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Thread: OC in Yellowstone and surrounding parks

  1. #1
    Regular Member Haoleb's Avatar
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    OC in Yellowstone and surrounding parks

    So later this spring I'll be traveling across the country from west to east and stopping off visiting all the stuff along the way, This will include yellowstone, possibly glacier national park, and whatever else around the area that seems stop worthy. My girlfriend and I will be armed with bearspray as a primary means of protection but I have also acquired a Ruger super redhawk 7-1/2" 44mag and a guides choice chest holster to put it in. I plan on OC this setup anytime we are going into the woods on hiking trails and around the campsites. I have not OC before, and this setup will not exactly be inconspicuous. I have done a bit of research on the subject. I know the laws regarding it and that its perfectly legal. Just wondering what the experiences have been of folks here who have done it.

    Obviously I do not want to be walking around attracting all kinds of attention. I'd rather just CC my 1911 but a 1911 is not going to cut the mustard if I need to depend on it for something like a grizzly. Frankly I do not really care if some granola cruncher from CA gets offended If I am carrying, Its my right and I'll be damned if I am going to go without the peace of mind so as not to offend someone. But I am just curious what to expect. I will be there in early to mid may so I do not expect that there will be a TON of people yet.

    Thanks for any insight!

  2. #2
    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haoleb View Post
    So later this spring
    If you go in 'early' spring you won't need to carry out in the woods. This was Yellowstone in February a few years back - only way in the park was on snowmobile. In my humble opinion Bears probably wouldn't be out for several more months....
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Bears are smart, they sleep through the month of February......wish I could.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Haoleb's Avatar
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    Well I expect to be there in mid to late may, probably just about the time they will all be out and hungry!

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    We've open carried in Yellowstone before...August 2013 was the most recent. No issues except they don't allow guns in any of the concession buildings.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    NPS (Nat'l Park Service) honors to the laws of the state in which the park land exisits.

    This was accomplished by an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fed...w_take_ef.html

    As noted, you may not carry in a building where park employees normally work. Signage must be predominately displayed to that effect.
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    NPS (Nat'l Park Service) honors to the laws of the state in which the park land exisits.

    This was accomplished by an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fed...w_take_ef.html

    As noted, you may not carry in a building where park employees normally work. Signage must be predominately displayed to that effect.
    Yes, but the Army Core of Engineers seem not to know their place. At some point the federal government will understand that federal property is the peoples' property. Yet, until the corrupt federal courts change their tune, you ain't got no rights.

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    Regular Member MatieA's Avatar
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    According to Game and Fish in Cheyenne; spraying a Grizzly with Bear spray is just going to delay his meal by a few seconds. The person I was talking to believes that anyone wandering into bear country should be armed with anything EXCEPT bear spray.

    I have not been up in the Yellowstone area in a few years, but have not had an issues with open carry in that part of Wyoming.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member Haoleb's Avatar
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    Well I will be OC for certain when I can. I realize I will probably have to deal with rangers and likely get some comments or looks and if it offends anyone so be it. The consequences of discharging a firearm in the park and possibly killing a protected animal are something to really think about but i would rather have to deal with that than end up with my girlfriend or myself dead or badly maimed.

    I will report back how it goes!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haoleb View Post
    Well I will be OC for certain when I can. I realize I will probably have to deal with rangers and likely get some comments or looks and if it offends anyone so be it. The consequences of discharging a firearm in the park and possibly killing a protected animal are something to really think about but i would rather have to deal with that than end up with my girlfriend or myself dead or badly maimed.

    I will report back how it goes!
    Extremely unlikely that you will have any problem with the NPS rangers. They are quite well informed as to the law. Have not been able to find any instances where visitors were treated improperly as a result of legal carry of a gun.

    Enjoy your trip.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Haoleb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Extremely unlikely that you will have any problem with the NPS rangers. They are quite well informed as to the law. Have not been able to find any instances where visitors were treated improperly as a result of legal carry of a gun.

    Enjoy your trip.
    I hope not, but I had turned up an account or two of folks who have open carried in the park and were confronted by rangers who were told there was a "guy with a gun" and needed to follow up. I have not however read any negative encounters with park rangers. Being that I will be carrying a large handgun in a chest holster it would be much harder not to notice I am carrying I think than someone with a black handgun in say a black belt holster. In any case I plan to remain positive about it and if anyone asks hopefully enlighten them as to the reasons why I am carrying and the laws that support my decision.
    Last edited by Haoleb; 02-06-2014 at 01:11 AM.

  12. #12
    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    I had no issue with the actual, and volunteer rangers the other day at Mt. Rainier Nat Park.
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    In Yellowstone the chances are you'll have a rough interaction with a buffalo than a bear. Have gone to Yellowstone 3 years in a row and last year was the first time we saw grizzlies. One just off the road to the NE entrance (Cooke City), just north of Trout Lake, about 100 yards away across a river. Rootin' around for dinner. Then we saw an old one on Dunraven Pass walking along the shoulder. He basically ignored us. Buffalo, however, like to charge right up to your door. Or walk down the middle of the road. If you go to Old Faithful at night, the parking lot might have some scrounging wolves. The most recent attacks in Yellowstone have happened within a month of our visit, one only 2 days after we visited.

    Glacier is where the bears are. Last year the campsite next to us had a bear poke his head into the tent. The guy yelled and the bear went away. We think there might have been another bear meandering through the site one night, but it was hard to tell with the rain and wind.

    Bear spray works if you spray the ground in front of the bear, not at the bear itself. At least that's what I've read from various outdoor forums/articles.

    Despite the favorable (relatively speaking) gun laws in Wyoming and Montana, I've seen very few people OC. I don't think anyone will notice or care. They're too busy taking pictures of a hot spring with their iPad.

    Oh, and fill up with gas outside the park. It was about 40 cents more a gallon inside the park.

  14. #14
    Regular Member B. Reddy's Avatar
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    Could be fair amount of roads still snowed in even in May.....

    H-

    Hope your trip is every bit of awesome.

    You might find a surprising amount of mountain roads still closed by winter snow in May, particularly in Glacier and Yellowstone.

    Some other faves that should be snow-free by then: Devil's Tower, Custer Battlefield, Mount Rushmore, and The Badlands.

    By the time you get to Minn/Wisc. you may want to switch from BEAR spray to BUG spray!

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    If you plan on avoiding the tolls, traffic and trauma of Chicago, just zoom down the middle of Illinois and turn East at Indianapolis.

    Happy Trails.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Haoleb's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, I know going to the parks that time of year it will be really dependent on weather and how bad the winter is, I am hoping by the time may rolls around things are thawed out. As for gas, I will be driving a jeep TJ, so I will make sure to top her off in town. I finally was able to get my ruger super redhawk last week and wear it around in my chest holster. The damn thing is a cannon but in the holster it doesn't look too evil. Definitely looking forward to our trip, even if my girlfriend is pretty terrified of bear encounters. We will have done everything you can possibly do to prepare but that won't stop her from worrying about it.

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