Author Topic: Stranger scenario on rural homestead  (Read 22321 times)

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« on: April 12, 2011, 10:07:27 PM »
Although this might be a fairly easy-to-answer question to which there's an obvious commonsense answer, I'd like to hear input on how one should respond and/or prepare for the following scenario:

You live in a home on ~15 acres of mostly nonwooded and barbed-wire-fenced land adjacent to a county road a few miles out of a small town and the nearest neighbor's house is about 1200 yards away.  The house is on a hilltop and it is a clear sunny day and you have clear line of sight from the facing windows of your house all along the 0.5-mile unpaved driveway that leads to your open gate and then county road 70 feet beyond the gate.  Non-TEOTWAWKI United States April 13 2011.

You are standing in front of your house and you see a stranger walking on the driveway toward your house, alone, apparently unarmed, dressed in typical civilian clothing.  The stranger is about 300 yards away and he waves his hands in an apparent attempt to catch your attention and yells something, you can't quite tell what he's saying but it sounds like something along the lines of "hey can you give me some help?" What exactly do you do?   


Offline mossyback

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 82
  • Karma: 5
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 10:26:51 PM »
Well I would grab the shotgun and wait for him to come to the door, keeping him in sight as much as possible. Once he got to the door I would open it and ask him what he wanted, making sure that he saw the shotgun. It would not be the first time that I have answered the door with a gun in my hands.

Offline TexGuy

  • Sometimes posts while drunk.
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 319
  • Karma: 12
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 10:42:28 PM »
I'd run inside and put my clothes on.  ;D

Offline Sister Wolf

  • The Tiffanator
  • Administrator On Leave
  • Forum Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 11961
  • Karma: 365
  • Wanna have an adventure?
    • WilderWolf
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 10:54:57 PM »
Do you know your neighbor?  You mentioned how far away they are, but you didn't mention whether or not you know what the neighbor looks like to begin with.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7817
  • Karma: 614
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 10:56:18 PM »
I'd run inside and put my clothes on.  ;D

Excellent idea. +1

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 11:01:05 PM »
Quote
Do you know your neighbor?  You mentioned how far away they are, but you didn't mention whether or not you know what the neighbor looks like to begin with.
Yes, let's assume the neighbor in the house 1200 yards away is known and for that matter you know all the residents in a..let's say 2 mile radius well enough to know that the dude in the driveway 300 yards away is not one of them.

Offline Sister Wolf

  • The Tiffanator
  • Administrator On Leave
  • Forum Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 11961
  • Karma: 365
  • Wanna have an adventure?
    • WilderWolf
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 11:12:52 PM »
Yes, let's assume the neighbor in the house 1200 yards away is known and for that matter you know all the residents in a..let's say 2 mile radius well enough to know that the dude in the driveway 300 yards away is not one of them.

Okay, then I'd go inside, lock the door(s) and call my neighbor.  If I know him, I assume I know his phone number too.  He'll have a better grasp on what this guy wants and will know that I'd prefer to deal with said stranger with witnesses present.

Offline Ian-FW

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 22
    • Forgotten Weapons
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 11:21:20 PM »
Seems to me that rural etiquette dictates that you approach and see if you can render aid. My experience in similar situation has gotten me introduced to absentee owners of nearby property, relatives and invited friends of known neighbors, and other folks worth knowing. Besides, it's only polite.

Of course, I'm pretty much always wearing a gun when I'm at my rural place. That's more or less expected where I am, and it doesn't raise many eyebrows.

Offline Nicodemus

  • HooHa Man! AKA Docs Whipping Boy
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 8429
  • Karma: 182
  • Wake up and smell the cat food n your bank account
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:34:15 PM »
Pick up the phone and have it ready.

I'd stay in the doorway to my home. The shotgun is by the door, so If the guy heads toward me in a menacing manner I can easily shut the door, ditch the phone and arm myself. The dog would most likely be in the doorway as well. She's nosy and growls a lot.

I'd wave him up to a more comfortable talking distance, but not so close that he could surprise me. Most likely the dog would keep him at a distance anyway, but you never know.

I'd then ask him what he wants.

If he's in trouble and needs assistance, a call to local law enforcement probably wouldn't be a problem for him.

If he needed to use the phone I'd set it on the end of the porch, it's cordless.

I'd assess the situation from there.


Offline Saint

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 207
  • Karma: 14
  • Bury it and bury the shovel.
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2011, 06:00:23 AM »
let the wife know there's someone coming up and I'm going out to meet them with the dog (Bowden).
wife watches from the door, I walk out and greet the stranger.
assess the situation closer, my EDC everything is there for a reason, this keeps distance from the house (in case he's casing), keeps extra eyes and response ready and establishes boundaries.
first assumption is out of gas or car broke down - any assistance rendered is measured and not done until you go back to the house (i.e. no just walking away without explaining to the wife what's happening)
second assumption is he was directed there for some reason - nieghbor mentioned you could help or needed help with something, or he wants something - like to buy a portion of your land or rent it to put up a billboard along the county road.
third assumption is he's up to no good - but that's a long way to walk - move evil-doers I've come across go for targets of opportunity. drive by and case or walking/short run distance to smash and grab, then get away.

hoping this is more than an academic exercise and we get the end of the story...and he's not a zombie.


Offline soupbone

  • Once made a pun out of "Mephistopheles"
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2446
  • Karma: 146
  • If you think you're close enough - get closer.
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 06:14:16 AM »
Let me relate a true story:

I have a friend who lives on a farm in rural PA. Several years ago, when he was in town, the farm was visited by a couple of "bikers". They asked his wife, politely, for some water and a chance to stretch - she responded with some coffee and cookies. They finished the snack, thanked her and left.

THE NEXT DAY, a tornado went through the neighborhood, doing a lot of damage. It approached to within a couple hundred yards of the house, lifted off the ground and touched down several hundred yards past the house....

Why must we assume that every contact with strangers must be hostile?

JS is right about rural etiquette; that's just the way things are done. This might be a good lesson for city folks who have a BOL in the country.

soup

Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Administrator
  • Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 8748
  • Karma: 159
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2011, 06:20:40 AM »
I'm on the same page as Saint.  Covers bot good and bad situations.

Offline fratermus

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
  • Karma: 22
  • snowbird / boondocker
    • boondock plan
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 06:31:09 AM »
Seems to me that rural etiquette dictates that you approach and see if you can render aid.

That was my experience as well when I lived in a rural area.

Of course, I'm pretty much always wearing a gun when I'm at my rural place. That's more or less expected where I am, and it doesn't raise many eyebrows.

And this, too. 


Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7817
  • Karma: 614
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 06:56:36 AM »
Unless things change a great deal, most country folks don't live in fear... they tend to be very open and friendly. Here is a link to an article written by one of our forum members awhile back: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2002/libe163-20020304-02.html

He describes things as they tend to be where I'm from.

Offline Nicodemus

  • HooHa Man! AKA Docs Whipping Boy
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 8429
  • Karma: 182
  • Wake up and smell the cat food n your bank account
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 07:53:02 AM »
Why must we assume that every contact with strangers must be hostile?

JS is right about rural etiquette; that's just the way things are done. This might be a good lesson for city folks who have a BOL in the country.

I've grew up in the country, lived in the city, did some time in the burbs and had some experience in small rural communities. There have been both good and bad people in all of those areas.
 
I think there is a difference between assuming that stranger is hostile and just making sure that you're aware that a situation could turn hostile. There is a way to be courteous at distance and a way to be cautious without being hostile yourself. How a stranger acts toward you is going to affect how you react.

Thus far in the "What Would You Do" scenario we've only gotten as far a stranger walking up the driveway, waving, yelling something and who is possibly in need of some assistance. There's time for coffee and cookies later when we come to know more and as the situation unfolds. :D

 

Offline ZenGunFighter

  • BANNED.
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Karma: 60
  • Banned
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2011, 08:22:44 AM »
I'm pretty good at reading body language. If everything seems up and up...
hold my hand up, palm forward and tell him to wait, I'll be right there.
Tell the wife about it, and tell her to check around the sides and back to see if this is a diversion.
She keeps one of the Dobermans with her. and a G19...
I get in my truck with the other Doberman and drive down to meet him. This gives me some cover and concealment and quick escape. Of course my G26 is in the crossbreed supertuck like it is ever waking minute. the truck also has tools in case he is broken down.
I want to meet him as far out from the house as possible. another reason for using the truck. I don't want him getting a close look at my house.
Once I get to him, doors are locked (autolock) I roll down the window to talk. Truck is kept in gear.
Then I and the Doberman re-assess.

Offline joeinwv

  • The Bee Whisperer
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2578
  • Karma: 92
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 10:05:33 AM »
Working around the rural homestead is one of the few instances when I much prefer open carry to concealed.

I know around here, the common first question is going to be yelled from a distance "Who are ye?" followed by "What do ye want" or "Who sent ye?"

With the right answers, things can get very friendly from that point on - or not. I have had many hunting, fishing, farming and livestock discussions from 100yds away...

Offline Sister Wolf

  • The Tiffanator
  • Administrator On Leave
  • Forum Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 11961
  • Karma: 365
  • Wanna have an adventure?
    • WilderWolf
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2011, 01:32:27 PM »
I have a friend who lives on a farm in rural PA. Several years ago, when he was in town, the farm was visited by a couple of "bikers". They asked his wife, politely, for some water and a chance to stretch - she responded with some coffee and cookies. They finished the snack, thanked her and left.

Bikers don't bother me.  I'd be more likely to trust them, actually, then some random guy walking down the street without transport.  At least bikers have an obvious reason to be there (tired, road sore, hungry).  I feel the same way about missionaries (of any religion) and horseback folks on a long trail.  And.... honestly, if the stranger were a woman, I'd have responded a lot differently.

I lived for a couple of years in the sticks.  Lone strangers do NOT often make their way to your homestead asking for help.  When they do, either you know that your neighbor's got family visiting, or you can see that there's a problem somewhere.

I dunno.  Maybe I've seen too many horror movies.  But strange men approaching your homestead alone are *dangerous* when you're a woman and you're alone.  Being cordial and offering pie would not be my first inclination.

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7547
  • Karma: 119
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2011, 01:54:00 PM »

 300 yards seems like a long ways away. I am not really sure what the answer is. I guess it could depend on alot of things like your impression of the people in the area, what the guy may look like .. Maybe you go with your gut instinct and exercise caution .. 

 I'm curious if something of this sort happened here ?


 I always think martial arts are a good thing .. You can carry a stick and learn how to twirl it a bit and it can be carried like an innocent looking walking stick. I have not learned how to use those types of sticks officially, I know some open hands kung fu sets, but I know a guy that can teach weapons stuff, but it does take kind of a long time to learn ..

 I agree with sis wolf, women have to be extra careful. My sister has gone backpacking alone when she was younger. I sometimes wondered about that ..

 Once I was living by myself in my parents house. They where living in England for awhile. I saw a car pull up and a guy walk to the door. It was dark out and sort of late at night. Rather than go to the door, I hid myself. For some reason, I like doing stuff like that because I have the advantage of being unseen. I can't really explain why I like to do that, but if someone broke in, I could imagine myself hiding first and trying to figure out what to do later .. That particular guy came to the door, and then turned around and left. He didn't knock or anything ..

 I see people drive slowly by my BOL and stare , I always wonder why they do that .. I tend to pretend I don't notice that they are staring.






 

endurance

  • Guest
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2011, 02:19:47 PM »
I guess it's not a situation I'm likely to have by design.  I can see four neighbors homes from my house.  I know my neighbors by name and since more are retirees, I have 24/7 surveilence whether I'm home or not.  Sometimes isolation has its disadvantages.  My nosey neighbors know who belongs and who doesn't and they don't hesitate to pick up the phone to call if they know I'm out and an unfamiliar vehicle is in the driveway.

Dogs, neighbors, the people you live with, and observational psychology go a long way toward building in security and a sense of community that makes criminals feel unwelcome.

amanadoo

  • Guest
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 02:21:23 PM »
Ditto Sister Wolf's last post.

If my husband were home, I'd holler and have him deal with it. If I were home alone with my kids, I'd lock them in the house and call my friendly neighbor on my way down the driveway to see what they wanted. From yelling distance I would tell them to stop. If they didn't stop walking toward me, I'd assume they are hostile and do whatever (???) after that.

To be honest, if I were home alone with the kids and had to deal with that out in the sticks, I'd be agitated at best, pissed more likely an possibly quite frightened depending on the outcome. I know I am SO unneighborly that way, but I spend most of my time with my husband out of town and my guard is ALWAYS up. It's stressful enough as it is....some dude sauntering onto my property would just make me extremely uneasy.

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7547
  • Karma: 119
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 02:58:29 PM »

 If you where in a movie, you could send the wife out to ask him what he wants while you circle around through the woods and come up behind him ..

Offline vicious

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
  • Karma: 9
  • Building a better future
    • Payne Country
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 03:09:26 PM »
I guess I'm probably in the minority. I'd walk toward them to see what's going on with very little suspicion that things would go awry. I've had people come down my driveway many times, but not walking. Most think it's a gravel road, and are looking for the street to the west. I have (many times) driven down my driveway to see people parked at the end of it, either talking or looking at a car problem. I guess the latter would be what I'd think about if someone was walking down the drive. Of course, if their actions dictated I'd change my reaction. My experience tells me to be prepared for anything, but to not jump to conclusions.

Offline gundog

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 336
  • Karma: 15
  • It's the dog....not the gun.
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2011, 03:32:31 PM »
I'd let the dogs go check him out. None of them would hurt him unless they knocked him over or something. Once they were circling him I would walk down to see what was up. I would tell him to stand still and the dogs won't bite.  :)

Of course I would trust my instincts as well.......and whether he looks scary or not......

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7547
  • Karma: 119
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2011, 03:44:27 PM »
 Once I decided to go surfing in North Carolina on the out banks for Christmas vacation. I stayed at a campground. I was walking down the street, just going for a walk in the middle of the evening. It was sort of a semi residential neighborhood. 
A guy was unloading his groceries near this dead end in the road he seemed to think I looked suspicious it seemed like to me. I probably had long hair at the time and a beard ..

 He says to me: "are you looking for someone ?"

 It was xmas eve or thereabouts so I said something like: "I'm trying to find Jesus". Then I paused and waved my hand and said "merry christmass" and walked the other way. He said merry Christmass back to me ..

 Maybe I was in a weird mood or something about the guy made me feel like saying that .. I won't necessarily always respond like that, and typical don't ..
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 04:07:21 PM by surfivor »

Offline JohnAdams

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Karma: 4
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2011, 07:56:55 PM »
I'm of the philosophy:
Quote
Be polite.
Be professional.
But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

I don't assume someone who is openly walking down my driveway is out to get me - but I'm prepared for it. Albeit, not as much as if I were holding a position in a combat zone, but prepared nonetheless. I'd be helpful and friendly to the extent of my ability, without unreasonably jeopardizing my safety or opsec.

In this scenario, I would already be armed with a pistol. If there's someone home with me I would alert them if reasonable (I wouldn't, for example, immediately scream out to the barn from the house that I've got a contact). I would first observe the surroundings to determine if there was any other threat or unusual objects/behavior in an effort to ascertain if they were truly alone. I would also confirm they don't have a long gun.

I would come just outside the house (a gesture of goodwill) and let the stranger approach to a comfortable communication range, no less than 30 yards. I'd feel pretty safe at that range, because I'd be right near the door to a lot more firepower than they would have, and it's damn hard to hit an erratically moving target with a pistol at that range for the majority of folks. All the while I would already be talking with them, and if anything had raised any concern I would have instructed them to "wait right there." Non-compliance after a repeat of the instruction would result in escalation of force. However, I expect most folks to be generally kind and reasonable, so after determining that what they need is something I am willing to offer - including casual chit chat - I'd happily oblige. The stranger would not be allowed inside.


Now, I pose a different scenario: What if it were at night, cold and raining? The guy says he locked his keys in his car while changing a flat a half-mile down the road. No obvious weapons, he doesn't seem shifty, just cold, tired, mildly upset, and wet. What would you do? I have a hard time answering this myself, and I hate to say (from a tactical perspective), but I expect I'd size him up, ask him some direct questions (name, where he's from, if he has any weapons on him - looking for honesty here - and a photo ID). I would explain that I'd be happy to help him, but that my safety is my priority, to which I would expect he appreciate and understand. If I felt comfortable and in control of the situation, I would likely invite him in, get something to dry him off, warm him up, and figure out how to get him fixed up. Possibly some brandy as well, because being cold, wet, and in a pickle sucks, and we've all been there.


The end of me may be my kindness, despite a reasonable level of safety. However, I'd rather live in a world where people are generally warm and accepting than cold and suspicious, and to make that world I have to be it.

amanadoo

  • Guest
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2011, 10:03:10 PM »
I've been thinking about this, and turned it around. What if *I* broke down somewhere and started up to the nearest house and was met with suspicious questions and fire power? I'd be pretty shaken from something like that. I guess it's a little different for a woman.

I am, of course, a weiney. So take all this with a grain of salt.

Offline joeinwv

  • The Bee Whisperer
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2578
  • Karma: 92
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2011, 07:48:07 PM »
I've been thinking about this, and turned it around. What if *I* broke down somewhere and started up to the nearest house and was met with suspicious questions and fire power? I'd be pretty shaken from something like that. I guess it's a little different for a woman.

I am, of course, a weiney. So take all this with a grain of salt.

If I need to walk up to a strange house in a rural area, I am going to make sure they know I am there while I am out at the gate - and make sure they know my intentions. A good start is telling the homeowner I need help and can they call the authorities.

I don't mind an armed homeowner on his own land asking me why I am on his property - I probably have a good reason.

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2011, 09:45:59 AM »
Thanks for the responses...one of the reasons for the OP was that I encountered this scenario while visiting my parents' place over the summer.  I was alone at the house at the time and my reaction consisted of basically being not really mentally unprepared for the situation.

One good thing (I think) was that I was wearing my leather jacket at the time--yeah I wear leather jacket on hot Texas summer days as long as I'm not doing strenuous stuff--one of the reasons being that it effectively conceals my 357 magnum...so I went in the house to quickly strap on my holster and revolver, placed the jacket back on over it, and walked back out onto the porch while keeping an eye on the guy.  The guy had paused...he was apprehensive, too...I gestured to him to walk closer...when he got to about 50 yards away I said waved and said "hows-it-going" and he told me his story which "fit" to me at the time--context being that there is a big army base a few miles away--he had been partying with some friends in town the previous night and "got separated from them,"--he looked like the typical 18-19 yo enlisted man and his story was credible if you've spent time in the area and see how these guys tend to behave offbase--I wonder if they train them to think they're immortal or if it's just the typical attitude people have at that age--he asked if I had any water--I said sure, I gave him directions back to town and said can you wait there for a minute I've got some water and stuff--went in and got a gallon of distilled water, a roll of saltines, and set it on the porch for him and said "Here you go man, sorry I can't give you a ride." and then went back in the house and shut the door.


He said thanks and walked over and grabbed the stuff and walked back down the driveway and headed toward the town.

It was awkward and i thought about it for the next 15 minutes and drove to town, sure enough there he was walking and I pulled up beside him and said "hey you want a ride" and he said "no thanks I'm alright" and I said "OK" and that was it.

Not sure if that I was being cautious or a dick or both.

Quote
What if it were at night, cold and raining?
Honestly I think I would have simply walked into the house and turned off the lights and waited for him to leave, then called whatever LEO I thought I could trust and give them a description of what I saw and said the guy looked OK and wasn't threatening or suspicious-looking but I was afraid to deal with him and he might need some help...but in a more remote area and/or depending on the severity of the cold I might converse with him to get a better idea of what the situation was...this reminds me of those generation III nightvision goggles I was thinking about buying....

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Re: Stranger scenario on rural homestead
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2011, 10:10:41 AM »
^^On second thought I'd want to get an up-close look at the guy.  If it's cold rainy and windy and he's wearing cotton he'd need assistance--still it's tough, how would you know who/what else might be waiting to ambush.