Rittenhouse and the guy who shot my Red Fox

I live in an incorporated area, but wildlife is still abundant. There’s a guy who walks around the neighborhood with a rifle. We’ve complained to him but he says it’s his God given right to carry a gun.

A few months ago I heard a pop and when I looked outside there was a dead Red Fox in the yard and the guy with the rifle in the street.

“You shot my fox”, I yelled when I got to him.
“It’s not your fox, it’s a pest. They carry rabies”, he responded.
“It is my fox by right of capture”. I don’t know anything about rights of capture, but I read it someplace.
“Bullshit” He said as I dialed 911.
“I need a policeman because this guy just shot my fox”, I said, not vey calmly.
“Was the fox a pet?” she, on the other end of the line, said.
“No it was my fox by right of capture” I responded without thinking.
“Sir I’m not sure I understand, but this is a domestic matter and we will not respond with an officer. I recommend that you remain inside and that you do not approach the individual with the gun” Click

It was actually longer than that but you get the idea.

So; he shot the fox in my yard and nobody cares. Tough shit! But the guy with the gun does present a threat of serious bodily harm. What if he took a shot at a turkey vulture and sent a round through my front window? I’m an old fart with a disabled hangar on the car mirror. Everything is a threat of great bodily injury to me. I mean even the fat lady in the electric cart at Walmart. By the Rittenhouse decision I can off the guy if I have reasonable fear of great bodily injury. I do, so here’s the plan.

My car has that drive itself feature, where it’ll drive itself for a while then bitch about ‘put your hands on the wheel’. I’ve played with that and it will work from a standing start. So, if I get the guy crossing my driveway and push the button the the car will go straight for him hands off. He of course will turn toward the sound of the car. An aggressive move that will be recorded by my little video camera. I’ll get him between the end of the driveway and the mailbox so he is thrown into the drainage ditch and drowns.

By the Rittenhouse precedent I didn’t do anything illegal. I wasn’t driving the car when it hit him. And he drowned, the car didn’t kill him. I showed at least as much concern for human life as Rittenhouse (none). He had a right to carry a gun by God, and I had a right to self defense.

And it was my fox by right of capture.

I wonder if any poaching laws would apply…if you hunt deer, AIUI, you’re supposed to secure the right from the landowner.

Probably off-topic, but were the fox’s dying words “I’m coming, Elizabeth!”?

Reminds me of the joke about the farmer who had a hunted bird land on his property, and the ensuing nutkicking.

So as a NJ guy, I’m surprised that the police consider it OK to discharge a gun onto your property. I would have 3 or more cars on the way in my current or previous town. If someone shot one of the deer or foxes I always had at my old place, he would probably be facing jail time.

BTW: Foxes almost never carry rabies. That was a whole lot of bullshit.

Could you say that there is an active shooter who is taking pot-shots at your property?
I mean, for all you know the fox just happened to accidentally get in the way.


“This fox can save your life!”
“You sound like a matchmaker…”

Are there “distance from a dwelling” laws where you live?
I’d be pretty disturbed if someone shot anything on my property.

There are laws against discharge of firearms in the city limits. I talked to a lawyer and tossed around some ideas, but it came down to, it would cost money and in the end the guy would still have his gun.

I live in the Redneck Riviera.

Why would it cost you anything? This is a criminal, not civil matter.

Dispatcher disagreed. “This is a domestic matter and we will not send an officer.”

The police were not interested so, if I involved a lawyer it would cost money. I did that once and the first thing the opposition did was file a motion to dismiss. In order to continue I had to fund the court battle over the motion to dismiss. The amounts of money are not great, but it cost a thousand for a couple of letters and the initial filing and it might have been another 2500 to get past the motion to dismiss and then you go to court. Not worth it.

I don’t think the dispatcher understood the situation. In most states that would be a criminal act. Call the non-emergency line and speak to an officer. Emphasize the proximity to your house, not your friendly fox.

Is the dispatcher the final word on what the police do? Can you go to the local police station and file a report against the man for breaking the law by discharging a firearm directed at your property? (Even if the issue of whether the fox was your property may be disputed, the land is clearly yours.)

I did and they said I could file a report. I said OK and they slid a piece of paper under the slot in the window. I wrote down what happened and started to hand it back, but somebody behind the window called out to an officer who happened to be in the room. He came over and looked at the paper and asked “You want to file a report?”. He signed and dated it and handed it back. I slid it back under the window and that was that.


OP: It maybe his right to carry, but not his right to shoot on or onto your property; near you, your vehicles, house, structures, nor any animals, domestic or otherwise. He’s dead wrong. If you see him, tell him that’s coming from an open/concealed carry gun nut and Life Member of the NRA.

If he persists, call me. I’ll send a couple of .308 back near him, see how he likes it.

That is very true. All land on both sides of the road is private. So, why does he have a “right” to carry a weapon he cannot legally use?

Because it’s a Right and he doesn’t have to justify carrying the firearm as long as it is lawful for him to do so.

But the issue isn’t the carry; it’s the use. Be careful about picking this fight, and define your battleground beforehand. Piss him off, and you might discover that he may be able to lawfully wander along outside your property line randomly popping off rounds, and there may be little (or nothing) you can do about it, as long as he’s not shooting at or near you, or onto your property, just to be a fucking dick about it (which, from your description, he is). I hate these assholes.

I sympathize. I would be livid if someone shot a gun on my property (or into my property) without permission. I would also be livid about the fox, FWIW. What an asshole.

It’s legal to shoot a gun on somebody else’s property in some circumstances. For example, if he was attacked by a wild animal or a criminal, his need to defend himself would temporarily outweigh the property owner’s rights.

It’s certainly possible this guy will be pissed off that the OP reported him to the police and he may seek some petty revenge. But it’s likely he will try to be clandestine about it. Most jurisdictions have laws about a minimum distance you have to be from a residence in order to shoot a gun. And there are also menacing laws.