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Thread: Weapons in the Woods

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    http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/dec...-in-the-woods/


    Weapons in the Woods
    By Jeremiah Knapp • November 19, 2009

    Guns are now legal in national parks. Are we any safer?

    In Georgia a serial killer stalked hikers in national forests. In a Tennessee campground, a mother and her two small children were mauled by a black bear. Two Virginia Tech students were found shot dead at their Jefferson National Forest campsite, their killers still at large.

    The outdoors is a dangerous place.

    But will a new law allowing firearms in national parks make us safer—or actually put us in greater danger?

    Last May, Congress passed newregulations to allow the carrying of firearms in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. The regulations were quietly added onto a credit card holder’s bill of rights and promptly signed by the President. Beginning on February 22,2010, your fellow campers in National Parks may be legally armed.

    The new regulations stipulate that National Parks will adhere to the firearms laws of the state in which they are located. In states of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, residents are allowed to carry concealed firearms if they have the proper permit. In some states, like Virginia and West Virginia, citizens are allowed to carry rifles, shotguns or handguns on their person without a permit as long as they are in plain view, a practice known as “open carry.”

    The U.S. Forest Service has followed state law when it comes to their firearms policy for decades. If you can legally carry a weapon in public in the state whose boundaries the National Forest is in, then you can legally carry it in the forest.

    Do You Need a Gun?
    Even though it’s now legal to carry a firearm, does that mean you should? Those who choose to carry firearms into the woods are also choosing to carry a great responsibility with them—one that could ultimately backfire. Owning a gun dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an unintentional shooting or gun death.

    Statistically, you’re far more likely to be mugged on the street than on a trail. Your chance of being assaulted in a national park is one in 1 million. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, your average chance of being assaulted in the country at large is 3,100 times higher.

    What about those four-legged predators? The East Coast lacks the large carnivorous animals that inhabit Western states, like grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves. In the East, the only animal that’s competing with us for the top of the food chain is the black bear. Recent surges in bear populations, combined with humans moving deeper into their territory, have led to more urban encounters between bears and humans. But how dangerous is this elusive animal? In the last 100 years there have been only 56 documented fatal black bear attacks in the United States. In the bear-heavy Great Smoky Mountain National Park there were three incidents between bears and humans that involved injury in the past decade, making the chance of being injured by a bear there one in 15.5 million. You’re more likely to be stuck by lightning (one in 700,000).

    “Most experienced hikers don’t feel the need to carry a gun,” said Brian King, spokesman for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

    But no matter how small the possibility, how remote the chance, crime does happen and animals do attack, which is reason enough to carry a firearm according to gun rights advocates.

    “The right of self-defense does not disappear when the risk of attack declines below a certain likelihood,” said David Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute, a Colorado-based political think tank.

    People who choose to carry firearms to protect themselves step into a quagmire of legalities. For example, an A.T. thru-hiker would need to be permitted in the 14 states the trail passes through, as well as abiding by the individual ordinances of the towns and counties they would pass through. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, requiring separate permits within the same park.

    Laws regarding when you can use your weapon to protect yourself also change at the state line. What is self-defense in one state is often murder in another. If you kill or wound an animal out of the legal hunting season or without a license, you can end up in serious legal trouble.

    Spray Is Safer
    There are plenty of ways to protect yourself in the woods that don’t involve carrying a firearm. If you worry about black bears, carry bear spray, which is more effective than a gun, according to a study by Brigham Young University biologist Thomas Smith, who analyzed 20 years of bear attacks in Alaska. His findings: Bear spray will stop an attack 92 percent of the time, while firearms succeed only 67 percent of the time.

    In the Southeast, both Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks allow bear spray. Curiously, other non-lethal devices, such as pepper sprays and stun guns, will still be considered illegal weapons in National Parks even after the firearms laws change in February.

    Your best weapon in the woods is still your brain. Says King, “Keep your street smarts, be prepared both mentally and physically, and trust your gut instincts.” BRO

    http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/wp-...11/weapons.jpg
    I think there are errors in that gun law chart; at the very least it's incomplete, as it says nothing about Natl. Forests.

    The site allows comments.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Owning a gun dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an unintentional shooting or gun death.
    Absolute bollocks.

    No more than owning a car dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an accident or owning a knife dramatically raises your risk of being stabbed.

    What complete and utter buffoonery.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Owning a gun dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an unintentional shooting or gun death.
    Absolute bollocks.

    No more than owning a car dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an accident or owning a knife dramatically raises your risk of being stabbed.

    What complete and utter buffoonery.
    Comment on it. The site allows it. Also, you may be able to contact the editor via email, I haven't checked yet.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I'd rather not shoot a bear if Im not actually hunting so I'll still take bear spray, but a handgun will be my ultimate backup. It's still the 2 legged predators I'm most concerned with anyhow.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    What about those four-legged predators? The East Coast lacks the large carnivorous animals that inhabit Western states, like grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves.
    There are lots of reported sightings of cougars in the east. Several years ago, while I was on a Cass Railroad excursion, one of the train crew came back from a short walk in the woods at the top of the mountain and was very excited, saying he had just seen one.

    They are certainly rare around these parts, but that doesn't make you any less dead if you happen across a hungry one... well, if it happens across you.

    TFred

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    I have heard mountain lions are slowly reappearing in the East. Joe Paterno must be pleased.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    We have had dozens of Mountain Lion/Eastern Cougar sightings in NC, including several photographs published on the Net and in local papers of both live and dead Eastern Cougars taken in NC.

    For instance, the owner of this website is an amateur outdoors photographer, and a Registered Nurse, and has posted a picture of an Eastern Cougar in the wild, taken in Western NC:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Beauty-a...North-Carolina


    But the NC DNR, and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service all adamantly deny there are ANY cougars alive in NC at this time...

    Who are you gonna believe--the Government, or your own eyes?...

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Of course there are cougars in our area. They tend to move when their habitat gets scarce from new construction. They're even getting closer to urban areas... http://www.urbancougar.com/
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    "If you kill or wound an animal out of the legal hunting season or without a license, you can end up in serious legal trouble."

    Oh yeah... If you break out this article and try to reason with the animal while it's ripping your esophagus out, during hunting season or not, you could end up in serioustrouble... like dead.

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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Of course there are cougars in our area. They tend to move when their habitat gets scarce from new construction. They're even getting closer to urban areas... http://www.urbancougar.com/
    Two years ago when the Dismal Swamp was on fire, my oldest daughter and I saw a full grown cougar 10 feet away from us as we were standing on the balcony of our apartment!

    I reported it to the Suffolk Police and to Animal Control. AC told me that thereare at least half-a-dozen cougar sightings in Suffolk each year!
    Bitka Sve Reava!
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    Last year when I went for a short hike in the national forest near VT I came across several animals. A few were just whitetail but if they were there then so were others...I had the means to protect myself from dangerous critters, of both the two and four legged kind.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I have to hunt hard to see Coyotes and they are everywhere. It takes even more to get a good shot at a Bobcat even though I have a fair number that are resident.

    I haven't seen any Cougars but there are not that many and they are very secretive animals.

    DGIF needs to acknowledge that even though they have no proof.

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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Of course there are cougars in our area. They tend to move when their habitat gets scarce from new construction. They're even getting closer to urban areas... http://www.urbancougar.com/
    HAHAHa! You got me on that one Mike!
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    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    I have heard mountain lions are slowly reappearing in the East. Joe Paterno must be pleased.
    My roommate saw 2 mountain lions in upstate New York in 2 days. There are plenty of them in Northern New England as well. In Maine, I am more wary of running into a moose than a black bear. Moose tend to be a little more ornery. I also know of people who have seen wolves up north that 'aren't supposed to be there'. Not to mention, I once ran into a pack of about 40 coyotes in a clearing as I was coming off a mountain in Northern Maine after a day of bird hunting. That raised the hair on my neck a little bit.

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    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    A while ago I took a friend and her son for a hike in the woods. My dog suddenly locked on the trail from whence we came, full alert, hackles up, teeth bared and growling. Behavior I had never seen before. I got to him and took his collar and about 2 seconds later around the bend come two mexican fellas and they were armed to the teeth. Two rifles each, two pistols and too much ammo for hunting (not to mention that hunting season was a long way off). They stopped when they saw the dog and slowly backed up and left, but I was very afraid myself (unarmed) and left also.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    nuc65 wrote:
    A while ago I took a friend and her son for a hike in the woods. My dog suddenly locked on the trail from whence we came, full alert, hackles up, teeth bared and growling. Behavior I had never seen before. I got to him and took his collar and about 2 seconds later around the bend come two mexican fellas and they were armed to the teeth. Two rifles each, two pistols and too much ammo for hunting (not to mention that hunting season was a long way off). They stopped when they saw the dog and slowly backed up and left, but I was very afraid myself (unarmed) and left also.
    You hit part of it there.
    Cougasr are in Va but to be honest, aren't much of a threat to adults. Especially in the small numbers here.

    Black bears are worth avoiding. I spend a lot of time with them and never have problems..but have a shoot policy under certain conditions. Grizzly's charge all the time (there are none in Va). 80% are bluffs.
    Black bears hardly ever bluff. If the charge, they mean it. BUT...they hardly ever charge, they run away.

    Ferrel dogs are a big problem in some areas. If they pack, they are as dangerous as anything in the woods. They are what I consider threat number 2.

    Threat number one are meth labs and pot plots. These fellows generally have no sense of humor and 911 is a long away even if the cell phone works. In my part of the state, that's doubtful.

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    peter nap wrote:
    nuc65 wrote:
    A while ago I took a friend and her son for a hike in the woods.* My dog suddenly locked on the trail from whence we came, full alert, hackles up, teeth bared and growling.* Behavior I had never seen before.* I got to him and took his collar and about 2 seconds later around the bend come two mexican fellas and they were armed to the teeth.* Two rifles each, two pistols and too much ammo for hunting (not to mention that hunting season was a long way off).* They stopped when they saw the dog and slowly backed up and left, but I was very afraid myself (unarmed) and left also.*
    You hit part of it there.
    Cougasr are in Va but to be honest, aren't much of a threat to adults. Especially in the small numbers here.

    Black bears are worth avoiding. I spend a lot of time with them and never have problems..but have a shoot policy under certain conditions. Grizzly's charge all the time (there are none in Va). 80% are bluffs.
    Black bears hardly ever bluff. If the charge, they mean it. BUT...they hardly ever charge, they run away.

    Ferrel dogs are a big problem in some areas. If they pack, they are as dangerous as anything in the woods. They are what I consider threat number 2.

    Threat number one are meth labs and pot plots. These fellows generally have no sense of humor and 911 is a long away even if the cell phone works. In my part of the state, that's doubtful.
    Peter, I would not write off the cougar so lightly. They are fully capable of jumping and killing an adult male and do so from time to time where they are more common. The ONLY reason they are not a real issue here at this time is their numbers are so low right now that there is no food pressure on them and encounters with people are minimal.

    You are right about Black bear, they are generally timid in most encounters, but if they charge they will do serious damage.

    I also agree that two legged animals are the most dangerous and encounters with strangers in the woods should be treated accordingly.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

  18. #18
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    nuc65 wrote:
    A while ago I took a friend and her son for a hike in the woods. My dog suddenly locked on the trail from whence we came, full alert, hackles up, teeth bared and growling. Behavior I had never seen before. I got to him and took his collar and about 2 seconds later around the bend come two mexican fellas and they were armed to the teeth. Two rifles each, two pistols and too much ammo for hunting (not to mention that hunting season was a long way off). They stopped when they saw the dog and slowly backed up and left, but I was very afraid myself (unarmed) and left also.
    You hit part of it there.
    Cougasr are in Va but to be honest, aren't much of a threat to adults. Especially in the small numbers here.

    Black bears are worth avoiding. I spend a lot of time with them and never have problems..but have a shoot policy under certain conditions. Grizzly's charge all the time (there are none in Va). 80% are bluffs.
    Black bears hardly ever bluff. If the charge, they mean it. BUT...they hardly ever charge, they run away.

    Ferrel dogs are a big problem in some areas. If they pack, they are as dangerous as anything in the woods. They are what I consider threat number 2.

    Threat number one are meth labs and pot plots. These fellows generally have no sense of humor and 911 is a long away even if the cell phone works. In my part of the state, that's doubtful.
    Peter, I would not write off the cougar so lightly. They are fully capable of jumping and killing an adult male and do so from time to time where they are more common. The ONLY reason they are not a real issue here at this time is their numbers are so low right now that there is no food pressure on them and encounters with people are minimal.

    You are right about Black bear, they are generally timid in most encounters, but if they charge they will do serious damage.

    I also agree that two legged animals are the most dangerous and encounters with strangers in the woods should be treated accordingly.

    Regards
    I'll have to take your word for it. I've gotten clawed and bitten by a lot of our timid woodland friends including having to take the 21 shot Rabies series long, long ago...But the closest thing to a Cougar's size was an Ape at a Hoochie show I wrestled when I was 17. Got my butt whipped and my arm bit and had to drink a six pack to kill the pain

    That was before I got refined!

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    Regular Member AtackDuck's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    wylde007 wrote:
    Owning a gun dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an unintentional shooting or gun death.
    Absolute bollocks.

    No more than owning a car dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an accident or owning a knife dramatically raises your risk of being stabbed.

    What complete and utter buffoonery.
    Comment on it. The site allows it. Also, you may be able to contact the editor via email, I haven't checked yet.
    I think he may actually be correct. Just not in the way he means. If I am carrying at anytime and need to shoot in self defense, it will be "unintentional" and may very well result in a death.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Owning a gun dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an unintentional shooting or gun death.
    Absolute bollocks.

    No more than owning a car dramatically raises your risk of being involved in an accident or owning a knife dramatically raises your risk of being stabbed.

    What complete and utter buffoonery.
    I too have to disagree with this comment from the article. If he had said the PRESENCE of a gun increases your chances of being shot, that would be different. As we all know, unless there is a gun present, nobody is going to get shot.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    snip.....
    timid woodland friends including having to take the 21 shot Rabies series long, long ago...
    Been there too - Semple Method 14 shot anti-rabies, three inch needle in the abdomen, 10% mortality from the series, 50% mortality if needed a second time.

    Fortunately, new serums have been developed.

    Never found out if I was a carrier or not.

    Yata hey
    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.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    snip.....
    timid woodland friends including having to take the 21 shot Rabies series long, long ago...
    Been there too - Semple Method 14 shot anti-rabies, three inch needle in the abdomen, 10% mortality from the series, 50% mortality if needed a second time.

    Fortunately, new serums have been developed.

    Never found out if I was a carrier or not.

    Yata hey
    I got 2 a day for 7 days and one a day for another 7 days. The stuff was as thick as cold honey.

    I was sick for 6 months from that.
    A fox bit me in the knee while I was saving Boy Scouts (according to the newspaper)


  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    Grapeshot wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    snip.....
    timid woodland friends including having to take the 21 shot Rabies series long, long ago...
    Been there too - Semple Method 14 shot anti-rabies, three inch needle in the abdomen, 10% mortality from the series, 50% mortality if needed a second time.

    Fortunately, new serums have been developed.

    Never found out if I was a carrier or not.

    Yata hey
    I got 2 a day for 7 days and one a day for another 7 days. The stuff was as thick as cold honey.

    I was sick for 6 months from that.
    A fox bit me in the knee while I was saving Boy Scouts (according to the newspaper)
    Air Force flew the serum in from somewhere.

    One per day for 14 days - needle about the size of wooden pencil lead - burned like hell.

    Mom bribed me with a new bike after the doctor had to pull me out from under his huge sofa on the second day. Was good deal.

    Yata hey
    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.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    ODA 226 wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Of course there are cougars in our area. They tend to move when their habitat gets scarce from new construction. They're even getting closer to urban areas... http://www.urbancougar.com/
    HAHAHa! You got me on that one Mike!
    Craig, you're getting old, my Friend. That took you 40 minutes to figure out... Heheheh.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Here's a question no one has asked: Why the HELL would I want to keep my STREET smarts in the forest?
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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