Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40

Thread: Don't need to carry while hiking?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    416

    Don't need to carry while hiking?

    I was recently hiking in Shenandoah National Park, approaching a magnificent overview with great rock formations, when I got close to a 4+ foot timber rattlesnake, spotted him from only a few feet away directly in my path. Luckily, the view did not distract me so much that I still spotted him. I was able to move away, I am very glad that I was able to observe this magnificent looking snake without damage to him or me.

    I was oc'ing at the time, there are some dangerous critters in our woods.

  2. #2
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Newport News, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,845
    Shooting that "magnificent creature" would have been a bad idea for many reasons...

    I'm glad you both came out of it intact. I can't imagine the Use of Force Policy in National Parks includes shooting venomous snakes. I know it sounds cliche', but its true... Snakes REALLY don't want to bite you because they're mean. They're just protecting their territory or their babies. Unless you're loaded with snakeshot, it would be pretty hard to dispatch that beast with JHP or ball ammo with just one or two shots.

    Snakes are best observed behind glass or from a distance. I'm glad you're not telling this story from a hospital bed after a near-death experience. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but it may be a good idea to load your first two rounds with snakeshot on your next hike in the woods. If you carry a BUG, maybe you want to load that with the snakeshot...

    Bravo Zulu on your reaction-time and having the 'guts' to NOT shoot that 'magnificent creature'. I'm not sure I wouldn't have unloaded on that beast... and incurred the wrath of the National Parks Service for lowering the population of Timber Rattlers by one snake.
    Last edited by MSC 45ACP; 05-10-2011 at 07:08 PM.
    "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)

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NoVa, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    471
    Us nova guys would unload on that thing like an old western movie.
    Don't do well with venemous wildlife.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 05-10-2011 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    623
    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    Us nova guys would unload on that thing like an old western movie.
    Don't do well with venemous wildlife.
    Please, speak only for yourself. Not all of us in NoVa are pansy city folk. Some of us actually know a thing or two about the outdoors.
    Alma 43:47 - "And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed...."
    Self defense isn't just a good idea, it's a commandment.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    970
    Quote Originally Posted by grylnsmn View Post
    Please, speak only for yourself. Not all of us in NoVa are pansy city folk. Some of us actually know a thing or two about the outdoors.
    I love the outdoors but snakes scare the s*** out of me. My dad got bit a few years back and wasn't able to walk for about a month.

  6. #6
    Regular Member pyite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    131
    Quote Originally Posted by hunter45 View Post
    I love the outdoors but snakes scare the s*** out of me. My dad got bit a few years back and wasn't able to walk for about a month.
    exactly...I love some wide open spaces, deep dark woods and everything in between but I do not like snakes. I was running along a path in Kentucky in my early teens and jumped over a downed tree. Right as I was about to land, I saw a big fat rattlesnake. I may have levitated.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    Shooting that "magnificent creature" would have been a bad idea for many reasons...

    I'm glad you both came out of it intact. I can't imagine the Use of Force Policy in National Parks includes shooting venomous snakes. I know it sounds cliche', but its true... Snakes REALLY don't want to bite you because they're mean. They're just protecting their territory or their babies. Unless you're loaded with snakeshot, it would be pretty hard to dispatch that beast with JHP or ball ammo with just one or two shots.

    Snakes are best observed behind glass or from a distance. I'm glad you're not telling this story from a hospital bed after a near-death experience. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but it may be a good idea to load your first two rounds with snakeshot on your next hike in the woods. If you carry a BUG, maybe you want to load that with the snakeshot...

    Bravo Zulu on your reaction-time and having the 'guts' to NOT shoot that 'magnificent creature'. I'm not sure I wouldn't have unloaded on that beast... and incurred the wrath of the National Parks Service for lowering the population of Timber Rattlers by one snake.
    Actually, the snake never moved or rattled, even with me four feet away or when I took pictures, he never even looked in my direction, just kept sunning himself, and I had no intention of shooting him. I never felt in danger, but if I hadn't seen him and stepped on him...I was wearing hiking boots and long pants, so who knows the result if he tried to bite me... I spoke later with a snake expert, who told me this snake is generally not dangerous unless you step on or very near them.

    In the unlikely circumstance that I had to shoot a bear or snake in the SNP, most of the time you are so far away from anyone that they will not hear the shot or be able to find you even if they did. But I would only do so if I felt in mortal danger. I guess a nearby hiker could report you or that they heard a shot.

    I do have a question though for anyone with experience with bears in Virginia, which I have not encountered. I understand from my reading that they are generally not agressive towards humans except if you get too close to a cub. Is it effective to fire a warning shot to scare off bears, such as if you encounter one near your camp at night?
    Last edited by Jonesy; 05-10-2011 at 11:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Loudoun County - Dulles Airport, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,848
    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    Us nova guys would unload on that thing like an old western movie.
    Don't do well with venemous wildlife.
    Even I can tell when Nova is bein sarcastic :-)
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  9. #9
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    King George, VA
    Posts
    1,384
    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    The most dangerous animals I've come across while out in the national forest were deer.
    Humans for me; bears second. I'm not much worried about the bears which is why I'm pretty comfortable carrying a 9mm when I hike.

    I can't really think of a single case in the mountains where it'd be necessary to shoot at a snake. In the second or two it would take to draw I could back up and go around. Moccasins maybe, but doubtful you'd run into one in the mountains.
    Last edited by t33j; 05-10-2011 at 11:54 PM.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  10. #10
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
    I do have a question though for anyone with experience with bears in Virginia, which I have not encountered. I understand from my reading that they are generally not agressive towards humans except if you get too close to a cub. Is it effective to fire a warning shot to scare off bears, such as if you encounter one near your camp at night?
    You'll probably never see one Jonsey. They don't really like people although mine will watch me on he tractor sometimes.
    Don't leave food out and you'll be OK.
    Attacks are extremely rare in Virginia.


  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    You'll probably never see one Jonsey. They don't really like people although mine will watch me on he tractor sometimes.
    Don't leave food out and you'll be OK.
    Attacks are extremely rare in Virginia.

    I was thinking of you when I wrote this question, I knew you would respond, thanks.

  12. #12
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
    I was thinking of you when I wrote this question, I knew you would respond, thanks.
    It is possible to walk up on a pair that's setting up housekeeping. This is the time of year for it. The problem isn't the bears being aggressive toward humans, it's the males thinking you're a cub. They will and do kill cubs and yearlings. Back off making a lot of human noise and make sure he sees you, not just some bushes shaking. This is the scene you want to avoid (Unless you're a photographer with very little sense)

  13. #13
    Regular Member PaulX608's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, United States
    Posts
    93
    Growing up around snakes, I've never really clearly understood people's outright fear of them. I'm really glad neither you nor the snake was injured from your brief encounter. I've caught a few timber rattlers in my time. They are magnificent creatures and VERY strong! They're an essential element in their ecosystem. I'd recommend caution and protective clothing rather than the snakeshot, though. I'm not sure I could kill an animal unless I was hunting it or it was trying to kill me. Not much point in killing the snake after it's bitten you, and you'll never shoot faster than it can strike. If it wasn't rattling, it likely wasn't very concerned with your presence at that moment. Timber rattlers aren't terribly aggressive, and you'd just about have to step on it to get struck unless it was provoked.

  14. #14
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    Growing up around snakes, I've never really clearly understood people's outright fear of them. I'm really glad neither you nor the snake was injured from your brief encounter. I've caught a few timber rattlers in my time. They are magnificent creatures and VERY strong! They're an essential element in their ecosystem. I'd recommend caution and protective clothing rather than the snakeshot, though. I'm not sure I could kill an animal unless I was hunting it or it was trying to kill me. Not much point in killing the snake after it's bitten you, and you'll never shoot faster than it can strike. If it wasn't rattling, it likely wasn't very concerned with your presence at that moment. Timber rattlers aren't terribly aggressive, and you'd just about have to step on it to get struck unless it was provoked.
    Some kind of primal fear Paul...or just genetic memories of Eve getting us kicked out of Eden
    I have to fess up that I don't care much for them either but don't kill them unless it's poisonous and near the house.
    A couple of weeks ago I came home to this and I picked him up and carried him to the woods. He chewed on me the whole way


  15. #15
    Regular Member PaulX608's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, United States
    Posts
    93
    After moving to the big city of Manassas up here in NoVa almost 15 years ago, I pulled a 6 or 7 foot Black Rat Snake out of my shed beside the little townhouse in which we lived at the time. My wife, a city girl, wanted nothing to do with it. My main concern was getting it out of my shed and down to the woods without hurting it. Once I caught it, it wrapped all around my arm and started squeezing and *ahem* urinating on me(common snake defense). As I walked across the street toward the nearest wooded area, the Central American lady across the street almost fainted! I got down to the tree line and held the critter up to look eye to eye with it and informed it that it wasn't going to eat me or scare me and it should let go so I could release it witout incident. It relaxed a bit and I was able to put it in a better home than my shed. I really find it difficult to hurt critters if I can avoid it. I was raised not to kill anything I wasn't gonna eat.

  16. #16
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    I got down to the tree line and held the critter up to look eye to eye with it and informed it that it wasn't going to eat me or scare me and it should let go so I could release it witout incident.
    That ain't exactly what I said to that thing Paul. I'd best not repeat it for the sake of the children.

  17. #17
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Virginia, Hampton Roads, NC 9 miles away
    Posts
    1,317
    Try brown recluse in your house. Those things are deadly also. I hate spiders, so small and you can not hear them coming at you. With a rattlesnake atlest you can hear it rattle. With a bear, well you can see that lol.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 05-11-2011 at 01:08 AM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

  18. #18
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulX608 View Post
    Growing up around snakes, I've never really clearly understood people's outright fear of them. I'm really glad neither you nor the snake was injured from your brief encounter. I've caught a few timber rattlers in my time. They are magnificent creatures and VERY strong! They're an essential element in their ecosystem. I'd recommend caution and protective clothing rather than the snakeshot, though. I'm not sure I could kill an animal unless I was hunting it or it was trying to kill me. Not much point in killing the snake after it's bitten you, and you'll never shoot faster than it can strike. If it wasn't rattling, it likely wasn't very concerned with your presence at that moment. Timber rattlers aren't terribly aggressive, and you'd just about have to step on it to get struck unless it was provoked.
    Actually, I much enjoyed observing the snake for a time after I saw him, he had magnificent yellow coloring with stripes. They don't scare me, but I am certainly wary and careful. Luckily, I am very observant when walking in the woods so I spotted him before I could get into trouble. I never even thought of harming the snake, I know they are an important part of the ecosystem. I have a nice picture I would upload, but it is 2.5mB too big.
    Last edited by Jonesy; 05-11-2011 at 01:12 AM.

  19. #19
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    www.ProactiveShooters.com, Richmond, Va., , USA
    Posts
    4,671
    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Frog legs.....it's what's for dinner!
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  20. #20
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Greene County
    Posts
    3,844
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
    Shenandoah National Park
    Timber rattlesnake.

    Wife saw her first "wild' snake the other day while walking her dog, it was a Timber rattler, all he wanted to do was flee into the tall grass.


    I've had to educated my kids about playing in tall grass, moving rock piles and sticks.
    Biggest concern is rabid skunks and racoons, had two rabid coons killed within a mile from our house within the last 2 weeks.



    While clearing a path to the lake behind our house I discovered what appeared to be a Bear den, haven't seen but one this yr and I think it's the guy living in that den as he was headed that way.

    While at another OCDO members house (Louisa) I/we noticed bear scat between his garage and house, but he hasn't seen one that i know of.
    Last edited by Marco; 05-11-2011 at 12:59 PM. Reason: add comments.

  21. #21
    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    on a rock in the james river
    Posts
    1,453

    Glad you didn't kill the snake....

    ....although they are tasty (ate one someone else killed once.)

    My work takes me through the woods and wetlands of central Virginia. Although not allergic, this is what scares me in the woods: humans
    bald-faced hornets
    paper wasps
    yellow jackets
    any rabid animal

    in about that order. Even though yellow jackets are small, a one-mile walk-out with 50 stings is difficult. Done it. Rather not do it again.

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat10k View Post
    ....although they are tasty (ate one someone else killed once.)

    My work takes me through the woods and wetlands of central Virginia. Although not allergic, this is what scares me in the woods: humans
    bald-faced hornets
    paper wasps
    yellow jackets
    any rabid animal

    in about that order. Even though yellow jackets are small, a one-mile walk-out with 50 stings is difficult. Done it. Rather not do it again.
    Excellent point Riverrat!

    I don't worry about Rabid animals much even though I have to kill at least one a year (and they're almost bulletproof in the tertiary stage) I had to take the treatment back when it was 24 shots in the stomach and I hear it's easier now.

    Hornets (Wasps, Etc) are another thing though. I've gotten into them before and enough stings will get enough poison in you to ruin your day.
    Like you said, no fun.

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,602
    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I don't worry about Rabid animals much even though I have to kill at least one a year (and they're almost bulletproof in the tertiary stage) I had to take the treatment back when it was 24 shots in the stomach and I hear it's easier now.
    Me too - it was the Semple method. Still have my empty vials.
    I remember it as 1 a day fro 2 weeks or 14 shots with a very big, very long needle.

    Mortality rate from the shots was disproportionally high. Was very happy when new method/vaccine was developed.
    http://www.tropicalmedandhygienejrnl...167-8/abstract
    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.

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,201
    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    You'll probably never see one Jonsey. They don't really like people although mine will watch me on he tractor sometimes.
    Don't leave food out and you'll be OK.
    Attacks are extremely rare in Virginia.

    The wifester and I saw one down in Roanoke just two weeks ago. We'd just got on I-81 southbound from Rt. 220A and the wifester yells "Hey! There's a bear!" Sure enough there was a full grown black bear standing on the side of the hill maybe 50 - 100 feet from the roadway just staring at the traffic. It was maybe 7:30 or 8 in the evening so there was still light out to not need headlights yet and the woods were right behind the bear about the same distance he was from the highway.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    13,580
    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Me too - it was the Semple method. Still have my empty vials.
    I remember it as 1 a day fro 2 weeks or 14 shots with a very big, very long needle.

    Mortality rate from the shots was disproportionally high. Was very happy when new method/vaccine was developed.
    http://www.tropicalmedandhygienejrnl...167-8/abstract
    You must have gotten bitten by a domestic animal Grape. Mine was 2 a day for 7 days and one a day for another 7...total 21 not 24
    A fox bit me but I deserved it

    i remember the mortality rate. If I had been allergic to chickens I'd have been toast. Even so, I was sick for months.
    Last edited by peter nap; 05-11-2011 at 04:30 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •