Discouraging Gate-breaching Trespassers

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Hirschkopf

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As some know, I live in AZ and have my deer-hunting/investment diversifying/bug-out quarter section in McIntosh County. On 28 January, my medical marijuana grower neighbor texted me to let me know she’d noted my main gait chain hanging loose. I had another neighbor I’d given gate keys to check on the issue. He reported somebody had cut the gate chain. He also reported my pole barn doors were closed, but a skinny guy (not him) could have squeezed in on one side of the door (hangs on rollers).

So, for the last 5 weeks I’d not known if I’d been robbed or not (of tools, ladder, spray rig, blind, etc). Potential positive points regarding the chain cutters were that they’d bothered to muscle the gate shut when they departed, and if they’d gotten into the barn, they shut the light off (based on my electric bill). Thankfully, my brother-in-law from KS wanted to go hog hunting. So, I made him a set of keys for the gate, barn, etc. and mailed them. As best I can tell from his description of the barn contents, nobody but corn-eating coons/opossum had been in there. He swapped out my “best Tractor Supply had” chains and locks with some that are friggen bodacious (log chains that look to be 1/2 to 3/4” thick). It would be easier to cut the metal gates than the chains and new locks. I’ve also asked another neighbor who runs cattle beside me to keep his eye on the two gates into the land.

Someone on foot could have just climbed the gates or squeezed through the barbed wire to enter the property. I figure whoever cut the chain wanted to take a truck onto the property to see if there was anything easy to tow off, or maybe they just wanted to see two sides of the MJ farm much better.

After that tale of woe, what should a distant land owner do? I’ve posted No Trespassing signs on the gates, and between my neighbor with the keys (trading bailing my pastures for his cattle for mowing my driveway, primitive RV site, and trails) we try to make the place look occupied. I’m considering having a 10x40 High Cube steel container with the best locks available delivered to supplement the barn, maybe even buy and dismantle the MJ farm to make the area less “interesting”. Also going to add some more security/trail cameras. Also plan on rigging the barn doors to be tighter via hardware at multiple heights. Won’t mess with the barn too much as somebody could just cut the metal or dig under it.


Any other ideas?
 

enuf

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Is there any reason someone would lease the place for a hay or other crop - run cattle on it, heck just let them use it to keep in more occupied.
 

2busy

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Universal key to locks and chains . Not much you can do to stop them.
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Hirschkopf

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Is there any reason someone would lease the place for a hay or other crop - run cattle on it, heck just let them use it to keep in more occupied.
The neighbor to the west has already asked to lease it for cattle grazing and promised to round up the cattle before hunting season. But, hog-hunting season can be anytime. I own land in KS and know there’s not enough money in a grazing lease to currently entice me. Ripped out all the pasture I had there and have it planted to wheat/milo, via a management company. Both of my feeders are, or could be, fenced from cattle. My main goal for the OK land, (which is about half rugged bottom-land) is to be able to show up anytime I want to hunt for hogs, deer, or fish and to know my stuff will still be in a barn/container and not have to worry about the mood of bull(s), cattle beyond my target, etc. 2022 sucked for growing and bailing hay. I’m hoping that neighbor with the keys will spend as much time as possible on it in the future. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but more ideas are welcome. Thanks for chiming in! After I get too old to hunt, I’ll likely lease it for hunting if my boys don’t want to go. So far, they’re pumped about hunting there (only owned it for about 10 months).
 

retrieverman

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The neighbor to the west has already asked to lease it for cattle grazing and promised to round up the cattle before hunting season. But, hog-hunting season can be anytime. I own land in KS and know there’s not enough money in a grazing lease to currently entice me. Ripped out all the pasture I had there and have it planted to wheat/milo, via a management company. Both of my feeders are, or could be, fenced from cattle. My main goal for the OK land, (which is about half rugged bottom-land) is to be able to show up anytime I want to hunt for hogs, deer, or fish and to know my stuff will still be in a barn/container and not have to worry about the mood of bull(s), cattle beyond my target, etc. 2022 sucked for growing and bailing hay. I’m hoping that neighbor with the keys will spend as much time as possible on it in the future. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but more ideas are welcome. Thanks for chiming in! After I get too old to hunt, I’ll likely lease it for hunting if my boys don’t want to go. So far, they’re pumped about hunting there (only owned it for about 10 months).
No one takes care of your place like you do. It sounds like you learned it the hard way too.
 

enuf

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I own land in KS and know there’s not enough money in a grazing lease to currently entice me.
dude - seems obvious for you it ain't about the money on this - I think you need occupancy - give your neighbor use to your land and set a few rules; make it cheap or free and he'll likely look out for you; that may be worth the comfort of sleeping better.
 

RickN

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Have a cheap house built and find a retired couple to live there. Free if they look after the land. Maybe fill the feeders, water tanks, etc. Whatever you have to attract wildlife. I am sure there are some responsible older couples that would love to have free housing for a little work. They have to pay the utilities of course.
 

Okie4570

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You'll never stop someone if they want in bad enough. Like said above, cell cams are the way to go. I know a guy in eastern Major county who's used them to bust 28 people over the last two years from everything including theft, vandalism, trespassing and squatting. All on the same property too.
 

Hirschkopf

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Have a cheap house built and find a retired couple to live there. Free if they look after the land. Maybe fill the feeders, water tanks, etc. Whatever you have to attract wildlife. I am sure there are some responsible older couples that would love to have free housing for a little work. They have to pay the utilities of course.
Pretty good idea; there’s an easement against building a permanent habitable dwelling (trailer house might work). If I get to buy the 10 acres cut from the land long ago with a 60’s era home and MJ grow operation on it, a responsible retired couple would be perfect! And, it would come with a high-security (prison-like with lights) fencing they could grow veggies in free of deer, hogs, and other varmits.
 

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