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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/13/2005 2:51:22 AM EDT
I would like to hear what you do, any situations you incountered...
How do you deal with trespassers?


With the Vang trial beginning, here is a view of last week...

Survivor recounts shootings in woods

Testimony begins in trial of man accused of killing 6 hunters

By TOM HELD

Posted: Sept. 12, 2005

Hayward - One of two men who survived a flurry of gunshots in a deer-hunting confrontation last November told a jury today he thought "this was it" as he lay wounded and paralyzed in the woods.

Terry Willers, one of three eye-witnesses to the shootings, recounted his initial contact with Chai Soua Vang and the exchange that immediately preceded a series of fatal gunshots. Six members of Willers' hunting party, including his daughter, Jessica, were killed in the confrontation.

The construction worker from Rice Lake took the witness stand as Vang's homicide trial began its second day in Sawyer County Circuit Court. Willers spent an hour on the stand, ending before a lunch break with a grim description of diving for cover, then being shot through the left side of his neck.

"I took off running as hard as I could to the right, and dove for the ground," Willers said.

Positioned slightly behind a tree, Willers could hear slugs whistle past and tick the nearby brush.

He gathered his gun and thought about rolling into a position to fire, but he said he never had the chance.

"I felt the burn and felt a ripple through my body," Willers said. "I went to think about moving and couldn't move.

"The only thing I could think of in that second was I couldn't help anybody, so I shouted out that I had been hit."

Willers said he heard additional shots. Those likely are the shots that fatally wounded Mark Roidt and Dennis Drew, two other members of the hunting party.

Vang is accused of killing: Jessica Willers, a 27-year-old nurse; Robert Crotteau, 42, and son Joey, 20, both of whom worked in the family's concrete business; Allan Laski, 43, the manager of a local building supply store; Roidt, 28, a Waterford native who moved to the area in 1997; and Drew, 55 and a car salesman, who died the following day of his wounds.

Vang also is accused of trying to kill Terry Willers, 47, who was the first to confront Vang, and Lauren Hesebeck, 48.

In his testimony, Willers set the stage for the fatal encounter.

After walking through the woods in an attempt to move some deer, Willers spotted Vang in a tree stand that had been built for Carter Crotteau, the son of Bob Crotteau, one of the owners of the 80-acre property and one of the six hunters killed by Vang.

Willers directed Vang to leave the property, then he radioed back to the group's hunting cabin to relay what he had done. Bob Crotteau responded that he wanted to talk to the trespasser. Willers reported the direction that Vang was walking, east and south from the tree stand.

As he followed, Willers heard ATVs moving down a separate trail and then saw the group of his friends gathered near Vang.

Bob Crotteau was demanding identification and then flipped over Vang's back tag so that his deer hunting license would be visible. Willers wrote the number in the dirt on one of the ATVs and Crotteau shouted that they would turn Vang into the sheriff's authorities.

Willers said Vang then walked away, but stopped and dropped what appeared to be a camouflage bag. He then turned and moved his rifle from his shoulder to the front of his body.

"As he took his gun off his shoulder, I took mine and brought it around in front of me," Willers testified. "I shouted, 'Don't you shoot at me you son-of-a-bitch."

Willers testified that he was the only member of the group armed at the time.

Vang has contended in statements to authorities that he began firing at the group in self-defense, after they shouted obscenities and racial slurs at him and Willers fired a shot. In Willers' version, the harshest phrase used by Bob Crotteau was "God Damn.''

Willers admitted that at one point he told Crotteau via radio that he had chased off the "tree rat." That term, he explained, referred to anyone who trespassed on another hunter's stand.

Willers was to continue his testimony this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice the comment about "flipping over" Vang'sback tag to read it.

Law is fussy about that. The Deer hunters back tag MUST be displayed in the middle of the back, readible at all times, and not be obscured or blocked in any way.

(That's so the warden can sit in his Bronco and write your ticket by reading your tag through his/her binoculars. Radio you in , like traffic stops, and know who you are supposed to be before approaching you.)

It's a big No-No to hide or flip your back tag and everyone knows it. Pretty good fine if they want to be pissy about it, and usually they do.

The "tree rat" comment is of a reference to squirrels, and is non-complimentary when referring to Hmong. Small stature and a love of tree stands and blinds has earned them that label. When Willers told Crotteau he had a tree rat on his property, he was also telling him he had a Hmong Trespasser.

It is slightly odd, that knowing that, Crotteau came unarmed, because the Hmong of that type are very agressive if you're unarmed and will definitely threaten and try to intimidate you.

Crotteau probably figured that with so many people around, Vang would not be a threat. Only thing I can think of.

More as it develops.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:40:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 8:57:08 AM EDT by eye_spy]
That incident was a classic case of SHTF! An altercation gone terribly wrong! I cannot even begin to comprehend what motivated Vang to do what he did. No person in his right mind could possibly believe that he can claim self defense after killing all those people - majority of whom were unarmed.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:41:57 AM EDT
Fry his murdering ass!
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:44:14 AM EDT
When I am hunting I ALWAYS carry a backup handgun with an extra mag. I also carry 20-30 rifle rounds (unless I have the T/C).
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:47:52 AM EDT
Well last nite when I saw some trespassers coming out of a old vacant farm property about a mile from my house, I called the cops.

So i guerss that's how I would handle that.

If it were my property, I beleive I'd go for a more "expeditious" solution....

Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:57:33 AM EDT
My uncle used to be the caretaker at a large quail plantation down here.

In the weeks before deer season, we would frequently catch poachers, and be shot at by others. Our usual response was to call DNR and the Sheriffs Department. It was always fun to see the look on a guys face when he strolled out of the woods and found a game warden leaning against his truck.

Several times however, my uncle, cousins, and myself did trade shots with them.

The final solution to all of this was to go armed at all times, ride around the property in trucks, and fire random shots to scare the deer away. Tannerite was frequently used, and for the last year we were there, we never saw a deer or a poacher.

I doubt anyone that actually hunts deer on their land would want to try this method, but it is effective from a game keeping standpoint.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:24:57 AM EDT
Bring your own gun! I was shocked to find out that only 1 person out of the crowd was armed. They're trying to eject a squatter from a hunting area and they didn't bring guns?!?!?!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:35:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
When I am hunting I ALWAYS carry a backup handgun with an extra mag. I also carry 20-30 rifle rounds (unless I have the T/C).



+1. I always carry plenty of ammo. 10 rounds for the rifles. IF carrying the 12 ga, I have 10-20 OO buck. If I carry the .357, I usually have 18 rounds on hand. If I carry the 9mm I have 2 high cap mags. Since my 9MM is DA, I carry in condition 1: chambered round, ready to rock. I carry in a hip holster with velcro straps holding the weapon in place. One flick of the thumb and I'm good to go.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:41:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Bring your own gun! I was shocked to find out that only 1 person out of the crowd was armed. They're trying to eject a squatter from a hunting area and they didn't bring guns?!?!?!



+1

Don't bring a bolt-action deer gun to a SHTF shootout!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:56:36 AM EDT
This was the incident that finally got my dad to shut up about my commandeering his .357 Magnum and wearing it every time we go up to our ranch.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:57:59 AM EDT
I think a better thing to rember is always prepare for the worst to happen, and hope it will not.

None of the hunters expected any deadly resistance or confrontation,so when shots were fired, they were SOL.


As far as a side arm, I have always carried a .22 mag revolver, only handgun I currently own, and some 00 buck shot in a stock shell holder.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:59:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 7:01:32 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Bring your own gun! I was shocked to find out that only 1 person out of the crowd was armed. They're trying to eject a squatter from a hunting area and they didn't bring guns?!?!?!



I will say it again:

Those people did not expect to end up in a shootout over this.

Normal people don't resort to wholesale slaughter over something so utterly stupid.

Believe it or not, the thought of killing someone hasn't crossed the minds of most folks in this country.

As for me, I would warn the trespasser and then call the police. If I had a wierd feeling about the trespasser, I would just call the police right away with no warning.

Whenever I go into the woods I always have at least a handgun on because we have bears around here. I am always armed and always prepared to use my weapon. Very few of the people I go to the woods with are similarly inclined.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:11:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Bring your own gun! I was shocked to find out that only 1 person out of the crowd was armed. They're trying to eject a squatter from a hunting area and they didn't bring guns?!?!?!



I will say it again:

Those people did not expect to end up in a shootout over this.

Normal people don't resort to wholesale slaughter over something so utterly stupid.

Believe it or not, the thought of killing someone hasn't crossed the minds of most folks in this country.

As for me, I would warn the trespasser and then call the police. If I had a wierd feeling about the trespasser, I would just call the police right away with no warning.

Whenever I go into the woods I always have at least a handgun on because we have bears around here. I am always armed and always prepared to use my weapon. Very few of the people I go to the woods with are similarly inclined.



+1

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:22:53 AM EDT
I can understand how a property owner's temper can flare when he is confronting the 40th trespasser of the week. And if he has his property well posted then he has more justification that the trespasser didn't give a rat's a$$ about being on someone else's land.

Now I've been hunting and have wandered onto someone's land. Without posting and fences it can be hard to tell sometimes. Especially since I'm not from around there and I have to go a long way to go hunting. But still the land owner felt justified in being a complete asshole about it from the get go.

Hey just let me know and I'll apologize and move. Even if he's a dick about it. I figure that the guy is probably a decent guy most of the time and is just tired of dealing with dickhead hunters.

Courtesy should always be tried first. If you start off angry and threatening, then you've got nowhere else to go but into a serious confrontation. And when there are guns around, that can go real bad real fast.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:24:16 AM EDT
Tell them to leave. Tecnically, if the property isn't posted, you have to verbally tell them to leave and have them refuse. Only at that point are they trespassing in my state.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:35:27 AM EDT
1. Arm yourself.

2. Say: "You are on my property. It is posted No Trespassing. Please leave."

3. Most of the time they will have a sheepish look and claim not to have seen the signs.

4. Repeat: "Please leave."

5. If they get hostile leave. Call local law enforcement. It helps a lot if you have the tags from their vehicles. They will at least get a "warning" call from the authorities. This will suffice for 90+% of the asshats and they will never return. If you have to deal with a trespasser outside of hunting season then you should definately walk your land and make sure you don't have either a pot farm growing on it or something even worse.

Keep your words to an absolute minimum and remember what you say. Keep a log of all encounters- times and dates.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:36:14 AM EDT
We've only confronted one trespasser on our land so far as I know, and he was someone who recently moved into the area and was stalking a wounded deer. He at first tried to claim that the deer my dad had just shot with a rifle was the one he had been stalking (with a compound bow), but my dad remained civil about it and told him where the property line was. The guy thanked him, wandered back onto his own land, and eventually found his deer where it had collapsed just before crossing onto our property.

We're now on friendly terms with the guy.

We've also tried to catch the wetbacks that keep coming onto our land, with no luck. Some hispanic family bought a tiny piece of land down the road from us and a bunch of their friends (mostly illegals, but some do belong) feel they're entitled to wander onto every piece of property within walking distance and do what they like there.

We've had to install locks on all the deer blinds to keep from finding a pile of beer cans and cigarette butts in them every time we come up. We also keep finding beer cans, cigarette butts, and brass in calibers none of us own all over both halves of our property. They stole a deer hide I was trying to tan and burned down a neighbor's cabin about ten years ago.

About the only thing that's cut back on their trespassing and poaching everywhere is all the property owners coming up to their land at random intervals instead of regular visits and shooting a lot. They tend to avoid land owned by people who do a lot of shooting whenever they come up.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:37:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 7:42:47 AM EDT by LWilde]
Last year two 18 - 20 somethings simply ignored Miz LWilde when she asked them to stop using our land as a thoroughfare. She got spooked when she saw them come out of the woods from the direction of a new development about a quarter of a mile away, walk along the pond and simply stroll through our yard out to the street. Late that afternoon, when I got home from work, I noticed two men walking in the opposite direction and my missus told me they were the same ones she'd seen earlier in the day.

When I confronted them and told them to leave and not return, they said they'd walk where they pleased and taunted me by saying, "So what are you going to do us Old Man...kick our ass?"

I declined that offer, since at 59, either of them would have made quick work of me...but I did opt for one of man's modern inventions...the phone.

A quick call to the sheriff's office had a deputy there in less than three minutes. Seems he had been in the area responding to a call of lots of vandalism at the construction site on the other side of the pond and woods. The dispatcher had patched me right into the officer who happened to be just around the corner at the time. He roared up into our driveway, took a brief discription from me (I had been taking close mental notes on them during our short confrontation.) and took off after them.

They have not returned.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:41:46 AM EDT

How do you handle trespassers on farm property, pastures and woods?


farm property-a rabid mule, or a mean assed Roster. Billy goats work also

pastures-landmines...Bouncing Bettys preferably

woods-punji stakes and claymore mines

That should handle unwanteds


-and I hope Vang gets the death penalty
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:44:30 AM EDT
I have to mention an amusing incident involving one of my Grandfather's friends. They live in Maine. Back in the seventies he found a pot farm growing on his land in plastic buckets. He replaced the plants with tomato seedlings!!! Unfortunately I never did find out the rest of the story but I bet those were some disappointed hippies.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:44:54 AM EDT
Lesson #1: Don't be a dick to someone who's a foreigner and is armed with a semi-auto SKS period!
I think this guy should get the chair but come on, common sense must prevail. MAybe they were "in the right" but so what? crime victims usually are.
First they refer to him as a 'tree rat' then rather than just chasing him off they detain him then touch his person by flipping the hunting liscense??? This is a recipe for disaster! So now all those people killed and over what? a fucking tree stand? Maybe if some people would realise that just as you have the ability to chase someone off your property, they have the ability to shoot you in the face. MAybe it's cause I'm from NY where basically everyone is an unfriendly asshole but i would never assume that someone who i did'nt know and who has a gun is a reasonable friendly person. Therefore I would'nt under any circumstances cheese them off!!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 8:01:19 AM EDT
I've wanted to take up deer hunting. I will not hunt deer in Ohio due to restrictions on firearms. For example, if it's bow season, I can't have a firearm on my person. I can not be engaged in hunting at anytime, while carrying an AR - whether I'm hunting with it or not. After reading the Vang story, there's no way I'm going to voluntarily limit myself to a muzzleloader or 3 round shotgun while walking through the woods amongst God knows who.

As for tresspassers: I don't assume the worst in people, but I do approach them armed - usually an AR. I politely inform them that they somehow accidentally ended up on my property, as an FYI. I point out the obvious features that deliniate my property line. I then politely ask them to leave, and to have a nice day. To date, I've never had to do anything more than that.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 8:14:29 AM EDT

In areas where the fence had been breached I just coiled up some barbed wire on top and some on the bottom. It takes a bit of wire, but no one in their right mind would cross the fence there again and even a lame brain would get the message they are not welcome. I've also stopped mowing within 10-15 feet of the fence and it is filling up with blackberry bushes. That's better than a 10 ft fence in some areas.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 8:25:16 AM EDT
Basically the same thing as most others have noted. The only times I've ever confronted known armed poachers was with my father, my best friend and his father. Only once in the couple of times that we ran people off did things looked iffy for a split second. My friend's father had approached them to within a distance that he could speak loadly and be heard. He politely informed them that they were tresspassing and that they needed to leave and never come back. They looked at each other for a second and at that point he calmly informed them that it really was in their best interest as there were three other men sitting in the tree line with high powered rifles aimed at them. And yes, I would have pulled the trigger on the man in my crosshairs if I thought he was going to harm my friend's father.

On my property or my neighbor's it was usually kids coming to sit by the lake and drink beer. Shining a Streamlight on them was always enough to get them to move along. Had any of them not left I would have used the cell phone in my pocket to call the sherrif's dept. Yes, I carry a gun.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 8:25:57 AM EDT
Trespassers are a near daily problem during hunting season where I live. During pheasant season, I've had people shoot birds out of my front yard. I even had one SOB pattern his shotgun on the side of my house. Deer season is just as bad.

Last year I had a couple of maroons from the Seattle area set up camp in the barnyard of one of my more remote pastures. It took a digital camera and a Glock 22 to get them to leave.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 10:14:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Imteam:
Last year I had a couple of maroons from the Seattle area set up camp in the barnyard of one of my more remote pastures. It took a digital camera and a Glock 22 to get them to leave.




Shooting tree huggers from Seattle is legal, and in season year round in most states.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 9:41:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By garandman:

Originally Posted By Imteam:
Last year I had a couple of maroons from the Seattle area set up camp in the barnyard of one of my more remote pastures. It took a digital camera and a Glock 22 to get them to leave.




Shooting tree huggers from Seattle is legal, and in season year round in most states.




Wait- you mean they actually LEAVE Seattle?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:30:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
When I am hunting I ALWAYS carry a backup handgun with an extra mag. I also carry 20-30 rifle rounds (unless I have the T/C).

There it is.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:45:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cheesebeast:
They live in Maine. Back in the seventies he found a pot farm growing on his land in plastic buckets. He replaced the plants with tomato seedlings!!!

Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:52:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Bring your own gun! I was shocked to find out that only 1 person out of the crowd was armed. They're trying to eject a squatter from a hunting area and they didn't bring guns?!?!?!



+1

Don't bring a bolt-action deer gun to a SHTF shootout!



No shit, why did they all not bring weapons when attempted to kickout an armed trespasser.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:10:26 AM EDT
Two things I've noticed about this scene.

1) I find it unbelievable that out of the entire party, only one person was armed. We have for a long time (even before this incident) ALWAYS had a rifle with us anytime we set foot outside the deershack. Because a huge buck always strolls by right as you're standing outside taking a piss. So by default if this had happened on our property, everyone from our party would have been carrying a rifle. On top of that, most people in our party have carry permits (not that it matters, but it makes concealing legal) and carry pistols as well. I carry a .357 revolver because it's more useful for game than my regular carry piece (.40 S&W). Others carry Berettas, Glocks, revolvers, etc. If this happened on our property a couple of us might get shot, but it WILL be a 2 way firefight.

2) You are evicting an ARMED person from your property. You had better also be ARMED. In addition, a little tact goes a long way. If you're calling the guy a gook, you're going to elevate his blood pressure. Get his tag, call it in, and tell him to leave. When he refuses (and it doesn't sound like he did), then you take it to the next stage. Make SURE you have faster access to your firearm than he does. His had better be pointed at the sky slung over the shoulder, mine will be in my hands pointed at the ground. Any, and I mean ANY aggressive move and he's gonna be staring at the end of several guns. (Didn't used to be this way before this incident). But the main thing is to try tact first. No sense in elevating this into a potential deadly encounter over simple trespassing.

Could this have been avoided? Sure. I think the property owners big mouth got 6 people in his hunting party killed. Of course that doesn't excuse Vang, but I guarantee Bowers will be thinking about that for the rest of his life.

I hope the guy gets off, and is shot dead on the courtroom steps by a guy with a 30-06 bolt action.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 9:23:13 AM EDT
I have had to run off trespassers a few times from my families land. % 99 of the time they just wandered on from adjoining state or Boise Cascade land. I never ran up on them waving a gun and acting like a mad lunatic or looking for a fight so I never had a problem with any of them. Point them in the right direction tell them good luck with their hunt and watch till they leave, end of story.

This whole WI Vang thing is text book on how not to handle trespassers.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 9:28:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
I will say it again:

Those people did not expect to end up in a shootout over this.

Normal people don't resort to wholesale slaughter over something so utterly stupid.




True, however, I believe we are now at a point in our culture's history where we can no longer assume that everyone we deal with is rational.

Plan accordingly.

How's that saying go? "Be courteous, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
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