Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Home And Business Security

New home, new psycho neighbor... any advice?

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Hey folks, we (family of 6) recently bought a house with 20 acres. We have been in the house now for 3 months-ish and had to file for an ordinance exemption to be able to run our small business out of the house (residential zoning law). Turns out that my neighbor is fundamentally opposed to me changing anything about the property as the previous owner allowed him to use the land as his (my neighbors) personal recreational area and park as long as he maintained the trails, something that I will not allow. So of course he shows up to the meeting and rants for 90 minutes and then the zoning board agrees with me and I get my exemption. Afterwards, on the way out of the county building, the neighbor makes a bunch of veiled threats that "this isn't over" and "there will be more consequences than I know". I have 4 children and really don't take a threat to my family lightly but I don't want to escalate this. I already plan to talk to our county sheriffs dept to make sure I understand their responses if he was to approach my family but I would really like to limit his ability to come onto my property. We share a 1800' property line that he has cut multiple trail heads into to walk my property. I thought about stringing a barbed wire fence down the line and then also remembered Jack talking on one of the episodes of a hedgerow plant that has vicious thorns that I could plant but I cannot find the episode. Is there something I could plant that would fill in a hedge row that I don't have to worry about being too invasive to the rest of my property? Are there other option that you all would recommend? I have no doubt in my mind that if he chose to approach my wife and kids the way he did me the last time (came walking through the woods with 18" machete in hands) my wife would shoot him. Mama bear does NOT play. I need options and I need them quick.

" I have no doubt in my mind that if he chose to approach my wife and kids the way he did me the last time (came walking through the woods with 18" machete in hands) my wife would shoot him. Mama bear does NOT play. I need options and I need them quick."

If he was on your property coming toward you with a machete I would say you have missed an excellent opportunity to have the Sheriff's Dept. visit with him. No witness? He was trespassing and you may have felt threatened. I doubt the Sheriff's Dept. would take that lightly if they new all the circumstances. What state? Do they have a Castle Doctrine?

@Redman yeah only witness to that was my 6 year old daughter. We'll be installing cameras this weekend around the house and out buildings to have some evidence in the future.

I would start with "No Trespassing" signs to be clear you do not want him on the property.  Perhaps a trail camera or 2.  Get an instance or 2 logged with the Sherriff office. 

In my opinion the barbed wire idea is likely faster, it does not grow time, and is not susceptible to roundup or poor soil, water, or light.  I would follow that up with a planting.  Something as simple as blackberries (not the thorn less ones) could be trained to fill in that property line and give food too.  They could also use that trellis (made of "inexpensive" barbed wire wink, wink, nudge, nudge) you are stringing to start. 

Go passive aggressive if you can switch from concealed carry to open at least a little when you are on that side of the property.  Watch your backside, prepare to defend any action you may be forced to take.

Look at your cell phone, I know the last 2 I have had have the rear facing camera (side without the display) that will sit above my shirt pocket on many shirts.  I would and have often thought learning to quickly turn it on to record from that position would be a good skill to master. 

Learn to deescalate, so you are not being the aggressor.  That is something lot of us testosterone based life forms (men) are poor at that especially when the right buttons are pushed, and his actions find some sensitive ones.  Getting yelled at by someone attempting to intimidate is not something that we can keep our heads about us during, but being calm and not taking it back into his face so that no one knows who threw the first punch will go a long way.  I am NOT saying cower or run away because he will win but be calm and smart. 

Depending on the size and number of the trail heads you could drop trees or create a brush pile on the trails. 

Those are the first though that comes to mind.  I am sure you do not want to spend a lot of time and money on this guy he is not worth it.  Spending it in court if he pushes too far it not a plan either. 

Harder to do some of these than other and I am not sure I could let an unfriendly guy with a machete get with in 50 feet of me would ever be easy.  Staying calm and smart at that time not bloody likely.

David in MN:
Document, document, document.

Develop your relationship with local law enforcement and make sure they record any interaction. If you have evidence and a paper trail you might find it easier to obtain legal protection.

A machete in the woods? Sounds a lot like me. Of course I wouldn't wave it around kids. Understand you're in a gray area so you need to document this stuff if it does escalate.

I'd also suggest rethinking your position. If you can let him use your land without impacting your life maybe that's best. The "I'm planning on putting up an orchard in a couple years" conversation is a lot easier than the "get off my lawn" conversation. Sometimes a gentle transition is easier. And make sure you understand why he wants what he wants. Basically don't get to fisticuffs if a beer would solve everything.

And don't run to pistols. I've seen neighbors escalate and end up shooting up each others' houses. It's a mess. Even if you are 100% totally in the right you might end up paying lawyer bills as some disaster gets filtered through the courts.

Slow down, talk it out, and if necessary do the steps to get a legal injunction.


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