Two legged dangers in National Parks


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wbwanzer
December 21, 2011, 01:45 PM
I'm always surprised when I see on forums that folks talk about two legged predators in national parks (or state parks). I don't doubt that it has ever happened, but just how much of a problem is it? Of course when you're hiking in the woods you are usually in secluded areas where there are usually no houses and sometimes few people. Easy pickings for predators, sure. On the other hand the folks I see hiking in parks usually look like tree hugging nature lovers who are the least predatory.

Have any of you ever run into problems (with two legged critters) in state or national parks? If you have, tell us your story, if you don't mind.

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MutinousDoug
December 21, 2011, 02:04 PM
Do National Forests count? This story is from 2007:

"FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- The man accused of strangling a University of Colorado-Denver graduate student appeared in court Monday where he was formally charged with first-degree murder.

The suspect, who has used the names Dennis Cook, Dennis Lee Cook and Robert R. Amos, is accused of killing a Colorado Geological Survey intern as she was conducting a geological study with her professor in a remote part of the San Isabel National Forest."

7thCavScout
December 21, 2011, 02:06 PM
google 'marijuana fields state or national parks' and you'll find out how dangerous getting off the beat and path can be.

2WheelsGood
December 21, 2011, 02:09 PM
The Appalachian Trail alone sees its share of crime.

wbwanzer
December 21, 2011, 02:13 PM
I'm in Maryland and go to the mountains in Virginia every year, so Appalachian Trail is the type of area I'm talking about. Any first hand stories?

460Kodiak
December 21, 2011, 02:19 PM
No, National Forests do not count. They are totally different entities than national or state parks.

Parks are much, much more heavily patroled and monitored. Don't ever fool yourself. A park is a park, I'm not saying it isn't dangerous, but you have a lot bigger chance of running into a Mexican DTO marijuana field in a national forest than in a park of any kind. Also, animals in parks, of course can still be extremely dangerous, but they are a lot more habituated to the presence of people than in National Forests.

Parks see many, many, many, times the human traffic as do National Forests. But your chance of running into a two legged predator are probably much lower in a park than in the forest.

Would I carry a gun that can handle 4 legged predators in a park that warranted it? You bet. Would I carry a gun that can handle two legged predators in a park that had no population of dangerous animals? You bet!. I will always be more leary of people than animals. Animals in general are fairly easy to predict. A certain stimulus provokes a certain response. There are general guidlines to follow in dangerous animal territory that will keep you relatively safe. People are not predictable. Only people will ellect to hurt or kill you do to "just in case" situations.

"Hey, I should kill this guy because he may report the location of a pot farm, or a drug deal."

With an animal, I'm not saying always, typically when the "threat is past" the attack stops. If the threat is far enough away, retreat is a better option.

Do you see a lot of two legged predators in parks? No, I don't think so. Am I going to be prepared for one regardless if permitted by law? Yes.

alsaqr
December 21, 2011, 02:26 PM
Some links to Appalachian trail murders:

http://southeasternoutdoors.com/outdoors/shooting/crime/appalachian-trail-murders.html

http://www.aldha.org/arrest02.htm

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20115243,00.html

This scumbag murdered two hikers, served a prison term for murder and then did it again:

http://www2.wsls.com/news/2008/may/08/appalachian_trail_killer_may_be_suspect_in_double_-ar-405993/

wbwanzer
December 21, 2011, 02:30 PM
No, National Forests do not count. They are totally different entities than national or state parks.



Well I guess I was really thinking of any park (or forest) where there are trails for hiking and enjoying mountains and woods.

forindooruseonly
December 21, 2011, 02:47 PM
I have a first hand story from when a group of us 4-wheel drive enthusiasts took a weekend trip to the Ouachita National Forest. We did this pretty often back in the day, still do occasionally but the moneys tighter, so it's not as frequent. This was on one of our earliest trips, and we had stopped for lunch on top of a mountain on an old logging trail. We had set up the grill, gotten situated, and two rough characters emerged from the woods with a riot gun and a AR, and asked just what exactly did we think we were doing. We carefully explained that we were just fixing lunch, and that they were welcome to join us if they'd like. They declined, took a seat on a log about twenty yards away - just far enough to be able to watch us all easily, but close enough to hear what we had to say. We quickly finished up, loaded back into the trucks and made dust. They melted back into the woods. When we stopped later, a couple of the other guys told us they had noticed a couple of other fellows in the woods just watching.

Here's the thing, there were 7 or 8 trucks and about 20 of us there, including wives and girlfriends and some kids. I was the only one armed. It gives me a bit of a cold chill to think what might have happened if there were only three or four of us in a couple of trucks. One CCW gun against an AR and a pump shotgun plus two more in the bush isn't exactly good odds. I can't really describe their demeanor in any word except menacing. Flat out. Once they had settled on the log, they tried to be nonchalant, but there is no doubt in any of our minds that they had, or were making plans. To this day, the only reason I'm sure something worse didn't happen is because there were so many of us. We aren't exactly an easily intimidated group, but that little confrontation scared us pretty bad. They certainly weren't going to allow us to stick around, much less wander off the logging trail. After that, we never went back to that particular trail and we stayed well armed.

Now, this is also a part of the country where during the 1980s the FAA issued warnings to private pilots not to fly below a certain altitude, as there were reports of people on the ground shooting at airplanes, supposedly confusing private pilots for the DEA spotter planes. It was a pretty lawless place apparently, especially if you are an outsider. In the 1990s the DEA cleaned out large chunks of the Marijuana fields in the national forests, supposedly arrested most of the really big growers, but it's tradition there and I can't imagine that made the forests any safer. I also read in a newspaper years ago that that portion of Oklahoma had the highest rate of missing persons reports out of the state.

We used to not put much faith in what we heard about the dangers in the National Forest, but that little experience certainly made us believers. It's something to think about. In terms of police presence, there is probably less in the big forests and parks than there is in rural areas, much less cities. And when you get off the paved areas, you are pretty much on your own. No cell service, no place to flag down travelers who may help you, ect. You best be prepared.

kayak-man
December 21, 2011, 02:48 PM
I haven't run into any problems yet, and I hope it stays that way.

That being said, I've heard a few news reports about people killed in the boonies, and the chances of running into a pot-grow, meth-lab, or someone poaching, would be enough to tip the scale in favor of carrying if I didn't already carry everywhere I can.

Keep in mind, you're not just carrying for when you're in the park: you're also carrying for when you leave and return to your car. Personally, there's no way I'm going to survive climbing a mountain, crossing flooded rivers, or scrambling over seaweed covered rocks racing against the tide, and then after all that, allow myself to fall victim as I'm getting back into my car.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

critter
December 21, 2011, 03:29 PM
I had a friend who was a forester for a private but very large landowning company. He was once asked if he had ever found any dope plots planted in the woods. His reply was that his best day was ELEVEN plots! Any one of these COULD have become dangerous had the 'guards' in and around been so inclined.

Ghost Tracker
December 21, 2011, 03:33 PM
Think about it from the predator's point-of-view. I have countless opportunities for stalk & ambush. I can do this deed here with minimal risk of any witnesses seeing me, hearing anything or finding my victim. I can leave the scene quickly with the benefit of cover and vanish into thousands of acres, exiting when/where I wish with no pinch-points or video surveillance. These folks are mostly left-wing sheep, some have cute butts & I'm a wolf. Where better?

You wanted a first person story. Here it is, believe it on not. I was a backpacker/technical climber as a college student (late 70s) and spent a lot of time in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Red River Gorge). I saw these solo adventures as soul-cleansing weekend vacations from the study/social pressures of a Major (HUGE for me) University. I was driving my old VW Bug out a goat-path dirt road, wrapping-up my stay on Sunday afternoon. The sun was getting low & I see a well-equipped hiker ahead on the same path. I stop & offer a ride out. He says sure, throws his gear behind the seat & plops into the passenger side. We do the intro thing as I pay attention to some tight curves at ~20 mph. Less than 2 minutes pass when I glance over to see a large knife pointed near my right eye, "I want all your sh#t & I'll kill you for it".

Don't want to sound cliche' but...what a SURPRISE! Everything went into slow motion (again cliche') but I realized he wasn't buckled-up. Neither was I, this was a '68 Beetle!. But I knew what was coming & had the steering wheel to brace against. For those who don't know, the '68 VW Bug had a completely vertical, unpadded, solid stamped-steel dashboard.

I slammed that brake petal for all that little 4-wheel hydraulic, drum brake system was worth, holding myself stoutly off the steering wheel. He flew forward and face-planted HARD just above the glove box. Bouncing back I (happily) watch his face spewing crimson as knife clattered somewhere in floorboard. There's a little elastic-topped vinyl map pocket on the low/front of my door (maybe VW's Deluxe interior?). That's where I kept a Ruger .22 autoloader (Standard Model, 4.?" barrel, fixed sights) when I traveled. This guy, groaning, gathered himself just in time (leaking blood through both hands holding his nose) to turn toward me and see that pistol aimed at him from my left hand. I wanted distance so I popped my door open and went around & opened his. Now I'm miles (and MILES) away from another human being, much less a phone, I'm 19 years old & have a felon at gunpoint. I didn't want to ride out with him. I have NOT been here before.

I'm not proud of this last part & am thankful the statute of limitations has long-since expired. I told him to take his boots off. He complied & I pitched them in the car. Then his jacket. Then his shirt. Then his belt & jeans. I just kept going...until he had nothing on but socks & underwear. I left that 20 something-year-old almost naked, bloody nosed, on a backwoods goat-path, in a very deep edge of the DBNF, and waved smiling as I drove away. I got; $24 from his wallet, a slightly-used North Face VE-24 tent, a nice Schrade fixed-blade knife (turned-out smaller than I first thought), a Case XX Stockman folder, a Zippo, a Lowe backpack, a cool Swiss Camp Stove, and one of the biggest lessons of my then young life. With the hindsight of 35 years, I hope he made it. I tossed his clothes in the trash (they were bloody) at a restaurant called "EAT" in Slade, Ky. And THAT'S why being armed in the woods is a good idea.

oneounceload
December 21, 2011, 03:44 PM
google 'marijuana fields state or national parks'

That is typically in the National FORESTS, especially in California

However, most park rangers are now trained more in law enforcement than being park guides, including crime scene investigations. They also carry on their person and in their trucks some potent firepower - there must be a reason for this


On the other hand the folks I see hiking in parks usually look like tree hugging nature lovers who are the least predatory.

But that also makes them the easiest prey

medalguy
December 21, 2011, 03:53 PM
If you hike very much in the forests in New Mexico, and probably most other areas of the country, you WILL come up on pot fields. They are everywhere. And they are often guarded by folks who don't care very much about the law. THAT is why I always carry when I'm driving around in the boonies, and when I'm hiking. And I always try to stay at condition yellow, all the time. I think it's very foolish to hike/bike/ride in the backwoods without some kind of SD protection.

Bobson
December 21, 2011, 04:08 PM
Risk levels aside, if you make it a point to carry anywhere you go, you ought to carry in a national/state park/forest too. On the other hand, if you don't usually carry, I'd be somewhat confused why you'd go out of your way to carry in a national/state park/forest.

Reason is mainly a matter of mindset. I would think that if a person has the mindset that carrying is needed anywhere, he would be of the mindset that carrying is needed everywhere. I'd avoid locations that prohibit CC like the plague.

JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 04:17 PM
google 'marijuana fields state or national parks' and you'll find out how dangerous getting off the beat and path can be.

I did but couldn't find a single incident of a hiker or other person being attacked by this supposed menace. But it must be a huge danger as the government never lies in it's war on drugs.

Bobson
December 21, 2011, 04:31 PM
I did but couldn't find a single incident of a hiker or other person being attacked by this supposed menace. But it must be a huge danger as the government never lies in it's war on drugs.
This seems awfully optimistic. Maybe the risk is very insignificant, as you suggest. That doesn't mean the risk is absent entirely. Would you leave a firearm at home just because it's unlikely that you'll run into an illegal farmer? I wouldn't - there's no reason to gamble with your life, even if the odds are heavily in your favor.

460Kodiak
December 21, 2011, 04:34 PM
A federal LEO friend of mine forwards the weekly internal report for all the National Forests and National Parks in the nation. There are litteraly hundreds of incidents across the nation every year of violence, assault, rape, murder, robbery, and drug trafficing in these settings every year. I carry a 5 shot .357 to the city with me that I travel to to do my shopping in. When I go to the woods to play on my own time, I carry a semi-auto that holds 15 rounds of .45 acp +p and a spare magazine. Soon, it's going to be an AR pistol.

The woods are great fun, and a wonderful place to be, but criminals get brave in the woods when they think they have little to no chace of getting caught at commiting a crime.

Yes I've had a gun pulled on me by someone in the woods.

jmr40
December 21, 2011, 04:36 PM
This girl was killed a few years ago on the Appalachian Trail just outside Vogel State Park here in Georgia.

http://crime.about.com/b/2008/03/24/meredith-emerson-fought-hard-to-survive.htm

The guy who killed her was convicted and is suspected in at least 4 other murders. Two just across the state line in North Carolina and 2 more on National
Forest trails in Florida.

lowerunit411
December 21, 2011, 04:38 PM
Ghost Tracker...so you picked up a "felon" and then commited a felony in the process of getting away from the situation...wow

alsaqr
December 21, 2011, 06:01 PM
I also read in a newspaper years ago that that portion of Oklahoma had the highest rate of missing persons reports out of the state

Lots of folks disappear in "Little Dixie". Couple years ago a real estate friend told me about a married couple who disappeared while looking at rural property. The OK national guard used to mobilize a unit every year to clean out the pot fields along the Red River and other places in "Little Dixie".

Bobson
December 21, 2011, 06:03 PM
Ghost Tracker...so you picked up a "felon" and then commited a felony in the process of getting away from the situation...wow
I read your post and had to go back and read his. Heck of a way to discourage a guy from robbing people in the future, and that's assuming he survived the woods. It's entirely possible the would-be thief died out there.

I'm not sure I agree with what Ghost did, but at the same time... bad things happen to people who put a knife to my head after I do them a favor.

Mainsail
December 21, 2011, 06:04 PM
When the National Parks were trying to keep guns out, they cited a statistic to support their contention that people didn't need protection; there were only eight rapes in all the National Parks. That is certainly well below the average for anywhere in the US, but it's of little meaning if you were one of the eight.

JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 06:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinJ
I did but couldn't find a single incident of a hiker or other person being attacked by this supposed menace. But it must be a huge danger as the government never lies in it's war on drugs.

This seems awfully optimistic. Maybe the risk is very insignificant, as you suggest. That doesn't mean the risk is absent entirely. Would you leave a firearm at home just because it's unlikely that you'll run into an illegal farmer? I wouldn't - there's no reason to gamble with your life, even if the odds are heavily in your favor.

Its awfully optimistic not to worry about being the victim of a crime that has never happened before? The risk of a lightning strike in clear weather is not abscent but i still leave my house. I would venture that most illegal farmers are not willing to risk a murder conviction to protect a field of pot from discovery. And if there is a cartel guarding it you better have more than a conealable side arm. Now i'm not advocating leaving a gun at home but i see pot fields as NO reason to change carry if i other wise wouldn't.

Ghostracker, did the guy from your story happen to be carrying a banjo?

Hikers are not readily targeted by criminals because most people don't hike with valuable belongings. Parked vehicles of hikers are another story. I think women have a little more to worry about but on the whole i see no reason for fear of parkland.

wbwanzer
December 21, 2011, 06:15 PM
Risk levels aside, if you make it a point to carry anywhere you go, you ought to carry in a national/state park/forest too. On the other hand, if you don't usually carry, I'd be somewhat confused why you'd go out of your way to carry in a national/state park/forest.

Reason is mainly a matter of mindset. I would think that if a person has the mindset that carrying is needed anywhere, he would be of the mindset that carrying is needed everywhere. I'd avoid locations that prohibit CC like the plague.

I'm the OP. I live in Maryland. Need I say more?
I do have a Utah non-res permit that allows me to carry when in the NP in Virginia but I'm certainly not used to it. I would carry all the time if I could.

lemaymiami
December 21, 2011, 06:24 PM
I've been working as a fishing guide now for about 15 years, pretty much full time down here in south Florida. Since I trailer a small skiff I'm pretty mobile but work most of my charters in Everglades National Park out of either Flamingo or Everglades City. The Park is a big place, roughly 90 miles by 90 miles all told and it covers a large area that's been a smuggler's paradise since civilization finally got down that far (after the Civil War). I rarely tell my anglers about the bloodier parts of that history but it's part of an area that I'm very fond of.... I personally consider nearby Miami and all of that 70mile long urban area a bigger hazard but it's just part of the scenery when you've lived down here long enough.

I make a point not to tell my anglers about my police days (any time you do that's all anyone wants to talk about...) and I'm sure I've had one or two aboard that wouldn't be there if they knew.... I never carry a weapon on the water (saltwater and guns mean high maintenance problems) and haven't noted the need. There are some un-spoken rules about that area though... You're smart not to inquire into anyone else's business in that area or get curious if you see a boat's behaving strangely or meeting in secluded areas. Just like any backwoods area, if you make a friend he/she might just walk through fire to help you. If you make an enemy things can get ugly long term since you'll also be dealing with their friends and family. As far as Park rangers go I can count on seeing one on the water in the areas I run... no more than two or three days out of every hundred (that's on the water, road patrol vehicles are working every day...).

I'm glad that an armed citizen can now carry in the Park if they want to. I do have a weapon nearby but never on my person. With my cranky ways and short temper that's probably a good idea for me...

Ghost Tracker
December 21, 2011, 06:27 PM
committed a felony in the processI'm not sure I agree with what Ghost did So y'all made all the right moves with flawless judgement when you were 19? You held your temper & obeyed every law under violent, rapidly evolving circumstances? Then I surely am envious. Hell, I don't know that I "agree" with what I did. But it IS what I did, at the time, with the all judgement I had to muster at the moment. If you disapprove, fine by me, go get my "victim's" side of the story :cool:. But remember, never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. 'Cause that way, you're a mile away from him...and you've got his freakin' shoes! ;)

lowerunit411
December 21, 2011, 06:34 PM
i didnt judge in any way! i simply made an observation and said "wow"....not for me to judge, but yes...when i was 19 i did make some bad descisions...armed robbery wasnt one of them , i was actually at the Naval Academy when i was 19 and you dont have much time for camping etc...btw i do still have a north face ve24...at the time i got it they were the top of the line and as i recall i paid something like 300 or more bucks for it in about 1975...he was a well equipped assailant

Ghost Tracker
December 21, 2011, 07:02 PM
Yep, I've still got that VE24 ($300 is about right) & the Lowe backpack as well. It's TOUGH to wear-out good equipment. I've often wondered if he didn't get that high end gear the same way he was about to...take mine? He didn't strike me as type to save from a tight budget or work two jobs to BUY that gear. But heck, I only knew him for about 10 minutes, and after the first three, he didn't seem too chatty.

gearhead
December 21, 2011, 07:14 PM
The guy who planted the bomb at the Atlanta Olympics spent most of his time in hiding in and around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I seem to recall the Unabomber lived in a remote area of Montana but I'm not sure if it was near any National Park or National Forest land.

bergmen
December 21, 2011, 07:29 PM
Well I'm going to back up Ghost Tracker for his actions. Kudos to you for giving the skank exactly what he deserved IMO. I can't say that if I was in the same situation I wouldn't have shot the bastard. BTW, being threatened with a knife is lethal to the extent that deadly force is warranted as a response. The fact that the perp was vertical at the conclusion of the event is a better result than what he had coming to him (again, IMO).

At 62 y.o., if anyone pulled a stunt like that on me, the next thing I would be doing was getting within cell range to call the coroner. He wouldn't be lucky enought to walk out naked and barefoot.

Dan

JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 07:41 PM
The guy who planted the bomb at the Atlanta Olympics spent most of his time in hiding in and around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I seem to recall the Unabomber lived in a remote area of Montana but I'm not sure if it was near any National Park or National Forest land

And they killed how many hikers?

Orance Fine
December 21, 2011, 08:05 PM
Ghost Tracker, that's the sort of thing that you never know whether you made the right decision or not, but I recognize your discreation. Many, less restrained, would have removed a threat to their kind. Thanks for sharing.

nickn10
December 21, 2011, 08:06 PM
Ghost Tracker, He's lucky you didn't knee cap the SOB. He initiated an attack with a deadly weapon you were most considerate in my opinion, good job!!!

browneu
December 21, 2011, 08:21 PM
I've always been cautious of parks and forests since watching Deliverance.

nickn10
December 21, 2011, 08:21 PM
This may qualify although it was off of a dirt road which was the boundry of Pike National Forest and private property. My friend and I were shooting clays, I had just bought a Browning Citori 20 ga and was anxious to try it out. We set up a thrower about 25 yds from the road. Shortly after we started shooting a rent a cop pulled up and told us we were on private property and we were to hand over our shot guns. This was pure B.S. as I had lived in the area for 15 years and absolutely knew he was wrong and I told him so. He started to move his hand towards his side arm so I leveled my shot gun at him and told him there was no way he was taking my shotgun. He threatened to call the cops and I agreed that was the right thing to do. He walked to his truck got in and left, we thought it best to leave also. end of story. Nope, not sorry about it in the least, he had no authority to take my shotgun.

DAdams
December 21, 2011, 08:39 PM
To sound trite....better to have it and not need it........If it is a park stating no guns I comply (reluctantly) and have bear spray and a big knife, otherwise I carry a handgun.

Years ago I carried illegally while remote camping in national parks.

Dr.Rob
December 21, 2011, 08:56 PM
I backpacked into someone's marijuana patch once. I was a boyscout. No guns, no 'adults' around. A few lesser scouts in tow. Was not what I'd call 'fun' retracing our steps back out hoping there weren't tripwires or other such 'surprises'.


There have been a number of highly publicized cases of the victimization of people (particularly women) in remote areas while camping, hiking, working for USGS/Forest Service whatever.

Going remote by definition means you are out of easy range of assistance for even the most basic of needs. Whether or not you add a firearm to your 'preparedness kit' is an individual choice.

Sniper 51
December 21, 2011, 09:31 PM
As an SBI agent in NC working crime scenes, I had the unfortunate opportunity to work a triple homicide in a small federal park just outside of Morganton several years ago. Individual walked up on 3 campers, shot and killed all 3 of them. Complete strangers. Tracked him and finally arrested him in Uwarria Park (sp?) in the central part of the state. He was tried and convicted in Federal court in Asheville.

Just a pure scumbag. Some people don't need a reason. Some will kill you just to watch you bleed. Like I tell my friends now when they ask if I am carrying. I just tell them, if I've got my pants on I'm carrying. Just like an American Express. I don't leave home without it. And have it sitting by me now as I type.

SharpsDressedMan
December 21, 2011, 09:55 PM
We had a two people shotgunned to death, resulting in unsolved muders for over 30 years. This was a COUNTY park, rural, and not near a city, but in NE OHIO, I only mention it, because the the crimes were solved just recently by the deathbed confessions of an inmate in another state. The killer was a drifter, had no real motive (although I think he raped the 17 year old girl after killing her boyfriend, then killed her). Drifter, with a shotgun. Unprovoked. He drifted in and out so fast, the cops had nothing. I could see that happening in ANY national park.

gym
December 21, 2011, 10:09 PM
This is why I raised this issue on another thread about carrying. It was mentioned by a member that he only carried when he was going into a dangerous area, I'm just re phrasing it as I don't remember the exact verbiage. But this is a prime example, you are never safe anyware. You carry a gun as a lifestyle not as a hobby. Similar to exercise or diet. It's the way some of us live our lives. It would be terrific if there were no reason for me to carry all the time. But until "guns" somehow won't be able to shoot good people and know the difference between right and wrong, I will continue staying armed all of the time.
I would hate to explain this to St. Peter, when he asks "what the heck are you doing here early", well, I went to a safe area for dinner, you know the place with the good veal chops. And there was this guy.
If you ever saw this happen, you would never leave your gun at home, a Police Captain was shot and killed in my favorite Restaurant, "back in the day", while eating dinner celebrating his sons engagement. A drug dealer accused him of staring at his girlfriend and shot him in the head. Enough said, Forests, restaurants, anyware, you can't call the spot, only prepare as best you can.

flatlander937
December 21, 2011, 10:57 PM
As an SBI agent in NC working crime scenes, I had the unfortunate opportunity to work a triple homicide in a small federal park just outside of Morganton several years ago. Individual walked up on 3 campers, shot and killed all 3 of them. Complete strangers. Tracked him and finally arrested him in Uwarria Park (sp?) in the central part of the state. He was tried and convicted in Federal court in Asheville.

Just a pure scumbag. Some people don't need a reason. Some will kill you just to watch you bleed. Like I tell my friends now when they ask if I am carrying. I just tell them, if I've got my pants on I'm carrying. Just like an American Express. I don't leave home without it. And have it sitting by me now as I type.


You mean Uwharrie National Forest?


That hits home for me... Me and my wife have gone camping and off roading there a bunch... Nice place.

hso
December 21, 2011, 11:27 PM
The danger is real, but grossly overstated.

We have environmental field crews encounter marijuana growing operations periodically and the SOP is to keep on moving as if it wasn't there. Out of numerous such instances they have yet to report a problem.

Could one occur? Sure, but the "guards" for the pot patches are defending against raiders and not hikers.

As to the murders on trails, look at the rate and not at the gross number. The AT gets thousands upon thousands of boots on it each year and the number of murders relative to the number of "occupants" is small.

Strykervet
December 21, 2011, 11:59 PM
Uh, I live next to a couple giant national forests and a national park, and a few more are close by too. Those areas are just like rural areas anywhere else but with less people. The national parks are like any other tourist destination, they are actually pretty nice. I carry when I go, but I carry everywhere else too, so it isn't anything new. Worst that has happened to me all the years I've been going is that a chipmunk once took a stand behind a rock and wasn't giving up the crumb of food between us. He stood his ground, and I ended up backing down and he victoriously claimed the spoils. Looking back, I guess I could have pulled the Glock faster than he could have pulled whatever he had (because the way he was holding out, you could just tell...) but hindsight is 20/20. Look, the wildlife sometimes comes close to get a look at you, but they usually don't get too close, and then bear spray is better than a firearm in worst case scenarios. Most people in national parks are not there for trouble, they are on vacation, and in national forests, pretty much the same thing but far less people.

As for concern, I'm far more concerned going to grocery stores, Walmart or into town, and traffic bothers me even more.

Killer pot growers, nonsense. BS propaganda. Maybe in the North Mexican State of California, they have a real drug war going on in Mexico, but not around here. Not anything violent anyway, because if it was it would make the news and I would have seen it.

Double Naught Spy
December 22, 2011, 12:12 AM
Google "national park" and key crime types such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, etc. and you will see that national parks have many of the same threats as you find anywhere else there are people.

You can also Google "national park marijuana field" and find several examples of said fields being dealt with in nationals parks, not just national forests. According to this article... http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=5565144&page=1

Marijuana is being grown illegally on national park land in seven states: California, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, Hawaii and West Virginia, according to the Office of Drug Control Policy.

Ringolevio
December 22, 2011, 12:12 AM
First of all, kudos to Ghost Tracker. After all these years, you might be ashamed of how you handled things, but you certainly weren't embarrassed to tell us the tale.

And who's to say you didn't handle it right? You were the one who was there, and what you did allowed you to live to tell about it.

Anyway, I routinely walk in the woods with my dog, in areas often within city limits that are nevertheless pretty wild and remote (the metropolitan area in which I live is said to have "more urban green space per capita" than any other in the country). There's cell service, but if I called 9-1-1 I'd be hard-pressed to tell the dispatcher how to find me, and the cops would have a hard time getting there.

I've stumbled on signs of habitation, sometimes tents and sometimes rather sophisticated shelters, tucked away where no "normal" person would ever discover them; not pot fields (as far as I can tell), just folks living in the woods, maybe hiding out.

I don't look for trouble, and I usually announce my presence (with a shouted "Hello-o-o!") and give them a wide berth. Just the other day my dog was ahead of me on a trail and alerted on a guy sleeping under a blanket, in the middle of the day, surrounded by trash. I quickly called the dog back and we retreated without making any contact. But I was glad I had the dog (without whom I'd have no reason to be out there!) and my Combat Commander, which I try not to set foot in the woods, or anywhere else, without.

twofifty
December 22, 2011, 12:28 AM
it is worth noting that Yosemite NP has its own courthouse and jail.
When the park is full up, the jail is just as busy. Mostly alcohol and assault charges, some sexual assaults.

Leathermarshmallow
December 22, 2011, 12:33 AM
My wife and I hiked to Havasu Falls for our honeymoon a few years ago. From the village to the falls is about 2 miles. We somehow took the wrong path and ended up near the village dump. I heard voices from the woods and went toward them. We came upon a meth production lab. My wife and I both played dumb and pretended we didn't see it. I asked directions and the surly men there quickly ushered us out of the area. I was not packing anything more than a pocket knife at the time. It could have been really bad....thank goodness they let us go with no problems.

JSpear
December 22, 2011, 12:36 AM
I find no fault to anyone who had had to anything in the woods, I live near a large army base in central Texas, and have walked into several pot fields, all times I have backed out and left with the feeling thAt I was being watched, and I'm sure I was, I just saw, and turned around, nothing further happened and I wasn't going to give a reason for any action, not worth it in my mind. It is what it is, people do what they need to, and I'll do what I have too

NavyLCDR
December 22, 2011, 12:40 AM
Is there any reason not to carry protection against criminals in a National Park?

Ignition Override
December 22, 2011, 03:17 AM
wbanzer: Thanks very much for creating this topic.
forindooruseonly: Very interesting. If you had had a semi-auto rifle in your car or four-wheeler, it would have been too dangerous to have displayed it to those thugs?

Ghost Tracker:
Hopefully that guy did not survive other encounters after holding a knife by your head.
It was a brilliant insight and courageous to have stomped on your brakes. If he had worn His seatbelt, there would have been no other way to hurt him?

That guy did not deserve to live.
At least your engine kept running after you left him behind.

yeahbuddy
December 22, 2011, 03:31 AM
The way I see it, it's not the odds...it's the stakes. It is highly unlikely that anything will happen but if it does, you are truly on your own.

Ghost Tracker- I find nothing wrong with what you did. That man said he would KILL you. You saved your own life and that is a great thing. There was a really easy way for him to avoid that situation and he chose to be an aggressor instead. Like others mentioned, he could have received a chest full of lead for what he did. He played with fire and he got burned. F-him.

baronthered
December 22, 2011, 04:16 AM
I've come across several pot patches and other odd things here in the local woods and others both recreationally and working. I couldn't tell you how many pot patches I've come up on doing power line work.

Somewhat :rolleyes: luckily for me my dad and former step dad were big 'heads and I can sling the lingo well enough that if the guard was visible I'd compliment them and keep the rest of my crew away from the area. I never have called leos in for the unfortunate reason Most of them knew me anyway :rolleyes: from both dad and my former step dad. Had plenty given to me by some of dad's old buddies but never did have any desire after around age 20 to mess with it gave it my few burnout friends on the tree crews (which helps out in some occasions needing some storm wrecked trees cleared. fast! )

The scariest time I had Me and some friends were out riding 4 wheelers and we had stopped on top of a hill to rest and let everyone else catch up. Out comes a dude in a ghillie suit and an ar. Chit chatted for a minute told guy we'd move our rest area further up the trail and wished him a good day. He melted back into the trees and we rode off.

Bout two weeks later an uncle comes and tells me it was his buddy from out of state turkey hunting who was a little lost. :scrutiny: We skedaddled before he could say a word though Not sure I believe my uncle but the guy did look familiar... to this day I don't know.

Seems like I heard something on the news the other day about a murder in either the Daniel Boone Natl Park or something along the Appalachian trail. Can't remember right off sorry.

Dean1818
December 22, 2011, 09:27 AM
So y'all made all the right moves with flawless judgement when you were 19? You held your temper & obeyed every law under violent, rapidly evolving circumstances? Then I surely am envious. Hell, I don't know that I "agree" with what I did. But it IS what I did, at the time, with the all judgement I had to muster at the moment. If you disapprove, fine by me, go get my "victim's" side of the story :cool:. But remember, never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. 'Cause that way, you're a mile away from him...and you've got his freakin' shoes! ;)
I am sure the guy survived.

You probably taught him a life lesson.

Ghost Tracker
December 22, 2011, 10:34 AM
I've never had much worry if the guy survived (unless the had a Deliverance Encounter, cue banjo please...:evil:) because the weather was calm & mild. After all, he just had to walk 10-15 or so miles in his socks & jock. It wasn't like he was in Seal Training Hell Week or anything. And he had plenty of time to contemplate the cause & effect of his choices. To those who have noted a more extreme response (kneecaps, lead poisoning). I would have had a LOT more personal legal/moral/ethical/religious difficulty leaving him there. And killing him & then driving out with his body to the nearest authorities would've undoubtedly created both immediate & residual repercussions to my otherwise quiet, peaceful (terrific!) life. Nope, looking back & imagining different choices with different outcomes, I may have purely stumbled-over the best possible resolution...with a teenage, snap decision. But taking all his gear? I think that might have some pure, angry, redneck, retribution to it. If I got a magic "do-over" I might've just taken every single stitch of his clothes & left him everything else. He would have looked kinda' cute wearing that backpack into town.

The Red Hot Rider
December 22, 2011, 11:27 AM
Ghost Tracker...so you picked up a "felon" and then commited a felony in the process of getting away from the situation...wow
That guy totally got what he had coming.

lowerunit411
December 22, 2011, 11:30 AM
i have no issue with defending yourself and in that regard i think Ghost did the right thing...i dont think robbing him of all of his gear was exactly cool...two wrongs..sure kick his a*** in the dirt naked..no worries..and i think if it were i he would be 6 feet under that dirt but like i said, its just my opinion, robbing him...not so cool.

Ringolevio
December 22, 2011, 11:44 AM
baronthered:
The scariest time I had Me and some friends were out riding 4 wheelers and we had stopped on top of a hill to rest and let everyone else catch up. Out comes a dude in a ghillie suit and an ar. Chit chatted for a minute told guy we'd move our rest area further up the trail and wished him a good day. He melted back into the trees and we rode off.

Bout two weeks later an uncle comes and tells me it was his buddy from out of state turkey hunting who was a little lost. We skedaddled before he could say a word though Not sure I believe my uncle but the guy did look familiar... to this day I don't know.

What's not to believe? If Bill Clinton can hunt ducks with a rifle, why can't this guy hunt turkeys with an AR? Don't lots of folks do that?

rondog
December 22, 2011, 11:47 AM
Ghost Tracker is my hero! The rest of you that are wagging your fingers at him, not so much.....

welldoya
December 22, 2011, 11:52 AM
I think what Ghost Tracker did was brilliant, both the slamming on the brakes and leaving the guy out there.
What else could he do ? I mean honestly, he could have either shot him or left him there with all his stuff to do it again to some other hiker. It would have been dangerous to have the guy in the car with him to take him to turn him in.
I think you did very well, especially for a 19 year old.

Ole Coot
December 22, 2011, 11:59 AM
We always ride in a group, usually couples we go to church with. I get kidded a lot because I always carry. We can ride several hundred acres on trails without any homes, campgrounds etc. I notice if we turn a corner and run into a drunken drugged party of 50 or more everyone seems to get behind me. I have never had a problem yet. Usually in my area someone knows me or someone I am with and they know I never part with my 45. Growers never bother me. Guess I know most of them.

robhof
December 22, 2011, 12:01 PM
My brother worked as a contract photographer for a large USAF base with a large bombing range amd over the years he's been called out many times to photograph the pot fields found on the restricted ranges, and the perps that were found guarding the fields.

Ghost Tracker
December 22, 2011, 12:05 PM
robbing him...not so cool Understand entirely. But it's funny, it didn't even register in my mind at the time that I was, indeed, robbing this guy at gunpoint. I mean not for a single second. I didn't want/need anything that he had. It didn't seem like any sort of Victor's Plunder. I wasn't feeling pleased or clever or sly with the sudden turn of events. And I wasn't creating some lone-cowboy-white-hat-good-vs-evil horsecrap as I went along. It was more just the idea of him taking a Pirate's Stand with me...ME!, the nice guy who had, only seconds before, had offered him a ride! Him becoming resultantly barefoot just seemed...fair, almost natural. After realizing what a tight spot being barefoot put him in, the rest just cascaded from there. As for his pack, tent, etc., please recall that they were already in the back seat before the fun started. With all that my gray-matter was processing as I drove away, I kinda' lost track of that. I had driven quite a distance before I remembered. Driving back to return it just didn't...uh, suit my mood. :fire:

lowerunit411
December 22, 2011, 12:08 PM
Ghost, i totally understand...........if im honest despite the potential hazzard i find the whole incident funny in a twisted way...

CoRoMo
December 22, 2011, 12:13 PM
A couple years ago on our annual elk hunt in the backcountry...

We always pack/hike in, several difficult miles, to the same spot, and we've only ever seen one or two hunters make it to that spot over all the years we've been camping there. So Dad and I set up camp for the first night and went to bed in each of our tents. Excitement kept me from going to sleep and I would occasionally turn on my light to check the time.

It was just past midnight when I hear footsteps coming right through our camp. Midnight, way out in the middle of the dark nowhere of mountainous backcountry. Two guys with flashlights walk right through our camp, and step less than two feet from my flesh, only my tent wall between me and them as they walk right by. Quietly and without a word.

I know it was just another couple of hunters, and they meant no harm and did nothing.

But it freaked the ever-lovin' crap out of me. My dad was also awake and was quite disturbed by two guys walking through at midnight, way out as far as you can get from anywhere. I lay there frozen for another hour or more after that. Yes, there has always been a .357 laying right beside my pillow for only one reason. But that was as close as I've ever thought about needing it.

X-Rap
December 22, 2011, 12:56 PM
I can't imagine not believing you could be assaulted in a park, just off the top of my head I can think of a couple groups of serious felons that used parks or public forest areas. The three sibling fugitives that came from the SE and were caught down around Pueblo stayed at a park the night before and probably as they traveled across the country and the escapees from AZ that ended up scattered across the west. One was caught in Rifle after he shot at a cop, another in Montana in a church and the last with his incestuous cousin down around the White Mtns in AZ after being reported by a FS employee.
The incidents are few and far between but so are the ones in schools and a great deal of resources are given to school violence. I'd guess that based on daily individual visits schools are the safer of the two.

Ringolevio
December 22, 2011, 01:27 PM
This thread dovetails with our discussions of the FBI shootout in Miami. Remember that the perps in that case had robbed and shot folks at remote rock quarries or other de facto shooting ranges. A certain class of predator takes advantage of such remote areas; it is folly to be in a remote area and to lack the awareness that such things can happen there.

One more thing about Ghost Tracker: the whole point of his tale is that he had a gun. Without that, and even with the perp injured and momentarily disoriented, the fight would have been on, and Ghost Tracker might not have prevailed.

And another point: Even though, in my early adulthood (which was in the "hippie era") I hitchhiked all over and picked up hitchhikers, nowadays I will never again get in a car with a stranger or allow a stranger into my car, no matter how innocent he (or she!) may seem. And the fact that I am usually armed and with a big dog in the vehicle doesn't change that.

X-Rap
December 22, 2011, 01:40 PM
I live near an Interstate Highway and see some pretty rough characters hitching on the ramps, can't believe there are people who will pick them up and put themselves in that kind of jeapordy. It's to bad that we can't help our fellow man but I still remember the late 60's early 70's, there was a hitch hiker outside of Yellowstone that killed a couple and when he was caught had some finger bones in his pocket. I was young at the time but we were visiting family there and it was big news so it has never been real safe.

CZguy
December 22, 2011, 01:49 PM
Ghost Tracker,

Your decisions at nineteen were certainly better than mine. When I consider the emotions that you felt at that point, I think that you showed remarkable restraint.

pyth0n
December 22, 2011, 01:54 PM
I don't have any personal experience, but there are many instances here in AZ. Also there are concerns for two legged predators by the parks and forest services or they wouldn't put up signs at the entrances of parks and forests that warn "Travel Caution- Smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area."

Ghost Tracker
December 22, 2011, 02:28 PM
Here's a little more light-hearted Daniel Boone National Forest tale. I'm accompanied by one close friend. Our rock climbing "base camp" was high on Hatton's Ridge, seven miles up Indian Creek past the last possible spot to drive & park any vehicle. We had set-up late Friday (barely before dark) & get surprised by a 5" snowfall at wake-up Saturday morning. It was one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever viewed coming out of a tent, nothing but pristine wilderness & untouched snow as far as we could see from atop a tall ridge in every direction, 360 degrees around. Whew!
Then...we see it. Smoke trailing up into the morning sky from someone ELSE'S fire. We are mad :fire: and getting madder:cuss:, we have busted our humps to get as far away from people, ALL people, as we can possibly get and now we spot their breakfast fire less than two miles away from our own personal slice of isolationist heaven. We decided we simply HAD to recon the folks who were (almost) as determined & skilled as we were at disappearing into the rugged, rocky hills of Eastern Kentucky.
Early in the stalk we whisper guesses back & forth as to who these people are & how (in the heck) they found this spot. We were still regularly finding pottery pieces from the last people to be here, hundreds of YEARS before. The relic hunters hadn't yet gotten in this deep. We had never run across a single sign of ANY(modern)BODY in dozens of weekend trips. No trash, no cans, nothing. As we got closer to the smoke, we quit even whispering & focused on our (laughingly limited) sneaking-Indian skills. But we're getting quite near and still there is no noise, no voices & no woodsmoke smell in the air? My buddy was the first to solve the mystery & began belly-laughing so loud & hard as to shake the very stillness of the morning. We had, for well over an hour, been sneakin' up on a Hot Spring! We hadn't ever seen it before because the new melting snow was making the steam we mistakenly believed to be smoke! The Hot Spring pooled into a 4 ft. wide rock bowl about 20" deep before the overflow ran into a nearby creek. If you've never soaked your bare feet in warm flowing water in the snowy wilderness while laughing uproariously with a close friend at how very STUPIDLY LUCKY y'all are just to be alive. Then you, my friends, have never stalked a Hot Spring.

hermannr
December 22, 2011, 03:44 PM
I always carry in the woods. Here in WA you can carry CC or OC, no permit needed if you are participating in some recreational activity.

30 or so years ago it was Labor day weekend and it was exceptionally hot so I wanted to get as high up in the mountains as I could. Wife didn't want to go along, don't remember exactly why as we usually took the kids with us and hiked almost every weekend. So I headed off to the Pasayten Wilderness area and the Jackita Ridge loop trail. The whole loop is 42 miles, but I only went in about 12 miles and then came back out. Maybe it would be a bit cooler at 6500'-7000'...at least that was my idea.

I figured I would be the only one up there, and it would make for a good solo day hike. Was I ever wrong. When I hit McMillan Park (5300') I met my first set of campers, (they were not happy to see me) but I just kept moving on. When I got to Devils Park (6000') I met another guy solo, he was trying to do the whole loop in one weekend, got to the top of Jackita Mt (7350') and turned back. On the way back, at the trail cut-off to Crater Lake I met a large group of technical climbers headed for Jack Mountain (8905') and a couple more smaller groups doing the loop. (everyone was trying to excape the heat)

Then finally, I met a customer of mine, solo, coming up the trail. He was surprised to see me (anyone really) as the FS had told him if he wanted total isolation and no possibility of seeing any other humans, his best bet was the Jackita ridge trail....I think I saw a total of 25 that day...:)

After I got back to my home I found out that the first two guys I met were actually felons fleeing the police. They were caught when they left lower McMillian Park because there were too many people up there. Not sure if old Sam Colt helped, but they didn't bother me, and maybe my OC pistol was what made them decide to leave.

Sniper 51
December 22, 2011, 09:42 PM
Flatlander937,

Yes, Uwharrie National Park is where the suspect was apprehended. I think it was Table Rock Park near Morganton where the shooting actually took place. He was a complete stranger to the victims.

Be safe and carry everywhere you go and every time you leave your castle.

Maia007
December 22, 2011, 10:34 PM
I can tell you with certainty that marijuana grows in NF lands in the Pacific Northwest are common. As pointed out, most are not actively tended or guarded. Most. Most Forest Service LEO's spend their entire summer working active marijuana grows.

What is the risk? Hard to say.

On the subject of random murder, I would say that the risk, while there, is much lower than in populated areas.

nosmr2
December 23, 2011, 01:54 AM
Ghost Tracker
You sure it was a '68 Beetle. That was the first year with a padded dash.

Ghost Tracker
December 23, 2011, 10:34 AM
You sure it was a '68 Beetle Let's see, I had 6-7 different VW Bugs as a young man, I really liked 'em. Lets dig-out some old college photos. OK, I re-painted it Corvette Midnight Blue, found it!, ummm...five bolt wheels, that means Swing Axle rear end, that's gotta' be '67 or earlier! But it was a link-pin front end, so '67 I guess? Pure steel dash. (But I would've tried the same thing in newer model, that early padding was awfully thin).

IlikeSA
December 23, 2011, 11:20 AM
Events in the woods, even if not in a National Forest/Park, are the reason I first started carrying. I was walking through an area in Georgia near my house, and all the sudden my skin crawled and I knew something was stalking me. It turns out it was either a pack of dogs or coyotes, which I eventually escaped from by staying in the open and keeping a deep creekbed on my flank. All I had with me was a cheap knife and small hatchet.

After that incident, I bought a Cold Steel trail hawk to carry (I didn't have the money or knowledge of the law to carry a gun) and was hiking in another section of woods, when I looked up to see someone trailing me from about 100 meters away. This area is not frequented at all, and it was rare that I'd see anyone else there. I didn't think much of it, until I noticed when he saw me looking in his direction, he would try to hide. I slammed my hawk into a tree, drew my knife and pointed in his direction. He quickly took off.

After that incident, my anti-gun mom convinced me to get a gun with this question: "what if he had a gun?" She was trying to discourage me from going out there alone, but I took it as "I need to upgrade my protection." I bought a 1911 after that, and carried it on my fishing license, until I began to realize that bad things happen in town too. I then learned about carry permits and got one of those. I've been carrying everywhere since then.

To Ghost: to the victor go the spoils. You were merciful to him to do what you did.

baronthered
December 23, 2011, 11:31 AM
baronthered:


What's not to believe? If Bill Clinton can hunt ducks with a rifle, why can't this guy hunt turkeys with an AR? Don't lots of folks do that?

If you knew some of my family... :rolleyes: :uhoh: and this uncle... well... aint the best sort of dude. And as far as believing anything he has to tell any one... Nine times out of ten he's telling someone something, it's a lie... the tenth time his mouth is shut.

Folks that know him call him 'ol bs or just bs.

MtnCreek
December 23, 2011, 11:49 AM
1998, two people shot dead at a camp site where I had spent many a night in Linville Gorge (approx 5 miles from my house).

Same year, had a wanted felon stalk me in Pisgah Nat Forest. Later found out he was hiding out in the Nat Forest because he was wanted for theft of railroad property and wanted for questioning for the murder of a woman. Same man cut up his girlfriend about a week later and she showed up at my house because it was the closest house around (property borders Nat Forest). Some people feel there is no law in remote areas so be careful.

bergmen
December 23, 2011, 12:37 PM
I can tell you with certainty that marijuana grows in NF lands in the Pacific Northwest are common. As pointed out, most are not actively tended or guarded. Most. Most Forest Service LEO's spend their entire summer working active marijuana grows...


Depends on where. Here in Mendocino County, California there is a huge, active MJ cultivation of National Forest Lands (Mendocino National Forest) that are guarded often by illegals with fully automatic weapons. Several times last year alone, uniformed Deputies out scouting around came under fire and they had to return same killing a few "guards".

It got so bad that several adjoinging counties banded together and launched an aerial assault with military style helicopters and large groups of combat equipped LEO's (could have had National Guard involved, not sure but Ukiah Airport was one of the bases of operation).

One of the worst areas is where I used to like to take my boys deer hunting (Plaskette Meadow Area). We would hunt with 30-30 lever actions. If we go back (not likely until it cools off), I'll be packing my M1A and G19 with hi-caps.

Dan

X-Rap
December 23, 2011, 01:13 PM
The SW is no place to be un armed on public or private lands. I recall rafters in Big Bend Park being shot and Public land being signed with warnings of smugglers. It's hard to believe our country has ceded such a large amount of real estate to the lawless but it is hard to deny that it has happened.

MBaneACP
December 23, 2011, 01:45 PM
Back when I wrote TRAIL SAFE -- I believe the only book to be positively reviewed in both BACKPACKER and GUNS & AMMO, LOL! -- I noted that while the backcountry was a relatively safe place, it was foolish to abandon the awareness and avoidance skills that keep us safe in urban and suburban life when we visit the outback.

I also made a strong point that you needed to KNOW and UNDERSTAND where you actually were...just because the terrain looks like a set from "Jeremiah Johnson" doesn't necessarily mean you're not half-a-mile from a busy Interstate rest stop...what we used to call when I lived in Florida "convenient killing grounds." A park within spitting distance from metro LA has a whole different "threat profile" than a park in spitting distance from Ketchum, Idaho.

Michael B

george29
December 23, 2011, 01:58 PM
Great Story Ghost Tracker.

Carl Levitian
December 23, 2011, 03:59 PM
Most of my life living hrere inb the Peoples Republik Of Maryland, I've got by without carrying a gun. But I do consider it foolish to step off in the woods without one, even if I have to break the law. Thankfully, my better half of 40 years feels the same way. I don't ever carry a gun while going about my suburbanite life, but twice in the past couple of decades a gun on hand was a good thing. In March of 1988 on the Appalation Trail about 5 miles north of the gravel springs shelter, near the Peak train, I had to pull a handgun, and in late October I had to do it again in 2004, while the wife and I were having a little picnic on a blanket about 50 yards off a hiking trail in Black Hill Regonal Park, in Montgomery county Md. Both times the display of a handgun made the low life run off.

Yes, I know I'm running a risk, so spare me the lectures of breaking the law. On those two occasions very verbal threats were made as to their intentions toward my wife and teen age daughter (1988) and about my wife in 2004. Both times a knife was bradished in a way that i supose he's learnded while watching TV.

I've made it to the age of 70 winters now, and I don't regret a darn thing. But I have nightmareish thoughts about what would have happened if I hadn't had my little .38 on hand. Both my wife and I made the choice to carry many years ago, and she carries her little S&W 317 revolver concealed. We've discussed and have plans for most senerios, and after 40 years together, we make a pretty good team. Like me, the wify conceals well enough that we've stood talking with park rangers with no problem. We just keep up the looks of the gray haired retired couple with the bird watching binoculars around our necks.

The parks are not what they used to be, and more and more druggies are out there doing meth or just hanging out looking for trouble. Like has been said, google murders on the A.T.. Any trail with good acsess from small local towns will in time attract a lower element. A careful person will take precautions.

SharpsDressedMan
December 23, 2011, 07:29 PM
Discreet carry in the national forest, or other areas: A sleeved, plastic "water bottle" (I got mine off the shelf at a K-Mart), with a 1" wide slot under the zippered sleeve. Yank the zipper, and it will allow the hand to retrieve a S&W J frame, or walther PPK sized gun. Now the little polymer and pocket .380's will fit even smaller, even less obvious containers. I think a Kahr .380 or Ruger LCP dangling around the neck from a piece of yarn under a Tee or sweatshirt would work, too.

Mainsail
December 23, 2011, 08:15 PM
This is as discreet as I go. :cool:

http://www.topohiker.com/Holster.pnghttp://www.topohiker.com/FS/Packinsnow3.png

mljdeckard
December 23, 2011, 08:30 PM
It's more than just 'in' the national park. Some of us live in areas where we regularly drive through national parks just to get around. Before the law change, we we were effectively disarmed all of the time despite living in rural desert, because we might need to go through parks.

In about 1990, the lodge at Zion National Park was held up.I was washing dishes at a restaurant outside the park, and suddenly everyone but J. Edgar was blazing through the town with lights and siren. Someone knew when the lodge manager left every day with the cash deposit envelope, walked up to him in the parking lot, pulled a gun, and took the envelope. Walked away, was never caught.

Violent crimes occur every year in national parks. Assault, sexual assault, etc. There is no magical thing about being in a national park that makes you safer than anywhere else. Remember, that the monuments in Washington D.C. are national parks, I doubt anyone would say they are safe places to hang out in at night.

parsimonious_instead
December 23, 2011, 08:44 PM
I was shadowed once by a weird dude in a very small suburban park. It is heavily wooded. One of only about two times I really wish I had a gun with me. The park is quiet and heavily wooded, long and very thin - probably 1/2 mile at its thickest.
Point is, even though it's a fairly popular park during most days and most times of the day, I don't recall anyone else on the trails during the "incident."
He could have easily picked up the pace and closed in on me with a rock or knife and done lethal damage pretty quickly (provided I couldn't evade him or fight back effectively).
No one would have seen the incident, and he could have easily taken one of several trails in the opposite direction of my now-cooling corpse.
A previous poster mentioned how "thousands of acres" can give good cover and serious escape and evasion time to an assailant, but a surprisingly small patch of dense woods can do nearly as good a job.
A murder victim would probably be discovered much quicker at this place than the Toyiabee National Forest, but dead is dead, and with no witnesses or confession, a person killed there would probably end up in a cold case file.

SharpsDressedMan
December 23, 2011, 08:55 PM
Funny how a Glock 20 or 21 seems to fit those Bianchi UM84 or M9 holsters like a glove!

mljdeckard
December 23, 2011, 08:58 PM
(I use a few UM-84s I five-fingered from the army for a lot of guns and activities, including Glocks as well.)

CZguy
December 23, 2011, 09:49 PM
Funny how a Glock 20 or 21 seems to fit those Bianchi UM84 or M9 holsters like a glove!

A CZ-75 fits like that's what it was made for.

mljdeckard
December 23, 2011, 10:05 PM
The "U" is for "Universal".

HOWARD J
December 23, 2011, 10:26 PM
I don't know what the laws are today--but way back when--it was against the law to carry a rifle or handgun in MI woods or National forest out of hunting season.
We started with a station wagon-tent -popup trailer-travel trailer-motor home. I can tell you we never went there without serious protection

X-Rap
December 23, 2011, 10:32 PM
I think non permissive possession of guns is a long held American tradition and is still going strong. So long as people have the need we will have the gun.

K1500
December 24, 2011, 01:07 AM
One of the only times I have ever felt the need to point a firearm at another human was in the woods/national forest. A drunk guy with a shotgun was waiving it at our camping party from the window of his truck.

Shadow 7D
December 24, 2011, 03:18 AM
Not a state park story, but My dad's place bordered the state park on one side and a few hundred acres of Xmas tree fields that had a pond past my neighbors. got plenty of bullet holes and I was almost shot one summer, close enough to hear the bullet go past my ear and it hit the tree right behind me.

The response to that was my neighbors dad, slightly lit, sent a few mags of bird shot over the pond as we let loose with what was left over from the 4th of July. It ain't nice having to hit the dirt in your own (or you best friends/neighbors) front yard. Just because you are in the 'middle of nowhere' doesn't mean you should or can be an idiot. BUT it means that some idiot thinks it is OK...

skoro
December 24, 2011, 12:47 PM
I'm always surprised when I see on forums that folks talk about two legged predators in national parks (or state parks).

You shouldn't be.

Until recently, it was forbidden for law-abiding visitors to be armed. Ever notice how crackpot criminals flock to no-gun-zones with their automatic weapons? Much less risk of opposition and everyone they meet is a possible target.

Before confessing to the Feb murders of 3 women Stayner admitted to FBI agents he killed a 4th woman, the beheading of Yosemite naturalist, Joie Ruth Armstrong, 37. He had beheaded her, returned to his room, changed and grabbed his rope, knife, duct tape and a gun.

Serial killers LOVE unarmed victims the most (http://karisable.com/skazstaynor.htm)

gunnutery
December 24, 2011, 07:20 PM
I recently went with a mens group from church to the Superior National Hiking Trail in Minnesota. I knew a couple other guys had permits from my state, but I read up beforehand and found that MN didn't allow for permits from people in my state (or perhaps any state, not sure now). I on the other hand am allowed to carry in all 50 states and was the only one CC in our group. We only met friendly people along the trail, but then, my openly carried Kabar might have helped with that as well. :)

radshooter
December 25, 2011, 12:44 AM
A looooooong time ago my wife and I were camping in Great Basin NP during the off season at the end of a remote loop. About midnight we heard crunching in the gravel outside our tent like someone or something was trying to be sneaky. I thought it was a 4 legged critter since there was no other campers anywhere near us.

Just as I had decided there was nothing to worry about, our dog (in the tent with us) went ballistic! We got her calmed down, and I lay there listening. About 10 long minutes later I heard more crunching even closer to the tent. This quickly dispelled my animal theory because I figured the dog would have scared them off.

My next move was to loudly rack the slide on my Sig P220 which we had, at that time, illegally brought into the park with us. I then heard a very rapid retreat of footsteps outside the tent.

Needless to say, I did not sleep that night. The footsteps never returned, and our dog got well deserved extra rations in the morning.

TwoWheelFiend
December 25, 2011, 12:56 AM
There is nothing that can replace a dog. They smell things you cant smell and hear things you cannot hear. They are an invaluable as a warning system and a best friend. Every night my lab / retriever mix, Dogmeat sleeps at the foot of my bed and nothing makes me feel safer. Good story radshooter!

CZguy
December 25, 2011, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by gunnutery

I on the other hand am allowed to carry in all 50 states and was the only one CC in our group

Could you expand on this please.

goon
December 25, 2011, 01:39 AM
I know this is primarily dealing with human threats, but it's also wise to consider the threat of dangerous animals.
It's true that you can avoid a lot of confrontation with animals simply by respecting them and giving them their space and by not doing stupid things that make your campsite smell like food. However, I shot a raccoon last year that was almost certainly rabid. It literally charged out the woods at me in broad daylight. Fortunately, I was on my game that day and realized that seeing one out in the daylight at all was a little suspicious so I was somewhat mentally prepared to react when it attacked me. Had I not shot it I might have wound up with rabies. I ALWAYS pack a gun in the woods.

Leanwolf
December 25, 2011, 02:49 AM
Here are a couple more sad incidents in National Forests.

Do a search for Robert Bravence and his wife, Cheryl Bravence. He was an U.S. Marine captain, on-leave, vacationing in a northern Idaho National Forest. His wife was camping with him. Two outlaws came into camp and beat both Capt. Bravence and Cheryl, to death. This was several years ago.

Another. Search for Mary Cooper, 56, and her daughter, Susanna Stodden, 27, both murdered off of the Pinnacle Lake Trail, Snohomish County, Washington.

I have had a couple of serious problems while recreating out in the boonies, also.

I don't go out unarmed.

L.W.

cleardiddion
December 25, 2011, 04:05 AM
This thread gives me a bit of the chills.

This one happened to me not in a NP, but in a sizeable trail/park.
Me and my girlfriend used to hit up a lot of the trails on the foothills, it became something of a hobby at the same time when I started seriously carrying. Turns out that a few days before we hit this particular trail, a man and his woman from the local area had been on a rather normal day hike when they were ambushed rigth along the path.

A guy basically jumped them from the treeline, caught the two of them by surprised and tied them to a couple of trees with a few lengths of rope. After he was done with that, he basically went back and forth between the two of them with a knife threatening to cut them to ribbons just because he could. For some reason, he decided that he was going to wander off a bit and they managed to work their way loose before any further harm could come to them.

Well, my girl mentioned this bit of nuttiness when we were on the way up to the trail and honestly I kind of brushed it off. A few miles into the hike we heard footsteps coming up quickly behind us. I thought this was strange because we were about 3 miles into somewhat rough country and the only thing that we'd encountered on the way in were those on mountain bikes. I took a peek behind us and saw a man with no shirt, running shoes, and a fanny pack catching up to us right quick. Not the strangest thing in the area but considering how hot it got some gears running in my head.

I stopped us on one side of the track with my girl behind and me to right and turned just enough to show my holster on my belt. He seemed to speed up a bit and dashed around a bend that I couldn't see around due to a rather deep set of pines. Now the part that got me a little weirded out was that after we rounded that bend there was a straight stretch of about 150-175yds and the guy was nowhere to seen. I can understand that some people are insanely quick but covering nearly 200 yds in under the 12 or so seconds it took for us to get to the point where we could see seems...improbable. That got me a little nervous admitedly. Stood there for a moment listening for footsteps/rustling but couldn't pick up anything that way and I couldn't see anyone in the trees. We pressed on but I made sure to undo the flap and keep my hand close to my pistol. It got a little stranger when we managed to run into a group of three people about a half mile further up the trail and asked if they had seen anyone matching the description for the "ghost runner." They replied that they hand't seen anything and it's not like they could have missed him on that path.

Since then, I don't think I've gone out without a sidearm on the trails or woods. The positive thing about this encounter is the fact that ever since then, my girl (who wasn't too enthralled with the idea of firearms when we first started dating) hasn't complained about me carrying.

gunnutery
December 25, 2011, 09:37 AM
I on the other hand am allowed to carry in all 50 states and was the only one CC in our group

Could you expand on this please.

I don't mean to be so cryptic, but I don't like to to be too flaunty about being in law enforcement.

Mike J
December 25, 2011, 12:08 PM
This thread reminded me about how this online community lost a member a few years ago. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=373815&highlight=markmc753

Anything can happen anywhere.

OldmanFCSA
December 25, 2011, 12:52 PM
Ghost Tracker...so you picked up a "felon" and then commited a felony in the process of getting away from the situation...wow
You're just pissed because you had sore feet and were only wearing a jock strap when you walked out of the area!!!!

.338Sako
December 25, 2011, 04:19 PM
Great post I read every one. It's good to read and understand this could be you. Always be prepared for the unexpected.

we are not amused
December 25, 2011, 05:57 PM
I was driving my old VW Bug out a goat-path dirt road, wrapping-up my stay on Sunday afternoon. The sun was getting low & I see a well-equipped hiker ahead on the same path. I stop & offer a ride out. He says sure, throws his gear behind the seat & plops into the passenger side. We do the intro thing as I pay attention to some tight curves at ~20 mph. Less than 2 minutes pass when I glance over to see a large knife pointed near my right eye, "I want all your sh#t & I'll kill you for it".

Don't want to sound cliche' but...what a SURPRISE! Everything went into slow motion (again cliche') but I realized he wasn't buckled-up. Neither was I, this was a '68 Beetle!. But I knew what was coming & had the steering wheel to brace against. For those who don't know, the '68 VW Bug had a completely vertical, unpadded, solid stamped-steel dashboard.

I slammed that brake petal for all that little 4-wheel hydraulic, drum brake system was worth, holding myself stoutly off the steering wheel. He flew forward and face-planted HARD just above the glove box. Bouncing back I (happily) watch his face spewing crimson as knife clattered somewhere in floorboard. There's a little elastic-topped vinyl map pocket on the low/front of my door (maybe VW's Deluxe interior?). That's where I kept a Ruger .22 autoloader (Standard Model, 4.?" barrel, fixed sights) when I traveled. This guy, groaning, gathered himself just in time (leaking blood through both hands holding his nose) to turn toward me and see that pistol aimed at him from my left hand. I wanted distance so I popped my door open and went around & opened his. Now I'm miles (and MILES) away from another human being, much less a phone, I'm 19 years old & have a felon at gunpoint. I didn't want to ride out with him. I have NOT been here before.

I'm not proud of this last part & am thankful the statute of limitations has long-since expired. I told him to take his boots off. He complied & I pitched them in the car. Then his jacket. Then his shirt. Then his belt & jeans. I just kept going...until he had nothing on but socks & underwear. I left that 20 something-year-old almost naked, bloody nosed, on a backwoods goat-path, in a very deep edge of the DBNF, and waved smiling as I drove away. I got; $24 from his wallet, a slightly-used North Face VE-24 tent, a nice Schrade fixed-blade knife (turned-out smaller than I first thought), a Case XX Stockman folder, a Zippo, a Lowe backpack, a cool Swiss Camp Stove, and one of the biggest lessons of my then young life. With the hindsight of 35 years, I hope he made it. I tossed his clothes in the trash (they were bloody) at a restaurant called "EAT" in Slade, Ky. And THAT'S why being armed in the woods is a good idea.

Actually, the last part was the best part. I can understand your emotions about it today, I would probably feel the same, But DAMMMN! Making crime pay! In all seriousness, he probably got a better lesson than being hauled to jail. Certainly you had a lot less hassle. I don't now if the experience reformed him, but I bet he never forgot it.

In all seriousness, even here in the rural country, we have problems with marijuana farms being guarded by "caretakers" and that is not to mention the Meth Labs that seem to get get set up in every abandoned farmstead. I don't travel the back roads anymore with out being armed.

CZguy
December 25, 2011, 08:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowerunit411
Ghost Tracker...so you picked up a "felon" and then commited a felony in the process of getting away from the situation...wow

You're just pissed because you had sore feet and were only wearing a jock strap when you walked out of the area!!!!

I just can't stop chuckling.

leeroy71
December 26, 2011, 12:27 AM
[The danger is real, but grossly overstated.]

Really? How is the threat of any danger overrated?

Safeguarding yourself against the possiblity of danger is better then the alternative.

An ounce (or serveral...depending on your sidearm of choice) of prevention is better than a pound of assault/robbery/death.(you pick).

106rr
December 26, 2011, 05:08 AM
If you have been to Yosemite in the summer recently, you would notice the gangbangers from Merced and Modesto. They go in on a daypass and make the tourists uncomfortable. In the summer you have to be careful just as you would in the worst areas of a city. The only crime I saw in the winter was a fistfight between two drunk gay guys at the Awahnee. It was a domestic dispute.

we are not amused
December 26, 2011, 12:48 PM
[The danger is real, but grossly overstated.]

Really? How is the threat of any danger overrated?

Safeguarding yourself against the possiblity of danger is better then the alternative.

An ounce (or serveral...depending on your sidearm of choice) of prevention is better than a pound of assault/robbery/death.(you pick).

Saying the danger is real but overstated, doesn't mean it isn't real, just overstated.
We are so interested in the stories of attacks in the parks, we sometimes forget, that they are not everyday occurrences. Rereading some of these postings, it makes it sound like they are the most dangerous places in the world. Not true, neither are the back roads I travel locally. But they are both dangerous enough to want to be alert and ready for trouble. I don't think anyone is trying to overstate the danger, but when you get to reading all the different examples, it may make the parks seem more dangerous than they really are.
None the less, I am glad that we can now carry legally in the Parks, since it makes me less nervous to do so. Not that I am admitting to any wrongdoing, but I never went back country without a gun, no matter where it was. Concealed carry does mean just that.

wbwanzer
December 26, 2011, 02:08 PM
I'm the OP here. Thanks everyone who contributed. I think this turned into a good thread that should remind us all to be armed (if we can) and just to be extra aware of our surroundings when in remote areas.

Pilot
December 26, 2011, 02:23 PM
Ghost Tracker,

I spent a lot of time in Red River Gorge hiking back in there when I lived in Lexington. It really is beautiful, and the rock formations are really interesting. BTW, was Miguels Pizza there way back then? :D

I am not going to pass judgment on what you did to that guy. I probably would have just left him there with his stuff then called the cops and gave a description of him, but I can say that here, safe in my living room.

There is no reason to not carry a firearm when in National Parks. I always thought it was stupid when CCW holders had to leave their guns at home or in the car when hiking in a National Park.

Ignition Override
December 26, 2011, 05:51 PM
As for people producing/selling drugs in rural areas, Missouri reportedly has one of the highest concentrations of meth labs, but hopefully they are all in private residences

What is strange is that in a narrow (100 yard wide) strip of a wooded ridge here between housing developments, my wife discovered an old abandoned shack hidden in the trees, not visible from the walking trails.

It must have been used decades ago as a hunting cabin, before homes were built here. Trying to imagine what is deep in forests makes me want to acquire a handgun before I retire and enjoy state or national parks much more often.

And a friend saw his first wild black (Russian) boar at Big Hill Pond State Park a week ago, but the pig heard him chatting and raced off.

CZguy
December 26, 2011, 11:42 PM
As for people producing/selling drugs in rural areas, Missouri reportedly has one of the highest concentrations of meth labs, but hopefully they are all in private residences

And I remember when we were known for the Pony Express. :o

Unfortunately some of the meth labs in rural areas, are on public lands.

geekgirl
December 31, 2011, 05:23 PM
Hello all! Thank you for having such a insightful website. I found your sight while searching for "small handgun to carry while running".
Personal experiences:
1) My husband and I were shot at west of Utah Lake near Camp Williams. We were on our way home from Little Sahara Sand Dunes when tracer fire..yes tracer fire went in front of our windshield. The only guess by local authorities was Army reservists were dicking around.:what:
2) Lake Oneida near Preston Idaho. Drunk locals forgot to put their prop up on the boat blocking the only boat ramp while they fought with themselves, which in turn left my husband up to his nuts in cold water holding our wave runners while I'm waiting for these idiots to to get out of the way so I can back down the ramp. When I finally get the trailer to the water, I say to my husband "haven't these guys ever heard of respect for others" I guess it was loud enough one guy heard me. Next thing you know, 4 guys are in our face. I was pushed down and my husband was cornered on the end of the dock. Thank heavens one guy in the group was sober and talked his friends down. I was horrified I put us/myself in that position. It could have been really ugly. We decided then and there we would never allow ourselves to be in such a helpless/victim situation ever again.
3) Moab Utah-We are in our old 78' motorhome getting gas. I go into the service station to buy some supplies while my husband pumps gas, he notices some non-locals hanging out in the shadows but doesn't think much of it. He starts pumping gas on the drivers side, after a few minutes he hears the door(passenger side compartment) SLAM shut. My husband walks to the front of the motor home in time to see a man running to his friends, jumping in the car with New Mexico plates and speed away. The reason the door slammed shut was because we had been having problems with it opening while we drove so we had a bungee cord from it to the stove. We assume he was trying to sneak in and the bungee cord caused the door to slip out of his hands. We were never so happy to have a broke down old motorhome in our lives. We figure if that a-hole had gotten in we would not have known til we were driving down the road and God only knows what would have happened. Moral of the story......be prepared! So I ask this question. I enjoy trail running in the area and have been doing so for 15 years. The last few years has seen a rise in out-of-town vehicles parked in secluded areas, "cat calls" in a foreign language as well as lewd gestures are unnerving at best. Besides pepper spray which small caliber handgun would you guys/gals recommend to carry? Yes, size is a issue. I have had my concealed carry for 10 years now. I own/carry a sub-compact Glock 40 during normal life, but this gun is too large to carry while running. Any thoughts?

CZguy
December 31, 2011, 07:37 PM
Any thoughts?

First welcome to the high road.

I guess that to me the three examples that you gave (while scary) did not call for you to use, or display a firearm.

As to size or type of handgun......you really need to go to your LGS and see what fits best in your hand.

geekgirl
December 31, 2011, 11:24 PM
First welcome to the high road.

I guess that to me the three examples that you gave (while scary) did not call for you to use, or display a firearm.

As to size or type of handgun......you really need to go to your LGS and see what fits best in your hand.
Your right both comments. Avoid the situation at all cost and use deadly force as a last resort. I was looking for active runners who carry when I found this site. I was looking for personal experience and their likes and dislikes so I can make a informed decision on what or what not to carry. I have large hands for a female and are very comfortable with my Glock 40 with a clip extension. I may be in the wrong location for this info. Thank you for the welcome and quick response. Happy New Year everyone. Be safe

lloveless
January 1, 2012, 12:18 AM
geekgirl, You might look at the kel-tec 3 AT, and the Ruger LCP, both are in .380. They weigh less than 10 oz, and are very concealable. There are others, but these two stand out. My son has had both. I carry an Kel-Tec p32 in .32. Good luck in your quest.
ll

CZguy
January 1, 2012, 12:31 AM
I may be in the wrong location for this info.

Follow this link. And start a new thread.

http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=33

The KelTec P3AT or Ruger LCP would be good choices for the type of concealment that you are talking about.

But to get back on topic, I plan on getting a good hike in tomorrow.

nickn10
January 1, 2012, 11:16 AM
CZguy:
"I guess that to me the three examples that you gave (while scary) did not call for you to use, or display a firearm."



CZ;
How about a little compassion for her obvious concern and fear. She didn't need to be preached to, she was seeking advice about a suitable carry pistol while running. Which came after the mini sermon.
Nick

CZguy
January 1, 2012, 11:40 AM
CZ;
How about a little compassion for her obvious concern and fear. She didn't need to be preached to, she was seeking advice about a suitable carry pistol while running. Which came after the mini sermon.
Nick

Interesting choice of adjectives.

This is a forum, where we all share our opinions.

But back to the topic of this thread.

nickn10
January 1, 2012, 11:45 AM
Ok, Ok It's Sunday, maybe "preached to" was a bit over the top. Anyway I just felt her concern. Sorry no offense intended.

22-rimfire
January 1, 2012, 12:16 PM
Ghost Tracker, at that particular time in my life, I would have had a 22 revolver with me. I think you did good. I don't care what other people think. You could have killed him on the spot. You didn't.

I know about Eastern KY. Pot patches, some stills still around, and now meth labs. The smart meth cooker does it out in the woods. I do wish they would get rid of their trash. Anyone out in the woods needs to pay attention (situational awareness) and I carry every time I am out in the woods. You don't do goofy stuff like Bear Grylis. You're careful as there is nobody around to help you. There are more dangers than 2-legged ones. Some slither on the ground and others have 4-legs. However, the 4-legged variety are generally the least of your worries.

My only encounters have been in Eastern KY. I have had guns pointed at me, scared at times, and learned the kind of places you don't go. But overall, I love that country!

As far as National Parks go, I will be armed if I'm more than a 1/2 mile off the main highway. National Forests... always armed. Trips to the grocery store, seldom armed.

throdgrain
January 1, 2012, 07:08 PM
*Startled into posting*

You see Bear Grylls over there??!?!?!?

Intrepid Dad
January 1, 2012, 10:47 PM
Here's a timely and tragic article at CNN about a shooting near Mt. Rainier in Washington State. After the shooting the gunman disappeared into the National Park.

Authorities scoured the national park around Washington's Mount Rainier on Sunday for a man they say fatally shot a park ranger and fled into the woods, a park spokeswoman said.

The suspect remained at large Sunday afternoon, believed to be somewhere in the expansive park, Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said.

Here's the link to the full article at CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/01/justice/washington-ranger-killed/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

AlaskaMan
January 2, 2012, 12:22 AM
It can be dangerious for the Rangers there.

On Sunday morning a 34 year-old Law Enforcement Ranger was shot and killed there by an unknown assailant. The person remains at large. As officers tried to recover the shot Ranger they were fired upon.

A search for "Mt Rainier Ranger Killed" will yield many results.

Sorry for not posting any links. Just trying to keep HTR out of any copyright issues.

My condolences to her family and two small children.

CZguy
January 2, 2012, 01:01 AM
Sorry no offense intended.

And none taken.

Serenity
January 2, 2012, 01:26 AM
Someone else posted the same thing while I was posting; about the WA park ranger.

KOMO news article says that there are about a hundred people in cabins and lodges who've been asked to stay put so they don't find themselves in the line of fire, as well as hikers who might not even know about the situation. I pray that everyone is safe and the shooter is found.

shiftyer1
January 2, 2012, 04:12 AM
When I was a kid our family camped almost every weekend, often in state parks mostly in mn but every 2 years we had a big vacation so i've camped everywhere but the west coast and the east coast. I'm 34 now so this was from 1980-1992 or so. We only had a couple incidences and a firearm wouldn't have been needed, mostly drunks or kids getting drunk. If you don't think you need a firearm in your day to day life you don't need one in the parks or forests. Realize that the same threat your worried about exists in your day to day life also.

Mr.510
January 2, 2012, 04:29 AM
I don't want to get too far off track talking about the Park Ranger that was shot and killed today. But it seems the shooter got into a fight at a party in South Seattle and was asked to leave. He returned to the party and shot four people some time later. His car at the scene at Mount Rainier was loaded with weapons, body armor, survival equipment, and camping supplies according to the news. It would appear he intended to head into the woods to hide out after shooting the four people in Skyway. I think that would be one bad camp to stumble upon in the forest!

I travel the back woods often as an outdoors and off road enthusiast. I'm self employed and mostly go four wheeling mid-week so my friends and I can have the trails almost entirely to ourselves. (There can be heavy traffic on weekends.) Often times we'll go to a popular ORV area that would have a hundred people on a weekend and be the only people there, all day. Our tire tracks going in being the freshest ones when we're going out. My dad taught me early on to always be armed and aware in the woods. When I was a kid we ran across some really sketchy people while hiking but never had an altercation. Perhaps because my dad open carried his P38 most of the time. Some of the time he carried it concealed and I now know those times we were in places where guns were not allowed. I concealed carry my XD45C at all times anyway but also take my Saiga .308 with me anytime I'm headed to the woods. My friends know that should there be any sort of 'problem' while we're out wheeling priority number one is for me to get to my rifle.

I've run across quite a few old travel trailers way out in the woods, I mean in places that a wheeler like me thinks "How in the world did someone even drag that thing over all the stumps and boulders to get it here?" They use them as meth labs I'm told by the rangers. I've only come upon one such trailer that had a vehicle parked near it and I immediately turned around and left the area. I went directly to a known point with cell service and called the ranger station to let them know about it.

lemaymiami
January 2, 2012, 08:45 AM
Since I do work in a national park, I've continued to follow this thread (and I was up last night watching the accounts of that sad killing of a ranger). Since I'm also a retired cop I'll post once more on this. I don't think that the frequency of trouble in rural areas, particularly national parks is any higher (or lower) than the urban or suburban jungles most of us are familiar with.... The real problem that I see is that you're not going to get any assistance (at least not soon enough) if you do have a problem.... and that makes all the difference to me. I choose not to go armed on the water (but always have a weapon available towing my skiff down the road or at any boat ramp). A bit of caution and being aware of your surroundings is what I'd preach. I think that's far more important than whether you're armed or not. That same philosophy will stand you in good stead in the big city as well...

browneu
January 2, 2012, 11:50 AM
Here is another article regarding the gunman at Mount Rainier. I'm posting because it shows a picture of the person of interest holding a Saiga and some other handgun that I don't recognize.

I don't know where they get these pictures but I can see the press trying to spin this for the need of more gun control.

http://portal.wowway.net/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CD9S0RKT81%40news.ap.org%3E&ps=1011&page=1

Double Naught Spy
January 2, 2012, 12:37 PM
The other gun looks like a Mac 10 or some clone.

I found it interesting that the found his car abandonded with various firearms, ammo, and body armor. I am curious to know if he ended up taking body armor with him. On the last few years, there have been a few cases where bad guys had body armor, but were not wearing it and ended up abandoning it when they took flight.

Intrepid Dad
January 2, 2012, 01:11 PM
Here's a quote from the wowway.net article. I'd like to ask Mr. Wade how repealing the National Parks carry law would have prevented this tragedy. I suspect that he knows very well it would not have but he couldn't resist scoring political points. How unfortunate.

Bill Wade, the outgoing chair of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, said Congress should be regretting its decision to allow loaded weapons in national parks. He called Sunday's fatal shooting a tragedy that could have been prevented. He hopes Congress will reconsider the law that took effect in early 2010, but doubts that will happen in today's political climate.

xfyrfiter
January 2, 2012, 01:18 PM
Yeah the bad guy would still have had a gun, because the bg doesn't obey the law LOL.

wbwanzer
January 2, 2012, 01:53 PM
If the National Parks carry law had not been enacted, I'm sure the gunman at Mount Rainier would have stopped at the entrance and said, "Damn. I can't take my guns in the park" :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, my prayers go out to the ranger's family.

donny640
January 2, 2012, 08:12 PM
Very sad, my condolence to the family.

rhinoh
January 2, 2012, 08:59 PM
The Mt Rainier criminal was found dead today.
Good riddance, too bad it didn't happen earlier before he shot the partiers and the Ranger.

SharpsDressedMan
January 2, 2012, 09:24 PM
I think this Bill Wade must be suffering some aging & reasoning problems. The greater prevalence of armed LAW ABIDING people in the parks is what would have stopped that attack at Mt Rainier, not the disarming of the visitors. A person armed in self defense is ALL that would have stood in the way of any assault. If anything, this disputes the anti-gunners argument. Once again, common sense appears to not be so common.

22-rimfire
January 2, 2012, 09:46 PM
I don't know about WA fiream laws, but in my state of Tennessee, it would be illegal to have a loaded rifle in Smoky Mt National Park. A handgun carry permit does not give you permission to carry a long gun in a park. So, changing an existing law would have had no effect what so ever in the case of the Mt. Rainier NP. But of course we all know that anyway regardless of whether it is or is not legal to have a loaded long gun in Mt. Rainier NP.

The guy didn't last long... they found him apparently dead from exposure with only one shoe on and only a tea shirt. No coat. I believe they did find two firearms but they have not stated what they were at this point.

browneu
January 2, 2012, 09:47 PM
I pray for the families affected and am thankful that more were not hurt. This had the potential of fueling the antis 2012 campaign if shootings continued.

Like others stated, this is more reason we should carry in parks and forests. We should have the ability to defend ourselves especially in a place where help can be hours away.

Intrepid Dad
January 2, 2012, 10:08 PM
The guy didn't last long... they found him apparently dead from exposure with only one shoe on and only a tea shirt. No coat. I believe they did find two firearms but they have not stated what they were at this point.

Sounds like the gunman died of hypothermia. In an odd twist, victims of hypothermia can feel overheated, leading them to shed clothing in an attempt to "cool down".

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothermia)

Twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia deaths are associated with paradoxical undressing. This typically occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. They may begin discarding their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss.

One explanation for the effect is a cold-induced malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. Another explanation is that the muscles contracting peripheral blood vessels become exhausted (known as a loss of vasomotor tone) and relax, leading to a sudden surge of blood (and heat) to the extremities, fooling the person into feeling overheated.

At this point I don't really care what guns were used. They were tools in the hands of the wrong person.

CZguy
January 2, 2012, 11:03 PM
At this point I don't really care what guns were used. They were tools in the hands of the wrong person.

Well said, I agree.

gunnutery
January 2, 2012, 11:17 PM
Bill Wade, the outgoing chair of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, said Congress should be regretting its decision to allow loaded weapons in national parks. He called Sunday's fatal shooting a tragedy that could have been prevented. He hopes Congress will reconsider the law that took effect in early 2010, but doubts that will happen in today's political climate.

I'm guessing the park also has a speed limit, which the suspect didn't care about because he sped past a checkpoint which made the Ranger take chase. It's also illegal to shoot people outside of self defense but that didn't stop the suspect either. A piece of paper or signs never stopped any bullets or cars.

Hey, at least Mr. Wade is on his way out.

fast eddie
January 3, 2012, 12:42 AM
http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/01/01/1966247/guns-have-been-legal-at-rainier.html
Here's a counterpoint to this Wade knucklehead. This volunteer ranger isn't a believer in park carry but even he admits that a gun ban wouldn't have stopped this killer.

Ignition Override
January 3, 2012, 03:11 AM
Somebody mentioned the Saiga in the hands of the Mt. Rainier psycho, and how the press will try to manipulate the images. I also noticed the Kalashnikov.

Even reporters on Fox News use the phrase "assault weapon", even though the network seems more balanced with gun issues than any other networks.

Is there any reasonable chance that Fox News would ever change the term to "sport utility gun", or would they have less chance of holding the viewers' attention, in the age of very short attention spans?
Sure it's a naive question, but one can always hope.

9MMare
January 3, 2012, 04:01 AM
As a former park ranger, I can tell you I worry much much more anyday about 2 legged predators rather than 4 legged.

And there are no 4 legged predators in the lower 48 I worry about, having confronted all but a wolverine, except for the grizzley. And that includes rattlers & gators...which some people are unnecessarily afraid of IMO.

In isolated areas, people can feel that they are beyond observation or the reach of the law. Some are out there specifically to escape...as was the shooter in Mt Ranier Nat Park (most likely)....the road he was on leads out of the park thru less patrolled areas....

9MMare
January 3, 2012, 04:10 AM
I think this Bill Wade must be suffering some aging & reasoning problems. The greater prevalence of armed LAW ABIDING people in the parks is what would have stopped that attack at Mt Rainier, not the disarming of the visitors. A person armed in self defense is ALL that would have stood in the way of any assault. If anything, this disputes the anti-gunners argument. Once again, common sense appears to not be so common.

I agree. This man was running...trying to avoid consequences from shootings the nite before. He was looking for the fastest and least populated route out of the area....thru the park.

No laws would have stopped him. This, to me, is a huge DUH and a common falsehood that anti-gun people seem to buy into without question. I dont get it???

Mainsail
January 3, 2012, 10:15 AM
This man was running...trying to avoid consequences from shootings the nite before. He was looking for the fastest and least populated route out of the area....thru the park.

The road up to Paradise is a dead end, it doesn't go through to anywhere. Also, unless the Park was running some sort of holiday special, he would have had to stop and pay the Park entrance fee down at the base of the mountain.

9MMare
January 3, 2012, 03:45 PM
Yes, esp considering the roads that go 'thru' the park are always closed in winter.

But it seems pretty obvious he was not in his right mind, at all. He abandoned his vehicle and his weapons after the shooting. He headed out on foot without proper supplies. This ex-soldier should have been able to take better care of himself.

I'm very sorry that this soldier didnt get the help he needed...his wife and others tried. You cant make someone accept help tho and he may have been like this before he enlisted. There is no excuse for his actions but intervention may have saved lives here.

marksman13
January 3, 2012, 04:44 PM
People like Benjamin Colton gives veterans everywhere a bad name. I wish people would stop blaming this shooting on his military service. Some people are just nuts. Iraq didn't make hime crazy. I did my stint. Sure it affects me from time to time. There are days that are tough for me emotionally. Days that we lost guys are always hard, as are Veteran's Day and Memorial Day, but I'm not running around shooting at people. ]

I honestly worry that at some point somebody is going to use veteran status as a reason to deny gun ownership. Every time a veteran does something stupid with a firearm, that is the first comment from the media and the message boards. So and so was a military veteran. Should have gotten help. System neglected them, blah, blah, blah. Help is available for those that want it. Please stop harping on the fact that this criminal was a veteran. He doesn't represent us in any way, shape or form.

Nuclear
January 3, 2012, 05:03 PM
Let's see, the Superstition Mountains down here in AZ have been dangerous due to drug activities for years (decades?) and the federal government closed down areas adjacent to the Mexican border because of the danger to hikers, etc., from smugglers (drug and human). Now I've personally never had any 2-legged problems in parks or national forests, but the problems I've encountered in life could have just as easily happened in one of those locales.

Curator
January 3, 2012, 06:17 PM
August, 1970 my Boy Scout troop was robbed at gun point on the Appalachian trail inside Great Smokey National Park. All the dirt-bags got was some pocket money and a couple of watches. Apparently the father-son team had done this several times but the Smokies would rather hassle law-abiding folks. They went thorugh our back-packs and made us empty our pockets for reporting the incident. They thought we might have had drugs or some other incentive that "incited the locals." Yeah, right! It used to be that the "Brownie Bears" were looking out for you--not any more. My last experience in Everglades National Park five years ago, made me realize this is no longer true.

oldranger
January 3, 2012, 07:00 PM
As a log time lurker at THR, I have followed this thread with high interest, and decided to register before the unfortunate incident at Mt Rainier. As an NPS retiree, I am heartsick for the needless deaths involved. Hopefully, a positive outcome could be better care for today's veterans.

I think one aspect of the discussion has been overlooked - a realistic appraisal of the threat profile that faces one when venturing into the outdoors or wilderness areas. By far the most common causes for fatalities and injuries are falls and drowning, followed by fatalities from extreme weather. Even fatalities from "four legged" threats are rate. In fact, honey bees kill more people than do bears, tiggers, and all the other critters.

Be sure that you are appropriately prepared for the most likely threats you will encounter. That means that an eippen, or a climbing rope (provided someone has training), may be a better item to carry than a 357 magnum. For each of us there is a limit to how much one drag into the woods. It is worth a good deal of thought to make sure that every item has a useful and realistic purpose.

The woods are very different these days than when I began my outdoors career in the 1960s. Living and working in southern Arizona, we frequently hiked along, and over the border. No problems whatever. That is definitely not the case now. My pack would probably be different these days if I were hiking in that area.

My point is that it isn't just an "always carry," or "never carry" situation. In many situations there are other things that make more sense than a firearm, but that is not invariably true.

Ghost Tracker
January 3, 2012, 07:26 PM
In many situations there are other things that make more sense than a firearmThat's fine. You carry those "other things" if defending yourself with a hank of rope makes more sense to you. If I can legally carry a firearm, I'm CARRYING a FIREARM. My G19 weighs ~1.5 lbs. loaded. Plus, good handgun training is (IMHO) more FUN than eippen training (but I could be wrong 'cause I'm not clear what an "eippen" is).

bhesler
January 3, 2012, 08:00 PM
I think he meant epipen, an automated injector of epinephrine which shuts down the immune response to bee stings and other severe allergies.

oldranger
January 3, 2012, 08:16 PM
Yes, thank you - that was an unfortunate typo. And, to reply to the previous poster, there have been numerous occasions (more than 100) where a "hank of rope" (actually about 30 to 50 meters of climbing nylon) has been much more critical to my health and safety,as well as the health and safety of those with me, than a firearm. So too have been adequate clothing and shelter and the means to make fire. Against that, I can recall one situation where I was GLAD I had my S&W 28 (not a wilderness setting, however) and one where I would not have minded having my 28, but I solved the situation without it.

My point is, evaluate the situation and make a rational decision.

I would generalize that the deeper you are into the wilderness, the less you need a weapon - also the more likely the weight of weapon and ammo can be better replaced by other items.

marksman13
January 3, 2012, 08:47 PM
Honestly, if you can't handle the extra weight of a S&W Airweight, or Glock 19, you probably don't need to be in the woods and away from rapid medical attention. You are setting up a straw-man argument. There is no need to choose between firearm and rope/food/matches/clothes/kitchen sink etc...
The obvious choice is to carry all needed survival gear and a light weight firearm.

I carried enough gear and food to survive for 5 days every time I left the wire in Iraq in addition to an M9, M4 and often an M21. No reason any able bodied human being couldn't carry a light weight firearm in his or her ruck. Rather that person chooses to carry it or not is a different matter entirely.

p35
January 3, 2012, 10:22 PM
They are now saying that they found this knucklehead dead of exposure (ie hypothermia) about a mile into the woods from the shooting site. Wearing a T-shirt, one sneaker, and jeans, and still heavily armed.

This just proves what oldranger was saying- a firearm is pretty far down the priority list of essential equipment for wilderness survival. Not that it's a bad idea, just not that important.

When I was a teenager doing search & rescue we used to have what we called "hunting camp"- on the busiest days of hunting season we would set up at a campground up in the mountains and wait for the calls. Found a lot of hunters who had a fancy rifle and a .44 Mag revolver, but didn't bring a map, compass, or extra food and clothing. We didn't always find them alive.

Frank Black
January 3, 2012, 10:28 PM
Marksman13 - The liberal media won't change their style of reporting. It's just a cheap and easy shot for them. They yammer about individual rights, and in the same breath, rush to tag veterans as almost sub-human.

They continue to repeat the same pattern after every conflict. The Hollywood script mills cranked out crazy veteran villains after WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Our present-day "journalists" often mistake gangster movies for history. They'd probably describe Dwight Eisenhower as a burned-out vet. After I returned from Vietnam, the typical TV or movie bad guy was so often a drug- crazed Vietnam vet that even the liberal movie critics became bored with the concept. Of course that took about ten years.

I know that being labelled in such a way is very annoying, but eventually you may come to view their rantings as part of the background noise. Most of them are so self-absorbed that they can't band together to effect change. And they have no sense of duty as we understand it.

Their babbling can't diminish you. You know what you did, and why. When you've been true to yourself, nothing else matters.

CZguy
January 3, 2012, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by marksman13,


Honestly, if you can't handle the extra weight of a S&W Airweight, or Glock 19, you probably don't need to be in the woods and away from rapid medical attention. You are setting up a straw-man argument. There is no need to choose between firearm and rope/food/matches/clothes/kitchen sink etc...
The obvious choice is to carry all needed survival gear and a light weight firearm.

I carried enough gear and food to survive for 5 days every time I left the wire in Iraq in addition to an M9, M4 and often an M21. No reason any able bodied human being couldn't carry a light weight firearm in his or her ruck. Rather that person chooses to carry it or not is a different matter entirely.

You beat me to it. The concept put forward by oldranger that the one and a half pounds to carry a S&W model 28 (as he did) as opposed to more useful survival gear is based on those limits. For forty years I've tailored the equipment for each trip specific for the hurdles that I might encounter.

Consequently the times that I've needed first aid kit, matches, compass etc. I've not only survived, but been pretty comfortable. I've never needed a gun, but like marksman13 pointed out. An airweight is pretty easy to carry.

But I cut half of my toothbrush handle off. :D

marksman13
January 3, 2012, 11:45 PM
CZGuy, who needs a toothbrush? You could save room in your pack by just using a willow branch. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Won't happen again.

purpplehaze
January 3, 2012, 11:46 PM
There is nothing that can replace a dog. They smell things you cant smell and hear things you cannot hear. They are an invaluable as a warning system and a best friend. Every night my lab / retriever mix, Dogmeat sleeps at the foot of my bed and nothing makes me feel safer. Good story radshooter!
I totally agree, a dog is the only true friend a person can have. Forever loyal except when you leave your large bowl of shrimp fried rice on your coffee table... (love you Penny)

CZguy
January 4, 2012, 01:15 AM
CZGuy, who needs a toothbrush? You could save room in your pack by just using a willow branch. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Won't happen again.

I can carry a half a tooth brush (admittedly a luxury item) because having a left hand, I don't need to carry toilet paper. :D Allah Akbar.

marksman13
January 4, 2012, 01:33 AM
Haha. I hear ya. I prefer leaves over a hand, but I'll make a public confession. I'm not leaving home without some TP stashed somewhere. Sacrificed a dang fine Under Armor shirt in Iraq one day due to an absence of Charmin. Never again. Never, ever again. Man, I miss that shirt.

Nuclear
January 4, 2012, 03:52 PM
Carrying a 1 lb handgun when I'm already packing a Camelbak full of water (and water for my dog and food and first aid kit, etc.) doesn't seem like that big an imposition. I've never needed a gun while hiking, but I've never needed most of the stuff I take hiking.

9MMare
January 4, 2012, 08:39 PM
People like Benjamin Colton gives veterans everywhere a bad name. I wish people would stop blaming this shooting on his military service. Some people are just nuts. Iraq didn't make hime crazy. I did my stint. Sure it affects me from time to time. There are days that are tough for me emotionally. Days that we lost guys are always hard, as are Veteran's Day and Memorial Day, but I'm not running around shooting at people. ]

I honestly worry that at some point somebody is going to use veteran status as a reason to deny gun ownership. Every time a veteran does something stupid with a firearm, that is the first comment from the media and the message boards. So and so was a military veteran. Should have gotten help. System neglected them, blah, blah, blah. Help is available for those that want it. Please stop harping on the fact that this criminal was a veteran. He doesn't represent us in any way, shape or form.
I agree, but it may be shining a more necessary light on the help that many veterans need and arent getting, for one reason or another. They are linking him to our local base here, Joint Lewis McCord, saying it is one of the most troubled US bases with high numbers of suicides and violent crimes.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/03/9923187-ex-soldier-in-mount-rainier-killing-stationed-at-deeply-troubled-base

And initially the fact that he was an Iraq veteran was important to tracking him down and alerting the public. A heavily-armed and trained soldier, not hesitating to kill and possibly still with high-powered weapons, was on the run and that certainly upgrades his status as a threat.

SharpsDressedMan
January 4, 2012, 08:55 PM
Hmmm, the same character background as Rambo..................

Zombiphobia
January 5, 2012, 01:48 AM
I found a guy who didn't know where he was or how he got there. Said he woke up 4 or 5 days before and had seemed to just been wandering the roads. Tried opening the doors to get in, including my wife;s door. Showed him my pistol and told him to back up we'd be back with help for him. He obviusly wasn't in his right mind, beyond being hungry, dehydrated and suffering heat exhaustion. Called the police; he lied about who he was, had a warrant etc.. Gave him some water and stayed to make sure the LEO didn't have any problems with him and then went on my way.

PS. for the record, this was in a National Forrest and he was given several verbal warnings to back off and no room in the car was available BEFORE I went for my weapon.

gunnutery
January 6, 2012, 08:37 PM
Carrying a 1 lb handgun when I'm already packing a Camelbak full of water (and water for my dog and food and first aid kit, etc.)doesn't seem like that big an imposition.

You should make your dog carry his own stuff and save you the effort. They make some good side saddles for dogs.

JustinJ
January 6, 2012, 08:55 PM
You should make your dog carry his own stuff and save you the effort. They make some good side saddles for dogs.

How about holsters? My dog walk at the heel so if he stays on the right side i could still draw relatively fast.

rodensouth
January 6, 2012, 11:15 PM
I hadn't even thought about DOG carry!:cool:

X-Rap
January 6, 2012, 11:32 PM
I had my gloves and toilet paper in my dogs pack once, she loved the water and we were hiking over some slickrock that had some pot holes and you can guess what happened!:banghead:
Spent a weekend cutting up my shorts. From then on I used the packs mostly for the dogs food and things that could get wet. Wouldn't advise giving them a gun:D

CZguy
January 7, 2012, 12:30 AM
You should make your dog carry his own stuff and save you the effort. They make some good side saddles for dogs.

My dog has always carried an air-light. :D

T2K
January 7, 2012, 04:33 AM
This thread really made me think.

I guess the main lesson is what others have stated: It's not that the chances or odds of something happening are higher, it's that if something does happen the stakes are higher since you are in a remote area.

CZguy
January 7, 2012, 04:54 AM
Wouldn't advise giving them a gun

That really depends on their level of training, and how responsible they are.

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