Hiking with a firearm


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IlikeSA
May 31, 2011, 01:09 PM
Some friends of mine and I were chatting yesterday about firearms, hiking, and the general outdoors, and one of my friends was super surprised that I carry a pistol while hiking. It made me think, if he, who also enjoys the outdoors, was that surprised, what would the surprise be if he were on the trail?

So, here are the questions: if you were hiking, and assuming it was legal, would you:

a: be utterly shocked to see someone else open carrying on the trail?
b: treat this hiker any different from the last guy you passed?


The next question deals with those in Fish & Wildlife. Would there be an adverse LE reaction to someone carrying a long gun while hiking, especially not during hunting season?

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Nushif
May 31, 2011, 01:19 PM
I'd not be surprised at all, especially not with a long arm involved.

But then ... I'm no LE type.

Navin R. Johnson
May 31, 2011, 01:19 PM
No big deal for me. I prefer to see someone else armed.

The long gun is a bit weird (more for hunting then personal defense) but I still wouldn't think much of it.

NavyLCDR
May 31, 2011, 01:20 PM
a. No, not shocked at all.
b. Why would you treat them any differently?

Ignition Override
May 31, 2011, 01:28 PM
Before I first began reading about gun issues a few years ago-for the first time-I might have asked the guy whether there was any hunting in the area. If this is far from any towns or cities, maybe it would seem normal.

Anybody in a TN state park might risk a fine or worse (confiscation), if somebody squeals and rangers spot you or your car. I've never been on any very remote, distant trails more than two miles from parking, but would not risk confiscation of a gun or a fine.

Have only heard about one specific state park (Chickasaw), just east of Bolivar in west TN where there is a small spot for rifle shooting, not requiring any hiking, with lots of fallen timber in a hilly spot.
A friend on his atv discovered this very narrow area.

kingpin008
May 31, 2011, 01:33 PM
If you're looking for an accurate representation of whether the general public would be taken aback at the sight of a person OC'ing on a hiking trail, you might want to ask somewhere other than a pro-firearms message board...:D

armoredman
May 31, 2011, 01:34 PM
Not really, unless I had accidentally stumbled onto a drug mule convoy - then there might be an issue...
I think a long gun that can be carried easily is a definite plus in the backwoods, but I am in the minority mostly. A good handgun is a must, in my view.

IlikeSA
May 31, 2011, 01:37 PM
I figuired such, but then we are rather rare in the overall scheme of things. What I consider "normal" vs what others consider normal are two different things. I personally wouldn't blink an eye at a pistol, but I have never seen anyone carry a long gun while hiking.

I have considered carrying a rifle or shotgun here though, because I do not have a pistol/revolver I feel with enough oomph for the area. I just wanted some opinions, or experiences. Have any of you ever hiked with a long arm or seen others hiking with a long arm?

FourTeeFive
May 31, 2011, 01:38 PM
Open carry is pretty common when hiking. I think nothing of it.

Onward Allusion
May 31, 2011, 01:44 PM
IlikeSA (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=16357)
Hiking with a firearm
Some friends of mine and I were chatting yesterday about firearms, hiking, and the general outdoors, and one of my friends was super surprised that I carry a pistol while hiking. It made me think, if he, who also enjoys the outdoors, was that surprised, what would the surprise be if he were on the trail?

So, here are the questions: if you were hiking, and assuming it was legal, would you:

a: be utterly shocked to see someone else open carrying on the trail?
b: treat this hiker any different from the last guy you passed?

The next question deals with those in Fish & Wildlife. Would there be an adverse LE reaction to someone carrying a long gun while hiking, especially not during hunting season?

Depending on the State, I may or may not be surprised. When passing, I would do as I always would - keep an eye out and say "hey there..."

Reminds me of this past weekend... Wife and I went hiked off to a part of the park that was closed off to vehicle traffic (but not hikers). It was completely dead (on Memorial Day weekend!). I guess people just assumed that it was closed. About half way into it, it occurred to me that I was violating my own set of "S rules" (stupid places)... Felt a bit better that I was armed.

NMGonzo
May 31, 2011, 01:49 PM
What the other hikers don't see can't hurt them.

Shadow 7D
May 31, 2011, 02:18 PM
Um, most won't notice, you could walk past them with a slung rifle

Mr and Mrs. Oblivious will **Assume** you slung your HIKING POLE, after all, why would someone have a gun, now it's any easy piece of trail so putting your poles up **Makes Sense**

Never underestimate the power of people seeing what THEY EXPECT

Ignition Override
May 31, 2011, 02:24 PM
IlikeSA:
Have never noticed others with a gun, but have seldom been on trails outside our large county recreation areas (Shelby Farms and Wolf River Conserv.) in this city.

All I will say is that it is easy to believe that laws allow it;), when they often do not, at least in state parks.
As to whether they are actually enforced might be difficult to determine, and could easily depend on the area and who sees/reports (?) a possible firearm.

Who knows....would a ranger tell you one thing on the phone, but in person act in a different way?
Would two rangers do their jobs differently?

Cosmoline
May 31, 2011, 02:43 PM
It's pretty common around here to see people hiking or even jogging armed. There's usually a spike in carrying right after a local mauling. I carry a Mosin-Nagant or a Winchester Big Bore most of the time. It seems like everytime I just carry the short gun, I run into bears.

Ignition Override
May 31, 2011, 02:50 PM
Cosmoline:
If you know where to read about the guy who stepped out of his car for a 'leak', and barely stopped a charging grizzly with four rds. from his Enfield #5, could you post it or send a pm?

taliv
May 31, 2011, 02:55 PM
most of the guys i hike TN trails with carry guns. none OC

Cosmoline
May 31, 2011, 02:58 PM
I think you're talking about the incident in the NWT involving the rare hybrid polar-griz. The interaction between northward-moving griz and landward-moving polars means this may become a new species. Offspring are not infertile, apparently. A critter with the carnivorous taste of a polar but the ferocity of a barren ground griz is food for thought.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2010/06/how-inuit-hunter-david-kuptana-shot-only-second-generation-polar-bear?cmpid=enews06

Personally I've worked up a bear load for the Mosins using 215 grain Woodleigh SP's that I'm hoping will do the trick in a pinch. But most of the interactions around here are with black bear so I mostly just carry the rifle for exercise.

Carne Frio
May 31, 2011, 03:59 PM
Out in the woods here, unarmed, marks you as a weirdo.

Ruger44mag
May 31, 2011, 04:36 PM
No. Like cosmoline said its pretty common up here to see hikers with guns.

TheCol.U.S.M.C.
May 31, 2011, 05:13 PM
yep see it all the time but I live in Arizona no big deal here

hermannr
May 31, 2011, 05:25 PM
WA state specifically provides for carrying a handgun (OC or CC, no permit required) for self protection while recreating.

However, I would be very careful about carrying a long gun if you did not have a hunting license. F&W have some very funny rules: like you can carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle with a CPL for self defence, but you cannot carry a loaded longgun in a vehicle unless you have a special disabled hunting license. The CPL is just that, that is the "P" means pistol.

As soon as you get into a long gun, you are playing with F&W instead of normal law...

I don't know what state you are in, but.....Before you carry (OC or CC) any type of longgun when hiking I would very carefully read the F&W regs,,,Arrested for "poaching" is very ugly, and they will take and keep you longgun.

kva47
May 31, 2011, 06:10 PM
I've hiked with a cut down NEF 12ga. Then again, I haven't reached the magic handgun carry age, so it's my only choice if I want to be armed. I'm sure a handgun would be more practical, but I've never had any trouble with the shotgun.

montanaoffroader
May 31, 2011, 08:40 PM
a: No

b: No

Lots of people around here carry firearms when outdoors. No one worries about it too much.

Leanwolf
May 31, 2011, 09:03 PM
Here in Idaho, it is not at all unusual to see people out in the mountains, or in the back country carrying firearms. Whether hunting or not, a lot of people carry openly or concealed.

No one seems to pay much attention.

L.W.

hermannr
May 31, 2011, 09:21 PM
KVA47. Your age might work as a good defence. "I'm sorry F&W officer, I am legally entitled to defend myself, but I am not old enough for a CPL..that is why I have a loaded longgun in the woods without a hunting license."

I think that would work...even though it is a false premiss. You can carry, even CC (but you cannot obtain a CPL) a handgun when you are under 21 in WA. However, only when when you are recreating, and when you are traveling to and from where you will/have been recreating.

You might want to read RCW 9.41.060 (8), then read RCW 9.41.042...B careful you do not trample on RCW 77 (F&W)

1stmarine
May 31, 2011, 09:24 PM
We do not think much if we find a hunter 'carrying' a rifle or a shotgun on the shoulder. The rifle is a firearm too, a more lethal one.
I guess in the event of a "short gun" display depends on where you are, the context of the situation and the general firearms attitude and education one has. If bears or other predators are around I think it could be actually quite comforting if you meet and hike along with a person carrying a firearm.
So in america you will find both ends (extremes) of the response depending where you are and then every situation and opinion in the middle.
And hiking in central park in NYC is not the place to be showing off any 500 S&W for bear defense purposes, in case someone wants to try this. LOL!

Hunt480
May 31, 2011, 09:27 PM
For the most part its not a problem but sometimes when I go to parks and visit and I open carry most of the time when Im on hiking trails and also while biking I notice people looking and wispering sometimes. I think most of the time its because people did'nt know they could legally bring a firearm themselves.

biohazurd
May 31, 2011, 09:38 PM
I often hike with a 12 gauge over my shoulder as well as a .44 black hawk in a shoulder holster. I think its weird to hike unarmed...

armoredman
May 31, 2011, 09:39 PM
I'd be happy carrying my vz-58 slung, but it mayhap be better depending on terrain to have a shotgun. Don't have a shotgun. Good thing I don't hike right now.

mr.trooper
May 31, 2011, 09:57 PM
I wouldn't be shocked...

But to be 100% honest, I would make a point of smiling and saying "hello!" to the guy with the gun. I would probably ignore everyone else.

Maia007
May 31, 2011, 10:00 PM
All depends on what part of the country you are in, I think.

In Oregon, open carry is legal and always has been. It is not unusual for hikers to be carrying handguns, but the percentage is low...not like SE Alaska. It is even less unusual to see mounted folks carrying openly, with single action revolvers, like the Vaquero or Blackhawk strapped to the hip.

At a trailhead, there might be some "concern" among the city-types that actually notice....but that's their problem. It would usually not be a problem for LE types in this part of the world.

Dr_B
June 1, 2011, 12:53 AM
In Idaho, you should have something on you when you go walking in the woods. Just like everywhere else there is a low chance you will need it. But do you want to be out on your own away from help and have nothing? When I'm out in the woods, depending on what I'm up to, I might have both my .357 and a shotgun loaded with slugs. Even had a cop tell me I should have a revolver on me when I hike.

I have not yet run across another person open carrying in the woods, but it would not bother me. Keep in mind you can concealed carry without a license in Idaho as long as you are hunting/fishing/camping etc outside city limits.

kva47
June 1, 2011, 01:46 AM
Of course, the problem with handguns in WA isn't as much carrying while recreating as it is obtaining. I've talked to several private sellers and they're all (somewhat justifiably) skittish about selling to an 18-20 yr old, since most people think it's unlawful. My question is, would a F&W Officer really have grounds to slap poaching charges on someone hiking on a trail with a slung long gun, sans hunting license? That sounds like a pretty low burden of proof.

IlikeSA
June 1, 2011, 02:06 AM
Good question KVA. Does anyone know the legal definition of poaching, and if you can be charged for simple possession of a "hunting" firearm in the back country? Wouldn't they have to prove you were actively stalking, killing, or processing game?

WardenWolf
June 1, 2011, 02:30 AM
I always carry while hiking. Normally my concealed carry piece, but I'll strap on my Tokarev if I'm in an area I think I might need the extra firepower.

I somehow don't think drug convoys like hunting season much. Bunch of guys out there with scoped rifles that can both see and hit a lot farther than they can. It definitely restricts their activites to nighttime.

FourTeeFive
June 1, 2011, 03:33 AM
Of course, the problem with handguns in WA isn't as much carrying while recreating as it is obtaining. I've talked to several private sellers and they're all (somewhat justifiably) skittish about selling to an 18-20 yr old, since most people think it's unlawful.

Not quite on the thread track, but in response to your comment:

I prefer to sell to someone with a carry permit, since by their possessing that I can be relatively sure they are legal to own a handgun. A lot of people probably feel the same way.

northark147
June 1, 2011, 05:35 AM
Never had any contact while hiking, but I was arrested while canoeing once. They didn't blink an eye at either than handgun or rifle in my boat. They just locked them up with the rest of my stuff in my truck for my best friend to come get.

NoirFan
June 1, 2011, 07:21 AM
I am wary of anyone else I meet when I am in the woods alone. I assume they feel the same way about me. If they have a visible gun, I am even more wary. Ditto if they see one on me. It's just common sense.

So yes I would treat someone with an exposed gun differently. Maybe the next ten hikers I meet down the trail are carrying concealed but it makes no sense to worry about that because I have no proof. If someone is putting the proof right in my face with an exposed weapon of course I will treat them differently.

scotjute
June 1, 2011, 10:54 AM
I normally don't carry when hiking in parks/public areas unless on an overnite trip and then it is in the back-pack. Usually take a big stick and wear 5" sheath knife, both legal down here. Heat, bugs, snakes, and rarely black bear or mountain lion are main dangers down here.
Would not want to carry a rifle/shotgun due to the gun weight, ammo weight, and the lack of bonafide need for that much firepower while on a hike in a public place.

BigN
June 1, 2011, 11:59 AM
Since I carry a handgun when hiking in the mountains, I wouldn't be surprised at all and wouldn't look at them any differently.

Specs
June 1, 2011, 12:13 PM
I carry my Ruger Blackhawk in a "belly pack", but it is concealed. I do not subscribe to OC because of the potential hassles.

NavyLCDR
June 1, 2011, 12:31 PM
I am wary of anyone else I meet when I am in the woods alone. I assume they feel the same way about me. If they have a visible gun, I am even more wary. Ditto if they see one on me. It's just common sense.

So yes I would treat someone with an exposed gun differently. Maybe the next ten hikers I meet down the trail are carrying concealed but it makes no sense to worry about that because I have no proof. If someone is putting the proof right in my face with an exposed weapon of course I will treat them differently.

To me that makes no sense whatsoever. To me that sounds just like the arguments that some organizations (usually associated with law enforcement) raise against claiming open carry causing more danger to the public or their members. Why are they/you more concerned about the guns that they can see, rather than the guns that are hidden?

Why would I view a person excercising the Constitutionally protected right to carry a firearm as suspicious or worth of additional attention? It's not the firearm that makes a person suspicious, to me, it's their behavior. The fact that are visibly carrying a properly holstered firearm, to me, is more of an indication that they are a good guy rather than a bad guy.

Now, the person acting suspiciously not visibly carrying a gun, or a person with a gun stuck in the waistband of their pants.... I will give them an extra wide berth.

I'm sorry, but to me, your statement leads me to think that you believe the firearm itself somehow has evil associated with it.

Isn't it illegal to carry a gun in most parks?

Across the nation - no. Across the nation it is more common for firearms to be allowed in parks. There is no Federal prohibition on the carrying of firearms in National Parks. Carrying firearms in parks is regulated at the state and municipality level, and most states do not prohibit firearms in parks.

Specs
June 1, 2011, 12:37 PM
I think that if someone is open carrying LEGALLY, then no sweat, but if I see someone carrying ILLEGALLY, I start to have some concerns. If a person carries illegally what else might they do illegally?

CZguy
June 1, 2011, 12:37 PM
Here in Missouri, the only reason to carry while hiking is for people not animals, so concealed carry is the way to go for me.

Cosmoline
June 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Isn't it illegal to carry a gun in most parks?

What kind of park are you talking about? And what part of the country? Central Park has nothing in common with Chugach State Park, for example. Apart from trees and tourists.

hermannr
June 1, 2011, 04:37 PM
kva45, It has been many years since I was young and I know the laws have changed...but I do know that the loaded longgun prohibition in a vehicle is an antipoaching regulation.

I have been shown wrong before, but after reading my current copy of the hunting regulations it looks like the only loaded longgun prohibition currently is within a vehicle...see RCW 9.41.040

If I rememeber correctly, back in the 60's and 70's, you could not have a loaded longgun (unless you were on your own property) unless you had a valid hunting license on your person...That requirement does not appear to be in the regs any more.

As for purchasing a handgun from a private party, a lot of that depends on you personal presentation. What I would suggest is you find a gun club and join in. When you show you're are a responsible, safe individual, you may do better in finding someone that will sell you a handgun.

You have not stated if your folks live in WA? They are the people that are most qualified to vouch for you. Do they have a problem with your owning a handgun?

Have you taken the firearms safety course (the hunters safety course is two parts, hunters and firearms safety) If you have, you could present the certificate to whomever has a handgun for sale, and explain that because you are under 21 it is ok for you to purchase privately and you have proof you are safe with a firearm.

When you took your firearms safety course you should have been given a F&W firearms pamphlet that has the whole text of 9.41 and some other information in it. You can point out the applicable section of RCW 9.41 to a person that may be concerned. just a couple ideas.

My FIL gave me my first handgun (a 1926 Colt) in 1967, my dad gave my first 22 and shotgun (1958 and 1960). I purchased my first hunting rifle (Remington 700) myself, in 1963, so I have never had your problem....however,,,the GCA 1968 did not exist back then.

Vern Humphrey
June 1, 2011, 06:16 PM
So, here are the questions: if you were hiking, and assuming it was legal, would you:

a: be utterly shocked to see someone else open carrying on the trail?
b: treat this hiker any different from the last guy you passed?
The answer is b; treat him like everyone else.

I'm an old backpacker. While hiking the Appalachian Train in Pennsylvania in the early '70s, I met a Boy Scout leader with several Scouts. He was carrying a snub-nosed S&W and killed a rattlesnake with it.

Nowadays I live in the Ozarks, and often hike the Ozark Highland Trail, much of which runs through the Buffalo National River boundaries. The BNR is the only National Park that allows hunting -- so I carry my Colt Woodsman, and have taken a squirrel or two on the trail.

goon
June 1, 2011, 06:54 PM
I'm all for people being armed for their own defense regardless of where they are. If a long gun is what you have or what you're most comfortable with, by all means, carry it.
Now if I saw someone lugging a .50 caliber Barrett or something similar down a trail, I'd probably notice it just because of how odd it is. But if you're not hurting anyone with it, who am I to tell you not to do it.

1stmarine
June 1, 2011, 07:08 PM
For those ilegally carrying I recommend not to do it as it is a felony that can bring pretty bad consequences.
And for those illegally carrying in open carry mode then I recommend a brain transplant.

Sniderman
June 1, 2011, 07:27 PM
No, wouldn't be shocked

and No, wouldn't treat him differently, exception being, that if we got to talking the conversation would naturally turn to firearms.:D

AZ
June 1, 2011, 07:39 PM
Would not be surprised at all to see someone on the trail with a pistol and would treat them no differently. A long arm in off season would be a different story and I would find it a bit strange and don't think many rangers would look kindly on it. This has more to do with hunting though, as hunting licenses are taken more seriously in AZ due to the relative scarcity of certain hunted critters.

CZguy
June 1, 2011, 08:40 PM
Nowadays I live in the Ozarks, and often hike the Ozark Highland Trail, much of which runs through the Buffalo National River boundaries. The BNR is the only National Park that allows hunting -- so I carry my Colt Woodsman, and have taken a squirrel or two on the trail.

I'm glad that you mentioned that. I usually hike the Ozark mountain trail, but will have to hike the highland trail in the fall.

1stmarine
June 1, 2011, 09:38 PM
It looks like stopped raining. I am going for a hike around the block with the dogs. LOL!....

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z327/fotoeiro/SAIGA12/Saiga12_BackStrap.jpg

22-rimfire
June 1, 2011, 10:05 PM
Anybody in a TN state park might risk a fine or worse (confiscation), if somebody squeals and rangers spot you or your car.

Not true. But you're not allowed the shoot except in self defense. It is perfectly legal if you have a handgun carry permit. A ranger told me just Monday that if there is something odd, they will check for the permit by calling in and hold the firearm before returning the firearm to the individual. I would however recommend against outside carry in a normal TN State Park, but in more remote areas, I think it would be just fine.

As far as the OP's opening statement and questions... I have no problem as long as they act "normal". I'm used to hunters and hunting and I know what normal is.

FourTeeFive
June 1, 2011, 11:11 PM
Isn't it illegal to carry a gun in most parks?

In Washington state it is legal:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2457634/posts

Loaded guns now allowed in national parks, wildlife refuges [ Washington State]

ptleader | 2/23/2010 | Patrick J. Sullivan
Posted on February 23, 2010 11:09:38 AM PST by JoeProBono

Loaded guns are now allowed within Olympic National Park and other national parks and wildlife refuges, under a new law that went into effect this week. Federal law continues to prohibit the possession of firearms in designated “federal facilities” within national parks, such as visitor centers, offices or maintenance buildings. These places are posted with “firearms prohibited” signs at public entrances, according to the National Park Service.

Firearms have always been prohibited in national parks, except for some in Alaska and other parks that permit hunting. The law has been that any firearm in a vehicle on national park property must be unloaded and stowed in a case, or dismantled.

Former President George W. Bush pushed the initial legislation in 2008 to change that rule, and it became official in May 2009, when Congress passed it as an amendment to credit-card reform legislation. President Obama signed it into law effective Feb. 22, 2010.

The gun rule change is seen as a victory for advocates of Second Amendment rights and a concern by some who don't see the need to carry firearms in parks unless there is a specific hunting season.

“For nearly 100 years, the mission of the National Park Service has been to protect and preserve the parks and to help all visitors enjoy them,” National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said in a press release. “We will administer this law as we do all others – fairly and consistently.”

Parks, wildlife refuges

People must simply follow the state law where the federal property is located. Some national parks cross multiple state lines. That's not a problem at Olympic National Park or Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

The new law does not change prohibitions on the use of firearms in national parks and does not change hunting regulations. Being allowed to carry a firearm in a national park or wildlife refuge does not come with permission to use it. Again, state laws on gun use also apply.

National wildlife refuges in this part of Washington state include Dungeness, Gray's Harbor, San Juan Islands, Nisqually and the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which includes Flattery Rocks, Quillayute Needles, Protection Island and the San Juan Islands.

'Open carry' state

Washington is an "open carry" state, which means, in brief, that visibly carrying holstered handguns in public is lawful. It is how a handgun is used that may make it unlawful, not how it is carried or that it is being carried, according to Washington State Parks' chief of law enforcement in a report last year to Fort Worden State Park.

In terms of guns in vehicles, Washington state allows someone with a concealed-weapon permit to carry the gun loaded and on his person in his vehicle as long as it is concealed from view from outside of the vehicle. Motorists without a concealed weapon permit must transport the weapon unloaded and locked in a container, according to trooper Krista Hedstrom, Washington State Patrol District 8 public information officer.

State Parks rules

The same state RCW about firearms in general applies on Washington State Parks property, reported Kate Burke, Fort Worden Area Parks manager. People with a concealed-weapon permit may carry firearms concealed on their person when in a state park or other public place in Washington.

Many Washington State Parks rangers are armed. Most national park rangers are not armed.

Hocka Louis
June 1, 2011, 11:43 PM
Depends on where u r.
In all but the most remote places I'd be wary of people who OC around me. I always have been armed, but, even in the Alaska interior it was OC Bear Spray and shoulder-holstered CC small .44 Mag with Buffalo Bore. Rockies? CC ported small .357 Mag with Federal Vital Shock Core Casts. Elsewhere? CC 4", 11 oz., stainless, five-shot single-action .22 Mag.

Good&Fruity
June 2, 2011, 12:47 AM
Let's just say people may have seen someone with an AK in my area and said something to the guy with the AK. They may have been prompted to kick rocks.

CZguy
June 2, 2011, 01:50 AM
They may have been prompted to kick rocks.

What does that mean?

kingcheese
June 2, 2011, 04:01 AM
Personally I've worked up a bear load for the Mosins using 215 grain Woodleigh SP's that I'm hoping will do the trick in a pinch. But most of the interactions around here are with black bear so I mostly just carry the rifle for exercise.

well if that dont work you could aways attach the bayonet, and have an extra 18inches to try and stop the bear



a) id not be suprised to see someone carrying on the trail
b) i would treat them a little differnt, probably talk to them a lil bit if they got a really unique piece on them

Dr.Rob
June 2, 2011, 05:44 AM
Colorado? Nope, while it might be unusual for the granola crowd to pack heat open carry in the woods is common. A rifle might get my attention, but more out of curiousity.

Mudinyeri
June 2, 2011, 11:15 AM
I've been a part of a virtually identical discussion on a backpacking forum. Most of the responses were along slightly different lines than those here. :D

I wouldn't necessarily be surprised to see someone carrying. I might treat them differently, however, knowing that they probably share more of my beliefs and political leanings than someone who was not carrying. I might strike up a conversation with them, asking them about their weapon of choice, shooting habits, hunting, fishing, etc.

talldragon
June 2, 2011, 10:49 PM
What does that mean?

Take-off, jam, split, leave.....you get the idea :).

The younger guys on my Work crew (just a point of reference; no age-ism here :D ) seem to use these type of sayings :rolleyes:.

CZguy
June 2, 2011, 10:58 PM
Thanks, talldragon

Whenever I read a new colloquialism, I feel myself aging.

RichBMW
June 3, 2011, 05:10 AM
I carry concealed on my daily hikes with my dog. I'm sometimes miles from civilization.

NoirFan
June 3, 2011, 07:11 AM
Why would I view a person excercising the Constitutionally protected right to carry a firearm as suspicious or worth of additional attention? It's not the firearm that makes a person suspicious, to me, it's their behavior.

I don't necessarily question the motives of a gun carrier I encounter in the woods. It's just that if a gun is present in a situation, the probability of being shot is infinitely higher than if no gun were present (a zero percent chance versus some non-zero percent chance). It doesn't have to be malicious; it could be misuse, showboatery, or stupidity.

The fact that are visibly carrying a properly holstered firearm, to me, is more of an indication that they are a good guy rather than a bad guy.

Now this makes no sense to me. If a gun is, as you say, a morally neutral object, why would you assume this? I've seen any number of holster-wearing citizens at gun shows I wouldn't care to encounter alone in the woods or anywhere else.

I'm sorry, but to me, your statement leads me to think that you believe the firearm itself somehow has evil associated with it.

I don't associate guns with evil, I associate them with danger. Guns introduce the potential for danger into a situation, nothing more. Given that, why would I not be wary when I encounter in a secluded area with no witnesses, a stranger openly carrying a gun.

Sav .250
June 3, 2011, 07:21 AM
There are rules and regs for most everything weapon related. Make sure your covered and your good to go.

lizziedog1
June 3, 2011, 07:28 AM
I always carry a handgun while hiking in the desert around here. Sometimes I also take some sort of long gun.

Most of the land around here is under BLM jurisdiction. In other words, no legal hassles.

It can get sticky with Fish and Game if you are hking around here with a "deer" rifle during deer season and you do not have a deer tag.

Would I be surprised if I see a fellow explorer waling around armed? I am surprised when I see a person period.

22-rimfire
June 3, 2011, 07:53 AM
I don't associate guns with evil, I associate them with danger. Guns introduce the potential for danger into a situation, nothing more. Given that, why would I not be wary when I encounter in a secluded area with no witnesses, a stranger openly carrying a gun.

I'm wary anytime I meet someone in a very secluded area regardless of the known presence of a firearm.

But I think you make a good point. It is a reasonable statement. Encountering someone in the woods carrying a gun is situational in terms of how I react. I generally try NOT to enounter anyone in the woods, but when you are hiking defined trails and especially in parks, you do encounter people close up. I pay attention.

If I am hiking a trail at a state park in my neck of the woods and I observe someone with a rifle and especially a "black rifle", they get my undivided attention until I am a good distance away from them (a 22 less so). Carrying a rifle makes little sense to me unless you are hunting while hiking a defined trail in a state park. Handgun... not so much. Unfortunately, how a gun looks is one of many considerations. I would react differently if I was just "out in the woods" on private land in terms of the rifle vs handgun, because I might well have a rifle with me too. Again... it's situational as to how I react.

Usmc-1
June 3, 2011, 08:11 AM
Kelt-Tec Sub 2000 .40SW , folds up easy into a day pack , uses auto pistol magazines ,is really light weight , totally concealable , it folds in half , not only is this a valuable survival tool , its great protection and if your thrown into a survival situation , this could be your bread winner for game ,easy to shoot , in a firefight , it could be your defense ,its accurate enough that you could kill an attacker or game alike!

22-rimfire
June 3, 2011, 08:33 AM
I need to handle one of the Kelt-Tec 2000's. Sounds interesting.

357 Terms
June 3, 2011, 09:12 AM
A. I wouldn't be surprised
B. I wouldn't treat them any different as long as the went on their way.

I live in Indiana and if I passed someone on the trail with a long gun it would raise my eyebrow. A handgun would not bother me.

Havegunjoe
June 3, 2011, 12:40 PM
I can answer the first two in my case. A. I wouldn’t be shocked at all by someone open carrying a gun. Makes good sense to me. B. I wouldn’t treat the hiker any different. Wave, say hi, maybe ask what they chose to carry and why. A long gun might be a little different if not hunting season. I would expect that LE would frown on this as they would assume you were hunting illegally. Also a long gun is heavy and more awkward than a holstered handgun. If you plan to do a lot of hiking and it is legal where you live upgrade your caliber choice for those occasions.

Havegunjoe
June 3, 2011, 01:56 PM
"I am wary of anyone else I meet when I am in the woods alone. I assume they feel the same way about me. If they have a visible gun, I am even more wary. Ditto if they see one on me. It's just common sense."

So what you are saying is that people that carry guns are strange, different, unreliable, scary, what exactly??? Isn’t that the argument that anti-gun folks use against all of us? Not trying to start a fight or anything but don’t you see how you play right into the hands of the anti-gun folks. I’m not saying not to be wary of strangers you meet but a lot of factors go into my judgment of a stranger. Not just the fact that they are carrying a gun in the woods.

1911s
June 3, 2011, 02:13 PM
I see people all the time carrying, no biggie. A lot of the quad riding folk pack also. Sheep are scared of the woods.
1stMarine: How was the walk,lol

xfyrfiter
June 3, 2011, 02:44 PM
Between the marijuana farmers, and drug mules, in most of the west, and southwest US, you had better be armed just for self protection. This is just my take on the current situation. Parts of our country have warning signs, that are posted by our government, that if we decide to enter the area we should be very cautious, and these areas are not patrolled due to the danger to LE.

hermannr
June 3, 2011, 04:12 PM
The only "bad" things that seem to happen in our part of the country, do not happen in the woods, they happen at the trainhead. Like stolen fancy wheels off you car when you get back to the trailhead, and stuff stolen out of the car. The thieves do not go into the woods, you can walk for days here without ever seeing anyone else.

I cannot understand why anyone would be concerned about anyone OC in a NF, NP or any other forest/mountain hike. Makes no sense to me. I do it all the time.

Most interesting encounter was a group of young German tourists. They thought the idea of being able to open carry on a hike in the woods was great and wished they could in Europe. That was in the Ross Lake National Recreational Area. You even see fewer people in the Pasayten.

lizziedog1
June 4, 2011, 08:15 AM
If I am hiking a trail at a state park in my neck of the woods and I observe someone with a rifle and especially a "black rifle", they get my undivided attention

"Black Rifle"?

What if the rifle is dark brown, would you be slightly less nervous?

Those of you worried about EBR's should consider moving to California. The government there has your back concerning EBR's.:confused:

Vern Humphrey
June 4, 2011, 08:51 AM
I know a guy who has a rifle with red and white stripes, and a blue butt with stars. Would that be extra-illegal in **********?:p

22-rimfire
June 4, 2011, 09:17 AM
Lizziedog1, your response merits a response. Brown, black, pink, yellow... I don't care; it is a tool. But what is this tool appropriate for in a park setting? Frankly, in a TN state park if I saw any rifle it would raise a concern, and if it was a EBR, it would raise significant concern because it is totally inappropriate for the environment and most situations. A concealed handgun would be just as effective for self defense at defensable self-defense ranges. Choices have ramifications.... That choice regardless of legality is just plain stupid. Unless there were special circumstances (SHTF, killer identified in the area, or an actual bear attack), I would expect to see every ranger in the park converging on this "hiker" to question them and even in the most innocent of situations I expect they would be asked to put the rifle in the car or leave immediately. How does "disturbing the peace" sound to you? For 90% of the people in the park, it would be a "disturbance" to their peace.

Nuclear
June 4, 2011, 11:08 AM
A concealed handgun is never as effective for self defense as an openly carried rifle. We carry handguns because they are easy to conceal. Rifles are more appropriate to rural areas than urban areas, as there is less concern for what is behind your target (fewer buildings and people). The 223/5.56 caliber a lot of "EBR"s are chambered in is a good choice for self defense, survival situations and plinking (if legal in the park). If a choice is legal, I would expect the rangers in the park not to question the carrier, not ask the carrier to put the gun in a vehicle where it could be stolen while unattended, not ask the carrier to leave the park, but I would expect the rangers to explain to the unarmed hikers that what the carrier was doing was legal and maybe even prudent. Unless the carrier was sweeping others with the rifle's muzzle or acting belligerent, then merely legally carrying a rifle does not constitute disturbing the peace in a rural area.

goon
June 4, 2011, 11:20 AM
At one point in time I didn't own any handguns that would have been suitable for defense against the things I might need them for in the woods. I packed an NEF youth model 20 gauge single barrel with a pocket full of slugs and one bird shot in case I ran into a copperhead.

So I don't see why a long gun automatically would trigger the idea that someone was poaching to some. Trust me, I'm just as accurate with my GP-100 as I ever have been with that gun and slugs. If gun = poacher, guess you'd all better leave you handguns at home too.

dmazur
June 4, 2011, 11:20 AM
Washington State recently "fixed" the regulations concerning handguns and hunting so that it is now legal to carry a handgun for protection even when archery / muzzleloader hunting. (With suitable prohibitions against using the handgun for dispatching wounded game or for hunting...)

However, there is still the presumption of wrongdoing if you have a rifle in the woods during elk or deer modern firearm seasons and don't have the appropriate tag.

It is legal to hunt forest grouse with a rifle in Washington State. (Maybe not the wisest choice, but legal.)

So, hypothetically speaking, I could have a hunting license & deer tag and be out during elk season looking for grouse. Good practice for next year, using my deer rifle. However, this is a game violation unless I have an elk tag.

The presumption of guilt because you don't have the "correct" rifle isn't limited to worried tourists and EBR's, in other words.

In an ideal world, the mere possession of any weapon should not be a crime. If it is used in an illegal manner, proper penalties should exist, of course.

Since it isn't an ideal world, there is quite a bit of "possession = intent" thinking going on out there. Even though it is wrong, it is unlikely that that type of thinking will go away, IMO.

(By the way, I know of at least one game officer who now knows about Winchester 9410 shotguns as grouse guns. "Yes, I know it looks like a .30-30, but it's a shotgun. Honest officer, why would I make this up?")

lizziedog1
June 4, 2011, 11:52 AM
and if it was a EBR, it would raise significant concern

That is California thinking, plain and simple.

1stmarine
June 4, 2011, 12:16 PM
I read a lot of good opinions and a lot of nonsense here and everywhere.
Carrying a firearm give us comfort, security also a sense of power but it is not entitlement to be swinging them around like if they were nothing.
Bottom line this is a huge responsibility and the use of discretion is the best. Be a responsible citizen and be mature about it.
There are enough folks out there that want to shut down the firearms industry and some fundamental rights for good and some of us with our behavior we are giving them all ammunition and every little excuse they need.

Some wise words from a fellow patriot...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peIsu_oeslo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9aASJYOiyI

22-rimfire
June 4, 2011, 12:18 PM
That is California thinking, plain and simple.

It is practical thinking unless you are many miles from the beaten path and no such place exists in a TN State Park. The closest thing would be the Smokey Mt National Park, and the National Forests in East Tennessee (Blue Ridge area) which have all been dubbed "wildlife management areas". In a WMA, the presumption would be that the person carrying an EBR would be up to no good or poaching. Unfortunately, they aren't just like any other rifle, but they sure are fun to shoot.

So, hypothetically speaking, I could have a hunting license & deer tag and be out during elk season looking for grouse. Good practice for next year, using my deer rifle. However, this is a game violation unless I have an elk tag.

The presumption of guilt because you don't have the "correct" rifle isn't limited to worried tourists and EBR's, in other words.

Most places I have lived, you could hunt varmints with the "deer rifle" if you chose to. EBR's are legal for this purpose in most states as I understand it.

EVIL
June 4, 2011, 02:03 PM
The guys I see around the wildlife areas here in OH (in or out of hunting season) that are armed with either long or short arms are very polite on the hiking trails. They usually can't wait to tell another armed guy about thier hunt, fishing, scouting or whatever. I have never had a negative experience with an armed outdoorsman or wildlife officer. In general these type of guys are glad to be in the outdoors.

Even in OH which has mediocre gun laws, there is just much more general aceptance of the carry firearms than even 10 years ago ... or maybe I just don't care anymore if anyone gives me a dirty looks for exercising my rights. (which is almost non-existant outside in public wildlife areas.)

It would feel weird NOT carrying at minimum a compact auto on the trail ... Usually, I still CC, but I will OC if it is more comfortable with my other gear, pack, etc... or if I want to carry a duty-sized sidearm.

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