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Firearms In The Woods?


willyum
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This is not directly Geocaching related but most people who geocache also go camping and hiking, anyway......

 

I'm new to nature, I'm a city boy. I called the Bear Mountain staff the other day for info so I can start hiking and camping, they told me that they do have black bears and a few other potentially dangerous creatures.

Later, when I told my friends at work I laughed and said I should bring a gun with me thinking I was making a joke, come to find out that 5 out of the 9 campers present DO bring firearms with them.

 

I know New Yorkers are generally paranoid, but I work for FDNY and we are not exactly the scared type.

 

What do YOU do for safety in the woods? Firearms, bear-spray, a Bible.........?

And how would you feel if you knew that some of the people around you had guns?

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Well..........

 

I'm a LEO (law enforcement officer) in PA, so I am carrying about 99% of the time I'm out of the house, which includes GPS'ing.

 

I'm all for people carrying, as long as they have the proper permits, etc. And since this normally means carrying concealed, who would know if you were?

 

I've come across alot of bears (but never in bear season) and they al would rather head for the hills than be anywhere near you. Unless you come between a mother and her cubs you really aren't going to have a problem. Even then the mother and cubs will run to a tree and climb up it.

 

If you really are worried about bears or have bear problems in your neck of the woods, and decide to carry a firearm, you must carry one that will stop or turn a bear. A 9mm, .40cal, etc........will more than likely PO a bear. Hunters and fisherman who venture into the bear woods usually want a .44mag or better.

 

As for bear sprays, .....I have no first ahnd knowledge if they work or not.

 

You have more to worry about from the two-legged creatures than you do from the four-legged ones.

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In the northeast you are dealing with black bear, which are generally not agressive. I think there have been like fewer than 25 documented, fatal black bear attacks in the past 100 years in North America. You probably have a better chance of getting struck by a meteor than getting killed by a black bear.

 

The only other dangerous animals in the northeast are rattlesnakes and copperheads. A firearm won't help with these though, because if you see one early enough to break out your gun, you saw it early enough to walk around it. If you see it too late, the gun won't help.

 

<moderator mode on>

Anyway, this is a topic that is of interest to some geocachers, but not really a "getting started" issue, so I'm moving this to the proper forum.

</moderator mode>r

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willyum,

 

This topic comes up now and then so I would suggest using the forum search feature. I did a search for "firearm and carry" and came up with several threads.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=98483

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=108633

 

Simple search of "firearm" turns up this one:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=86507

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We don't have bears down here where I am at in Texas (there are a few, but only a small percentage of the population ever actually sees one, or says they do, I think they are full of it but thats off the point) but we do have Wild Hogs, Javalina, Snakes, Mountain Lions, and other critters that I don't like running into unarmed. We also have a lot of criminals and perverts. I have a Concealed Carry Liscence and I carry 100% of the time unless I go into a place where it isn't allowed. Generally I carry a small caliber like a .32 when I am shopping etc but when I go into the woods to Geocache or when I go to the lake to go fishing I will carry my .40 Glock. I think it is a good idea. Never know what/who you are going to run into when in the woods!

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I've been an outdoorsman for 28 years....

hunting

fishing

hiking

camping

offroading

& now geocaching.

 

More than once I've been in stuations where a side arm would be nice to have. ONLY once have I been in a situatiuon where I didn't have one...the first time. After that, carry it in plain sight and it's legal where I live, I don't go w/out one.

Now around home and urban/suburban....kinda rural geocaching I don't carry. Any other time....I'm a good boyscout...Always Prepared!

 

Matt

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Often you can distract a North American Black Bear by tossing marshmallows or Fig Newtons at them. If that doesn't work then play dead.

If it is a Brown or Grizzly bear, then it is best to play dead.

 

If it is a Black Bear, fight it with whatever means you have.

 

Most Grizzly or Brown bear attacks are defensive in nature, playing dead removes the reason for attacking.

 

Nearly all fatal Black Bear attacks were for food. Playing dead just tells them that it is time to settle down to dinner.

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My sidearm is always in the truck. If I don't feel safe at a location (cache), I don't get out. No sense making the situation worse. I plan never to use my sidearm unless I or someone else is attacked. ... I have taken my gun with me when there has been evidence of snakes logged previousily. Dem, I don't like.

 

:D

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For general hiking you dont need a gun. If your a city boy, as you state, then your really don't need a gun in the woods. This is because your more like to shoot a fellow geocacher, bushwacking througth the woods, then a bear. Animals are as scared of you as you are of them. So packing while geocaching just say NO.

cheers

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i will not carry a firearm of any kind. not ever.

 

if they ever start drafting middle aged ladies into the army, they can make me hold one, but they will not get me to fire it.

 

that said, i've felt threatened twice.

 

sometimes i question the sanity of being out in the middle of nowhere completely unarmed, but it's a conscious decision.

 

i have to trust. if for some reason i come to harm, that's it, i guess. you play the game, you take your chances.

 

when i die i want to die in a way consistent with the way i live, and that means no weapons.

 

i used to hike with friends who carried sidearms; i felt no safer, but also no worse. i am friendly with hunters and actually i feel SAFER when i know the hunters are around because i know i'm not alone. for the most part they're decent guys (well, you know, excepting the one drunken bozo you run into every once in a while) who will lend you a lighter or give you some spare water if you need it.

 

when i cache i sleep alone in my car in isolated places. the chances that someone will find me and attack me there are slim. and here's an ironic thing i count on: often when you come across people camping alone in remote places, they are carrying weapons.

 

i kind of count on people to assume i might be armed.

 

is this the weakest anti-gun diatribe you're ever read?

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What do YOU do for safety in the woods? Firearms, bear-spray, a Bible.........?

And how would you feel if you knew that some of the people around you had guns?

I always bring a leatherman with me while geocaching (or camping, or paddling, or hiking, or whatever in the outdoors). I bring a rifle into the woods with me while hunting, but that's not the question...

 

I know that some people going into the woods choose to bring firearms into the outdoors with them for protection, and as long as they abide by the laws in the area they are in, I have no problem with the guns or with the people carrying them.

 

jamie

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Although I'm a newbie to caching, I'm not new at camping, hiking, being in the woods.

 

I grew up around guns (I don't remember a summer as a child when my mother didn't shoot a rattlesnake next to the house), I can fire one with accuracy, but I don't carry. I think that if you carry, in addition to the necessary permits, you MUST educate yourself enough to fire the dadgum thing properly... I agree that if you are a "city boy," that may be the biggest issue... safety to others rather than a gun for safety.

 

As for wildlife, again, if you educate yourself on the proper identification & responses necessary, you shouldn't need one.

 

The one thing I would add is for the poster who said to distract a black bear by offering food... NEVER do that... it acclimates the bear to the taste of human food, and it makes them more likely to attack a human in the future... more likely to become a "rogue bear," willing to be aggressive for food... and in most national parks, once that happens the bear is destroyed... a little unfair since humans are the ones who caused the problem, IMHO...

 

Sorry for the little side soapbox... but in short, I don't feel the need to carry because I've educated myself in other ways!

 

Happy cachin'!

Lori V.

Team Villa5

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i will not carry a firearm of any kind. not ever.

 

if they ever start drafting middle aged ladies into the army, they can make me hold one, but they will not get me to fire it.

 

that said, i've felt threatened twice.

 

sometimes i question the sanity of being out in the middle of nowhere completely unarmed, but it's a conscious decision.

 

i have to trust. if for some reason i come to harm, that's it, i guess. you play the game, you take your chances.

 

when i die i want to die in a way consistent with the way i live, and that means no weapons.

 

i used to hike with friends who carried sidearms; i felt no safer, but also no worse. i am friendly with hunters and actually i feel SAFER when i know the hunters are around because i know i'm not alone.  for the most part they're decent guys (well, you know, excepting the one drunken bozo you run into every once in a while) who will lend you a lighter or give you some spare water if you need it.

 

when i cache i sleep alone in my car in isolated places. the chances that someone will find me and attack me there are slim. and here's an ironic thing i count on: often when you come across people camping alone in remote places, they are carrying weapons.

 

i kind of count on people to assume i might be armed.

 

is this the weakest anti-gun diatribe you're ever read?

Not at all, it's an example of a rare quality: integrity. That's why it seems like a weak argument, as most arguments are based upon cynical distortions that have little bearing on the arguer's actual behavior and values.

 

i kind of count on people to assume i might be armed.

 

For my part, I'll continue to help sustain the plausibility of that notion by being armed. :D

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I've been camping and hiking for around three decades. Most of the time, I've been in TX while doing so. Despite the wild-west image of my state, and despite the fact that I've often been alone in remote areas, I've never carried anything more potent than an air rifle (to shoot birds when I was a kid, not for protection) except on a couple of hunting trips with my dad. I've never felt threatened by man or beast, and never wished I had a firearm when I didn't. Criminals have little or no motivation to hang out in the middle of nowhere, and critters will leave you alone if you do the same to them.

 

I'm surprised to see a law enforcement officer wishing we were all packing. A well armed, well trained populace might be a deterrent, but based on what I've read, those who carry often end up shot by their own guns (or their friends/family do). No matter how sure you are of your skills, a bad break could leave you on the wrong end of the barrel. And when an amateur pulls on a criminal, a happy resolution seems the least likely outcome to me.

 

I won't be packing any time soon, but it's your choice. If you decide to carry, please learn to shoot first.

 

treedweller

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Willyum, I'm also a firefighter, and I've been caching since late 2001. In all that time I've wished I had my pistol with me maybe twice, and both times I came out of it safe and sound. It was stray dogs that had me concerned, not bears or other wildlife.

 

With that said, though, if you can carry one legally and it makes you feel safer to do so, do it.

 

Ed_S

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Been caching since 2001, everything from suburban parks and state forests, to desert hiking in Nevada. I have yet to run into any situation where I felt the need for a gun any of the animals I have seen run away from me when they see me. The only people I run into are spending the day outdoors, never heard any banjo music or run into anyone who wants to recreate the scene from Deliverance where I squeal like a pig.

 

The best suggestion I have heard of from someone who has had a close encounter with a moose and bear is to get an air horn. If that doesn't scare any animal you run into nothing will.

 

Try this Air Horn on Ebay., not syaing you have to buy it from these folks. this model is small enough to carry on flashlight sheath on your belt.

Edited by magellan315
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I only find it necessary to take a firearm in the woods when I am hunting. What really scares me are the amateurs who watch too much TV and think that one shot will stop the threat. All the stopping power and one shot stop rubbish you read in popular shooting magazines is BS – but it does make you feel all warm and snuggly. This is a very touchy subject for me to talk about and I do not feel that this is the appropriate place to express my concerns or opinions. Do I carry in the woods for self-protection – NO. Do I RESPECT firearms and what they can do YES.

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When I 'cache I walk through the woods with my S&W .357 drawn straight in front of me like in the movies when the good guy is going after the bad guy... :P

 

kidding... :D

 

I grew up on a farm and hunting is a tradition where I am from. I have grown up around fire arms and I have my permit to carry a side arm, and do so when I feel the need. I typically do not carry in the city, as I currently only have a hefty .357 that is not all too inconspicuous. However, when I am caching in the ‘Cong (Fayette County, PA) I almost always have it on my side. There are some unsavory characters there and when they see a sidearm, they tend to tone it done a bit.

 

As others have stated, if you feel the need to carry, please get the proper training and realize the consequences of your actions.

 

I hope to God that it never gets pulled from my holster unless it is for target practice. But I am a boy scout, and I always try to be prepared.

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I typically do not carry in the city, as I currently only have a hefty .357 that is not all too inconspicuous. 

Heh heh. My bedside table gun is a big, shiny, snubby .357. Ugliest, most conspicuous gun I could find. I call it my, "okay, lady, so you're really serious" gun. My personal defense plan, in the event of footsteps coming up the stairs, is to grab it, roll off the side of the bed away from the door, and squeak, "I have a very big gun and I'm scared spitless. Please go away."

 

I would carry if I could. Yes indeedy. But even if I had a carry permit, I'm often in and out of three states in a typical caching day, so that's out. I can think of one caching day I would've been happier armed. No, two.

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I don't carry a firearm unless I'm deer hunting. I've never really been scared of the woods and we don't have any bears or anything around here so it doesn't worry me. I do usually have a knife of some kind, I'm not really scared of anyone out there. I'm 6', not many criminals try to mug or attack someone my size, and if they did I'm pretty sure I could fight them off unless they are a great deal larger than me. If need be, I'm pretty fast so I could probably get away. Unless of course THEY had a gun, and it was pointed at me, then I'd be worried.

 

I don't even own a handgun.

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I usually take my dog along. (Chow/Pitbull mix) No grizzlies in Colorado, so not much use for me to carry one unless I'm hunting. I've lived here all my life and have found the woods to be pretty tame. I do carry in the city once in a while, but not while I'm caching.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's safer to be in the forest than in some parts of the city, here in Colorado. :D

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As others have stated, if you feel the need to carry, please get the proper training and realize the consequences of your actions.

 

BINGO!!

 

 

i should clarify my response...

 

i carry because of the seedy PEOPLE i run into, and areas we go to.

 

animals in this area are relatively harmless. black bears if respected are not really a problem. we have been almost face to face with a few. a .38 or 9mm would not do too much good there. snakes can be avoided for the most part.

 

people are a whole different story.

 

this type of location is not uncommon

4e2d3972-6a24-4929-9eb8-694de9588233.jpg

Edited by robree
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Well now, if you are going to practice shooting it's best to do it in the middle of nowhere. At the least you won't be disturbing others since guns are loud. If you own a gun you should practice. If you don't own a gun you should practice.

 

As for protection from wild animals. By the time I got my gun out and at the ready whatever encounter I needed to worry about would be over.

 

Avoidance is Plan A. After that everthing else is a distance second. Still I like having a plan B.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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out in the woods is about the safest place you'll ever be. the hoodlums are in town, and the animals (with a couple of exceptions) are either indifferent to, or terrified of you. i own a number of firearms and am an avid hunter, but have never felt the need to carry a firearm for personal protection while out in the middle of nowhere. now in town is sometimes a different proposition. if you use your head and pay attention to your situation, you'll likely never need a firearm for personal defense. my 2 cents. -harry

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out in the woods is about the safest place you'll ever be.  the hoodlums are in town, and the animals (with a couple of exceptions) are either indifferent to, or terrified of you.  i own a number of firearms and am an avid hunter, but have never felt the need to carry a firearm for personal protection while out in the middle of nowhere.  now in town is sometimes a different proposition.  if you use your head and pay attention to your situation, you'll likely never need a firearm for personal defense.  my 2 cents.  -harry

That may well be true in much of the U.S., but here on the southern border there is a steady flow of illicit transportation of drugs and immigrants. The people who are in this business occasionally shoot at the Border Patrol and various law-enforcement and park officials. There's no reason to believe they'd act kindly toward a lone, unarmed hiker (reaching for a cell phone to call DEA or La Migra).

 

The desert is still a big place and your chances of encountering a smuggler are pretty low, but the generalization that the woods are safer than the cities is not entirely true here.

 

Please don't chime in with the stuff about illegal immigrants being honest-but-poor-people-looking-for-a-better-life-for-themselves-and-their-families. That's beside the point. Bales of marijuana aren't dangerous either, but both dope and immigrants are smuggled by some seriously bad hombres.

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All my recent encounters with 2 legged types that left me wondering if I was safe have been in the middle of nowhere. I know the city since I live and work there. The surrounding area is a much bigger place. The bottom line is you just don't know who you will encounter. It can be anywhere at any place at any time.

 

Looking back: It was a college campus where someone tried to mug me. It was a campground where I was dragged bodily to someones camp. It was the woods were I met some drunk rednecks who were just a little too interested. It was a mountain road where I drove through someones line of fire at exactly the wrong time, because I didn't see them (in cammo) and they were shooting across the road. It was a movie theatre where as a kid a guy tried to pick me up and invite me back to his place. It was a party were someone threatened to kill me and they looked like they meant it. It was forest service road where a truck followed me then asked way to many questions. It was a rural road where someone stopped and badgered me with questions making it clear they weren't leaving because in their mind I was up to no good. It was a gas station where a guy decided that my friend had done something wrong and who confronted both of us in a rage.

 

Oddly enough I've felt safe most of my life. These events came out of the blue.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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No guns here.

 

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I have been wandering around for nearly 60 years on five continents in major cities and some very wild bush land and never encountered anyone or anything where I wished I had a gun. There have been, of course, situtations that I would not enter (with or without a weapon).

 

I have been around a number of different types of firearms, and practiced firing many of them. I appreciate weapons and I have no problems with those who feel they are necessary; I'm just one who feels they aren't. :D:P

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Can anyone here spell paraniod??? The greatest danger of geocaching in the woods is driving to get there. I have about 30 operational firearms and only use one of them a couple hours a year. Once the deer is down the rifle is locked away for the year.

You can't think of any reason to need a gun other than shooting a deer?

 

Once you find yourself in the situation where you need a gun to get yourself out, it's too late to decide to go get one.

 

I hope I continue to be as fortunate as Septic Tank and never need one. But I have one just in case.

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I grew in in PA with a closet full of guns. It was no big deal.

 

I have lived in places where, if you saw someone walking across your property, you would be suspicious--unless he was carrying a gun, in which case there is no concern, 'cause he's just a hunter. I have bent my elbow in bars where one wall was lined with rifles and shotguns during hunting season.

 

I feel no need to carry, which is just as well, because in my part of the country (RI), anti-gun prejudice is common, and gun laws are strict. A few years ago, our state governor shot a raccoon on his property, and you would not believe the flap it caused!

 

I have a .22 rifle in the back of my closet. I haven't shot it in years. I think I know where the clip is, but I'm not sure, and I threw out the ammo when it got really old.

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is this the weakest anti-gun diatribe you're ever read?

Actually, one of the most reasonable I've ever read.

 

 

On topic, I carry in the woods whether I'm caching or not, and when I'm not in the woods, when I can (I work a lot of places where carry is prohibited). I don't consider it any bigger deal than carrying my pockeknife -- there if I need it is better than elsewhere if I need it, and nobody else's business if I don't need it.

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Can anyone here spell paraniod???  The greatest danger of geocaching in the woods is driving to get there.  I have about 30 operational firearms and only use one of them a couple hours a year.  Once the deer is down the rifle is locked away for the year.

Well, I can spell "paranoid," but I have never had occasion to spell "paraniod" and am at a loss to use it in a sentence.

 

For the carry folks to be "paranoid" in the clinical sense, they'd have to believe that the chances of a dangerous encounter were significantly higher than is realistically true--approaching 100%. I just don't see any evidence of that here. Take a poll and sort the results into toters and non-toters and I doubt you'd see a significant difference in their estimates of the probability of a dangerous encounter. Where they differ is in what to do about it.

 

Really the term you're looking for is probably "overprepared." But that doesn't have the same sting as labeling us mentally ill :D By the same token, with 30 functional firearms you may be "overstocked."

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