Self Defense Awareness In The Bush

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by grey mouse, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    I'll try to not make this a long read. Two buddies and myself went for a semi-minimal camping trip on WMA land two weeks ago and had a slight issue. We were going to stay friday-sunday at a pay per day site (Site #3) on the creek. Lazy Squirrel and myself are trying to get our friend Pat into camping and eventually into bushcrafting. Pat is a former LEO and had his Walther PPQ 45 in his vehicle parked about fifty yards away from the site. I was carrying my Springfield Armory XDS 45. Pat's new GF (found this out once we were there) lived five minutes away and had come by to say hi and hang out.

    The site(s) are gated and locked. On several occasions (friday evening and saturday morning) we noticed a white truck going to one of the other campsites (Site #1). They had changed everything about the sites since our last visit a few years ago so we decided to check out the other vacant ones (saturday at lunch) and intending to not disturb the occupied one. As luck would have it the first site that we checked had a truck and campsite with enough stuff for four people. We stopped and were backing up when someone stepped out of the woods into the road between us and the site. He motioned for us to come down so we obliged. Long story short....greg (aka Lazy Squirrel) and I exchanged glances very shortly in the conversation that something was red flagging us both and we both understood the need to leave. The guy wanted us to get out of the truck and "hang out" for awhile. We were nice to him and made an excuse to get back. We stopped by site #2 on the way (look too deliverance like) and quickly discussed the eerie encounter.

    We returned to our site within twenty minutes of the encounter. We told pat and his GF what we had seen and thought. They dismissed our worries and kept talking. Five minutes later the weird guy from site #1 walks into camp looking for those "two boys" that were at his camp. I'm 47...umm boys ? He see's me but not greg (behind my 10x12 tarp) and starts a conversation about him (bad guy) hanging with us now. I lead him away to "show him the natural spring" in an effort to remove the threat from the camp, allow pat to retrieve his sidearm if necessary, and have the body closer to the disposal site if need be lol (actually controlling my backstop and checking the woods that he used to enter for additional bad guys). Pat and greg hear me tell him that we were leaving and they immediately break camp. He kept trying to get me to walk back into camp and was watching the guys break camp. He left back down to his site as we drove away.

    My gut feeling had told me to not be there at night and I always trust that feeling. I was happy that there was no "real" incident and believe strongly that if you can avoid a gunfight then do so. The guy had looked at each hammock location as though he was memorizing them. I apologize for the long read but this is the condensed version. Remember guys and gals...be safe in the woods. Not all predators have four legs. Be prepared.
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Scout

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    Always trust your instincts. Good thinking on your part to isolate the possible threat from the rest of your party.
     
  3. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Hind sight is always 20/20. I realize now that he never asked us about anything camping, fishing, or hunting (was located in the archery hunting area) related. Just how many of us, where we were located at, how long we were staying, etc. He tripped all four people's "crazy radar" at once. No one complained about staying longer once I said "we were actually just talking about leaving early due to the weather. I was just about to start breaking camp" lol.
     
  4. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Interesting point about the hammocks. One thing about them to me, you are pretty exposed to bears, and not easy to lay your long gun (or pistol) next to you as you slept. With people issues, you are even more exposed. Very hard to respond to something or resist an assault while in a hammock compared to being on the ground or in a tent that they cant tell exactly where you are.
     
  5. Anthonysaudiojournal

    Anthonysaudiojournal Scout

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    I had a wierd and creepy incident years ago when my girls were young while out looking for a geocache.we drove not too far from the house and found a narrow dirt road. We turned down the road into a steep valley where it leveled out to a pretty shaded grove of oaks. After hiking about a half mile off trail cross country following the heading to the geocache we stumbled upon a unique rock outcrop and a massive sprawling oak, must have been 1,000 years old by the looks of it.

    After finding the geocache we headed back a different route. I noticed strange water lines and abandoned containers scattered about before motion caught my eye through the trees. At first one guy stepped out of the shadows and stopped to stare at us. We stopped too and stared at eachother. Then another guy popped out behind us about 50 feet away. I grabbed my girls by the hand and we walked quickly in the direction of my truck. They kept their distance but followed us until we reached the truck. When we got there I noticed my truck was blocked in by their old beat up car that wasnt their when we parked. We got it, locked the doors and I grabbed my handgun and set it in my lap covering it with my hat. As I began to back up the only way I could they began approaching the truck. Thank God I had a big 4x4 and just punched the throttle four-bying over a dirt berm and headed cross country like the dukes of hazzard before getting back on the dirt road and out of the valley to the highway my heart pounding.

    When I got home I called the Sheriff and gave them a detailed account of our encounter and their license plate. I dont know why they were there, probably a marijuana grow or a clandestine meth lab that we stumbled on. I am sure glad I had the gun and a well equipped 4x4. Because thinking what could have happened gives me the chills.

    I dont carry my gun on hikes due to the weight. I'm not worried aboit mountain lions, bears or other critters. The human ones worry me the most. On hikes near civilization I carry the gun.
     
  6. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Very good point Malamute. Hammock security is a definite issue that concerns me while sleeping. I feel safer on the ground by a large margin. On the ground I can lay my M4 or 870 next to me under my sleeping bag (top quilt style) allowing for an easy prone transition if needed. If I'm in a hammock then I leave them both at home. Since I carry in the appendix position my XDS45 or XDSC40 fit comfortable enough with my Nitecore MH20 flashlight and knife in that location when sleeping in the hammock. My "awareness" is on point when I'm fully engulfed in a cocoon sleeping in the winter.
     
  7. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I used to not be a plastic gun fan, however, even I eventually came to realize the utility of a 15 shot gun that weighs less then a model 19 S&W. Ugly? heck yes. Handy, light weight and practical? Definitely. Its a huge step up from a 5 shot 38 (my former "I dont want to deal with carrying a heavy gun" gun) without much weight difference.
     
  8. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Sounds like good situational awareness on both stories. In my area there is not much risk from 4-legged critters. There are good perimeter alarms you can do for 2-legged critters, from simple to complex.
     
  9. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Thanks for sharing Anthony. It sounds like you trusted your gut feeling and made a good exit. That was probably the best thing to do considering your young ones.

    Years ago I was settling in to bank fish at night with my two kids (daughter 5 and son 4) and brother in law (Anthony). As always I brought two additional shotguns for positioning them one at each end. They were my daughter's 410 and my Mossberg 500B. We do that because of the large amount of water moccasins and gators at night. It was also located within about a mile of our local body dump site in the woods (another story). We had parked and taken the trail to the old boat ramp. I had commented on being lucky to be the only person parked in the parking lot which was very rare. Thirty minutes later I heard a vehicle pull onto the gravel and stop. I could tell that they had seen my truck from the bridge above and returned. It was almost dark at that point.

    A man walked up to us on the trail (four feet above us) holding a beer and a 38 revolver in his waist. He kept his left hand near that gun and never asked how the fishing was in the very short conversation that we had. He had inquired about our length of stay. As he attempted to walk behind my chair I stood up and accidentally flashed my stainless 40cal (Taurus PT101) by having my shirt catch on it in the 4 o'clock position. He immediately stopped, sized me up as I cleared my shirt, and turned and left without saying a word. My five year old daughter stepped towards her 410 when he stopped. My brother in law was the usual useless POS that he is and did nothing totally unaware of the situation. Ten minutes passed and something was knawing at me. That gut feeling.

    It was almost dark and the shooting range which I am a member (and well known) was only a half mile away on my way home. I told everyone to pack up and my daughter grabbed her shotgun. I made Anthony carry everything else and wait until I got to the truck to retrieve the Ak47. Sure enough as I was walking down the trail there was a truck parked directly on the trail facing us with two people inside. One I had met and the other was driving. They were drinking liquid courage with no radio or conversation going among them. It was apparent that if I exited the woods that I would have to walk within three feet of the truck doors. I exited the woods with the 16ga on point, announced my intentions, and demanded to see hands. They complied. BTW we didn't have local cops here at the time (three total in the county) and I did not carry a cell phone. Once Anthony and the kids were in the truck we left and went straight to the range. The truck followed us down the dead end dirt road. The range was closing and I found the nearest LEO that I knew (very few ranges back then), pointed the truck out, and off the pose went. They were not apprehended and I did not think to get the plate number in my haste.

    I was not a LEO at the time but have filled those shoes before and have performed my share of arrest. I was acting only as concerned citizen and father protecting my children. I do not recommend anyone to follow my actions. I describe them and my mistakes for the sake of educational purposes for others to learn. Things have changed here from the mayberry that it once was. Back then you called the sheriff at home (his number was listed). He once told me to "shoot the b@stard and he'll come pick up the body after he finishes eating supper" when I called concerning someone actively kicking in my back door when I arrived home:11:.

    Maybe later I'll tell you the one about setting my tent up twenty feet from a body (spoiler alert-my neighbor did it) or Pat being questioned about the body buried near his tree stand (on his property) :) (spoiler alert- his three neighbors did it)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  10. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Man I am right there next to you on this. I hate plastic toys but the xd's are growing on me. With my bum ticker the heavier stuff keeps me at home or within 100 yards of the vehicle. That and my wife has adopted my S&W Model 19 2" Connecticut State Police issue Snubbie (was new in the box). She also "adopted" my back-up Taurus M85 38spl as her new carry gun lol.
     
  11. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    heck of a story, mouse. meth cookers, i reckon, having to wait until y'all were gone to start their vile work. they think they are intimidating y'all out of their way, not understanding that you are far wiser than they are ...
     
  12. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    In Iowa our biggest threat in the woods are also meth cookers. At my super secret fishing spot I usually run into only locals who know of the good fishing, so I usually recognize their parked vehicles. Last year I went down there to go fishing and parked blocking the access road was a old rusted out panel van. This is unusual because there is a small parking area farther down into the timber where all the locals park to walk into the backwater fishing area. I parked and got out with my dog and was confronted by a middle aged man and woman who were clearly tweaking out on meth or some similar variety of drug. Warning lights flashed in my eyes as these two dirt bags eyed me up and down. The woman tried making awkward conversation with me while her companion shuffled off to my flank. I'm sure I had run into them right after a one pot cook and they were probably interested in any valuables I had. Anyway, I backed out of there and went home. Called the Sherriff and gave them a heads up about what was going on. I had my Ruger LCR on my hip IWB but never felt the need to go near it. Meth is a helluva drug, makes normal people do terrible things. Most of the robberies & burglaries around here are meth related.
     
  13. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Meth is a serious problem here. I found seven labs last year at work in vacant homes. A mobile home on my street exploded one night and a few blocks down another lab was busted. It's why I took a clandestine lab course for work. I utterly despise drug dealers, rapist, and child molesters. Unfortunately they like the woods also.

    Paul... you may know where I was talking about. The quintette boat ramp next to the muzzle loaders range (now a tactical range) on quintette road here in pace. The original post was at Pine Log WMA in Ebro south of Ponce de Leon. The guys at quintette probably weren't doing meth because 15-20 years ago it wasn't popular but they definitely had ill intentions.

    Make no mistake and have no delusions about your safety while aloft. My neighbor killed 17 people (not a mass shooting-some drug related) and buried or dumped almost all of the bodies in the woods. He was only caught because the last one was on federal land which got the feds involved. He was a nice enough dude (for a neighbor) but a real terror to some. You didn't want to meet him in the woods while he was disposing of a body. The link below is my neighbor who fed people to his dogs. It was the body (victim #16 I believe) that was located near our tent when we went camping one night. We did not discover it but rather heard of it a week later when authorities located it. I don't know why the body was buried. Normally they are fed to the gators there and it's known for a good place to drop a vehicle in the river if need be. That's not a joke. The "miscellaneous artifacts of the murder event" was the girls scalp in his refrigerator. There has been at least one book and tv show written about this guy because people love horror.

    Jonathan Huey Lawrence http://murderpedia.org/male.L/l/lawrence-jonathan.htm
     
  14. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for the stories, guys. These things are certainly scary, and are the sort of thing that have made me think more than once about setting up a trip wire around my tent.
     
  15. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Are there training resources for civilians to learn when we might be walking nearby/into a meth cooker lab area out in the woods, or is that kind of knowledge usually hard-won through personal experience or having a law enforcement background?
     
  16. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I know someone in the area that might be able to help.

    They have a private security firm, and among other things, they offer training.

    I'm not sure that they have a specific course for this, but they might be able to make some training for you on this topic.

    Shoot me a PM if you want more info.
     
  17. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    I was a LEO for a short time, so I had limited training on this but what I know:
    Meth can be cooked with in 2 liter pop bottle using the lithium from batteries (like D Cell), pseudoephedrine, and some other nasty chemicals, break/carburetor cleaner I think. The usual tell-tale is a 2 liter bottle with a grey-ish liquid in it with debris in the liquid. This is discarded after the cook. As you may guess, theses chemicals are probably not safe to handle. The cook itself can be done in a very short time 20ish minutes. That's what I'm guessing I ran into at my fishing spot.
     
  18. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    My wife and I had parked at a trailhead and were starting off on a hike one day, when we see 2 guys coming toward us, both wearing camo. One guy was giving me the stink-eye and the other guy was fooling with something behind his back. As we approached them I started getting the creeps. These guys were up to no good, and one was trying to intimidate me with his looks, and no telling what the other guy had behind him. I opened my jacket a bit so they could see my pistol on my belt. The guy that had been mad-dogging me quickly looked away and veered off the trail away from us, suddenly not interested in us at all. As we passed each other I turned and looked to see what the other guy had behind him. It was a big machete. I don't know what they were doing, maybe pot farmers or meth cookers. But seeing my pistol changed their game plan. I've read lately that there isn't a lot of meth cooking going on like there used to be, at least around here. It's much cheaper and easier to just bring it in from Mexico. And maybe the local dirt bags who used to cook some meth don't want to try and compete with the really bad asses. Sort of like "Breaking Bad". What most human predators are looking for is weak looking victims, who aren't paying attention, or if they are showing fear. That really turns them on. I have had a few encounters like this in my life and my policy is to look them straight in the eyes, keep a poker face, show no fear (even if I feel it), don't say anything to them, and keep moving. It helps that I'm big, ugly, and in decent shape. And I'm almost always armed, at least with a knife. My wife has learned to stay behind me and out of my way if we find ourselves in a creepy situation. A woman alone or a puny guy has a lot more to worry about than I do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  19. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Along with sights a sounds I've learned to be sensitive to the smells every where I go.
    Any strong chemical smell is a pretty good indicator something is not right especially in a residential neighborhood or in the woods .
    So far as people acting weird ,I've run into a few in my day both in an out of the woods . Having good personal communications pays off big time if ou know how to use it.
    Ham radio is the best .
    If you call in an emergency using any other means, it is not taken as seriously as a licensed ham radio operator . fact.
    The fact that people can hear and see you making ligidamate communications puts any one's nefarious plans on the back burner . predators are opportunists ,but like a surveillance camera most get nervous being recorded.
    I wish I had these modern phones when I was in Search and Rescue.
    Use your phone, take pictures, and send them to some one you trust.
     
  20. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    I'm an inspector by trade and enter a lot of vacant houses. Often there are renters or home owners that are the dealers. The course that I took was through AHIT and a quick look verifies that it may not be available any longer. One thing that I took from the course was the use of propane bottles to store chemicals causing corrosion at the female brass connector. Bad guys hide it like it's there for the BBQ grill. The two liter bottle trick is very common and usually hidden in a backpack similar to a child's school backpack. They can and will explode as is common. Also, be weary of a camouflaged five gallon bucket full of gas just sitting in the woods lol. My background is hard won as you put it and from my leo/military background and the fact that half of both my family and in laws are doing hard time for murder, drugs, etc. In fact six of the eight kids that I grew up with are either dead or doing life. Joining the corp and becoming a nuclear weapon security guard with mandatory drug tests twice a week with many randoms really helped me keep me in line. I'm no angel mind you but at least I can't stand to get a speeding ticket or take a Tylenol lol.
     
  21. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I'm in complete agreement about taking pics or video with your phone of anything flaky that happens. Getting the images or vid sent offsite is also important if/when possible, but just getting them gives you a big step up in being able to get whack jobs corralled later by the law.
     
  22. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    +1 To Malamute's comment
     
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  23. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Tracker

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    i've had a few encounters with dopeheads and just pinheads in general
    most everywhere i've ever been, including way way out in the sticks.
    if you haven't and get a chance to, read vincent bugliosi's book about
    the manson family and some of the remote places they hung out at.
    unfortunately, there's no place you can go no matter how remote to
    get away from pinhead idiots. i guess outer space would be it.
     
  24. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Its interesting reading threads such as this, and the last comment. Ive never seen the type people that's been described out in the mountains, nor heard of them from anyone I know (even LE), or the news, in any of the areas I hang out in. I think its likely its simply further out than they care to go, with no supplies/support, people to party with, and nothing to do when there if the mountains aren't what you want to be hanging around in. They don't blend in at all either. The dopers seem to hang around close to towns and people, though in other parts of the country, "out of town" may not be very far out in relative terms to where I'm at. Its a hour or more drive to the edges of places I tend to go, and can be another hour or more of driving to get to the trailheads of some places. Grizzlies are also part of the equation, I think it may deter some flakes.
     
  25. Pinebaron

    Pinebaron Curmudgeon Supporter

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    Situational awareness and preparation are to key ingredients to surviving a confrontation out in the boonies. Now that I am back in GA., I will have more time to enjoy the outdoors. I have held a concealed handgun permit in 3 states for over 25 years. I have been lucky enough to never have to use them, but I am sure that my sometimes loosely concealed firearm in the woods may have prevented an unfriendly confrontation. I am not an armed to the teeth kind of guy but when not in Federal Service, I usually have a pocket knife and one of my Tupperware Glocks.
     
  26. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    I don't think the ripstop nylon of a tent will actually stop a bear from ripping it up, lol. As for a gun, I hang my pistol holster from my ridgeline above me in my hammock. I can just reach up and pull it free if I need to.

    I don't know, I guess I've spent enough time in a hammock to be comfortable with my ability to to get up and out quickly. Conversely, I dislike tents because I can't easily see what's going on around me outside.

    Pros and cons to everything, I guess.
     
  27. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    Having some firepower in the tent while camping is a great application for lever action carbines. They can be laid under one side of a sleeping bag/bedroll with rounds in the magazine and an empty chamber. The gun is very safe in this condition, but can be mobilized very quickly if necessary. A good LED flashlight next to it and you can feel quite secure. My Rossi M92 Trapper in .45 Colt makes a great nighttime security system. It doesn't have all kinds of buttons , levers, high-capacity magazine, optical sights, etc. hanging off of it, like an M4. I can roll over on the M92 numerous times and not worry about popping the magazine out or otherwise negatively changing its condition of readiness.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  28. City Bushcrafter

    City Bushcrafter Hooah!

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    I've never tried it but I would think a chest pistol harness would work great in a hammock!

    AAGGeaRukmain.jpg
     
  29. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    I often read of spooky stories like this. One that caught my attention was one of a girl whod been followed to her site and in the middle of the night her tent poles were snapped, with her inside, and they started dragging her away. Another gentlemen had spotted them earlier and happen to come back and make sure they werent up to no good. Saved the girls life. But realized how easily they nabbed her, prewrapped for their convenience. Just drag her off.
     
  30. Avohei

    Avohei Supporter Supporter

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    creepy story in the OP!

    I'm paranoid so I have super thin black cordage that I wrap around my site with bells. Can't see them and loud enough to wake me up. Can also attach other traps like a flare trigger or... well other items to fend of people getting close. Better to prepare for what may not happen then to do nothing for what might happen in my eyes.
     
  31. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    We refer to the guy as "the serial killer in the woods" when we discuss him due to his demeanor lol.
     
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  32. perrymk

    perrymk Supporter Supporter

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    Take a photo and hit send.
    If you go missing law enforcement will likely check your phone transcripts.

    This is a tip I've shared with many. Unless someone is totally stoned out of their mind, they will know that you taking their photo makes them the last known contact and therefore a suspect. Most rational people don't want that.
     
  33. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I agree on taking and sending pictures or video, but I also think this is not good reasoning to expect rational responses. Ive seen it mentioned in regards to other aspects of self defense. If they were rational, you wouldn't be pointing a gun at them, or having to take their picture due to....irrational behavior. Relying on or expecting a rational response, or rational behavior, when they have already crossed the line away from rationality, is not productive, and likely to lead to other poor decisions on your part.

    Rational people don't charge at people with guns, screaming at them and trying to assault them, yet in LE it happens fairly regularly. Make a challenge, "Do/don't blah blah or I'll_____", then they totally don't comply. What do you do next? In many cases you may not legally be able to shoot them at that point, just for disregarding your demand. You may end up the one in trouble, a negative outcome. All of this is more complex then most people want to make it or believe it can be. "Have a gun. OK, now youre set". Well, not always. This is one of the reasons people are advised to take classes. Not how to shoot bad guys, but how to spot pre-attack clues and behavior, manage the entire situation, and conflict avoidance or management if possible, as well as knowing when NOT to shoot, and what to do afterwards if the worst happens. This is all far beyond the very limited info in the common, compulsory CCW classes. There are people that have in-depth knowledge of such things. Tom Givens, Craig Douglas, and others.
     
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  34. perrymk

    perrymk Supporter Supporter

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    I think we're using different definitions of rational. I'm referring to people capable of making choices and controlling behavior.
    Someone who has made a bad decision (attempt a robbery or harm) has still made a decision and can make other decisions (stop when there is resistance or evidence). I'm not saying they always will, but they can and often will.
    Someone who is stoned (drunk, whatever) may not even be aware of what they're doing and so not as likely or even capable of changing course with their actions.

    Or we can agree to disagree. I'm ok with that.
     
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  35. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    People don't have to be stoned or otherwise impaired to make really poor decisions, even if they know they are being filmed or whatever.

    I dont know that we necessarily disagree, my point was more to raise the awareness that believing people would or wouldn't do rational things bases on what we may do in their shoes, or using rational as a basis for dealing with them. Some people are just wired differently, and engaging in criminal activity is one way it manifests itself, and I believe an indicator that they aren't going to react rationally to other stimulus. Challenge some people with a gun in your hand, or, the legendary (and I believe totally over hyped/believed in) racking a pump shotgun, simply turns the "game on!" switch on for some people, or they are simply totally unimpressed with your threat for a variety of reasons, or no reason at all.

    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?15181-Verbal-aggression-at-gunpoint
     
  36. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Guide

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    Had a situation once in a fishing spot where something about the encounter caused me to have a "warning" feeling. It was only later that a friend and I realized that the other party was likely up to nothing good. Trust the intuition God gives you and be safe.
     
  37. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Intuition is a good thing to trust.

    Couple years ago, Buddy and I were out sightseeing and stopped at state park we'd been meaning to explore.
    https://mostateparks.com/park/grand-gulf-state-park

    Got out and walked around the observation areas and bumped into 2 guys driving a crappy car - beat up Lincoln MK7. They looked like they had either just finished burying a bodied or cooking meth. They were polite and said hello. I did the same.

    Buddy and I looked at each other and we both had the same question - you ready to leave? Yep. We both had the same intuition - let's get out of here.

    I was packing a Glock 19.


    Had intuition, or divine providence, save me from a flood. We were theme camping in Central Missouri. Stayed in a tree house on private 500 acre campground. We were right next to a creek. We were going to spend 4 nights camping there but on the 3rd night, the bugs & humidity were just annoying the heck out of me. I said - screw it, lets get a hotel.

    Packed up around 8pm and hit the road to find a hotel / motel. Next morning, I check my phone left in the truck and see I have 5 missed calls from the owner of the camp ground. Turns out not too long after we left - there was a flash flood that ran right through the exact area we were camped at.

    Edited to add a gratuitous plug for the private campground:
    http://crystalcreekranch.com/
    Don't miss out on the sheepherder's wagon...
    http://crystalcreekranch.com/all-portfolio-list/sheepherders-wagon/

    Not wilderness related, but I got trapped in Dubai for a week. Stayed at a crappy hotel and was hanging out at the pool on roof - 12/15th story. Met a couple Iranians. Looking at the short height of the walls around the rooftop, I decided I had enough of the pool for that day...
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  38. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    A few years ago I was solo camping at a wilderness spot where I had camped in the past. Every time I had been there before, I had never seen another soul.

    After I had set up my camp, I grabbed my .45-70 Marlin and took a short hike up the canyon. After an hour or so, I could see a dust cloud heading up the road toward my camp.

    By the time I reached my camp, two guys were loading up my gear into their truck and I saw a door open on my Jeep, indicating that they had been rooting around inside.

    I stepped from the brush to the road leading out and asked them what they thought they were doing. They actually said they had found all this 'stuff' laying around and thought it had been abandoned and that they were taking it all to the Sheriff to turn it in!

    I quietly urged them to put everything back where they found it, which they did, nervously looking back to the .45-70 in my hand. After they had everything sorta-kinda back the way I had left it they started to get into their truck to go.

    I asked them if they had any more of my gear in the cab or in their pockets. They answered no. Then you won't mind if I take a look, right?

    They said no to that also.

    Well, I said, I guess I'll look through your pockets after I shoot the both of you.

    Turns out they had emptied out my Jeep and half my pack into their pockets and the cab of the truck.

    I made it clear that I would tell the Sheriff what great citizens they were (after I had copied their ID and license plates). They took off and never came back... until about 2:00am.

    I was waiting for them, sitting against a tree across the road from my campsite (I knew they'd return). I fired a few shots and they hightailed it out of there pretty quick. The Sheriff did get notified and he made an arrest after finding a lot of stuff from burglaries a week or so later when he went to have a talk with the boys. Boys... both were in their 30s.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  39. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    Returning to your site after looking down the business end of a .45-70 is pretty stupid. They probably don't know their history; therefore didn't realize it was also a military cartridge that did its job well. Never seen one shot at night before. Glad you are ok.
     
  40. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    There's a big difference between you an me. Once they'd left the first time, I'd have left shortly thereafter. I see no reason to invite trouble.
     
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  41. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    The .45-70 really lights up the night, that's for certain! But just for a second. I imagine if you're on the receiving end, you only need to see it once.

    Just to be clear, I aimed toward them, not at them. No a55hats were injured during the making of this incident. There are still places in Nevada where justice can be served at the point of a gun. When I reported to the Sheriff, I did admit to what I'd done. He said that he wouldn't have missed. Sheriff Ken Jones had no patience for fools. Sadly, he's been retired for several years. The guy who replaced him isn't much for law enforcement as he is for personal promotion.

    Steve
     
  42. Eric Westbrook

    Eric Westbrook Supporter Supporter

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    Don't believe they were invited, much less the second time. If they were too stupid to realize how lucky they were after round 1, well they earned what ever comes next!
     
  43. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    So you would not have expected them to come back?
     
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  44. Eric Westbrook

    Eric Westbrook Supporter Supporter

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    Sure...So...Why should I leave. They knew what they were dealin with after the first visit, if they want to push their luck that's up to them. I have very little tolerance for people of that caliber and sure as hell wont be chased off by them. If there are others with me that I'm responsible for I'll sidestep a confrontation, but if its just me...not so much.
     
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  45. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    I'm not sure there's much point in trying to explain this, but I'll give it a go. When I see an attitude like this, I imagine someone who sees oncoming traffic speeding toward them and crosses anyway. He's struck by a car and his dying words are, "But I had the right of way." Being right is great. Being alive is better than being right. This also sets aside the legal obligations of some states.
     
  46. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    My wife and one of her girl friends are in the middle of a six day 70 mile backpacking trip in the Colorado high country. It took a lot of arm twisting but I convinced her to not post anything on Facebook until they got back home. I don't want some creepy friend of a friend on Facebook seeing two women alone in the wilderness and tracking them down.
     
  47. Eric Westbrook

    Eric Westbrook Supporter Supporter

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    Well that really has nothing in common with this...better stick to original scenario.

    We're talking about common dirt bag criminals that were busted in the act and knew they were going to be reported & ID'd. Knowing fully that the victim just might cause them serious trouble if they returned. I'd say they are the one's with a decision to make.
     
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  48. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I recommend having motion sensor lights.
    I bought several for around the house inside and out,roughly $9. each at harbor freight uses 4AA batteries, and lasts for months of regular use .
    These have great peripheral vision and good distance . they are put any where except the bedroom , they will even catch reflection on mirrors .
    Most every thing is intimidated by light coming on when they approach with in view. ,pretty nice to have if you needing to get up in the middle of the night .
    You can use velcro strap to tie to trees or what ever is handy .
    Strategically placed, any warm blooded intruder into the perimeter of camp is going to panic.

    Another asset is the drive way alert from HF good for 300 yards . the sending unit and receivers use 9 volt and AA batteries, and are very reliable .
    If you vehicle does not have a alarm system ,or even if it does , not being connected to the vehicle battery it can't be disarmed ,and it does not make noise, it merely transmits to the receiver and it alarms (2 levels ) Merely walking by with in several yards will trigger it .. infrared .
    Just a thought .
     
  49. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Once I perceive a possible threat I will avoid it if possible. I would have left or at least moved my location before the guys could have come back. I have considered the perimeter security ideas but the last thing that I need to do is scare a game warden at 2am. Besides, setting up a perimeter, thinking about people coming back, etc isn't what I'm there for. It sort of breaks the lack a daisical mood and prohibits further enjoyment of my "alone in the woods" feeling (which of course I'm not).

    Erik...I can see your point of view as I was once younger (not saying that you are) and more headstrong. Years of pulling perimeter security, waiting for engagement in the dark, crappy food, etc. have taught me to redefine what I consider to be in the "fun" category as I have gotten older. I go bushcrafting for the enjoyment, peace of mind, and good food so when someone breaks the mood then if it is prudent to avoid danger and have fun elsewhere then I tend to do so. I'm not saying that you should do something else but rather my experiences have taught me different. If someone breaks into my home and I chase them out (assuming they can run over 2,000 feet per second) then I would not leave. I would be there when they come back because my children live there. In the woods I would simply choose a different option since it was available.

    Crazy...Remember. A girls best friend on a hike is a lightweight 38. I hope that she took all of her "friends" hiking with her. Best of luck and a speedy return for your wife. May her trip be uneventful and enjoyable.

    Final point- I do not believe in a warning shot. If you do then so be it and we can agree to disagree. You don't want them to know the extent of your capabilities with a weapon (lever vs auto, magazine capacity, etc) and decide to come back with friends who are more heavily armed and perhaps better equipped. Also, they may know the area better than you.

    Lastly, I would like to thank those who have shared their experience and stories. It gives those who may have been fortunate enough to not have issues while afoot a chance to learn or think about personal safety while camping.
     
  50. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Guide

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    Old thread, but interesting to hear others' experiences.

    Some time ago, a friend and I were camping in National Forest campsites along a dead-end dirt road. A game warden came by, chatted a few minutes, and mentioned he was going to the end of the road to "evict" a camper who had been there longer than was legal. He mentioned that they didn't think the guy was hunting and that the guy's hours made no sense. He drove off, and I didn't see him again. That night, though, we were awakened by a vehicle that drove down the road and stopped just past the driveway to our site. I was in my hammock, and my buddy was in a tent a little ways off to the side. The vehicle sat there for a long minute or two, then drove on. We were sure it was the camper who must have come back after the game warden spoke with him. Maybe he thought we had something to do with the game warden asking him to leave? At any rate, a couple lessons learned were that a shoulder holster works well in a hammock, and you can see your surroundings better than in a tent. I would have loved to have some battery-operated motion-activated lights like @arleigh mentioned above, just to ruin the other fellow's night vision.

    Same buddy and I walked down some jetties late one holliday night. People usually fish there, but it was cold, windy, and the waves were large. Only one vehicle besides ours was in the oarking lot. The only other people we saw were three guys walking the toward us from the end of the jetties, carrying an ice chest. I asked if they had caught anything, and they looked at us like they didn't understand the question and said no. A vague warning clicked in my head, and after they walked past a few steps, one of them turned toward us and, in a half- challenging tone, asked what we were doing. I told him we were just looking at the water. He said their boat was pulled up at the end of the jetties, and he didn't want anything messed with in his boat. Defusing things made sense, especially since we weren't sure what was really going on. We told him we understood and wouldn't want our own boat messed with, either. He seemed to be put at ease, and the three walked away toward the parking lot with their ice chest.
    We then realized that these "fishermen" had no fishing poles, and any boat tied to the jetties would be beaten terribly against the rocks. The best explanation for all of that, in our minds, was that they were running drugs from an offshore boat and picked the middle of the night on Christmas as the most discrete time to do it. When we left, their truck was gone and so were they.
     

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