The Hunters of Harder Lake

For the past six years, or so, a group of hunters have been transiting my building site to get to their hunting shacks on a nearby lake. Over that time, my property has suffered numerous injuries including, but not limited to: hunters and their families driving over my yard rather than staying to the gravel driveway; small trees that have been run over by vehicles and damaged; 1/2″ steel rods that were put into place to both locate the small trees and to provide some protection were bent flat to the ground, evidently by tires of vehicles; debris that remained after the hunters and their families had transited the property.

When I was growing up, I was taught that whenever you transit the property of someone else, you always stop and talk with the owner. Even if it is just to check in and say hello. We were also taught that part of the bounty belonged to the property owner, even if the bounty was not caught or shot on the property in question. For years now, most of the hunters and their family would just drive over my property and not even bother slow down, let alone to stop and chat for a while. Worse yet, the hunters would not slow down or stop even if I was in full and plain view working in my garden or yard. After a while, one starts to feel used and disrespected.

Recently, a relative of Mr. Mike Foley drove over my property to gain access to the hunting shack. I was working in the garden. I waved; but I saw no response. The driver of the vehicle made no attempt to slow down. On the return trip, I stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver. I stated that, over the past hunting season, a number of my trees had been damaged by vehicles, that a number of vehicles had driven on my yard, that I had to collect debris that was on the lake side of the driveway, and that I was not going to accept being ignored. I told this relative of Mike Foley to inform the other hunters that I had drawn the line and that nobody was allowed to transit my property, period.

This evening, 20th May 2013, Mr. Mike Foley came to my office in Windom. He was none too happy: I offered him a chair and he refused saying that he would be only a minute. He then stated that he was not happy with what had happened. I explained the same to him that I did to his relative a few days earlier. He grew angrier still.

He got up and started out the door. When he reached the door, he turned and stated that: I [meaning Nathan] did not understand the mores of the society in Cottonwood County; that I had no friends here; and, that no one would come to help me. A few years ago, Mr. Foley told me that the red-necks in this part of the country were “armed and dangerous”; and if not “armed, they sure are dangerous.” Whilst he did not make an explicit threat, he made it clear that I had angered a group of hunters and that I should keep a watch over my shoulder.

If anything should happen to me, the Hunters of Harder Lake should be first on the list for investigation.

There is an old country rumor that some of the drainage ditches in the fields in these parts of the country contain more than simple black drainage pipe.

By the way, the story has it that Gary Weidner was sent to prison on trumped up charges because he refused to allow some hunters to shoot deer in the deep ravine near his house.

I hope that this helps.

Nathan A. Busch

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