Camp breakins the ultimate in disrespect


Of the many hundreds of articles I have written over the years, there is one topic I have yet to cover and have steered clear of until now… 

So, please excuse me while I vent! 

For anyone out there who has had their house, cottage or camp broke into, you’ll know how I feel. We had our house broken into last year and all of our computers and many personal items were stolen.

It is a sickening feeling, a feeling of being violated I tell you, to return to your home after something like that…to know that some scumbag has rifled through your wife and daughter’s underwear drawer just makes my blood boil!

Yes, a home break-in was something new for me, but unfortunately hunt camp break-in’s are something I’ve been dealing with since I was a kid.

As a boy growing up in the country in a town of 350 people, we never had the need for a ‘cottage’ per say. The camp really was our cottage and we would visit it almost every week as a family.

As I got older I started hunting at our camp my father and uncles, I quickly learned though why my father was always so stressed when we arrived, and he approached the front door. 

If I had to estimate, I’d say our camp has been broken into and vandalized no less than 20 times over the years. We have replaced the propane lights and fridge easily 8 times. We run an average of about one break-in every 5 –years, and since we’ve had a camp in that location since 1941, it works out to about a five year average. 
Now that, my friends, is pretty damn pathetic!! 

You know, it’s not so much the fact that someone breaks-in the front door or through the side-window protective panels, it’s what they do when they get inside. Usually they’d just steal the propane fixtures, lamps, fridge and stoves, but other times they’d mess with more personal items. 

We’ve had 3 moose heads stolen over the years and copious deer antlers. One time the bastards took our old black and white family hunting photos and tossed down the outhouse hole. They’ve slept there over night and vomited on our beds. They’ve taken our cutlery and thrown it into the creek.

Now, who does that kind of thing? To me, this is the ultimate form of disrespect and it must take the lowest form of life to carry out an act as degrading as this.

One time back in 1995 a friend of ours dropped by the house to say he had just come back from fishing and noticed some guy ‘living in our camp!’ 


We headed up the mountain roads like a bat out of hell not knowing what to expect when we got there..but sure enough, we could see through the window there was some guy inside drinking coffee, sitting in MY Goddamn chair !!

The prick had broken down the front door and torn off both side window panels. He also had a 22-calibre rifle hanging from one of the coat racks, so wehad to be quick! 

When my father, brother-in-law’s and I charged through the front door, Dad grabbed the axe on the way in and held it to guy’s head!

Man, I thought for a moment (& secretly hoped) the old man was going to split him wide-open, but he didn’t. He just held his cool and asked the guy what he was doing. I’ve never seen such fear on a person’s face and by God did this fellow deserve it.

The police arrived a short time later and we found out he was a troubled lad whose parents lived just a few miles away. My father was the bigger man…and agreed not to press charges so long as they paid for the damage and promised never to return.

That’s just one example of what we have had to deal with over the years. Last fall they broke in yet again, stole my Dad’s nice 50″ moose antlers, a frying pan and a couple of smaller items. Nothing huge was taken, just enough to piss you off. But then they finished off by driving an axe through the wall where the moose rack had been. 

It was a gesture that really got under the old man’s skin and mine too! 

I ask you, what is wrong with people today that they need to invade someone’s space like that. It is, in my opinion, about as disrespectful as it gets.

Sure, we have contemplated leaving the front door open and letting people use the camp with a nice little note asking to please clean up afterwards.

We tried that in the early days, and it simply did not work.

Did I explain there has been a camp in this location since 1941? Yes, but this is actually our third camp in that spot. The previous two camps were burned to ground in the 40’s and 50’s. Our current camp built by my Grandfather has been there since 1960..which would make this year the camp’s 50th Anniversary. Trust me, we’re going to celebrate!

Each time we get broken-into we have resigned ourselves to looking on the bright side. It’s all we have left. “At least they didn’t burn it down” my father would say to me each time. 

After all that has happen over the years, though, the tension is still there and has built to a point where I really pity the person we catch breaking-in. 

And I have a feeling, after 70 years of dealing with this my father may not hold back on the axe next time, and you know what, I wouldn’t blame him a bit!


41 thoughts on “Camp breakins the ultimate in disrespect”

  1. Ther’s a camp near where I hunt that looks more like a fortress than a huntcamp. Steel doors, bars on the windows which have heavy shutters locked closed when the owners aren’t around. The original camp was built in 1919 and over the years after multiple break-ins and being burnt to the ground several times, this is what the boys have had to resort to in an effort to ensure their property would still be in one piece every time they visited. These days so they see fewer breakins but more vandalism, almost as if the jerks who do this are pissed off they can’t break in anymore. Brutal

    1. JayMan, brutal is right and I know what you mean!

      We have our camp locked up tighter than a duck’s arse…. with wood and steel panels on the doors and windows and they still find ways to get in…luckily though, the only thing able to get in since last year was a raccoon!


    1. Will, it’s almost as if the court itself is perpetuating the problem with their own lack of respect!

      Makes me sick!!


  2. we don”t have a camp that we leave up we have a temparary one . we have only ever had our trailer hitches stolen. hard to get back home when they are gone.. but i did have my house broken into. the stole all my guns and destroyed our house . the worse part is they put paint on my wifes wedding dress. ( they took it out of the box laid it on bed then poured paint on the dress and bed… now that is just wrong, that was harder to take then missing my guns . the wife is still paranoid to go into the house late at night by herself. even though we have now built a brand new house on the same lot ….. people just dont respect anything

    1. Chessy, that’s just terrible…I feel for you and your wife and I’ve seen the paranoia you speak of firsthand…having to deal with my daughter’s nightmares in the weeks following our home break-in.

      The sad part is, as Will pointed out, these sort of crimes are not taken seriously enough…short of threatening the crooks yourself with an axe…how else will they learn a lesson?

      I never wrote the end of story of the lad who had been living in our camp in 1995…seems our decision to not press charges paid off…we heard recently that he since moved away and made a good life for himself. He has a family now and a good job and his father claims the camp break-in was a big turning point in his life!!

      Who knows, maybe my father threatening him with an axe made a difference…it does beg the question, though, whether maybe vigilante justice is the way to go….


  3. There is only one way to stop them, catch them in the act, place under gun-point then have them strip naked, take them outside, tie them to a tree, cover them in honey and let them spend the night like that. Let them go the next morning with the caveat of next time, we don’t come back to untie you.

    1. Hey Big Zack……………….I like it!

      And of course you could replace ‘gun point’ with ‘axe point’..its wayyyy more dramatic!


      1. A REPLY FROM CHESSY(He’s having trouble getting through for some reason):

        You know when i was growing up, a stern look from my mom or dad set me straight. Today, you have to darn near kill kids to get them to do somthing ….. you can say it is drug problem that causes em to do this junk, but here is a post that i read years ago…. little off target but i think it is a killing shot:

        “The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question. “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?” I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church, weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad’s fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed. Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America (CANADA) would be a better place. God bless the parents who drugged us. “


      2. OK all you propeller heads out it just a coincidence that not 5 minutes after I created this Post this am, I received spam about a Home Security System!!

        Can spyware work that quickly??


  4. Sorry chessy..I never have and to be honest, I dont handle change very well at the best of times.

    I have heard many people say Mac’s are good though…


  5. its like hunting jeff once you make that change to hunt you never look back, and realise why you did not start earlier

  6. yeah..cept that hunting seemed like such a natural transition as a boy…not everything in life is quite that easy.


  7. Everyone should be aware of the following sections of the criminal code: 25(1) and 494…I’ll leave it at that.

  8. Chessy, I really enjoyed that post about drugs. I have two boys of my own, and I live by that code as much as possible. RESPECT is a word my boys know all too well, and consequences for all your actions, good or bad, they know just as well. It may have a lot to do with drugs these days being more readily available, and made trivial by TV and movies. But I think it has a lot about parents raising their kids with a hands-off approach. I know of too many parents that let their kids watch as much TV as possible, and let them get raised on their own in front of TV, video games, and the internet. I spend a lot of time watching the tv shows and listening to the music that my kids listen to, and let me tell you, I know where they get their “me first” attitudes and their sense of entitlement. I want, I get, NOW. Those shows and music get banned in my house. Parents are not involved with their kids anymore. Heck, no kidding, I was in Ocean City, MD on the weekend. They have a boardwalk there with your regular fair rides. I saw a dad on one ride (tilt-a-whirl) with his two kids. He was texting in his Blackberry while on the ride! How more disconnected can you get? Family values have been hijacked by the media, and parents seem to have lost touch. Can you imagine when our kids have their own kids!?

  9. what’s that Trapper
    be nice to the basta rds that break into homes and hunt camps and steal guns from law abiding citizens and let them out on bail so they can steal some more and sentence them to short terms for serious crimes. You looking for an appointment for judgeship 😉

  10. here is the act…..

    25(1) Everyone who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
    (a) as a private person,
    … is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

  11. Interesting blog~ good reading!
    Just want to comment on the picture that is attached to the blog:
    two fine bucks you ave there!
    Is that your dad next to you? (Priceless).
    Love the little hunt camp in the back~ IS that the camp your are talking about?!

    1. Alain…we’re going to assign you and the other ‘Alain’ different screen names..I’m always getting you two mixed up!

      Yes, that is our camp in the background..and that picture is of my Dad and I from 2002 I beleive..we had a great hunt that year as you can tell…

      Its funny, the camp does look small in the background..but actually with the woodshed and deck it measures approx. 50 X 20…so its a good size as far as hunt camps go. It sleeps 10, but its been many many years since we’ve had that many guys there at one time….I believe the days of the big deer gangs is gone..several reasons for that I think.


  12. Ya know Jeff most of these A–holes are not the ones to blame.It is the parents who should have to assume the responsibility for there actions untill 18. Maybe if mom and dad had to pay for any damage done you would not see so many wandering at all hours of the night looking for trouble. Nowadays mommy and daddy are to busy with there own entertainment so they throw the kid $20 and say get out of our sight as if they now regret having them in the first place. They have no idea where or what there kids are doing. Then when there kid gets in trouble they try and justify there actions and get there kid off the hook instead of letting them face the music. And the courts.Well you can literally get away with murder, and i really mean that. So why would we assume that they would be any help. Again i say mom and dad should foot the bill. We now have a great tool that can be used to identify break and enter and vandalizime at cottages and hunt camps Jeff, and there called ( trail cameras). They have helped at our camp by taking pics of license plates and individuals, and times when they are there.

    1. Hey Paul, thanks for the note!

      I agree with you 100%..its too bad really the way things have gone with today’s youth.

      Trust me man..we have been wondering how to ‘monitor’ our camp for yearrs..and this year my Dad bought his first trail cam..a new Bushnell Trophy XLT..sadly though, he didnt have deer hunting in is to set-up at the camp for monitoring purposes.


  13. Oh also,in the above comment i am not say it is always kids 18 and under, but it usually starts when they are young and then carries into adult life.

  14. I agree with the days of larger deer gangs going the way of the dodo bird, and I think it again comes down to not having as many kids out in the bush enjoying everything nature has to offer. This year I am now without an area to hunt because the guys that I have hunted with in the past couple of years are getting a little older, their kids are growing up and the kids have no interest in the camp. So the guys who own the area don’t want to take the time to open the camp for 3 people in total especially when non of them are their kids. The camp used to have anywhere from 12-16 guys up for the hunt and as I am sure everyone here knows the nights of story telling, harmless pranks and good company of a hunt camp go along way in making any hunt an enjoyable hunt regardless of the success rate. With todays kids and the technology they have access to a couple of nights at camp along with long sits in the woods during the days would likely send most of them into with drawl. A shame if you ask me.

  15. Mark, you said it best – it is a shame and something we need to do. I’ve got my boys into it and I’ll hopefully get some nieces and nephews enjoying the woods.

    This is also one of the biggest reasons why I’m fighting my wife on getting a pool. She wants a pool here in the city and I told her no way! I’m not giving her an ultimatum of having a camp instead, but at least buy a trailer and find somewhere different (or the same) to park it. If we had a pool, it’s just one easier way for kids to stay in the city instead of seeing what God gave us naturally.

    I always get amazed when I hear of kids who rarely go to camps or in the outdoors, get out there and have such a blast. Their parents are always amazed and I always reply with, “well, what did you think? the outdoors is amazing b/c it’s not made made and it’s what God gave us so go enjoy it more often 🙂 ”

    As for the camps being broken into, it’s a shame and cowardly for sure. It’s another sad reminder what we have to lock up and leave the camps in bare resources so that if anything does happen, the losses are minimal. 🙁

    I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my house broken into so I feel for those of you have. It must be devastating to say the least.

  16. I have been there at my friends camp when we drove up to see the locks busted off, it wasn’t even my camp and I felt sick. Its a bad feeling walking into the camp not knowing what your walking into, it was the only time we have ever had a loaded firearm inside the camp was that day to ensure our safety. As you said Keebler, the only saving grace was that the camp is always left bare bones but they still managed to make more of a mess of the camp than you would ever think possible. For what? an old stereo and a couple of racks.

    1. Mark W…thats such a good know, one time they frikin stole an old car radio I use to hook to battery I’d bring in..the thing wasnt worth a dime but they took it anyway!


  17. our camp had 14 members 2 guests and a camp cook every year and the guests are on a waiting list to become members, no problem finding people who want to join, but most of them are fifty or close, other than my son who is 21

  18. Off to the moose hunt. Tomorrow we pack the trailers and leave at 3AM Wedneday. Sure hope our fly in camp wasn’t broken into we had our beer water and pop flown in three weeks ago on a back haul. Saves us about 300 bucks

  19. it really sucks to have your camp broken into. we had a camp south of the town i grew up in. it was never broken into but others around us where. i don’t know if it was the old man was crazy(lol) or just lucky, but it was a real shame to see what happened too those camps.
    on the deer camp note, our hunting group seems to be getting larger due to the young people that we have coming out with us this year. my daughter and a friends son and daughter will be testing there skills in the deer hunt. there will be 3 generations out this year and i would be great to see my daughter bag a deer with her grandpa.
    just got back from my first archery hunt for moose, 1 1/2 year old cow is in the freezer. i think i am hooked on the bow thing. nothing like it.
    good luck to all the hunters heading north this week. good shooting and hope to hear the stories when you get back. cheers jaye

    1. Jaye, Im glad to hear your deer camp is growing..actually ours is too..we had a couple of lean years there with only 4 guys in camp..pretty sad, but we’re on the rebound now!


  20. I was driving home from work Friday at around 5pm. I passed two trucks on the queensway each hauling 4-wheelers and 2 young buck moose heads strapped to the racks. Good to see!

  21. on my way up to northwestern Ontario to check on my moose camp to make sure no one broke in and stole our beer 🙂
    see ya 😉

  22. Our camp up the Ottawa valley gets broken into on average once every two years. Not only do we worry about bears breaking in, we worry about humans breaking in. What a pain. I have to truck in all my toys every time I go.
    Last year they took our old Sears aluminum boat that was chained and lock to a spruce tree. No they didn’t cut the chain to get at it…. They chopped down the tree with an axe from our woodshed. Anyway guys, keep them blogs coming in. Interesting reads.

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