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Need some advice: Drop them or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hud, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Hud

    Hud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    As my profile says, I'm a groundskeeper. I've got 2 large properties/estates that I maintain and several small ones that I do simply because they're my neighbors. One of these properties/neighbors is doing something that irritates me.

    We live in a wonderful community that's wooded with many small lakes. We've got a lot of wildlife: squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, owls, raccoons, possums, ducks, geese, deer, etc. For the last few years, we've had an influx of wild ducks and Canadian geese. The weather has been so mild, many of them don't migrate anymore.

    Anyway, these folks live directly behind us on a small lake. The wife is particularly afraid of animals. They don't like, putting it nicely, the ducks or geese. For the last couple years, they resorted to bombing them with fire crackers whenever the birds left the lake and stepped onto their property. This year, they did the firecrackers for a while, but now, they've abandoned the firecrackers, and turned to BB & pellet guns. I can look out my back window, at odd times of the day or night, and see these people shooting at these birds whenever the birds step onto their property. This morning as on the past 2 mornings, I've watched the lady of the house, in her nightgown, chase them to the water's edge while at the same time blasting them with her lever action BB gun. It's become an obsession with them.

    I'm not into abusing animals or people who abuse animals. I've been trying to convince myself to continue doing the small amount of work I do for these people each year. I thought I had myself convinced to just ignore their behavior and continue working for them when I looked out the window this morning and saw her sitting in her lawn chair: She'd jump out of her chair, blast them with her BB gun, and chase them, nightgown flapping in the wind, back into the lake, and then continue shooting at them.

    My wife says, for the sake of neighborly harmony, I should ignore their behavior, and keep working for them. My gut reaction is to stay away from weird people; I'd be more comfortable telling them I'm too busy to work for them anymore, which, frankly, I am. I don't normally ask for advice, but I thought I'd ask your collective opinion.

    What to do?
  2. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    I would call the DNR, tell them to leave my name onominous. That should stop them when they get a huge fine. Why moved to wooded lakefront property when you dont like wildlife kinda dumb IMO.
  3. ConPro

    ConPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Don't do work for neighbors, they don't even know your phone #. Explian why you can't take care of their property any more( make something up). Good fences make good neighbors. Personally I would shoot them ( unwanted wildlife ) ,myself but from my TV room.
  4. Hud

    Hud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    No offense, ConPro, but you sound a whole lot like the problem I'm trying to get rid of. This is your motto?: "If God made it grow outdoors, We make it thrive! " By shooting it from your TV room?

    I bet the folks who really know you call you by your nickname: Richard Cranium. Highland Park, PA must LOVE having you as a neighbor. Man, you need to work on your presentation. I'm wishing you the success you deserve! D'uh, thanks for that worthless reply.
  5. I'm not sure what ConPro meant by his statement, but I thought he was trying to side with you against animal cruelty.

    I think you should keep them as customers. But buy them one of those "dead goose" rubber floats to put in their side of the lake.

    They'll be happy 'cause the geese stay away. :)

    You'll be happy 'cause the shooting stops.:)

    Just don't do nothing.

    When this crime is finally investigated I wouldn't want to have to tell the officer "yeah, they've been shooting geese for a long time, I've seen them."

  6. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    I would bet that the neighbors do not object to the wildlife visitations and what really lights their fire is what the wild life leaves behind.. Wife & myself visited a historic site in Hyde Park last year and you couldn't walk down the sidewalk for all of the goose droppings (I thought dogs were bad till I saw this).. I do not agree with shooting animals to keep them off of my property but I would be the first in line to purchase some type of repellent to make the unwanted visitation unpleasant. Shooting / molesting wildlife out of season probably carries a hefty fine any where in the USA and would make the purchase seem like a bargain.
  7. fatboy5803

    fatboy5803 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    BobR, yes the droppings can be a pain in the A-- ..... I used to live by a lake and their were Mallards all around. For some reason some found my back porch, then I started feeding them bread, then one day I realized a flock started to hang out in my yard, all the droppings on the slab stained it. :mad: I just stopped feeding them and chased them away, every time they came around.
    Hud, did your neighbors ever feed these ducks ?? That could of been a Big mistake. The squirrels and others never bothered me.
    Not sure what I'd do in your situation, maybe talk to them, or help keeping the critters off their property ?? No ! Idon't think so. Good Luck.....

    Lou :dizzy:
  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Try talking to them about methods of keeping geese off their property. Fencing, bushes, repellants, etc. It may turn into more work for you ($). If you are too busy now, contact wildlife control companies and use them as sub contractors to do the work.

    If the situation still bothers you, I would try to gracefully back out of working for them. As was said earlier, I also avoid doing work for neighbors.

    P.S. I think ConPro was trying to joke that the neighbors are the "unwanted wildlife".
  9. William Camp

    William Camp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    I live in Michigan we have a lot of geese I think i would keep working for them but suggest something for the problem

    Fourstar Lawnscaping
    Lennon Mi:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
  10. Hud

    Hud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    ConPro, if you were making a joke that I misunderstood, my apology to you. I'm the butt-head. I don't usually make an *** of myself, in writing or in person, but this has been grating at me so much, well, again, if I misinterpreted what you meant, I'm sorry.

    I was upset when I started this thread last night, and I find myself even more upset this morning. They did ask my opinion about how to get rid of the birds when this started a few years ago. And they did comment at the time how they might get a BB gun to shoot them. I thought they were joking, but did tell them I didn't think possibly wounding or maiming them was a wise idea just to punish the birds for being on their property. I also pointed out that that type of action is possibly illegal. And certainly, if people start seeing maimed or dead ducks/geese around, someone would surely report them to authorities. They do live by a lake, and ducks & geese like lakes. And yes, they do object to the wildlife visitations: the wife is afraid of animals. She even hates the squirrels and the chipmunks. But she's especially frightened of birds.

    I did a google search, and came up with all kinds of information for them on how to keep the birds off their property without harming the birds. It turns out they'd done some research, too, and decided they weren't going to do anything that required any extra effort or any expense. I volunteered to do it for them. He said his wife wouldn't tolerate putting anything on the property she would have to look at. So they started off by chasing the birds, then went directly to small firecrackers, then to big firecrackers, and now BB gun & pellet gun. My wife told me on a couple occasions, in the early morning, she spotted the husband in our back yard chasing the birds away from her bird feeder. And yes, lots of folks here have feeders for the critters. And I'm very familiar with the mess the birds leave with their droppings, and I even find that annoying. But to possibly wound or maim them for it?

    My wife believes, in the interest of neighborly harmony, I should just ignore their behavior: They are otherwise good neighbors, and in the interest of keeping the peace, I should overlook what they're doing, and keep working for them. But try as I may, I simply cannot do it. ConPro, if it's any consolation, I may take a bit of your advice. You said "...Explian (sic) why you can't take care of their property any more( make something up)..." It may be something like that. But it's more likely I'm going to tell them, simply and nicely, how I feel. Otherwise, by condoning their behavior, I'm implying I agree with it, and I don't. That will probably be my first step.

    Thanks for all your advice, and for letting me vent.

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