Ever Hear Gun Shots At Your House?

making noise at christmas

Over Christmas Miss Cindy came to visit and got snowed in. Not from snow at our house (we only got rain) but the 16 inches which accumulated at her place prevented her from traveling home for an extra day or so. We didn’t mind cause we love to have her-I especially enjoyed her visit since she took charge of my laundry while she was here.

One night, as we were all turning in for bed, we heard rapid gun shots-4 if I remember correctly. By the sound, you could tell it was a rifle-a big gun-and close. Honestly-I never gave the gun shots a second thought. Miss Cindy asked if we thought every thing was alright. I said “yeah, sounds like somebody just shot something out of a tree or something.”

Over the following days, I kept thinking about how hearing gun shots close to your house at night could be considered normal. But to us-it is normal. As I thought about it, I began to wonder, do I live in the only place where hearing gun shots late at night is not a cause for worry?

So I’m hoping you’ll help me out-normal or not? A few days later we found out the cause of the gun shots-a marauding skunk-which was determined to make the neighbor’s house it’s new abode.



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  • Reply
    B f
    March 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

    i too have heard gun shots at night but i,m out in the country and have woods in back so its not a big deal , sometimes someone asks if they can rabbit hunt oover there and if its someone i know its o k,
    i remember when we had rabbit for eating and you know its not half bad ,of course now we dont depend on those things , we,re over populated with all kind of varmints , coyotes, ground hogs , deer , etc.i even hear the coyotes close the house at night screaming that outlandish scream
    have a great day

  • Reply
    January 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Didn’t hear the shots, but there were three fired in the street about three blocks from our house last spring. The murder trial begins in May. Life in the big city.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2010 at 2:01 am

    we live in the woods, near old logging roads and lots of folk shoot clay pidgins up there also they can hunt during the appropriate season, we also live over the hill from a gunrange so on clear days we can hear that..
    so yeah, pretty normal around these parts.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    January 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Tipper: I would certainly worry if I heard gunshots near my house. It is against the law.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

    We live in town, but sort of on the fringe, with the bay right below us. There are many wooded area’s in our town and gunshots are heard at night from time to time. We have a HUGE racoon population and usually it’s someone who has had enough. Because we’re right on the bay, early morning shots are heard a lot from duck hunters.

  • Reply
    thea klein
    January 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

    It is considered “normal” here as well but unfortunately it usually means something bad. Not the “hey I got supper tonight dear” which is what I was accustom to growing up.
    I do miss those gunshots. It is sad that my kids only hear the ones that hurt. not the ones that ARE “normal”

  • Reply
    January 1, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I have been looking at this post on my iGoogle page and contemplating what you might be writing about.
    Today my brother-in-law and his wife came up to go visit my husband’s grave which is in a little historical graveyard in the country. While we were there, we heard shots out in the woods to the south. Ted became worried. He lives in Houston in a very populated subdivision. I had to assure him that target practicing, shooting a snake in the chicken house, is not uncommon in the country. We were near the National Forest, so hardly any population there. I usually bothered by gun shots for the above reasons, for I too live in the country. I will say that occasionally the type or method of firing will catch my ear and give me pause to think of what the one firing the gun might be doing, but on the whole if you have a gun you need to fire it, clean it and keep it in good condition. A way of life that can not be had in the city, that is why they have gun ranges and practice ranges.
    Thanks, What a great post.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Since I live with a hunter and have neighbors who are hunters, hearing gunfire during the day is not at all unusual around here – in fact, probably pretty annoying to some of our “non-hunting” neighbors. But like Ms. Cindy, hearing gun shots at night always makes me think something might be wrong. I remember the days during the trial of OJ Simpson, we had a cabin at Lake Fontana and one night we heard some gun shots during the night. The next morning, my daughter and I both commented that we had heard the shots – exactly how many there had been and at exactly what time – watching the trial had made us take note of everything. We had a good laugh over that one! I’m still a little spooked when I hear gun shots at night though!
    Have a wonderful new year! Keep us reminiscing!!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    January 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I always like to hear about Cindy, we were friends at HCC a long time ago. I saw her picture on one of your blogs, she hasn’t changed at all. I also remember Tony. I love your blog.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Usually its someone practicing around here. A lot of times it signals someone bought a new gun and is checking it out. This sometimes summons a little friendly competition.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Since we live in a busy neighborhood, gunshots are not normal. 🙂

  • Reply
    trisha too
    December 31, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    it’s not as if it’s all the time, but we don’t think anything of it here.
    except maybe, “I hope they aren’t shooting our stupid dogs!”

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    December 31, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’m always struck by the stark differences in the sound of gunshots in the night depending on the place you are at. I remember when I was a kid growing up on the mountain, whenever you heard a gunshot in the middle of the night, it wasn’t a cause for alarm but it did give a person a reason to wonder. I remember first trying to identify the sound of the gun, since all guns sound different, and since everyone on the mountain knew the sound of everyone else’s gun, you could, with some sort of certainty, determine who it was that was doing the shooting. After figuring that out, you would begin to deduce a probable explanation for the shooting…what kind of gun was it? What time of year was it?…all these things were clue’s. If it was a high powered rifle you heard echoing down the holler in the late summer, then you kind of knew someone was out killing a deer (the old saying was “the deer are ripe when the strawberries are ripe”). If it was a smaller caliber gun, then you figured it was a skunk or a coon in the chickenhouse. If the gunshot was from a smaller caliber rifle or a shotgun, it may have been something in someone’s chickenhouse. If the shot came up the holler from the lower parts of the mountain, then it might be a mink in the chickenhouse. If it was New Years Eve, everyone would be out at midnight shooting their guns to bring in the New Year, I remember all the men would take turns, the neighbor up the mountain would shoot first, then we would shoot, then our neighbors below would shoot, each person shot 13 times (once for each month to shoot out the old year, and once to shoot in the New). It might take 20 minutes or so for everyone to shoot in the New Year, but it was quite an exciting event in our lives. The quiet that followed all the shooting seemed twice as silent. No matter what time of the year, you came to expect nighttime shots in certain parts of the mountain, while others were a bit unusual and would probably lead you to going to see about it the next morning. I don’t ever recall going to check about shooting in the middle of the night while it was still dark, that would have been nosy and an invasion of someone’s privacy…and as Granny used to say, “It might even get your killin’ done.”
    The sounds of hearing gunshots in the middle of the night changed considerable when I moved off the mountain into the more populated towns. Then, I didn’t know the sound of whose gun it was that was being fired, nor did I know the people. Then the gunshots became a thing of fear. I just knew to stay away from the windows, and keep the phone by the bed in case I needed to call 911.
    Quite different times and lifestyles, thats for sure.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Tipper, I would imagine for your neck of the woods that is normal.
    Happy New Year to you!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2009 at 6:09 am

    That would be normal background noise around here! You’d better have a shotgun when you live in a rural area; as others have cited, you occasionally have to put down some disruptive (or rabid) wildlife. We especially have trouble with rabbits helping themselves to our gardens and ‘coons trying to raid hen houses. ‘Coon hunting is a very popular sport with a lot of folks around here. I love to lie in bed at night and hear the hounds baying in the distance – a timeless Appalachian lullabye – lol!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 30, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Hearing gunshots at two or three in the morning is more of a concern here in the country…but at daybreak…probably deer hunters on the ridge..usually is…then just after dusk and somewhat later in the evening I have a good neighbor that posts a spot and calls in cayotes from his barn loft…and puts some in cayote heaven…we have way too many here….other than the middle of the night shots…we don’t worry to much about it…except we don’t want deer hunters in our woods since our house is hard to see and I don’t look forward to picking out bullets or worse…

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    We hear them occasionally here, but not often. Not close to the house either. We live near a boat club and there are homes around us and it’s too dangerous to be shooting in this area.
    I grew up in the country and was taught about guns and gun safety early on. I do enjoy target and skeet shooting. Not that I get to do it often, but I loved it when I have!
    Happy New Year!!

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    December 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Interesting topic. It’s normal to hear one neighbor practicing in the daytime, esepcially on Sunday. He makes his own shells. A new neighbor moved in and started shooting in the daytime. I was happy when the leaves fell so he can now see how close he lives to others. The different hunting seasons bring hunters out across this mountain, even though there are over a hundred houses here now
    with children playing in the yards and old women puttering in their flower gardens. Since I moved here in the 1960s the only time I’ve heard guns at night have been on New Year’s Eve. I step out on my porch at midnight and can hear guns going off like firecrackers on the mountain and in the valley.

  • Reply
    Janet Pressley
    December 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Poor ms cindy – I have on occasion shot my pistol out in the yard at night – thats only cause i live in the country. From now on i will try to keep it down to a minor firearm blast so as not to scare anymore neighbors. God bless America – Nana janet

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    December 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    somewhat normal here. Usually a neighbor scaring away a bear or on a rare occasion, shooting a rattlesnake. There is also a firing range that we can hear occasionally, depends on the air pressure.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    It’s normal around here – especially during hunting season. I’m kind of a hypocrite – I don’t intellectually oppose hunting, but I wish they’d all take up bow hunting. I hate those rifle blasts. Plus it would give the Bambis a better chance at survival. Even if we do have a deer problem, I love watching them graze in the morning fog.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    It’s normal around here, too.
    From hunters to pratice shots to people protecting their pecan crop. And then there’s that crazy guy who says the birds keep his wife up at night. So yeah, gun shots are normal around these parts. Soon after my neighbor moved in from the city, she came flying over to my house, shaking like a leaf. Worried cause she was hearing gun shots. She didn’t like it much cause we brushed it off as nothing.

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    December 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Used to hear them in Westminster, MD when Sister S lived there. Then I heard them when she moved to WV. I hear them in the ‘big harsh’ all the time. Bad people hereabouts. So, yes, it’s normal for me too. xxoo

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    It’s fairly normal to hear gunshots around here, but not at night.

  • Reply
    julie curtis
    December 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I grew up in the country and yes, that’s normal! One time we found a tiny round hole in the bathroom window and another one in the bathroom door that was made by a stray .22 bullet! I was glad nobody was in there at the time.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Definitely NOT normal around here! I actually woke up at 6am a few weeks ago, and heard a gunshot… then about 30 seconds later, another one. I called the police because we live in the town limits, in a neighborhood – so there shouldn’t be any shooting of any sort. I was explaining to the dispatcher what I heard, it seemed to be a large caliber gun/shotgun or something… and then I heard a third one while on the phone. It really freaked me out! The dispatcher patched me through to an officer after asking where I lived, and the officer told me that he was up the street from me, about 6 houses away, (I looked out of my window and saw the flashing lights) and they had to put down a deer that had been struck by a vehicle. (why it took 3 separate shots is beyond me!) But – then I went back to bed.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Normal at my house…but it’s usually me doing the shooting! Snakes, crazy racoons…you name it, I’ll find it! (The other day, I went into the garage with my daughter’s fiance. All of a sudden, he screamed like a little girl, I asked “What?” He said “A possum…but I thought it was a rat!” I thought I’d split a gut laughing at him!)

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    December 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Normal for where I live now, if in season. There’s the deer, duck, varmints, coyotes, etc. It took a bit for me to get used to living in the country and hearing the sounds of country, which include guns.
    When we lived in the city, it would have been cause for incredible alarm and I would have called the police.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Most people around here have guns.
    They are good protection,fun to shoot,and,can make for a good table full of food. Just keep them out of the hands of “fools”

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    December 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    It’s normal around here — target practice, shooting at varmints — or firing a gun to bring the dogs running for home. We also get the occasional hunter passing through — not often, thank goodness, because of the cattle and the dogs. And I reckon that on Old Christmas we’ll hear some more gunfire and firecrackers — a few of our neighbors have been known to keep up the custom.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I live on a lake “out in the county” which basically means we’re out of the city limits. There are woods across the lake and down the street too. So yes, we hear gunshots. I used to have a neighbor who hated squirrels so he shot at them (didn’t aim) to scare them out of his trees. Hearing shots down his way was common. During deer season hearing shots is not unexpected even though the land across the lake is posted. But most any time around here you can hear a shot somewhere in the distance. Like you I always just assume it’s a skunk or a raccoon getting in someone’s garbage. Now if I lived in town I wouldn’t be happy if I heard shots! blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Happy New Year!
    Every so often we do hear gun shots. I live in rural Pennsylvania with acreage surrounding us so it happens from time to time but I still wonder who & what the reason is.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    December 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Well, it wasn’t too many years ago that we heard gun shots far too often. In our neck of the woods (that being the city) that is never a good thing. Our area has turned around enough that it is much more rare, but still not a good thing.

  • Reply
    Chef E
    December 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Being from Texas I would say ‘yes’ it was normal. Someone who had one to many might go out and shoot their gun off in the air, or maybe to scare off a would be thief… Not here in Jersey, if it happened, I might have to check on the neighbors…
    If I am right I believe that shooting off fire arms with in a certain area of city limits is frowned upon, when as a young girl it was not big deal.
    Tipper you come up with some really good conversation starters 🙂

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    December 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I live in a fairly populated area and don’t currently own a gun, although I have used plenty of them of all calibers and gauges. The guns don’t scare me a bit. It is some of the fools I see that manage to get their hands on them without knowing what they are doing that scare me. Some folks don’t think about when they fire a weapon that the projectile is going to keep traveling until it either runs out of steam or hits something. If they don’t hit what they are aiming at, the projectile isn’t going to just stop.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Nope!! Not normal here, even though we have a lot of hunters and “rednecks”, lol, I’m too close to the city.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I hope you have a wonderful 2010.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Happy New Year’s Eve Eve,
    I grew up in the country and have been one of the “late nite shooters”. My brother,sister,and I were all taught gun safety at an early age. We all had our own box of 22 shells,bought with allowances. Now I live on the outer edge of my hometown, and we occasionally hear gunshots, it isn’t a worry. It almost always envolves some critter. We even had to dispose of a skunk that had taken up residence in a woodpile close to the house. Our dog discovered it and would not leave it be. My poor son, got the honor. He has always had the “honor”. Poor kid. But he is a crack shot. He just didn’t like having to haul the offender off and bury it. Wow, I didn’t realize I was writing a book, lol. Have a great one,

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    You know, Tipper, there are a lot of folks who are afraid of guns and hearing gun fire makes them fearful.
    I did not grow up around guns like you and the Deer Hunter did. I wasn’t around guns till I married the Deer Hunters Dad.
    I learned to shoot and handle guns and enjoyed it. I still do.
    One of the great things about living outside the city limits is you can shoot. When the Deer Hunter was small he learned all about guns and knives. He learned how to use them and how to respect them. Guns were not locked away and forbidden.
    When we wanted to shoot we went out in the yard and set up a target.
    I live inside the city limits now and shooting is against the law but I still hear shooting occasionally and I am not really bothered by it.
    Hearing shots at night at your house doesn’t concern me either. Most of your neighbors are of sound mind. LOL!
    PS: The laundry was my pleasure. You do so much, I am happy to do any small thing I can to help!

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    December 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    We are like you. Gun shots are no cause for concern at all. We own guns – all the neighbors own guns – we are surrounded by fields and wooded areas. and we are quite familiar with the hunting season schedule. More often than not we don’t even notice them.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Yes, we hear them all the time. Sometimes at 2 am~just people out hunting illegally, usually. I had a neighbor that used to go out any time of the night and shoot off her shotgun in the air to ‘quieten’ her hunting dogs (all 25 of them), LOL!

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    December 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Normal at my house too. Although if we hear shots in the middle of the night, we take notice because it might mean something is after someone’s livestock.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    December 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    It’s normal for my house out in the country. I don’t give it a second thought.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    In our neighborhood, gun shots would NOT be normal! We would be scared to death–and I’m sure somebody would call the police. But we live in a place where all the homes are really close together and there aren’t many trees–just the ones people have planted in their yards.

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