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Thread: open carry Q, please help

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    Alright so I just moved to Colorado 2 years ago. I have researched as much as I can about open carry laws, but I often get conflicting results or stuff that is left open to interpretation.

    Basically I am only interested in carrying while hiking and bow hunting just for personal protection reasons. (I have had multiple CLOSE encounters with mountain lions and bears.) It is one of those things where I would feel more comfortable having my sidearm and not needing vs. the opposite.

    Will I have any problems carrying in the woods for hiking/ hunting? No I don't have a CCW, but I'd like to get one. That will eliminate a lot of my concerns.

    And my other question is...
    I don't understand if my pistol needs to be in the open while hunting/hiking? I understand it that it is not considered concealed during these activities. Does that mean I can have it under my coat? This is why I think this...

    3) (a) A person who may lawfully possess a handgun may carry a handgun under the following circumstances without obtaining a permit and the handgun shall not be considered concealed:

    (I) The handgun is in the possession of a person who is in a private automobile or in some other private means of conveyance and who carries the handgun for a legal use, including self-defense; or

    (II) The handgun is in the possession of a person who is legally engaged in hunting activities within the state.

    (b) The provisions of this subsection (3) shall not be construed to authorize the carrying of a handgun in violation of the provisions of section 18-12-105 or 18-12-105.5.


    http://cbi.state.co.us/ic/statutes/18-12-204.htm


    Thank you so much for your help

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    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    Technically, I can see where you could interpret that as long as you're hunting you can carry concealed, but if I were you I would just keep it in the open if you don't have a CCW.

    I don't understand why you would want to conceal while hiking anyways? If a mountain lion jumps out in front of you, you want to be able to access your gun as quickly as possible.

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    I agree with Ian. Just get a holster and carry openly.

    As for the hiking thing, just remember that guns are a no-no until February of 2010 in national parks. However, national forests are ok for open carry. I'm still new to all this, but this is what I am led to understand in all that I have been reading (please correct me if I'm wrong).

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    I OC on the trails in and around Colorado Springs--in the summer, that is. Winter is obviously different. On the other hand, you don't encounter bears during the winter.

    But however you carry, you need to practice the motions necessary for drawing. Fumbling around trying to find thecorrect inner coat pocket while you're staring at a mountain lion is not my idea of a good time.

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    Techy wrote:
    Will I have any problems carrying in the woods for hiking/ hunting?
    Hi Tecky,

    Good question. I wish I could answer it. But I will share a personal story.

    I moved from Colorado to Montana a few years ago primarily because of an ever increasing loss of firearm freedom. For example, I’ve heard quite a few (first hand) stories about recreationalists who were hiking with a firearm being arrested by Game and Fish Officers from the Colorado Division of Wildlife and charged with hunting without a license (and in some cases, if the firearm was a pistol, also being charged with hunting with an inadequate caliber).

    I spoke to a Game and Fish Officer at a gun show in Denver, Colorado and specifically asked him about their practice of arresting people for hunting without a license while simply hiking with a firearm, including holstered handguns. He stated that the only burden of proof they need to convict you of hunting without a license is that the offender has the means to hunt. In other words, what this officer was telling me is that if you simply have a firearm, that constitutes having the means to hunt, and you are guilty of hunting without a license. Simple as that, according to this rouge Colorado Game and Fish Officer. He gave me his card and wrote the pertinent Colorado statute numbers down for me to look up later.

    According to the Colorado Revised Statues 33-6-107 (3),

    33-6-107. Licensing violations - penalties.

    (3) Except as otherwise provided in articles 1 to 6 of this title or by rule of the commission, any person, regardless of age, who hunts or takes wildlife in this state shall procure a proper and valid license therefore and shall have the valid license on his or her person when exercising the benefits it confers. A person who violates this subsection (3) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine and an assessment of license suspension points…

    And the word “hunt” is defined in C.R.S. 33-1-102 (25.5) as follows:

    33-1-102. Definitions.

    (25.5) "Hunt" means to pursue, attract, stalk, lie in wait for, or attempt to shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or take wildlife. "Hunt" does not include stalking, attracting, searching, or lying in wait for wildlife by an unarmed person solely for the purpose of watching or taking photographs of wildlife.

    So, according to Colorado statute, hunting is pursuing, stalking, or lying in wait for wildlife. And the text seems to imply, but doesn’t specifically state the hunter must be armed with a firearm.

    Could hiking in the woods while bearing arms be considered pursuing or stalking wildlife?

    I decided to waltz into the local wildlife office and ask them this exact question. To make a long story short, I was told in no uncertain terms that if I was caught in the National Forest with a gun “when game was around”[/i] I’d be immediately arrested. I was ordered to spread it by a thug with his hand on his holstered pistol, frisked for weapons, and told to leave their office immediatelyor I’d be arrested for trespass. By this point I was surrounded by 4 armed goons who were all slobbering at the prospect of taking me down. When I drove off I noticed that thye were filming me with a handheld video camcorder so they got my license plate number.

    Because of this POLICE STATE tyranny, and for many other reasons, in 2005, I decided to vote with my feet and moved out of Colorado to the much freer state of Montana.

    Augustin

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    Ye gods. Should've tried cha-chaing isntead of waltzing maybe?

    What do people carry for protection against wildlife? I'm often reminded of theguy who walked into a gun store and says he wants a gun for protection against bears. Theseller puts a .45 on the counter for him to try out. While he's testing the feel, theseller says, "You'll want to file off the front sight and keep it well oiled."

    The guys asks why and he responds, "So when the bear takes it away from you and shoves it up your @$$ it won't hurt as much."

    Seriously, though. From everything I've seen, pepper spray and air horns are more effective and have better tactical use than pretty much any handgun.

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    mahkagari wrote:
    Seriously, though. From everything I've seen, pepper spray and air horns are more effective and have better tactical use than pretty much any handgun.
    Some tests I've seen it takes as long as 30-45 seconds for the spray to take effect. IMO, pepper spray for a bear would be like handing him a salt shaker. It's just seasoning.

    When guys are bow hunting bear, there is usually a gun backup.

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    Augustin , It is funny you should bring that up. Back in the early 1970's it was my impression that to carry a firearm in the woods you had to at least have a small game license with you.


    I always wonder if that was true? It was no big deal at the time because I hunted small game. But even back then it really didn't make any sense to me. I mean,just because you are carrying a weapon does not mean you're hunting.

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    zach wrote:
    Some tests I've seen it takes as long as 30-45 seconds for the spray to take effect. IMO, pepper spray for a bear would be like handing him a salt shaker. It's just seasoning.

    When guys are bow hunting bear, there is usually a gun backup.
    They'd have more than a hangun for backup, I'd hope? I think anything less than a brain shot from a Desert Eagle would take longer than 30-45 seconds to get him to flinch.

    I carry both pepper spray and a sidearm while hiking backcountry, anyhow. Plus a big fat prayer that I don't need to attempt using either.

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    My friends dad (who is/was held in high regards throughout the community, know to be very honest etc) years ago shot and killed a charging black bear with a .22MAG revolver. Luck? Devine intervention? Hit the jackpot on 1 in a Million odds?
    Who knows, but like some people with Mace, I'm sure not all bears react to bear spray, but all bears will react when they lose a lot of blood.

    On a side note, I was pretty much told the same thing a few years ago about carrying a pistol in the woods. DOW officer said that I'd either need a CCW or a small game license to avoid charges.


    Michigan used to have DNR regs that stated you couldn't carry in any area inhabited by wildlife (isn't there SOME kind of wildlife everywhere?) But they have since changed it so it says as long as there is no attempt to take game.
    Rand Paul 2016

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    Yooper wrote:
    Who knows, but like some people with Mace, I'm sure not all bears react to bear spray, but all bears will react when they lose a lot of blood.
    They certainly do react. Unfortunately, that reaction seems to be that they go from "angry" to "a level of pissed not normally witnessed, or survivable, by man".

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    I've carried a pistol--and done target practice--in the Pike National Forest. I've seen other people shooting in the Forest. I've seenForest Rangers drive past people who were shooting--no reaction.

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    Ian wrote:
    Technically, I can see where you could interpret that as long as you're hunting you can carry concealed, but if I were you I would just keep it in the open if you don't have a CCW.

    I don't understand why you would want to conceal while hiking anyways? If a mountain lion jumps out in front of you, you want to be able to access your gun as quickly as possible.
    It isn't that I want to as much as not worrying about my coat covering or the like.

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    mahkagari wrote:
    Seriously, though. From everything I've seen, pepper spray and air horns are more effective and have better tactical use than pretty much any handgun.
    Sure pepper spray is an option, but I don't believe it to be as effective as my sidearm in my locale. I am not in Alaska with grizzly fears. I am in Colorado with predators easily silenced by my .357. I had 2 very nerve racking encounters last year. And would prefer the comfort of my sidearm.

    One reason I believe a sidearm more effective (in my circumstance) is one variable that troubles me. I can see it now. The one time I need to use my "spray" the animal in question, I will be at the wrong end of a 20mph wind and succeed in not only incapacitating myself, but seasoning myself as well.

    Besides mace doesn't work on people that are mental cases and/or on drugs. What about mental animals, or rabid maybe? I am not saying it doesn't work very well, but I prefer the alternative in my circumstances.

    I will also feel much more secure with my sidearm. To me, as well as most humans, that means a lot.

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    mahkagari wrote:
    zach wrote:
    Some tests I've seen it takes as long as 30-45 seconds for the spray to take effect.* IMO, pepper spray for a bear would be like handing him a salt shaker.* It's just seasoning.

    When guys are bow hunting bear, there is usually a gun backup.
    They'd have more than a hangun for backup, I'd hope? I think anything less than a brain shot from a Desert Eagle would take longer than 30-45 seconds to get him to flinch.
    LOL, seriously there are pistol calibers and bullet types that will make a bear think twice very quickly. Granted you have to be a man and a half to shoot some of them

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    Thanks so far guys, but does anyone have anything more concrete.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting answers, but it would be really cool to have something concrete.




    I don't know about the whole arrested for "hunting" think just because you have a sidearm. I am not calling anyone a liar, because I could see it happening. But what happened to the whole innocent till proven guilty thing. PROVE I was hunting. Really, if it can't be proven how can they arrest and charge someone.


    That would be like arresting and charging someone for a murder just because you knew they owned a gun. Just seems like entrapment or something illegal.

    Anyway, keep it going guys. I would really like to know. I have asked a couple officers and have got varying responses. No one seems to know for sure.

    Thanks in advance guys.

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    That's the problem. There IS nothing concrete.No one canconcretely tell you you'll never be arrested for spitting on the sidewalk. Proof has nothing to do with being arrested and charged. You might not be convicted without proof, but that doesn't mean you can't be arrested by a LEO having a bad day.

    The most concrete thing I can point you to is the DOW regs on their website in hunting brochures. Somewhere in there is a list of things of "evidence that you have hunted". Don't remember anything about evidence that you are hunting.

    Maybe the anecdotes are by Wildlife Rangers who wanted to posture and discourage "unsavory" activity. If you're hiking with poles in your hands, your pistol on your hip, a backpack, making noise on the trail versus stalking cross-country andtip-toeing behind trees wearing camo, it's not likely that anyone would think you are "hunting". That doesn't concretely mean a LEO won't charge you with it and risk a judge calling him a doofus because the LEO felt the need to teach you a lesson.

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    easystreet wrote:
    Augustin , It is funny you should bring that up. Back in the early 1970's it was my impression that to carry a firearm in the woods you had to at least have a small game license with you.
    I too have been told that ole' line of BS, inculding by good friends and also by Colorado Division of Wildlife officers. I won't bow down and kiss the toes of mammon like that. I DON'T NEEDNO stinkin' LICENSE TO PACK MY GUN OPENLY.

    Just where in the CRS, or wildlife regulations, or elsewheredoes it say one needs a small game license? It doesn't exist, to the best of my knowledge, and if it did it could certainly be used in a Title 42 Section 1983 lawsuit against the arresting officer, and his agency.

    AUGustin

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    All I can say is this..... I've carried everytime I've been in the mountains since I was a kid. Matter of fact our standard gear as kids was a gun on the hip (even though it was only my favorite .22 revolver) and a whistle on around my neck. These days I'll carry my 1911 and sometimes I'll keep my every day CCW gun (Kel Tec PF9) concealed as well.

    And over the years I've run into and spoken with several Rangers with no issue's what so ever. The subject has never even been brought up in those meetings in the mountains.

    The carrying while bow hunting thing could possibly be an issue. I don't bow hunt but I seem to remember reading something about not being able to carry a firearm while doing so? Something to do with possible cheating???? Not sure?

    What I would advise is to go into the main office of Colorado Wildlife and ask some questions about the legality of it all. Last time I was there getting my Elk licenseI was OCing and not a word was said to me. And there were no signs on the door prohibiting guns.

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    Went to the DOW office today in Montrose, CO. They said no problem what so ever on open carry anywhere around here. Except for the obvious stuff (bars, schools, etc). She didn't know about the whole "can't be considered concealed while hunting thing though"

    I am carrying though (openly) no worries

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    Techy wrote:
    Went to the DOW office today in Montrose, CO. They said no problem what so ever on open carry anywhere around here. Except for the obvious stuff (bars, schools, etc). She didn't know about the whole "can't be considered concealed while hunting thing though"

    I am carrying though (openly) no worries
    Sounds like the same response I received today when I called the main office in Denver. The ladyI spoke with was very helpful and actually sounded as if the idea of being arrested for carrying while hiking or camping for "intent" to hunt was a bit proposturous.

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    Ape wrote:
    The ladyI spoke with was very helpful and actually sounded as if the idea of being arrested for carrying while hiking or camping for "intent" to hunt was a bit proposturous.
    I'd love to hear that more from LEO's during inquires: "Um, we have better things to do than bust chops of people not breaking a law."

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    mahkagari wrote:
    Ape wrote:
    The ladyI spoke with was very helpful and actually sounded as if the idea of being arrested for carrying while hiking or camping for "intent" to hunt was a bit proposturous.
    I'd love to hear that more from LEO's during inquires: "Um, we have better things to do than bust chops of people not breaking a law."
    I actually have a few friends that are LEO's. And I can't wait for them to come over and see my new door mat that's supposed to be here in a couple of days!

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B00020O572

    I know they'll get a laugh out of it. Even though they all know it has a serious side to it coming from me!

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    New to the group here but thought I'd toss in my experience here. I recently took my daughter to Hunter Safety class and asked the DOW Warden this question as I always carry while hunting. His response for hunting was, if youopen carryyou are fine. If you do conceal, you need apermit.

    If you are not hunting, you can open carry and should not have any issues. There of course will be the occasional warden that's having a bad day/new/all around grumpy that could bust your chops but the law is on your side.

    On another note, if you are in a National Park they restricted any firearm of any kind but an Oklahoma Senator put a repeal of that restriction in one of the recent "Bail Out Bills". This was almost immediately "stayed" by a Federal Judge. However, I go to Yellowstone every yearand this year the "No Firearms" signs have been removed from the entrances.



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    denniso_sco wrote:

    On another note, if you are in a National Park they restricted any firearm of any kind but an Oklahoma Senator put a repeal of that restriction in one of the recent "Bail Out Bills". This was almost immediately "stayed" by a Federal Judge. However, I go to Yellowstone every yearand this year the "No Firearms" signs have been removed from the entrances.

    That's incorrect.....

    Pres. Bush changed the no weapons policy of the National Parks Service to allow concealed carry, as long as it was allowed by state law.
    The anti's sued, and a judge ruled that it had to have some kind of enviromental impact study done.

    Sen. Thune (I think), introduced an amendment to a credit card overhaul bill. The amendment passed, as did the entire bill by both houses of congress, and was signed by the President. This law goes much further than Pres. Bush's policy change. It forces the NPS to follow state law in how firearms are carried. Therefore, if OC is legal in the state, it will be legal in the National Park.

    HOWEVER, due to the bill not going into effect until Feb '10, there is still essentially a no gun policy in national parks until then.
    Rand Paul 2016

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