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Preventing damage to your flying field?

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Old 01-05-2014, 10:50 AM
  #1
Anthony-RCU
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Default Preventing damage to your flying field?

How do you prevent damage to your flying field? My club field is in a pretty remote area that we share with a hunting club. The last few years we have had problems with people doing donuts on are field. At first it was kids on motorcycles and ATVS now it has been trucks. It takes a lot of work to fill in the ruts and reseed.
I have seen some dig trenches around the perimeter. What is involved in that? How deep?
What does your club do?
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:35 PM
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I would be afraid to dig a trench for liability reasons, If you can't catch the people doing the damage not much you can do IMO except maybe a fence and locked gate.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:40 PM
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You may find that the hunting club members have some association with the damage. (Kids on ATV's, etc.)
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:17 PM
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You didn't say whether or not you have a lease for the property or if it belongs to someone else that is just letting you use it. Tell us more about the responsibility you have with the property.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:27 PM
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We rent the property from a developer. When the real estate market tanked he started charging us rent and allowed the hunting club access. Most of the hunt club just passes by but certainly no guarantees. Large property with multiple entries and exits so very hard to control the perimeter.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:21 PM
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Anthony,
Do you have the ability to limit access to the property by locking a gate?? We lease our field and the property had formally been a cow pasture. We put a combination lock on the gate. We give out the combination to all club members so that they can get into the field when they want to fly. Every new year we change the combo to the gate, and after we have verified that the member has paid his club dues and his AMA dues we will give them the new gate combo.

The gate/lock do a good job of keeping the riff raff out. If somebody really wanted to get on the property to damage/steal anything the gate would only slow them down as they could simply cut the fence and get in there. We've been really lucky in that we've never had any damage to our site in the 6+ years we've been using this system.

You might want to see if you could set something similar up and give the gate combo to your members as well as the hunting club. If the guys in the hunting club aren't the ones doing the damage I would think they would be understanding of why need to lock it up and would be more than happy to help you out. On the other hand, if they are the ones doing the damage something like this may very well help smoke them out!!!!

Hope this helps

Ken
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:00 PM
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If you know there are hunting club members ,ATV, off roaders using the area you could try and talk to some of them and tell them you don't mind using the road to pass by but please don't destroy the fields because your club is paying for the use of the land for an RC flying field, Sometimes reaching out like this works and sometimes it doesn't. Their group may be just like other groups....some good guys , some who don't want to get involved, and some who just don't care and do what they want.
If that doesn't work you could buy a few "game cameras" and post them around the property. They are motion activated and some work in low /no light conditions. Some take very good pics and video too. You may get some footage of vehicles and maybe plate numbers, faces, etc..that could be used to ID them. Or you may end up with a few stolen/destroyed game cameras !
Good luck.

Last edited by flyinwalenda; 01-06-2014 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:07 PM
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I would think being as both are leasing the land there is nothing one can do to the other. Maybe approach the owner for a sole lease of the total with something in writing.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:26 PM
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The way I read the OP response was that his RC club is being charged rent to use the property and the hunting club was granted right-of-way to get to their land ?
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:12 PM
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The game cameras are probably your only recourse. Chances are these aren't adults doing this stupid stuff, so you'll catch some 17 year old in his dad's truck. When you do, you can get the police involved and agree to let the kid off if he comes and puts a couple of honest days of hard work in, preferably during football practice time, spring break, or some other high value time slot for him. You'll be able to rest assured then that that particular goober won't bother you again since he knows he's on notice, and he'll inform all the other kids what happened so they won't do it either. The idea of speaking to the hunting club could be good for letting the parents know what's been going on and what the impact is, which will get them on your side if it's one of their kids who gets caught.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:14 PM
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I also agree with others that you shouldn't do anything that could damage a vehicle or cause someone to get stuck. It would be very satisfying to see someone's dad have to come and pull them out of your moat, but that creates so much bad PR for the club. It makes you look like heartless jerks who are persnickety about your space at best, and could wind up hurting someone at worst.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:07 AM
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We were actually there first and the hunt club came later but both pay rent. The hunt club has their own gate and most avoid us. The club even tells their members to leave us alone. We do have a separate gate but there is a tenant on the land that leaves it open. I am going to ask that it be moved or a new one installed in a place that it will accomplish something.
The game camera strategy is next. Several clubs in our area have dug trenches around the perimeter good results but I don't think the owner would go for it. Nor do we have a budget for such a project.
Starting to think it is an unavoidable hazard in most places. Not sure why the two well mowed acres out of several hundred are so appealing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:20 AM
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http://www.videosurveillance.com/lp/...-systems-c.asp
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony-RCU View Post
We were actually there first and the hunt club came later but both pay rent. The hunt club has their own gate and most avoid us. The club even tells their members to leave us alone. We do have a separate gate but there is a tenant on the land that leaves it open. I am going to ask that it be moved or a new one installed in a place that it will accomplish something.
The game camera strategy is next. Several clubs in our area have dug trenches around the perimeter good results but I don't think the owner would go for it. Nor do we have a budget for such a project.
Starting to think it is an unavoidable hazard in most places. Not sure why the two well mowed acres out of several hundred are so appealing.
That's why. You are dealing with a bunch of kids or immature adults who want nothing more than to wreck something that someone else put work into. If it was left unkempt they may not be bothering it. Depending how your club is run, discuss getting some signs made such as "Club members only past this point.. Hikers,bikers, off-roaders please stay on the road/along the treeline " or something to that effect. The signs may take awhile to "work" as people need to be trained but again if the few who want to wreck the field want to do it, a sign won't stop them.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:53 AM
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Spoke to the property manager today and he is going to move the gate to a more effective spot. The hunting club president had spoken to him and told him about the damage and assured him it wasn't his guys. Hopefully, we will have less issues this year.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:57 AM
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Sounds like you have the hunting club onboard to help you out. That's a big first step!!!

Ken
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:14 AM
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We are in the same boat and have had several incidents of damage. Our field borders on high tension lines and the local off roaders ride/drive through the trails. Most have been really good about it, but there are always a couple bad apples. We've explored many methods and given the limited resources of a club, most are not feasible. The police have caught one who did a bunch of damage to our field, it cost his father $4500. There have been a couple others that have been issued tickets and warnings.

I would start with getting permission for the property owner to post "no trespassing" signs at the entry points to your field area. Have them made in metal and post post them 8+ feet up. That at least gives you legal standing to have any police involvement actually proceed past a verbal warning. Game cameras would follow if needed, but hide them very well or they will disappear. Once you have a couple license plates, get the police involved and work together with them. If they pay a couple visits to those involved, word will get around quickly and should keep away all but the worst offenders. I would also get together with the hunting club and establish an understanding that you will have each other's backs. If they see something, they'll call the police and vice versa.

In the end, you will find that there is no way you will keep out a determined person on an ATV, especially a motorcycle. Do the best you can to prevent it, but if damage happens, at least top soil and seed are pretty cheap.

Last edited by Hemikiller; 01-09-2014 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:32 AM
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Another thing you can try.
Go to a sign shop and get a sign that says"Warning, this area under video surveillance"
Then go to Home Depot and get some battery operated floodlights that are activated by motion and put them on poles aimed at the area.
At least it should scare them a bit.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:01 AM
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Post a couple of decent sized ads in the local paper offering a reward for information leading to the culprits. For a $100 kids willl rat out their own mother
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:09 AM
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All those flood lights are going to do is become targets for .22 rifles. Nearly everybody knows about the motion activated lights, so they aren't scared of them. Hemikiller has it right- catch one and make it hurt, then all his buddies will find some other way to amuse themselves.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtybird View Post
Another thing you can try.
Go to a sign shop and get a sign that says"Warning, this area under video surveillance"
Then go to Home Depot and get some battery operated floodlights that are activated by motion and put them on poles aimed at the area.
At least it should scare them a bit.
Yup, we did the same and added a couple of WIFi camera.

It has been QUITE effective, and since once camera now points at the entrance, this has had a two fold benefit.

People coming in, know that there is a camera there, so tresspassing or after hours vandalism is reduced, and club members are also much better at locking up since they perceive that we can check who left the gate open.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
All those flood lights are going to do is become targets for .22 rifles. Nearly everybody knows about the motion activated lights, so they aren't scared of them. Hemikiller has it right- catch one and make it hurt, then all his buddies will find some other way to amuse themselves.
If this is the case you dont have children on joy rides. You have vandals destroying property. Notify the police.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
All those flood lights are going to do is become targets for .22 rifles. Nearly everybody knows about the motion activated lights, so they aren't scared of them. Hemikiller has it right- catch one and make it hurt, then all his buddies will find some other way to amuse themselves.
It is very easy to discount security measures being effective, yet they remain in heavy use throughout the country.

Motion activated lights, cameras, and even simple things like a locked gate make a location unwelcoming to a would-be vandal.

While not a catch-all cure, they do indeed work, particularly when the tresspasser is not 100% sure that they are not being observed or recorded. As with all security systems, locks, etc... the idea is merely "NOT to be the lowest hanging fruit" coupled with a perceived risk of detection and discovery.

While I laud "Catching one and making it hurt", that will not stop the next idiot a few months later who does not know about the first. Lights and cameras keep working however.

Last edited by opjose; 01-10-2014 at 09:19 AM.
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