plate and report someone dumping trash if I saw them.  Unfortunately, I've never witnessed anyone dumping trash either.  Keep up the good deeds, it will benefit all of us with continued access to our favorite shooting areas on public lands.

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Tracer bullets?? It's

Tracer bullets?? It's hunting. Not war.

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Tracers

All I can say is that you cannot have freedom without responsibility.  Owning and handling firearms and ammunition is a great responsibility.  Too many people go shoot up old appliances and leave them abondoned or they fire tracer rounds in dry grassy areas.  I'd be very pissed if I came home and found bullet holes in my property.  Even worse, with all the pine beatle kill in the high country this entire state is becoming a tinderbox ready to go up ablaze any time.  All the more reason to be careful when shooting out west.  This is the exact reason residence are petitioning the forest service to stop allowing target shooting in open areas near the front range. 

Tracers in dry grassy areas?  Com'on people. Everybody wants to pretend to be some type of special forces operator. Want to play soldier as an adult?  Stop pretending and quit damaging private property on you own home ground.  Go be the genuine article by signing up at the local recruiting office. lol

Why wait for the media to get wind of this stuff.  They'll just report it in a way that makes all target shooters look bad.  Maybe the Colorado chapter of the NRA or Colorado State Shooting Associatin needs to start offering a big monetary reward for information leading to the arrest of people who start grass fires while using tracer rounds, or anyone who damages private property while target shooting in national forests or grasslands.  At least it would show and prove that serious responsible gun owners and shooters don't condone this type of irresponsible behavior.

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Thumbs up Applause Yes

WishIWasHunting's picture
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So, I do agree that some of

So, I do agree that some of the government disposal rules are irratating, but that is an entirely separate discussion.  I don't buy the idea that these type of people can afford to drive a likely 60-mile round trip out there to shoot of hundreds of rounds, but they can't afford to pay a disposal fee.  It is as simple as a lack of responsibility and decency to leave behind trash for others to clean up.  

From talking to a Federal Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, we found out that one of the fires was definitely started by tracer rounds.  The individuals who started that fire were decent enough to call in the fire, and stick around to try to help put it out.  I give those people credit for owning up to their mistake.  

One of the other fires looked like it was also started by tracers.  That fire appeared to start near where several targets were still sitting on top of a hill.  I guess someone could have dropped a cigarette butt when they walked out to check their targets, but it seems less likely to me.  

I have not witnessed people actually doing any of the above mentioned activities.  I have simply witnessed the results.  I like to think that when I do finally see these things happening, I will actually try to talk to them, or call law enforcement if necessary.  

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use of tracers

I'd just call the local law if you were to witness tracer fire on the public land of those national grasslands.  Especially if it's dry.  Believe me, the type of people inconsiderate enough to fire tracer rounds in a dry grassy area probably aren't the type of people who'd take to kindly to having someone bring their error to their attention.  Just the idea of being around people like that in an isolated area when they are armed would bother me.  Better to let the law handle it, that's what we pay them for.  But if you wanted to leave your input, then you could likely acompany the officers to the site where those bozos are shooting and just let them know what you think from one shooter to another. 

On another note I actually know a couple guys who shoot regularly at Pawnee during the summer.  One of the biggest complaints I here from them are about off-roaders in 4x4s driving through areas they should not be driving and going nearly right into the paths of live fire. In every instance my friends have ceased fire well before a vehicle drove into the line of fire.  Has bothered them enough to want to find somewhere else to shoot anymore.

WishIWasHunting's picture
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Good point on the using law

Good point on the using law enforcement for dealing with certain types of people.  

I have not seen people driving where they are not supposed to, but it fits.  It is frustrating when a couple people manage to ruin things for everybody else!

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I heard a rumor from a

I heard a rumor from a credited source that they may close all recrestional shooting on the grassland lands.  Hunting would still be allowed but no target shooting.  Hope it was just someone stirring the pot but the source was a good one!!

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