Disclosing neighbors' target practice when advertising our "quiet" cabin

Hi all,

I was wondering about disclosing noise in the description for my “quiet” mountain cabin in “wild and wonderful” West Virginia in the US. Our small, well-appointed cabin sits on 6 acres in a mountain community in a state of the US where people LOVE their guns. Hunting is one of the main sporting activities around here. We have some trigger-happy neighbors who have been enjoying target practice for hours a day on the weekends (started around noon yesterday and still occasionally going on when I left at 3), and a few weeks ago had a drunken riflefest at 1:30 in the morning that got the police called.

They live about a half mile away, but the slight valley means that the sound from their shooting is quite loud. The community association’s take is “This is West Virginia; we all have guns”, but the 1:30 am target practice is going to mean some slight bylaw changes.

We bought in this area not knowing that we’d have gun-happy neighbors. The noise turns our quiet place into the equivalent of people using leafblowers or hearing construction noise all day, except it’s rifle shots with the occasional “ping!” of hitting a metal target.

I’ve asked my next door neighbors what they think I should say, and they say “Just say something like ‘you may hear hunting noises’,” but to me this isn’t enough. We’ve got great occupancy and no complaints at all from our guests so far. What would be a good way to be honest and disclose this?

I’m also going to try to talk to the neighbor and see if I can get any support in the neighborhood association for changing the bylaws, but not really hopeful about that one.

Thanks in advance!

That is a tough one. I don’t think you can use the word quiet to describe this area. You would need to talk about the target practice and that it goes on for hours and is noisy.

Drunks with guns, is it safe for people?

I can tell you as a guest I would not stay here but maybe you can attract people that love that.


I wouldn’t bring up hunting, as that would imply they may be hunting on your six acres. I would mention there is a private target practice range next door that you can occasionally hear from the deck. (Or inside if that is the case.)


I don’t have the problem with guns but I have some hard trash neighbors who have lived here about 15 years. It will get better temporarily but then get worse. Recently it’s worse and I wonder if it will affect my Airbnb business. If it’s New Year’s or 4th of July I can close the Airbnb and usually do because I also board dogs in my home and I’m quite busy with that. But the year round noise is revving of loud cars and going up and down the street at excessive speeds. There’s also the issue of the multiple cars parked on the street and what looks like several very young adults or kids living there, possibly partially in a van on the street. Sometimes there is loud music but surprisingly it seems to come from the semi-adult dad person. Of course there is junk in the yard which may vary from a piano to mattress to the oldest jetski I’ve ever seen. For awhile they had macaws they would put in the front yard. I see Airbnb and dog clients giving a good long look to the place but so far no one says anything. All that is to say that despite the shooting, your business might not be impacted. The big difference is that I don’t advertise my place as a quiet getaway and I clearly live in a big city. I also have a lot of one night stays of people passing through; this is not a vacation stop.

I say in the other things to note that it’s a typical suburban neighborhood with noise. There is also a hospital close by with occasional medi-flights that fly low right over my home.

I think you have to disclose it and hope for the best. Although it may not have occurred to you, lots of people who live and vacation in the region are aware of the gun worship that goes on in the region so it may not affect your business much. Some people who look for that kind of getaway may realize that even “the wild” is dead quiet. I was camping once and a group of elk came through in the middle of the night. I’d never heard elk calls before and it scared the **** out of me as it woke me and that night’s sleep was definitely disrupted.

(Funny to me side note…one of the friends with whom I was traveling carried a gun on the trip. In the morning he told me he didn’t hear anything. Clearly an axe murderer could have come through our campsite and his gun would have been worthless if he sleeps through it.)

Maybe it will also be seasonal. If they love being out in the cold maybe they won’t be out in the summer when it’s hot and humid and mosquito-y.


@mccarras Another note, because it’s winter where you are guests are probably not hanging outside very much. Once it warms up they will be and the noise will be more obvious.

There’s a place 20 miles outside my town where I walk occasionally. I have sometimes heard lots of shooting and not knowing where it’s coming from is very disconcerting.


I agree with @zillacop

Hopefully you can get bylaw changes to prevent target practice or other loud noises at inappropriate times. [Hopefully you can do this without alienating anyone or making things worse. Tread carefully!]

You might need to add to your listing something like (edit):

For those who like hunting, or just target practice, you’ll find nearby opportunities to hunt deer, elk, fox, rabbit, squirrel and a whole lot more – need hunting license and generally must be age 15 and over. Be mindful that neighbors can choose to do target practice, and that that can get annoying.

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Ah, super helpful, all! Yes, I just realized that if I start talking about hunting, I would need to make it absolutely clear that there are state and local regulations and you can’t hunt on the property.

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I would put target practice and a setup on your airbnb property. Altho I abhor the gun lovers and their politics, You can benefit from this.

Our next door neighbor 200 yards away decided to raise chickens. Being a gentleman farmer, he wound up with several roosters, 2 of which competition crowed often. I did add them to the listing "You are also likely to hear the neighbors rooster! " . It was embarrassing because before their arrival the sounds were generally airplane related and there was mostly true serenity. Our guests didn’t seem to mind the crowing too much, they said it kind of went with the country ambiance.

I asked the neighbors if they would consider banding the roosters, he said “nobody minded the roosters running all over his Airbnbn in Kauai” I kid you not<><>! The stupid roosters decided they didn’t want to go in their pen at night and one was slaughtered by a bobcat, there were feathers all over the empty lot… a few weeks later something like 40 roosters were carted off. I don’t know why we don’t get more free eggs…


Just make sure to mention it in the “Potential for Noise” section to CYA if someone does complain. I recommend describing it plainly as “neighbors’ target practice may be heard intermittently” or something like that (maybe “sounds from a local outdoor gun range”?).

If there are public hunting lands in the area you may end up mostly hosting people who won’t be disturbed by it because they have guns and hunt too. A buddy of mine in TX has a rural cabin and just finished his first year of hosting. He was concerned when hunting season started last fall but all of the guests he got were coming to the area to hunt so it wasn’t an issue.


Roosters are ubiquitous in Mexico. People told me I’d get used to them, but I never will. When I bought my property after renting for several years in the area, I made sure there were no roosters out here.

Now there is a friggin’ rooster farm just up the road from me- hundreds of cages of fighting cocks (officially an illegal activity, but one which authorities turn a blind eye to). While many of my neighbors can hear them, thankfully there is a house between me and the roosters that entirely blocks the sound.

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I remember chickens being ubiquitous in Kauai too.
The neighbors dubbed their area Peacock Ranch, at least they aren’t bringing peacocks. There are many wild peacocks down below us in the village, they cause quite a lot of noise…


As a guest I would be disturbed if I heard a lot shooting and didn’t know where it was coming from or why. Therefore I would certainly mention that you might hear gun target practice, but that it is not on your property. Safety would be more important to me than the noise. As others mentioned, I would drop the word quiet.


The thing is though, although they don’t complain, do they become return guests? The majority of people are a bit too polite, or shy, to complain about things. (I know you wouldn’t think so reading some of the hosts’ stories here).

Do you get guests from other countries? The reason I ask is that people from countries where gun use isn’t as common would dislike the fact that there were guns nearby.

Yes, explaining more on your listing might put some people off (me, or instance, and @Christine_Shirtcliff ) but that’s better than having unhappy guests.

If your listing clearly explains the situation, guests will know exactly what to expect.


I would not book a place where the neighbors shot off guns. And if the host did not disclose that I would demand a full refund.

You could still mention in your listing that it is a quiet area when the neighbors are not doing gun target practice.

I have always advertised my place as quiet, which it normally is, but for the past few months there has been a house construction project next door to me. Some days it is quiet, just a couple guys mixing cement by hand and plastering, some days they are banging and one day last week they had a very loud cement mixer going all day. I haven’t changed my listing info to reflect this, as the construction is a temporary thing and will be done soon, but I have disclosed it to every guest who has sent an Inquiry or Request (I don’t use IB).
It hasn’t prevented any of them from booking, but occasional noise that stops every day at 4PM is different from having people shooting off guns nearby, at random times, which could be a 100% deal breaker for a lot of guests.

I also live in Mexico, where there are sometimes loudly amplified events that can be heard at my place, even though they are miles away, so I do disclose this in my ad. It happens infrequently, and usually only on a Friday or Saturday night, and fades in and out with the shifting winds, and as it can be heard from pretty much everywhere in this town, guests realize it is part of the culture (although not a potential physical danger, like an errant bullet) and no guests have ever complained.

You definitely need to disclose the noise and the source of it in your listing info.

And I wish you luck in rallying support for some bylaw changes and have empathy for you unwittingly finding yourselves with trigger-happy neighbors. Most of the rest of the world finds Americans’ love affair with guns to be odd and wholly distasteful.


I assume you mean that “‘the wild’ is NOT dead quiet” (I’d love to hear what elk calls sound like!) and I was thinking about that myself recently: we also live in a relatively quiet spot, away from the squeals of drunkards in the centre of my beach town, but when the nearby fig tree was in fruit, the flying foxes came and screamed at each other all night long, and then in the morning, the lorikeets start screeching, and this morning I was walking on the promenade at dawn and noticed a solitary cockatoo that had perched on the balcony of one of the apartment buildings next to the beach and was screaming its head off (cockatoos make a sound up to 135 decibels) just for fun, as cockatoos do, and I thought to myself, “I hope nobody in that apartment building, or the neighbouring ones, hoped to sleep in today.” And then I thought to myself, “What if a cockatoo decided to start shrieking outside my apartment?”

I realised I needed to revise my listing in a way that tries to turn this into one of the charms of the place, before somebody writes a review that says, “We were woken at 6:30am by the 135-decibel screeches of some native bird, after being kept awake all night long by some screaming nocturnal animal in the courtyard next to our bedroom window.”


Yes! My posts lately have gotten really sloppy. Whether it’s my brain or something else is yet to be decided.

The only Airbnb guests who commented on the neighbor’s macaws said something about being “startled when they heard a woman screaming while we were in the driveway but realized it was a bird.” They still gave me a good review. Luckily guests here don’t tend to sleep in as they aren’t vacationing.

I had a friend in the 90s who lived on 4 acres away from their medium sized town. All the homes were on multiple acres. Over the years they acquired 17 parrots of all kinds, and over a dozen dogs. The dogs weren’t so bad but those parrots when they put them outside must have been the bane of the neighborhood for miles.


And Australia has some of the noisiest native birds in the world!


On my trip to Australia, one of my favorite things was feeding the Cockatoos and lorikeets in the Sydney Botanical Park.


They sure do! I have added to my “manifesto of low expectations” the following statement:

In other countries, people refer to the sounds birds make as “song.” This word doesn’t really apply to Australian birds (with the exception of magpies and butcher birds). Here, birds scream. Loudly.

This was after a guest review generously spoke of being charmed by being wakened by the “birdsong” and I laughed and thought “there’s nothing songlike about it”.