Brandon Butler's Cabin Burned Down by Poachers

AcridSaint

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I just heard about this on the MeatEater Podcast. There is a GoFundMe up for him and I put some money in, but I don't know if it's cool to link to it here. Instead, here's an article about the fire and a little about Brandon Butler.

 
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AcridSaint

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This happened two counties over from me. Terrible deal.

There are areas around here that I just try to steer clear of. Too much sketchy activity.
That was what he said in the podcast. Almost impossible to get any law and order in that area apparently. I hope it doesn't drive him out and hope it doesn't cause him any more trouble.
 

wind gypsy

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This one struck home when i listened. That is an enraging situation and I applaud the guy for continuing to fight the good fight,

Bought a new house with a few acres on the edge of town this summer. Got permission to bowhunt on a little chunk of land that borders mine. Didn't take long for a trespasser to take my trailcams down. Eventually my exploring the property and reviewing trailcam pics revealed a 53 YO man and his 13 and 17 YO sons were growing weed on my neighbor's property and got nervous about my cams. A quick search of this guy's back story revealed that he served time for arson. He had a neighbor who was a firefighter and he wanted the firefighter's stereo system. So he burned a nearby barn to the ground and stole the stereo when the firefighter responded..

Went to pull SD cards last weekend and found boot tracks in the snow directly from his house to my camera and then further into the woods where a makeshift fort was made on a different neighbors land. My camera had ashes/soot on the lens and IR flash screens like someone held a lighter to it. Turns out he got busted and charged for a felony for his weed grow op on the 7th and my cams revealed some of this traffic happened on the 11th. Like his kids or maybe he were hiding out in our woods. Probably just kids being dumb..

Makes a guy have pause about being overly confrontational with someone like him who doesn’t seem to operate on logic or have anything to lose..

The picture is the “fort”. That thing is 130 yards from my house and had been seeing plenty of traffic. It’s right where my “pet” deer used to bed.
 

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AcridSaint

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The older I get, the less interested I am in dealing with anyone like that. Hopefully the cops are involved by now and helping to get you sorted.
 

kscreekguy

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As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.
 

Rob5589

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As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.

Interesting take. The area sounds lovely :rolleyes:
 

orionthehunter1

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As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.
So your blaming someone who had the balls to report criminals and then said criminals retaliate and its the victims issue?
 

Clarence

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I did have some similar thoughts. The arsonist is definitely a total sbag. That being said, I feel situations like this could often be avoided. Establishing trust, or even Establishing a presence in a area you frequently recreate in, can make a huge difference how things go down. People from some of these remote lawless areas will test you. If you appear vulnerable or don't pass their smell test, if they feel you are there to impose your will on their way of life, if they feel you are there to consume and take, it probably won't go well. I find myself feeling warm and fuzzy about the north American model of conservation, then I find myself in a area like this ( they are all over the country).There is more nuance here than many of us would be inclined to acknowledge. In my opinion, the lesson to take from this, is don't be naive. There are people in this world/country, that will go to great extent to preserve their s$%&&y way of doing life. I applaud Brandon for cutting out of that area. How could you have peace of mind there. Some will criticize, but he would be fighting a war unsupported by anything resembling law enforcement probably. Sorry for the ramble.

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Bowhunting WI

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As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.
As someone that grew up hunting/fishing those hills, did you too take it upon yourself to poach animals? To hunt/fish whenever you please with whatever weapon you saw fit? Is that the norm there? Does living there give any "local" the right to poach without repercussions? Only the "out of towners" have to follow the laws? Can you just burn down the homes/cabins of those that piss you off with impunity?

The landowner, who paid for the land, his private property, with his blood, sweat and tears, only has himself to blame for his cabin being burned down by poachers/arsonists? Are you for real with this line of reasoning? He's not a local so he got what he deserves? I was not aware that landownership now comes with the requirement of community involvement. Perhaps if the landowner had attended a few bake sales, or mowed a neighbor's lawn a poacher would not have burned down his cabin.

He should have taken his own actions or none at all? Some people only understand violence? First, what year do you think it is? Second, what is your proposal.....he should have blasted the person(s) he documented poaching or just let it go? Are you suggesting that as a valid outcome for what to do should someone witness another "hunter" poaching?

Why would someone give him their hard earned money? Not sure, maybe because some CRIMINALS burned down his cabin for turning them in for poaching. Rather than take responsibility for their own actions, the CRIMINALS decided to seek retribution for a wrong they perceived they'd been done. I can totally see why you'd side with the criminals in this situation (insert heavy sarcasm).

I guess in your world, private property means nothing, poaching is a valid form of hunting, and, morals, ethics, rules, laws...….are just inconveniences. I'm really glad you live no where near me.
 

Clarence

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So your blaming someone who had the balls to report criminals and then said criminals retaliate and its the victims issue?
In some areas it does become the victims issue, and there isn't resources on the law enforcement side. Brandon said on the podcast he would make the call again. He also said in a interview he isn't rebuilding the cabin. I don't blame him at all for pulling out of the area. Stinks that it will empower other dirt bags from that neighborhood.

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cjl32

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MS
As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.
That is one of the most asinine statements I've ever read. I'm sure withholding your sympathy is a devastating blow to the cabin owner and the rest of the ethical hunting community.
I did have some similar thoughts. The arsonist is definitely a total sbag. That being said, I feel situations like this could often be avoided. Establishing trust, or even Establishing a presence in a area you frequently recreate in, can make a huge difference how things go down. People from some of these remote lawless areas will test you. If you appear vulnerable or don't pass their smell test, if they feel you are there to impose your will on their way of life, if they feel you are there to consume and take, it probably won't go well.
I would imagine it difficult to establish honest trust or a positive "presence" with a poacher that considers burning down a man's cabin and property an acceptable option. Perhaps the cabin owner didn't try hard enough.
 
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AcridSaint

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As someone who grew up hunting, fishing and camping in those hills I’m surprised he called the police. I wonder what he thought might happen? Has the owner spent time with the community in the vicinity? Do they know him? Has he done his work? Or does he just hit the local mart on the way to the cabin? Some people only understand violence. This man has only himself to blame. He should have taken his own actions or none at all. Also, would you leave all your valuable keepsakes and memory items in a shack 3.5 hours from your residence? No sympathy.

Did you take any time at all to become familiar with the issue? Because it seems that you didn't. This wasn't his first incident with poachers or trespass and he didn't press charges at the beginning. And you may want to learn a little bit about what "work" Brandon has done in the area before assuming he hasn't done any. If you think that someone deserves to lose their property or have their life threatened because they did the right thing, you are a piece of work.
 

fmyth

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Years ago my buddies dad purchased a cabin in the Sante Fe National Forest. It was a seasonal use cabin on leased National Forest Land. While he was moving some stuff in a local stopped and introduced himself and asked if he needed someone to keep an eye on the cabin during the winter while the roads were gated. Cabin owner replied that he didn't think it was necessary. The following spring when the roads opened the owner arrived to find the windows broken and the place ransacked. Coincindently the very same local stopped by again to see if he needed anyone to replace the windows. Homeowner now had it figured out. Hired the guy to replace the windows, hired his mom to clean the place up, and hired the guy to "keep an eye on it". Owned it 20 more years and never had another problem. Of course this situation is very different than what happened to Brandon but sometimes owning a cabin far from home comes with some very different challenges.
 
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