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I was run off private property while geocaching - was this the right thing to do in terms of the log?


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Please read my log here:  https://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=3cc92a77-f12b-47fb-bc98-e21961477345

 

I logged the find, told my story about being threatened, and filed a "Needs Maintenence".  Was this the right thing to do?  I was pretty disturbed the experience, so much so that I pretty much stopped geocaching during my stay.  I'd like to make sure that someone looks at this geocache, and the others in the area to evaluate it to make sure that it's safe and not on anyone's private property.  Thanks for any input/advice.

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36 minutes ago, TXGeekette said:

Please read my log here:  https://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=3cc92a77-f12b-47fb-bc98-e21961477345

 

I logged the find, told my story about being threatened, and filed a "Needs Maintenence".  Was this the right thing to do?  I was pretty disturbed the experience, so much so that I pretty much stopped geocaching during my stay.  I'd like to make sure that someone looks at this geocache, and the others in the area to evaluate it to make sure that it's safe and not on anyone's private property.  Thanks for any input/advice.

That's unnerving! This is just my personal opinion, but I think you did the right thing for now. I personally would keep a watch on it to make sure that the cache owner responds to the situation. 

 

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Having grown up with relatives who hunt... it occurred to me that they weren't trying to scare you, they were trying to protect you.
There are certain areas that are frequented by hunters and it's not good to put caches in these areas because, well... like the lady says, you could get shot.

There are caches around where I live that are disabled several weeks out of the year due to hunting season.

I looked up on a map of private property listings, and it appears my hunch was accurate.  There's a hunting club right across the street from the cache location.

It could be that the cache is in a proper location and that the local was just over-stepping her hospitality a bit, but I thought I'd offer up this explanation.

 

cachelocation.png

Edited by HoochDog
I can't make a post without fixing typos
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11 minutes ago, rustynails. said:

Some people have an expanded view of what they think is their property.

Yep. I've seen caches archived because neighbors were harassing geocachers, even though the geocachers were parking on public streets and were walking to public trailheads to access public parks. (Most of the park was behind the neighborhood homes, but a small piece was between two homes, with a trail through that small piece to get from the trailhead to the park.)

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7 hours ago, TXGeekette said:

Please read my log here:  https://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=3cc92a77-f12b-47fb-bc98-e21961477345

 

I logged the find, told my story about being threatened, and filed a "Needs Maintenence".  Was this the right thing to do?  I was pretty disturbed the experience, so much so that I pretty much stopped geocaching during my stay.  I'd like to make sure that someone looks at this geocache, and the others in the area to evaluate it to make sure that it's safe and not on anyone's private property.  Thanks for any input/advice.

I can only say what I would do in Australia. I would report this incident to the police. I would also enquire with the police if this is really private property.

Recently a group of three of us were on a country road finding caches and a 4WD pulled up to ask us what we were doing there. Fortunately we don't normally need to worry about guns in Australia, and if this woman had threatened us with a gun (farmers can have registered guns), I'm sure the heavy hand of the law would have descended on her with three witnesses. I have heard of others on that road having similar experiences. However it's NOT a private road, but a public road and we had every legal right to be there, and we were not on private land. I was one side of the car and the others were on the other. One of the others thought quickly and pointed at me and said they had stopped because I needed a comfort stop. The woman still looked suspiciously at us, but then drove on.

On the other hand, I have been questioned by other farmers, when after an explanation have turned out to be really nice and we have had a lovely chat. On one dirt road with lots of gates, I checked with the farmer who had come to enquire what I was doing there if this really was a public road. They confirmed it was and that I had every right to be there. He smiled and said, "Just leave the gates as you find them." Having grown up in the country myself, naturally that is what I was doing.

Thank goodness we don't have the loose way with guns as the USA has.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, rustynails. said:

Some people have an expanded view of what they think is their property. Or, maybe you got to close to their moonshine still.

LOL, I was in a back laneway here in Canberra once with another geocacher searching for a cache and someone stepped out of a door and demanded to know what we were doing there and we weren't allowed there. Of course we were, as it's a public laneway, so I told them just that and with obvious annoyance they went away. I later thought that I should have said to them, I don't care what you are up to here that our presence worries you, as that doesn't interest us at all, but if you are up to something, way to draw attention to yourself. To us that's just an anonymous door among others. Do you want people now wondering about that door?"

Edited by Goldenwattle
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58 minutes ago, niraD said:

Yep. I've seen caches archived because neighbors were harassing geocachers, even though the geocachers were parking on public streets and were walking to public trailheads to access public parks. (Most of the park was behind the neighborhood homes, but a small piece was between two homes, with a trail through that small piece to get from the trailhead to the park.)

I was once questioned when I parked on a suburban, public street and also photographed (I think I might have smiled and waved as they did so), by a scruffy couple. If they were hiding something, they certainly drew attention to themselves. What were they hiding? Drug house? Women's safe house? Whatever it was it was that house was now noted.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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2 hours ago, HoochDog said:

There are caches around where I live that are disabled several weeks out of the year due to hunting season.

I looked up on a map of private property listings, and it appears my hunch was accurate.  There's a hunting club right across the street from the cache location.

 

I have a couple of caches that are within a county park, yet also on the... *ahem*... "expanded" property... of adjacent private owners.  When checking my caches during hunting season, I have to remember to look up, in case a hunter is sitting in a tree in the park.  :o

 

If the cache in the OP is on or near hunting land, that info would be a great addition to the cache page.  Maybe with a link to where the hunting dates can be looked up.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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Curious ...  You say you saw a "mini trail" of caches that would make convenient finds. Then you were sitting in the car, on the side of the road, to write your log when the hassle started.  But you said, " I didn't attempt the other caches on this trail after that."

Were these on a trail, or simply roadside hides ?  Thanks.  :)

I was told by a Reviewer once that with issues like this if they're the property owner or not, leave a NA so it comes to their attention.

The CO can straighten this out when his cache is TD for "maintenance".  You'd be surprised how few COs actually get permission...

Good to see you safe.

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19 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was once questioned when I parked on a suburban, public street and also photographed (I think I might have smiled and waved as they did so), by a scruffy couple. If they were hiding something, they certainly drew attention to themselves. What were they hiding? Drug house? Women's safe house? Whatever it was it was that house was now noted.

 

The OP didn't give any specifics, so it's hard to say what the issue was.  But if I'm caching in an unfamiliar place, I deliberately avoid suburban neighborhood caches that look fishy.  Nevermind that I have no ability to determine which front yard to go Geocaching in (GPS or not, I always picked the wrong yard).  If the cache page doesn't specifically say that the cache owner lives there, I don't go.  After some experience, certain caches will send red flags as you approach.  You don't gotta get'em all.

 

And yes, when I pull over to the shoulder of the road in a neighborhood around here, neighbors notice, and who knows what they're up to.  Cops pull up to my car super quickly (kinda kills the cache hunt when they do that!), and those neighbors who don't own that property are also bigger criminals than I am, I'd bet.

 

Lately, I prefer to skip "caches in a neighborhood" altogether.  :anicute:

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

Nevermind that I have no ability to determine which front yard to go Geocaching in

I hate those too, but the cache there wasn't in anyone's front garden. There was a public walkway between houses that led to a nature park. I can't have been the first person who used that to access the nature park and go for a walk; with or without a dog.

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My husband and I were grabbing a series of caches along a rural dirt road in a neighboring county. We had collected perhaps half of them when we heard a gunshot in the distance. I thought maybe hunting going on somewhere nearby? After a few minutes, a guy pulled up on a quad with a great big shot gun across his lap. We knew we must look pretty suspicious, in the middle of nowhere, along a random dirt road, staring at a random tree. We explained that we were geocaching and he seemed unimpressed. He said he was looking for someone in a white pickup that had dumped trash in the road. We cut our caching adventure short and headed for the highway. Indeed there was a huge pile of trash in the road ahead, and nearby was an angry looking lady on another quad holding a rifle.

 

I'm really glad we weren't driving a white pickup and I doubt I'll be going back for the rest of the series.

Edited by G0ldNugget
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Looks like that cache was placed near a Boy Scout Camp, likely by a merit badge councilor & his class. CO has 3 hides along that road, there are 2 others with Scouting related names. I'll add to the mention earlier that a Needs Archive might have been the log of choice.

 

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Finally back home (after this long road trip) and can give follow-on details.

 

Firstly, I am from Texas, as my name implies.  (People from the US will know what that means) I know the deal, as well as what trespassing actually means.  I took this encounter as either a threat or a warning that I was on private property.  I was on a gravel road that maybe was maintained by the county or by the private citizens of the area - I can't say for sure, especially as an out-of-towner.  The "trail" that I speak of was on said roads.  That entire area could very well have been on what those residents would consider private property.  I absolutely don't think that it was a warning about being near a hunt club.  It was absolutely about trespass on private property, despite being parked on the side of the road.  

 

I don't begrudge the residents of the area for asserting what they probably assume are their rights.  My main concern is that the caches along the road in this area were improperly placed.  Even if permission was obtained for those particular spots of land where those caches are placed, neighbors are still a concern.

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Yes, I think posting a find and then an NM is the right reaction. Thanks for going to the trouble. There's something wrong here -- "improperly placed" strikes me as a good thing to call it -- but you don't really know what, so I don't think you can justify posting an NA.

 

I agree with HoochDog that they were likely being more friendly than you thought, and even following you to make sure you leave isn't unreasonable when you consider the wtf? of the situation from their point of view. Remember, it's one thing for you to drive on a road, but parking on the side and walking into off *into* land that, as far as you know, those people might own is really what you would be thinking about. I'd certainly be leery of similar country roads in Tennessee after this since it's clear that cache owners are a little lax about working out the ownership implications in that area, but hopefully there are more obviously public places in the area like parks and such for your caching pleasure.

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Those are the situations where, even if the geocache(s) has a perfectly legitimate and legal right to be there, as do you in a public space (whether you're a geocacher or not) and the resident is acting out of place if even illegally - it's generally safer to err on the side of caution for the sake of other geocachers. Let the CO know, post a Note/NM/NA to let the community know, or directly let a reviewer know. They can decide whether to "fight" it, or just archive because it's not worth the potential risk to people or hassle in dealing with disgruntled (though irrelevant) nearby residents. 

 

I mean, at the very least it avoids the potential for geocaches to 'mysteriously' go missing...

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On 7/10/2021 at 5:42 PM, lee737 said:

Do you think it actually was private property, or locals over-extending? I might even have added a Needs Archived, simply to alert a reviewer to take a close look sooner rather than later…

 

Looks like private property to me. Owned by some kind of family trust.

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14 minutes ago, TXGeekette said:

How do I figure out who/how to contact someone to ask to review this? Sorry, as you can see, my only experience in these forums (never posted before) and how things actually work is pretty limited.

Just log a 'Needs Archived' log. I would explain that I didn't necessarily want the cache archived, but explain what happened and ask for a reviewer to check it out in case further action is needed. I think the 'Needs Archived' should really be renamed, maybe 'For reviewer attention' maybe.... you could also email your local reviewer if you know their email, I'd just use the NA.

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6 hours ago, TXGeekette said:

 

How do you figure this out?

 

You may be able to go to a County Tax Assessor web site and view a map.  My county now has only numbers instead of names, but it's still handy.  Hunting maps have names, but tend to require a subscription.  Such research should be the Cache Owner's job.  You could write to local previous finders and ask.  You may also go to local meet-and-greet Events and ask about the area.

 

Hoochdog's post above showed a map with a green dot (just as an example).  The dot is on someone's property.  Before you hunt such a cache, be sure you're comfortable with the information on the cache page.  Sometimes I look for a phrase like "The Cache Owner lives here".  In your case, the cache has been found for 4 years with I guess no issue.  Something may have changed.  Even with express permission, if the place has developed "helpful" patrolling neighbors who suggest you leave, that's worth mentioning in the cache log.

 

cachelocation.png.f589127bf460c2db31b7f2c822a132a1.png

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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8 hours ago, TXGeekette said:

How do I figure out who/how to contact someone to ask to review this? Sorry, as you can see, my only experience in these forums (never posted before) and how things actually work is pretty limited.

Not that I mean to discourage you from asking this question since it is a useful talent (I don't have it), but just to be clear: it's not your job to figure out whether this cache is on private property or whatever. As a seeker, you had a problem which raised questions, but the CO is the one that needs to sort out the problem, whether that's getting permission, explaining that he already has permission, or archiving the cache now that he realizes he doesn't have permission and archives the cache. Since this is a scout cache, my guess is that the CO didn't understand that you can't just send seekers into people's back yards to look for caches.

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There is a Boy Scout Camp very nearby.
The area where the Boy Scout camp is also listed as "Properties Trust"
In all likelihood the cache IS on ground owned by BSA and in a proper location.  There have been no issues for several years.
I'm guessing that you had bad luck and were just accosted by some rude muggles and the cache is fine. 
I wouldn't have logged a Needs Maintenance, let alone a Needs Archived in a case like this.  I'd just log my find, explained what happened in the log and be on my way.
I tend not to second guess CO's unless i'm 100% sure there is an issue.

image.png.65b033254a94aaa08da0772b854d2df0.png

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8 hours ago, HoochDog said:

In all likelihood the cache IS on ground owned by BSA and in a proper location.

Then the cache description should explain that.

 

8 hours ago, HoochDog said:

I wouldn't have logged a Needs Maintenance, let alone a Needs Archived in a case like this.  I'd just log my find, explained what happened in the log and be on my way.

No, sorry, something bad happened, and therefore it needs maintenance. If the cache is, indeed, properly placed with permission, then the seeker should have been able to show those people chapter and verse to prove they were allowed to be parked there doing that geocaching. *That's* what need maintenance. That's not second guessing the CO. That's telling the CO what went wrong so they can correct it, whether that's explaining the permission in the description, or, better, talking to the neighbors so they know what geocaching is and asking them not to harass geocachers that the CO has authorized to be there.

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I must share a related experience.

I logged a Wherigo a few years ago. At one stage, it pointed straight into someone's garden (I think it was a summerhouse)! After walking about for a bit outside, my locaction was finally identified as outside but inside the zone, but it was clearly too close to the garden.

I informed the CO who got angry with me for "whining" and told me to go and log PTs instead. Not OK! I was trying to help him to avoid conflicts and he took offense instead of showing any interest in fixing the problem.

The privacy of people near our caching activities must have priority.

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