Jury of my peers

  • Justin riegel
    Participant
    Posts: 754
    #1999851

    I normally would not bring this to a fishing forum, but since no one really knows anyone involved I think this maybe the most unbiased place to get everyone’s take on the situation.

    A few years back a buddy and were duck hunting on North Lake. I was using his back up gun for the day because mine was having jamming issues. When I got home I was unloading my boat and all the decoys. I had all the equipment and always took care of everything, I sent him a text to make sure he all his stuff. He said he did not have the gun I used and figured I had it still. I did not, I hitched the boat back up and went back to try and find it. Needless to say it was never found after many efforts. We hunted together for another couple years, but I got burned out being the sherpa and having to take care of all the equipment all time. I have pretty much sold off all of my waterfowl gear, as it just burned me out. He never brought the missing gun up through those years. I figured we were together and although yes I used his gun that day we both shared in the responsibility of whatever happened to it.

    Flash forward a few years, since I stopped waterfowl hunting he has not been out in couple years and we talk sparingly through out the year. He called me last night, I figure just to catch up and after 20 minutes of small talk he asks that I repay him for the gun. Maybe I was wrong I guess we will see, but I was blown away. I figured through many years of taking him out and using all of my equipment (he did eventually buy a dozen honker floaters we used), we were even. The amount of scouting time I put in was crazy and never once did he ask to help or go with. He also sparingly gave me any gas money even though I would drive everywhere we went. In my opinion things would be different if he was not with me that day but he was. Although I used the gun I still feel he has responsibility to make sure he has all of his equipment. Through the years when stuff broke or we lost some decoys it never crossed my mind I ask him to help pay me back.

    I am sure I left somethings out, but I am asking for a vote, do you think I am fully responsible to repay him for this gun?

    Pailofperch
    Participant
    Central Mn North of the smiley water tower
    Posts: 2643
    #1999858

    If it was me in your shoes, I’d be temted to send him a text saying exactly what you just did. If he is still a really good friend of mine, and after knowing how I felt about the situation still insists that I pay him for it, then I probably would. Or atleast split it. I’d rather cough up some money than lose a friend. I have some friends exactly like yours. It seems like they’re a ton of work to have fun with!!! But I’m always glad when we can hang out. Maybe I’m to easy.

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15531
    #1999863

    My opinion (remember you asked) you should have replaced the gun years ago. My guess is he never said anything before this because he thought you would make it right on your own. You borrowed it, you are responsible. That said since you were together you both share a degree of responsibility. The gas, driving ect isn’t a valid point.

    What it boils down to today is how you both value the relationship. You can tell him to pi$$ up a rope or you can try and work things out. On his part you can tell him your position and se how he wants to settle it. Maybe a little cash saves the relationship or maybe not. Maybe you don’t want to save it.
    Just call him today, tell him you slept on it and here is how you feel.

    Moral of the story is never borrow anything you wouldn’t be willing to replace.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 6762
    #1999864

    You provided a lot of details, but I still don’t really have a “vote” about how to handle someone else’s situation with friends. For me friendships are built with thousands of hours of interaction, help, joys, hardships, etc. If this is truly a friendship and not just someone who also enjoyed the outdoors as well, I’d try to salvage it.

    Borrowing things and sharing things involving expensive hobbies puts people in a tough spot. I have some real great friends who I trust and spend time with often. I still wouldn’t let them borrow my boat, tritoon, truck, expensive gear, etc. if I wasn’t around. It isn’t always trust being the issue, but if something were to happen I’d feel equally as bad about the awkward position it puts them in.

    I like PailofPerch’s idea, but I’d skip the text message. Give him a direct phone call or even swing by his garage with a 6 pack and sit down and talk. You will know in a hurry if it’s a friendship worth salvaging or not based on his reaction.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4773
    #1999865

    So at the end of the day did you give him the gun back before you drove home?

    Buzz
    Participant
    Minneapolis MN
    Posts: 1756
    #1999872

    Hi, over the years I’ve become more acquainted with “making amends”. There easier when I’m recognizing my part in a wrong. After all we don’t want to run around apologizing for everything that has happened to everyone. Yet, I’ve learned that I don’t always need to be the arbitrator of who did what or whose responsibility things are. It’s not like a court of law where accountability is rated. If you repay him, it might end up being a test of your humility – which is how we grow. There but fore the grace of God go I.

    Justin riegel
    Participant
    Posts: 754
    #1999878

    So at the end of the day did you give him the gun back before you drove home?

    We don’t know we met a gas station that day and I drove the rest away. We have no idea when the gun was lost, other than after that day we did not have it.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13985
    #1999882

    I agree with Dutchboy. If you borrowed the gun, it was your responsibility. If you didn’t return the gun back to its owner, then its on you.

    All of that other stuff blows my mind though. It sounds like you’ve done all the dirty work, scouting, bought most of the gear, drove all the time, etc. At some point, they either need to thank you for that or start pulling their own weight. Its not a guide service. I’ve hunted and fished with people like this before and after a couple times I stopped inviting them.

    Also, I agree with BuckyBadger on borrowing expensive items. I’ve had people ask to borrow guns of mine and the response was the same every time: nope. I don’t even trust my own Father with these items. I don’t ask others to borrow their expensive outdoor gear and I would expect the same in return.

    Smoker
    Participant
    Blaine, Minnesota
    Posts: 79
    #1999898

    Simple rule of my life has been if I borrow something from anyone I make sure it’s promptly returned in good or better condition than when I received it. That being said I rarely borrow things myself.

    joe-winter
    Participant
    St. Peter, MN
    Posts: 1237
    #1999899

    I agree completely with Bucky’s way of handling it.

    For me I have a hard time understanding one piece. If were a hunter and knew how expensive/nice a piece of equipment was. (kinda like I fish with you and you lend me your NRX). I would have a vivid memory of how I left it. “here Johnny, that sure was a sweet gun, you saved me from my piece of Sh$t today.” OR I certainly would have an “O Sh$t” moment when I realized he didn’t have it in his possession. Given these 2 options I would know how to handle it now. Vivid memory = not paying, “O Sh$t” = paying.

    In the end, Bucky sums it up pretty well.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #1999906

    Do you trust him? If you trust that he is not lying to you, then it is your responsibility to replace the gun, or at least offer to pay a portion of it. I would assume the gun was lost in the blind or on the way out of it, which is when it was your responsibility imo. It’s likely been eating at him for years. The other things you did and equipment used are separate and should have been addressed then if you expected some monetary value in return. A good friend is worth way more than a couple hundred bucks.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16974
    #1999908

    I would bite the bullet and buy him a new one, or give him something out of your closet. Are we talking like a 870 wingmaster or a 3000 dollar semi,
    Either way offer him something so it doesn’t cause the friendship to be completely destroyed.

    SuperDave1959
    Participant
    Harrisville, UT
    Posts: 2816
    #1999910

    Years should have never passed and you should have made a date to meet him at the gun shop to replace it as soon as it was brought to your attention.

    Slipbob nick
    Participant
    Posts: 129
    #1999919

    Can’t take the money with you. I’d make it right and replace the gun.

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13280
    #1999922

    Procrastination = Devastation

    He was waiting on you to offer up something for replacement and you just procrastinated to see if he would ever bring it up. Same situation on all the other costs involved.

    At this point ild say your responsibility is minimal half of the replacement shotgun. No doubt you can tell him how you feel about the other expenses, but it will come across as retaliation. Should of had those conversations years ago.

    Money and Guns do strange things to some people. I learned a long time ago to NEVER have the conversation later than sooner. Heck, we just started planning our’21 elk hunt. Everything from day leaving, what day to pack out, vehicles, atvs, what expenses we share,….EVERYTHING has been discussed including a summer scouting trip. The ole saying “fences make better neighbors “ is so true.

    James Holst
    Keymaster
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924
    #1999925

    You asked for opinions, so here’s mine. When I borrow anything from someone I assume full responsibility for that item until I return it to that person in better condition than I found it in. It went missing and that stinks. In my mind how that happened is irrelevant. So is who paid for what or who did most of the scouting. If it was me, I’d replace it with the next model up and deliver it in person with an apology for not getting it back to him at the end of the trip. But that’s just me. I absolutely HATE the situation you’re in and for that reason I rarely borrow anything from anyone.

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 9550
    #1999926

    If you didn’t actually hand it back to him and say “here you go, thanks” you should replace it. Say I’m sorry we didn’t figure this out a while ago.

    Take the high road.

    jake47
    Participant
    WI
    Posts: 588
    #1999929

    Another thought that hasn’t been brought up is that he asked for you to repay him, not replace it. Is it possible that times are hard for him, possibly due to Covid, and that is why he is asking now out of the blue? If that may be the case, I would probably consider paying him to “help” him out. Not only would you salvage the friendship, but you would feel good knowing that you helped in his time of need.

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15531
    #1999934

    Not being a hunter I need to ask the additional questions. Don’t guns need to be in a case to travel? If yes, when you got home I assume you didn’t have a extra case. If so the gun was lost after you left the blind or field. If you didn’t have a extra case you must have cased the gun and stuck it in the truck? I mean you wouldn’t have cased the gun and tossed it on the ground right? Also you said he was with you. If you cased the gun why didn’t you hand it to him and thank him for the use?

    Glad I don’t hunt it seems complex.

    reverend
    Participant
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts: 1115
    #1999935

    So, a couple possible scenarios popped into my head:
    1) Perhaps he waited around for you to offer to pay for it, but didn’t want to bring it up and risk the friendship and is just now finally working up the courage to ask it to be made right? Or…
    2) The fact that he hasn’t brought it up till now is odd(see #1)…possible he’s recently come up against financial hard times and is in need of ready cash?

    Either way, if it won’t break you I’d offer to pay for it, or at least inquire to see if he’s hard up and could use some help?

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4773
    #1999938

    If you didn’t hand him the gun back at the end of the day then I think you are pretty much responsible. After all if he didn’t borrow it to you he would still have the gun and it would of not been lost.

    This is the reason I hate borrowing tools or things from people. If I break it then I have to buy them a new one and I should of just bought the tool to begin with and owned it forever.

    I would ask him if he wants a used gun of the same model or cash and settle it. It sounds like your not best friends with the guy since you don’t talk often but still. if it were me I would of replaced it right away and made it right with him.

    The SCRATCHER
    Participant
    spring valley mn
    Posts: 714
    #1999942

    My 2 cents is you borrowed it You should have replaced it. The said gun would not have been with if you did not need it correct? Good friend or not try to replace a good friendship

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13985
    #1999943

    Don’t guns need to be in a case to travel?

    Yes, they do. There are exceptions I believe like if you haul around one in the bed of the pickup then it does not need to be cased. Some people have gun holders installed or gun rack-style things instead but if its in the cab I do believe it has to be in a case or a secured holster.

    ClownColor
    Inactive
    The Back 40
    Posts: 1955
    #1999949

    Procrastination = Devastation

    He was waiting on you to offer up something for replacement and you just procrastinated to see if he would ever bring it up. Same situation on all the other costs involved.

    At this point ild say your responsibility is minimal half of the replacement shotgun. No doubt you can tell him how you feel about the other expenses, but it will come across as retaliation. Should of had those conversations years ago.

    Money and Guns do strange things to some people. I learned a long time ago to NEVER have the conversation later than sooner. Heck, we just started planning our’21 elk hunt. Everything from day leaving, what day to pack out, vehicles, atvs, what expenses we share,….EVERYTHING has been discussed including a summer scouting trip. The ole saying “fences make better neighbors “ is so true.

    I tend to agree with this.

    I’d be willing to guess if you brought it up right away, you two would have probably compromised on each paying half.

    Sylvanboat
    Participant
    Posts: 918
    #1999951

    If he is somebody you want to remain as a friend, I would reimburse him. I presume he genuinely thinks you should. I am 66 and as I age, certain people become more important to me. If he is one of them, don’t jeopardize things over a couple of bucks.

    Justin riegel
    Participant
    Posts: 754
    #1999953

    If he is somebody you want to remain as a friend, I would reimburse him. I presume he genuinely thinks you should. I am 66 and as I age, certain people become more important to me. If he is one of them, don’t jeopardize things over a couple of bucks.

    After reading the responses I have concluded it is not really about the gun but more the friendship. It was always one sided and as soon as I stopped offering something we really have not talked. On top of a couple completely separate issues I think I grappling more with the question do I even want a friendship with him moving forward. I think not, but I will repay him for the gun. It least it is off my conscience.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16974
    #1999954

    How does a gun get lost ?

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15531
    #1999956

    IMO you are doing the right thing. Stick it in the rear view mirror. applause

    jagermeister
    Participant
    NW Ontario
    Posts: 97
    #1999958

    If you borrowed it you bought it!

    Justin riegel
    Participant
    Posts: 754
    #1999959

    How does a gun get lost ?

    If we knew that answer we would not be here. several possibilities, 1. it got left on shore and not put into my gun box in my boat. 2. It fell out somewhere. 3. He left on his car somewhere when he took off after getting his blind bag bag and other gun from my boat.

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