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BLM near Bend, OR.....and here come the cops

Discussion in 'Outdoor Shooting Areas' started by dobanion, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. dobanion

    dobanion North Portland, Oregon Member

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    Was shooting on Friday (9/11/09), on BLM land not too far from Bend, Oregon. Into a hillside, with miles of nothing behind that. Houses about 1/2 a mile away, in the opposite direction of fire.

    After 45 minutes, the Descutes Sheriffs Department shows up with 2 cars, one of them a K-9 vehicle. We quickly unload and lay all the weapons down, and they stroll up.

    They asked what we were shooting. "A little of everything" I reply. We had maybe 8 different guns of various calibers from 3 shooters in this session.

    They ask what direction have we been shooting. "Over there" I point to the hill and the emptiness behind it.

    Apparently one of the nearby neighbors called them, and reported hearing bullets buzzing over their house. Which was a lie, they don't like hearing the shots and told that one to get the sheriff's department to harass us. I suspect previously they had reported hearing gunshots from BLM land, and the person on the phone said "so what?" I guess they figured the magical 180 degree 1/2 mile richochets might get more attention.

    The sheriff says "well I don't see you doing anything wrong." He still wants to see ID and takes our names down.

    The other sheriff let's his K-9 out to go take a pee in the bushes.

    They thank us for our cooperation, hand us our ID's back, and head back to their cars. End of shooting session, we pack up and go.

    So I guess that's why you get a suppressor. Even if you are legal it's still a problem if anyone in the area hears you shooting and doesn't like it.

    Didn't stop us from going back to the same place on Sunday. :winkkiss:
     
  2. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Did they ask you to stop and leave? If not, why rollup and leave?
     
  3. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

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    Because they had reports of shots buzzing by the homes. They were obligated to respond. After chatting with the shooters and, I'm inferring a little here, seeing that they were polite and responsible folks, made the determination that the 911 caller was full of manure.
     
  4. Autonomous

    Autonomous Olympia WA Member

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    Glad to hear that everything ended up OK...
    Sounds like you were respectful and cooperative... Usually the best advice in these situations...
    Sucks that you had to be cooperative while doing something 100 percent legal....
    Great to hear you went back to the same place on Sunday... As long as you are shooting into safe backstops (gathering you were from your description) and not leaving a mess it would be a great place to shoot...
    Screw the people making false 911 calls (prolly did not hear bullets zipping overhead).....
    -A
     
  5. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    +1. The sheriff pretty much had to come take a look if someone was reporting gunfire whizzing over the caller's house. But you and they seem to have handled it just right. The people who called the sheriff were the jerks.
     
  6. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Run out China Hat Rd. After 20 years of shooting out there, I've never seen any LEO's out there who weren't just there to shoot the breeze. Incidentally, the USFS LEO is a cool guy to talk to.
     
  7. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    It's always a bit whacky out there when folks move farther and farther into the brush to "get away from it all." The next thing they know, they are troubled by farm smells, or raging fires, or deer in their bushes and flowers, or -- gasp -- the sounds of gunfire. There's not a lot you can do except to find a spot where no one complains. There's an old quarry just south of Madras that everybody in Jefferson County uses for practice or to test-fire their deer guns for the season. Lots of farms and homes surround the land, but I've never heard of peep of complaint in all the times that I've been out there.
     
  8. dobanion

    dobanion North Portland, Oregon Member

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    Where's this quarry S of Madras? Specifics so I can find it please.
     
  9. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    On the Prineville Highway, about due east from the stock yards. Going towards prineville, you have to turn almost all the way around onto a dirt road. I think its a mile or less from the Hwy 97/Prineville Hwy junction...
     
  10. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I actually had the same thing happen right off from the Crooked River Ranch, police came out, I had my AR out and a friend had his .50 cal S&W revolver (aka: hand cannon) and they ask us for our IDs and they ran the serial number on my AR which I thought was a little ridiculous none of the other 6 guuns just the big mean black rifle. They said we were doing things in the right way and we said we would leave and they thanked us. They were pretty cool about it. They said we didn't have to, but we did anyway. They also told us the neighbors called and admitted they always call and jsut don't like people shooting by their house. I've been shooting there for almost 18 years so maybe they should have bought a house somewhere else.
     
  11. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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    A lot of people can't be bothered to actually research where they are moving too. It's the same problem with the Creswell airport. A developer built a division right under the approach path of the airport, and now some of the residents are grumpy because they can hear airplanes all day.
     
  12. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I used to be a member of a rifle club in KS where a brand new housing development opened right behind our range, albeit several hundred yards away. Some jerk that didn't like to hear the shooting called the cops and told them a bullet from our range had hit his house. Police investigated and sure enough, there was a bullet hole in his house. Subsequently the owners of the range shut it down. Come to find out about a year later, this guy was bragging to one of his neighbors about how he got the range shut down by shooting a hole in his own house and claiming it came from the range. :angry:
     
  13. ricklin

    ricklin Astoria, OR New Member

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    I lived in the Bend area for 6 years 88-94 in those days there were more Kalifornians in Bend than Oregonians. I would guess it's worse nowadays. They b**ch about Cali and come to Bend and start building strip malls. Hmm....
     
  14. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Wow, sounds like Bend, but I still absolutely love visiting there, particularly in the Summer. I can't wait until the developers start building and the buyers start buying again, what a lovely new frontier it is out there.

    With that said, and knowing that this is relatively on topic, where are some outdoor shooting spots in Bend? I'll be going there when the snow over the pass disappears in the Spring. (Hwy 20, when is it typically clear?) Where should I visit, if I decide to have a shooting a day?
     
  15. ricklin

    ricklin Astoria, OR New Member

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    Get a good topo map and look for cinder pits. These "pits" are on BLM land, back in the day you could buy a permit to gather cinders for making driveways, etc. also ODOT uses cinders on the roads around Bend in the winter. Makes for good traction, but wipes out the paint on your car. Those cinders fly around due to their light weight. Cinder pits are a good place to shoot, or used to be.
     
  16. davel686

    davel686 Concrete, WA New Member

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    I have been lucky up here north of Seattle, we have a good gravel pit that we used to always shoot at and then last summer the people that like to come up there and ride horses made such a stink about the shooting and the dirt bikes that they closed the gate and put up signs.
    that lasted about 5 months, until the BLM got tired of cleaning up the messes farther up the mountain where ever people could find a logging landing or of a logging road to go shooting.
    they pulled the signs down about 2 months ago and let the word out that it was ok to shoot at the gravel pit that had been used for years.
    as for the horse riding people, they just told them to play nice.
    :D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  17. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dobanion can you describe for me specifically where you were when this happened? Reason being after 33 + years of shooting into almost every hillside and gravel pit in the vicinity of Bend (and then some) I have never experienced anything even close to what you did. HOWEVER if you were at all in the area of the Sundance Subdivision this may make sense because I have heard of complaints from others who have been shooting in the area, and they were not THAT close but to some 1/2 mile is too close for comfort. You mentioned you were off of China Hat Road which leads me to believe you may have been close to the Sundance area.
     
  18. dobanion

    dobanion North Portland, Oregon Member

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  19. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Remember to wash your car by hand, and using two buckets, when you are finished driving to/from Bend on all those mountain passes between Portland and Bend or between Bend and the volcanic monument to the South.

    I made the mistake of going to a fiber brush car wash, something I never do, just because a friend of mine was working at one on my way back.

    Huge mistake, major scratches all over.
     
  20. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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