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View Full Version : Knoxville BLM - Post apocalyptic wasteland


tonb
08-11-2007, 9:35 AM
I came back from my Knoxville trip early for reasons which I will mention and decided to start a new thread rather than put my thoughts and photos in the other one as I believe it is a serious enough issue that it warrants its own discussion. This is a very long read, but I wanted to be detailed about my experience and what I took from it.

At the bottom is a link to a photo gallery of all of the pictures I took. I recommend you take a look. If this place was closed to shooting tomorrow I wouldn't be surprised.

-----------

My plan was to find some BLM land that could fit a few needs. I wanted to do some four wheeling, camping, shooting and maybe some hunting. The Knoxville BLM seemed to fit the bill perfectly based on what I'd heard and read about it. I checked the CA BLM website first to make sure I knew what the rules were with regard to where I could off road, where I could camp and if fires were allowed and where shooting/hunting was allowed. Camping is more or less allowed wherever you want, but no campfires outside of the concrete firepits at the Lower Hunting Creek campground area. Four wheeling rules were standard fare, stick to the trails and the shooting rules were somewhat clear. Hunting is allowed as is target shooting anywhere that does not say "no shooting" on the PDF map they make available. What isn't clear is how large of an area is protected from shooters and hunters, there is just a spot on the map with an asterisk. Otherwise the map had a "pistol range" marked on it, and the shooting rules were pretty basic, pick up your brass, bring your own targets and clean up after yourself. No problem.

When I arrived at the south entrance I started driving in on the dirt road, which is technically a county road and what's the first thing I see? The "rough road" sign is riddled with bullet holes. This sign is about 2feet from the country dirt road and about 40feet from the paved street.

http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/001.jpg

Lovely I'm thinking to myself, my expectations dropping a bit. As you crest the ridge, there is a BLM sign with posted rules and what not as well as direction to the campsite. Since it was my first night and I got in later than I planned, I figured I'd just camp there and find someplace nicer for my second night.

The campground experience:
As I pulled into the campsite Thursday evening, not expecting to see anyone, there were two longbed trucks with a large canopy arrangement. They had either been there for some time, or were planning to from the looks of it. The first thing I see is a guy wearing a blue shirt that says "PETA" on the front in large white block letters. Christ you've got to be kidding me, these guys are camping out here? There are only 2 other campsite areas available, one with a few picnic tables that looks a little nicer than the one with only 1. I pull up to the one with a few, leash my dog and jump out. The guy with the PETA shirt starts approaching in a slow and oddly careful manner, which I later discovered was due to his state of supreme drunkeness, but when he sees my german shepherd starts doing the seig heil nazi arm thing and yelling something at us. My first thought was jesus, I'm out in no mans land next to some crazies and my gun is still locked up. Gee whiz, I guess I wasn't going to find solitude midweek here.

I greet him and try to be polite, he wants to sit down and bs about things so I oblige him. His PETA shirt actually said in small print people eating tasty animals. He kind of weirds me out with the stuff he is talking about and he goes on to say we could feed the world with the number of dogs we put down. He also keeps staring at my dog saying how great a dog she is and what he could do with her. At this point I'm thinking, ok get the f*ck away from me. I know you're drunk, but something has short circuited here. I met his friend, seemed like a nice fairly normal guy, although the next morning he had a huge basket of golfballs which he was driving up the hill. Due to the volume, I'm assuming he had no intention of picking them back up but I could be wrong. Also in all fairness, the drunk dude, I'll reserve mentioning names in case someone knows him, was a nice guy the next day. He was just kinda weird when he was trashed, but then again... maybe so am I lol.

Land conditions:
Campground
Anyway, the campsite is one of those no shooting zones for obvious reasons and it is even posted there, however it looked like something out of a third world country battle zone. I don't know why I didn't take any pictures, but it was a mess. The toilet was about the only thing that didn't have bullet holes. The concrete benches, garbage cans and firepit with riddle with craters from bullet impacts. The metal guard to prevent people from driving off was filled with holes and the trail marking sign was so shot up you couldn't even see what it said. I wouldn't bring my family there.

The next morning I broke down camp and decided to make like a tree and headed out toward the "pistol range." Now I need to mention a couple of things real quick about the area. 1- There is a lot of private property there, so much in fact that every time you round a corner you're seeing signs that say posteed private property, no trespassing, etc. and 2- while you can gather from a topo that the land is hilly, what you don't see is that it is almost entirely exposed in spite of the trees and there is extremely thick ground cover making it virtually impossible to just hike off trail if you felt like it, so the amount of land you can actually use is much smaller than what you see on the map. Nearly everything south of the campsite was private.

Pistol range:
Anyway, driving to the pistol range I see garbage. A can here and there, a beer box, tp, you name it. I was going to pick some of it up, but there was just too much to deal with so I ignored it and all the private property signs and pressed on. When I rounded the corner to the pistol range, this is what I saw.

http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/pistol001.jpg

http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/pistol002.jpg

http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/pistol003.jpg

See the rest of the pictures here. (http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/gallery/)

I guess some people missed the rules section that says pick up casings and clean up after yourself. Well, I did come to shoot so I set up my target and shot some .45 and moved back a ways and shot my .22 rifle for a while. I made sure to bring home all of my spent casings and when I couldn't find my own, I filled the spot with someone else's.

Trails
After leaving there I decided to wheel around a little and without getting into too much detail, just about everywhere I looked there was trash and left over targets. There were a few areas where it just looked like a junkyard there was so much crap piled up and shot apart. Old tv sets, appliances you name it. You know why shooters get no respect? Because they have none. It was sad.

I know this is way too long so I'm going to try to wrap up quick here. South of the campsite on the left side of the road was an area that allowed for some pretty long shots, it too was a junkyard. Oddly enough the bulk of the visible casings laying around were from shotguns, even in the long range area. Anyway I kept driving, seeing pockets of spent casings at the side of the road every so often. And more or less, the entire road on both sides had private property signs and the areas that didn't, as it turns out, were also private property as I was so politely informed by a local landowner who saw me casing my .22 after a missed opportunity at a jackrabbit.

http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/gallery/images/IMG_1468.JPG

I could not imagine heading out there to go on a hike, aside from the fact that every scenic area is riddled with litter and looks like a warzone I'd be afraid of getting shot either by accident, or on purpose. I'm glad I was there mid-week and there wasn't really anyone around, I can't imagine that place on a weekend.

The land abuse was rampant.

Shooters are entirely to blame.

See all the pictures I took here. (http://www.secretreality.com/knoxville/gallery/)

redneckshootist
08-12-2007, 7:33 PM
very sad. sorry I coulnt make it. I am all move into my new place now though. You should try going to indian valley area its not as bad. Maybe we can plan a trip up there

Ford8N
08-12-2007, 8:15 PM
I used to see designated shooting areas like that in the National Forest. Now they no longer allow target shooting. Even when the local sportsmans clubs did a monthly clean up, the Ranger shut them down. :banghead: She said they were having to many complaints of the local gangbangers shooting their full autos while drunk or high on herb and the tagging was getting really bad.:mad:

shinigami
08-13-2007, 12:44 PM
Damn that's rough. I wouldn't be surprised if you see a dead body mixed in with the trash. :banghead:

lawnrevenge
08-13-2007, 1:18 PM
The tragedy of the commons.

kevykev707
08-13-2007, 1:26 PM
that is really sad to see. everytime i went up to knoxville with my other shooting buddies, i'd have everyone keep track of and pick up their casings (shotgun and .22LR too).

It's also scary to see poor muzzle control when there's other people there as well. :mad:

emc002
08-13-2007, 2:25 PM
Shooters are entirely to blame.[/B]
I've lost two of my favorite shooting spots, one BLM one Pacific Gas & Electric due to idiots that trashed the target shooting areas (couches, tvs, etc. riddled with bullet holes).
Now I just shoot on private property (with permission of course), clean up after myself, send nice Christmas cards to the property owner and most importantly make sure I tell very few people exactly where these areas are located.

ibanezfoo
08-14-2007, 8:25 AM
What the hell is wrong with people? I can't even go surfing without dodging floating dorito bags, beer cans, and used feminine hygiene products. Everywhere I go is trashed! :90::cuss:

-Bryan

mike100
08-14-2007, 8:47 AM
The trash is unfortunate, but the signs full of bullet holes just reminds me of the 70's. Pretty much EVERY sign in the country had some kind of lead abuse.

gloxter
08-15-2007, 3:36 PM
That's a GD shame. My little range gets bad sometimes; but hopefully it'll get better as far as the large trash goes. They recently put up a gate prior to the range, so people (white trash) can't back up and dump all their non-funcional major appliances out the back of the ol' pickup.

If Knoxville were closer, I'd be willing to help chip in for a cleanup. Sad. Very sad.

meathead
08-15-2007, 4:44 PM
its sad i live ten minuets from there and always pick up a little more but it never ends they used to watch from bushes and make them pick up but havent seen them in a long time

maxicon
08-15-2007, 8:15 PM
I've got some old pics from a trip out there in 2003. There was an amazing amount of brass and hulls - it was truly astonishing.

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2839a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2840a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2841a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2844a.jpg

Turbinator
08-22-2007, 8:23 PM
Folks, how about organizing a cleanup of this land? It might take an army of dozens armed with hundreds of trash bags, but in the end it's worthwhile. Last year in Oct we did a volunteer cleanup of Panoche. Why not do the same for Knoxville?

Turby

socalguns
08-22-2007, 9:57 PM
Not to pick on you, but calling the pigs who don't clean up after themselves "shooters" is like the local news calling murders shooters,
it just associates the word "shooter" with "baaad"

thedrickel
08-23-2007, 3:15 PM
I've got some old pics from a trip out there in 2003. There was an amazing amount of brass and hulls - it was truly astonishing.

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2839a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2840a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2841a.jpg

http://www.maxicon.com/misc/Dcp_2844a.jpg

I was there a couple months ago, it didn't look nearly this bad. Still, I pack up 3 or 4 trash bags worth of junk every time I hit that spot.

Red_5
08-24-2007, 10:32 AM
That's really unfortunate. I'm a public lands multi-user and this problem is hurting every responsible land user. Shooters, off-roaders, mountain bikers, hikers, equestrians.... Every group has their bottom feeders that ruin it for everyone.

I pick up trash left behind by some jack-hole just about every time I go out. I also do my best to educate (in a polite manner of course) other land users about the importance of RESPONSIBLE land use.

<hops off soapbox>

ldivinag
08-24-2007, 11:15 AM
Folks, how about organizing a cleanup of this land? It might take an army of dozens armed with hundreds of trash bags, but in the end it's worthwhile. Last year in Oct we did a volunteer cleanup of Panoche. Why not do the same for Knoxville?

Turby

i vote for this.

contact the local BLM folks to get them to bring in a big garbage hauler.

tons of people to do the actual work and maybe we can make a diff.



sigh...

sohijiro
08-29-2007, 2:18 PM
thats a real shame, im willing to volunteer time for a cleanup

icormba
08-29-2007, 4:07 PM
Those pictures remind me of that Italian born "crying Indian" dude...
http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/8/82/CryingIndian.jpg

virulosity
08-29-2007, 5:09 PM
Good thing we live in the state that's leading the nation in environmental protection. Seriously, why can't people clean up after themselves...

UBFRAGD
10-27-2007, 12:47 PM
First of all, let me say that I am very familiar with the Knoxville area, and would love to buy some property up there--there are parts that are so beautiful it hurts. I've been shooting and camping up there for almost 15 yrs. I've met some of the coolest people in the world and also some of the stupidest. (The absolute stupidest was a group of four in their twenties. Last December. From Napa driving new SUV's. One was fat and showed disgusting butt crack. One was a cute girl, plus her goofy boyfriend, and a smaller guy with a serious chip on his shoulder. They had **** for weapons, one rifle actually puked it's guts out, old ex-mil **** from a previous era, but the amazing thing was, they set up their shooting line 60 yrds downrange and in-line with about six guys shooting from the rocks!! So they effectively canceled everybody's shooting early in the afternoon. Biggest, most selfish losers I've ever seen. People are usually pretty polite when weaponry abounds. Another time I was camping back in the hills and sitting around the fire. No moon, Perseides meteor shower, nice little campfire going, drinking a couple beers, about midnight, my german shepherds' ears go up and lock on the brush to my north, so I hit the area with my 200-lumen combat light and there are three guys lurking in the bush--very unsettling to say the least. I stand up out of my folding easy chair so they can see that I am heavily, heavily armed. I rack the slide and chamber a round and re-holster. My dog stands up, and they turn on their heels and go crashing through the dark brush. Pretty spooky. 'Bout a year ago 7 teens stumbled up to my campsite tripping their brains out on drugs--friendly enough, but still unpredictable. One time some rednecks came over to beg/buy some beer while carrying shotguns--but the answer was still no! One time I was plinking off the rocks and a fellow rifleman showed up. He had a pick-up truck full of rifles. He drank three six packs in about an hour and then started swilling from a half-gallon of bourbon, measuring his drinking now so the bottle would last the afternoon. He was an outstanding shot and I learned a lot about rifles--some guys can hold their booze!)

I've talked to BLM goonies and Napa Co. sherriffs. Most of these guys could care less about the actual shooting--it's the damn junk left behind that really ticks them off. Let me list the crap that makes regular appearences on the range--fridges, washing machines, water heaters, computers and monitors, tv's and stereos, tanks of all kinds including R-22, furniture, the list is endless. One time I was up there and these three guys from SF pulled more **** out of their white van to shoot at than I have in my house. No one can sniff out plinking sights like me, and it's the same all over CA and NV wherever I go. So if you're plinking somewhere, and all of the sudden the cops show up, be sure and point out that you've brought garbage cans or bags and are as concerned about the environment as they are.

I have an extensive list of stuff that's highly reactive and fun to shoot and leaves little/no remains.

Don't bother to police your brass, just your shotshells. There are a couple of latinos dudes that show up about once a week, usually sunday evening, and they pick the range clean for recycling or whatever.

As I understand it, the range itself is private land. If anyone knows the property owner, who apparently has consented to letting the public use it as a range, I would like to buy this guy a case of beer and a case of his favorite ammo.

It's getting cleaner up there, if you can believe that. Also the gang-bangers don't show up as frequently with their full-auto toys. The area is a near bottleneck, so the cops have an easy time picking someone up if they suspect full-auto, pyro, or explosives play. And it's my guess they have some ears in the area. One time I was talking to a Napa cop and he was getting radio advice from someone on overwatch. He left and I glassed the hills and didn't see a thing!! Couple months ago I was shooting clays on a monday morning at 8am. Beautiful day, and I spotted a huge black unmarked helicopter making a beeline for the range from about three miles out, heading S/SW. My heart beat a little faster--WTF?!? I put my 870 down and the damn thing flew RIGHT OVER my head--amazing sight but a little unnerving.

I was up there last month plinking water bottles at 140yrds. I paused to eat a sandwich. While I washed it down with a bottle of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, two huge whitetails appeared off the hill, strolled across the range, went past my truck, and down the road.

You can see the debris from Google Earth.

Full reception on my Nextel at the range.

I don't go up there on weekends anymore. Cops, losers, people in general. My Rambo impersonation needs no audience. It's baking hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter, but April and October are great. I've gotten stuck in the mud twice and two years ago popped a tire on a sharp rock. Enough rain and those stream-crossings are dangerous for cars--I passed a new car that got caught in the current and washed about 15 yards off-road. It was just sitting in the stream. The next day on my way home it was still there, with the addition of about 50 new bullet holes. The locals are a real treasure.

Sure would love to buy that piece of property just south of the turn-off to devilshead. Anybody know whose selling it?

It's not a place to take the family--the facilities stink and there is nothing to do but drink and shoot. Take the family to the Sierras where there is actually something to do. This place is for rednecks and shooters and I don't see anything wrong with that!

Later!

Ford8N
10-27-2007, 1:47 PM
First of all, let me say that I am very familiar with the Knoxville area, and would love to buy some property up there--there are parts that are so beautiful it hurts. I've been shooting and camping up there for almost 15 yrs. I've met some of the coolest people in the world and also some of the stupidest. (The absolute stupidest was a group of four in their twenties. Last December. From Napa driving new SUV's. One was fat and showed disgusting butt crack. One was a cute girl, plus her goofy boyfriend, and a smaller guy with a serious chip on his shoulder. They had **** for weapons, one rifle actually puked it's guts out, old ex-mil **** from a previous era, but the amazing thing was, they set up their shooting line 60 yrds downrange and in-line with about six guys shooting from the rocks!! So they effectively canceled everybody's shooting early in the afternoon. Biggest, most selfish losers I've ever seen. People are usually pretty polite when weaponry abounds. Another time I was camping back in the hills and sitting around the fire. No moon, Perseides meteor shower, nice little campfire going, drinking a couple beers, about midnight, my german shepherds' ears go up and lock on the brush to my north, so I hit the area with my 200-lumen combat light and there are three guys lurking in the bush--very unsettling to say the least. I stand up out of my folding easy chair so they can see that I am heavily, heavily armed. I rack the slide and chamber a round and re-holster. My dog stands up, and they turn on their heels and go crashing through the dark brush. Pretty spooky. 'Bout a year ago 7 teens stumbled up to my campsite tripping their brains out on drugs--friendly enough, but still unpredictable. One time some rednecks came over to beg/buy some beer while carrying shotguns--but the answer was still no! One time I was plinking off the rocks and a fellow rifleman showed up. He had a pick-up truck full of rifles. He drank three six packs in about an hour and then started swilling from a half-gallon of bourbon, measuring his drinking now so the bottle would last the afternoon. He was an outstanding shot and I learned a lot about rifles--some guys can hold their booze!)

I've talked to BLM goonies and Napa Co. sherriffs. Most of these guys could care less about the actual shooting--it's the damn junk left behind that really ticks them off. Let me list the crap that makes regular appearences on the range--fridges, washing machines, water heaters, computers and monitors, tv's and stereos, tanks of all kinds including R-22, furniture, the list is endless. One time I was up there and these three guys from SF pulled more **** out of their white van to shoot at than I have in my house. No one can sniff out plinking sights like me, and it's the same all over CA and NV wherever I go. So if you're plinking somewhere, and all of the sudden the cops show up, be sure and point out that you've brought garbage cans or bags and are as concerned about the environment as they are.

I have an extensive list of stuff that's highly reactive and fun to shoot and leaves little/no remains.

Don't bother to police your brass, just your shotshells. There are a couple of latinos dudes that show up about once a week, usually sunday evening, and they pick the range clean for recycling or whatever.

As I understand it, the range itself is private land. If anyone knows the property owner, who apparently has consented to letting the public use it as a range, I would like to buy this guy a case of beer and a case of his favorite ammo.

It's getting cleaner up there, if you can believe that. Also the gang-bangers don't show up as frequently with their full-auto toys. The area is a near bottleneck, so the cops have an easy time picking someone up if they suspect full-auto, pyro, or explosives play. And it's my guess they have some ears in the area. One time I was talking to a Napa cop and he was getting radio advice from someone on overwatch. He left and I glassed the hills and didn't see a thing!! Couple months ago I was shooting clays on a monday morning at 8am. Beautiful day, and I spotted a huge black unmarked helicopter making a beeline for the range from about three miles out, heading S/SW. My heart beat a little faster--WTF?!? I put my 870 down and the damn thing flew RIGHT OVER my head--amazing sight but a little unnerving.

I was up there last month plinking water bottles at 140yrds. I paused to eat a sandwich. While I washed it down with a bottle of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, two huge whitetails appeared off the hill, strolled across the range, went past my truck, and down the road.

You can see the debris from Google Earth.

Full reception on my Nextel at the range.

I don't go up there on weekends anymore. Cops, losers, people in general. My Rambo impersonation needs no audience. It's baking hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter, but April and October are great. I've gotten stuck in the mud twice and two years ago popped a tire on a sharp rock. Enough rain and those stream-crossings are dangerous for cars--I passed a new car that got caught in the current and washed about 15 yards off-road. It was just sitting in the stream. The next day on my way home it was still there, with the addition of about 50 new bullet holes. The locals are a real treasure.

Sure would love to buy that piece of property just south of the turn-off to devilshead. Anybody know whose selling it?

It's not a place to take the family--the facilities stink and there is nothing to do but drink and shoot. Take the family to the Sierras where there is actually something to do. This place is for rednecks and shooters and I don't see anything wrong with that!

Later!

LOL! You just described some shooting areas that I have seen in the Los Padres NF. With the same people. But the LP shut them down years ago.:mad:

UBFRAGD
10-27-2007, 2:24 PM
A lot of attempts have been made to curtail and shut down the shooting up there too. But the sheer number of people that go up there to plink, combined with being remote, Knoxville just keeps on popping.

The thing is, it's so much more fun shooting at reactive targets once you've punched enough paper to wring the accuracy out of the weapon. One time I took up cases of refilled small water bottles and my buddy would launch them overhead. More fun than clays. Without a rangemaster, shooting is only limited by imagination.

Rob454
10-27-2007, 3:22 PM
I personally cant stand litterbugs. When i go hunting I have a extra pouch on my shot shell belt strictly for spent shells. I even make my buddies pick their shells up. I throw them in a trash can at the back of my truck. Paper plates and other stuff I just throw in the campfire. I pick up more trash hell I leave with more trash than one or two people can make. I was camping one time and these guys came and set up their campsire right on top of me. I didnt say anything ( even though the camp ground was empty). I did say something when one of them went in his truck popped back out with a AR and started ripping through a 30 round mag. Scared the crap out of me and my dog not to mention my wife. All his spent rounds basically rained all over my camp. After a serious verbal lashing I packed up. they went hunting I cut the valve stems on their truck tires ( ALL FOUR TIRES) and left. One of them was making eyes at my wife like he was gonna get lucky or something. yeah it was a cruddy thing to do. maybe next time they would be more considerate of others. I wanted to burn the truck and their camp site to the ground I was so bent. not to mentioned RUINED my 3 day weekend.
Rob

napahunter
11-01-2007, 8:30 AM
I shoot that area, and hunt cement creek every year. I have never had a problem up there. I know down in the gambel i would not hunt, to crazy. The jeep club goes up every 6 months, or every year and do a big clean up. They even give you a lunch if you help out. I don't know when the next one is. The range that is pictured can be spotless at times, then the next time you go up there it's like you see it. If i see people leaving their junk up there i MAKE them pick it back up when their done. I myself make target holders out of PVC to put my paper on, and when i'm done the PVC can be dismantled and put back in my truck. Yes the best days to stay away are on the weekend, weekdays= less traffic. I love the place and been going up there for 25 years. Being only an hour fifteen away makes it nice.

vandal
11-01-2007, 9:26 AM
Did the jackrabbits ever come back after the big fire?

napahunter
11-01-2007, 11:25 AM
When i was up there deer hunting this year i saw a butt load in the back. I shot a jack with the .243, what a mess!:43:

metalhead357
11-01-2007, 5:36 PM
When i was up there deer hunting this year i saw a butt load in the back. I shot a jack with the .243, what a mess!:43:


HEY! I posted my pic of m' deer in the other thread- you owe us some pics!!!!!;)

Depending on date- I might be available for a cleanup

napahunter
11-01-2007, 5:57 PM
ya,ya i know. But i need to take you up there when you have a day off during the week. You name the time and i'll drive J, Ok ..B

metalhead357
11-01-2007, 6:03 PM
ya,ya i know. But i need to take you up there when you have a day off during the week. You name the time and i'll drive J, Ok ..B


:D:D Will do!:D:D