Gunfire, bullhorns confront hunters on corps land

If you weren’t fond of hunters using public lands near your house, what would you do?


Honk car horns? Scream threats through an electronic bullhorn? Pepper the forest with gunfire?

That’s what two local hunters encountered on Linder McCurdy Road in separate incidents three weeks apart, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

On Oct. 26, a hunter who had parked there to access Army Corps of Engineers land told deputies a fellow who drove by on a four-wheeler later blew a car horn repeatedly from a nearby residence, then fired up a bullhorn and began ranting about the costs of maintaining public lands.

Then gunshots rang out, followed by comments – over the bullhorn – such as, “You better move your truck, I just put four holes in it,” the report said.

The hunter called deputies, who questioned a man at the residence. The man acknowledged he talked on the bullhorn and “later did target shooting at a steel drum in his yard” but denied having any contact with the hunter. There were no bullet holes in the truck and no charges were filed.

In a second report filed Tuesday, a different hunter had a similar encounter. He told authorities he was hunting over a food plot on corps land below Thurmond Dam when a truck drove by on Linder McCurdy Road. A few minutes later, someone using an amplifier began yelling phrases such as “this is family property” and fired 25 to 30 rounds from a small caliber rifle.

The hunter “could hear the projectiles striking the treetops” and “left the area as fast as possible,” the report said.

Georgia has its own law against hunter harassment that makes perpetrators “civilly liable” for monetary damages that can be awarded to displaced hunters.

Both victims in these cases were advised of their legal options, and both men did the right thing in talking to authorities – and leaving the area.

It could have escalated into something much worse.


HUNTING ADDICT: There was another hunting related report at the Sheriff’s Office last week, in which a woman said she was roughed up and placed in a headlock by her husband.

The 48-year-old victim told deputies her husband suffers from a self-acknowledged addiction to deer hunting, and she had been trying to cure him.

The trouble started, she said, when he gave her the key to the gun cabinet and she locked it to keep him away from his favorite pastime.

The next day, he wanted to go hunting again – and asked for the key back.

She refused and he became “irate,” the report said. He then tried to pry the gun cabinet open with a crowbar and his wife jumped in to stop him.

That’s when she was placed in a headlock and thrown to the floor, after which her husband forced the cabinet open, snatched a rifle and fled into nearby woods.

Deputies photographed bruises to her arms and neck and gave her a victim assistance pamphlet, and also obtained a battery warrant against her husband.


MARINA CHANGE: One of the oldest family businesses at the lake might not be operating at all next year, or it could re-emerge under new management.

The owners of Little River Marina and Resort in Columbia County have been notified by the Corps of Engineers that their lease will not be renewed after it expires Dec. 27.

The 129-acre site, with docks, boat storage, cabins and other amenities, has been operated by Pam Bugg and her family since 1986. It is one of six commercial marinas at the lake authorized by the corps when the project was designed in the 1940s.

A notice of availability will be issued in January, after which the corps will accept proposals from potential new operators.