Gentlemen, Put Your Guns Down, Put Your Hands Up Where I can see them, and Come Over Here! by Randy Rowley


On a Saturday in mid-September my SUV croaked about 100 feet from a clinic in East Austin.  Fortunately I was able to push it into the parking lot.  The next afternoon I waited on a wrecker to come get my SUV.  As I waited, I listened to shotguns blasting in the distance.  After the wrecker left I drove over and found the source of the noise.  On Exchange Blvd. I saw seven parked vehicles and at least 20 hunters in a field, who were shooting at dove.

When I got home I called the police to report people hunting in the city limits.  However, the officer informed me that Exchange Blvd. was the city limit.  The field (which was on the west side of the street) was outside of the city limits.  I verified this information with a Travis County sheriff’s deputy, who informed me that the Hardin Corporation owned the field and they allowed people to hunt there without written permission.

I related the story to Bill Smith and we agreed to give the field a try.  We hunted there the next Saturday afternoon, but only bagged one bird.  We tried a morning hunt the next Saturday without much improvement.  Believing that the dove had moved on I forgot about the field.  However, a few days later Bill told me that he had gone to the field on a solo morning hunt and bagged seven birds.  We made plans to hunt there again the next Saturday morning.

That October day started out cool.  As we waited in the field for legal shooting time a pickup drove by slowly and then sped away.  A short time later it returned from the opposite direction and hit a curb before it sped away.  Thinking that we had seen an early morning drunk, we paid it no mind.

Finally it was legal shooting time.  For about ten minutes the action was furious, but then it died down.

During the break in the action I heard a vehicle driving down the road, turned and saw an Austin police cruiser slowing down.  I tried to alert Bill who was 75 yards away of this development, but he was blasting away at a large flock of dove that were flying towards him.  They were followed by a flock of at least 20 birds that flew directly over me.  However, I didn’t shoot as I didn’t want the officer to see me shooting, if the officer and deputy that I had talked to had been wrong about the field not being in the city limits.

Immediately after the flock flew over me we heard a woman shout; “Gentlemen put your guns down, put your hands up where I can see them, and come over here!”  We put our guns down, raised our hands, turned, and discovered the source of the command – a police officer had positioned herself behind her cruiser and had her hand on her service revolver, but had not drawn it.  Bill and I walked quietly over to her.

Instructing us to keep our hands up, she asked what we were doing there and why we thought we could hunt in the city.  While she was questioning us, she was joined by a second officer and the driver of the truck – who was a Roadway security guard.  Our presence had scared the guard as he drove by and he had called the police.

We answered her questions politely.  The officers checked our story out and found it to be accurate.  The security guard said that we had shot Roadway vehicles and employees a week before during the evening.  I responded that we were hunting in the opposite direction, as the first officer saw when she arrived, Roadway was out of the range of our shotguns, and that we had not hunted there that evening.  The officers told us that although we were not doing anything illegal we could be charged with being public nuisances and that maybe we should find somewhere not so close to a business to hunt.  Relieved that we were not going to jail, we did not argue the point, packed up and left.

Bill and I never returned.  (We couldn’t return now, even if we wanted to, as several businesses are now located on where the field used to be.)

Categories : Stories

Comments are closed.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog –

Mark Dillow’s blog –

Bible Verse of the Day

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.