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Do you go armed when you're in the wilderness?


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This poll got a lot of play on the LS board, so I'll ask the same question here: Do you go armed when you're in the wilderness.  As for myself, I always go armed in the wilderness.  If it's a wilderness area that doesn't allow firearms (either openly carried or concealed with my CCW), then I don't go.  I usually only carry a handgun unless I'm hunting.  My wilderness carry guns include (no, I don't carry them all at once LOL) a Ruger P97 .45, Glock 22 .40, Ruger SP101 .357, and a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum.

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No. I do not own a firearm. Its not that I'm anti-gun or even anti-guns in the wilderness, its just that I don't own one and have not had the opportunity/need. I have plans next summer for a canoe trip in Labrador where I am considering purchasing and carrying one for bear protection, but I remain unconvinced that this trip presents a real need.

 

I am open to opinion and suggestions.

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I don`t go armed with a firearm, but I do have a knife that I can use in defence pretty well.

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BigBlue:  I dunno the LEGAL difficulties inherent in getting both yourself and a firearm to Labrador and back...

 

But I will tell you true:

 

A firearm is VERY MUCH LIKE a fire extinguisher.

 

You hardly ever actually need one, but when you DO need one, you need one VERY BADLY!!

 

Unca says:  carry one.  I am older -- not smarter, just older -- so I have BTDT.

 

Unca Walt

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Never leave home without it  happy070.gif  Over the years I have run into all sorts of weird things in the woods from wild animals to herb gardens (Not basil).

 

 

I firmly beleive the old saying of it is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. :thumbup:

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if you run into a bear do ou think a hand gun will work or just piss it off? i never go armed never had to i have learned to move quietly enough, i will carry a weapon in the city for sure but not in the woods just my two cents worth.

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I'm with you wareagle... but I will take it further... There is no place for a gun in the wilderness... it is a crutch for those who have been so far displaced from nature that their only choice is to fight it. I will not preach to anyone I meet who brings one and will not look down on them or see myself as better. I have many crutches that polute the bush too, and strive to rid myself of them. I will speak the same about lighters, campstoves, tents, sleeping bags... etc. It is sometimes impossible for us (as we are now) to be without some of these things... but that doesn't mean they belong.... much the same way I chose to snorkle instead of SCUBA dive... until I grow gills.... lol.

 

This thread is very opinionated... but wasn't intended to offend. It is just my personal belief. Everything has its place and the fault in humans is to think they belong everywhere.

 

Rick

 

 

An hour from now I'll have another radical opinion.... it's a gift really.... lol

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Me "Ambivalent? Well yes and no."  :unsure:

 

Ambivalence is a state of having emotions of both positive and negative valence or of having thoughts or actions in contradiction with each other, when they are related to the same object, idea or person (for example, feeling both love and hatred for someone or something). The term is also commonly used to refer to situations where 'mixed feelings' of a more general sort are experienced or where a person experiences uncertainty or indecisiveness concerning something.

 

Valence effect is another page on the psychological phenomenon.

 

I hope this clears that up.    :hugegrin:

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Gents, I don't own any guns yet, that will likely change as I want to learn to hunt. I'll carry it with me if feel I might need it to supplement the food that I've brought on an extended trip, due to the location, duration or pack weight/space.

 

There are still places, Thank God, where we are looked upon by some of the residence as part of the food chain, and as I have no intentions of being "fast food" for anything, I'll bring an appropriate weapon. To my mind, it's an issue of responsibility. There was a story a while back about these 2 young ladies that went for a walk/run in the Sierra's, in jogging bras and shorts. They were predated by a mountain lion. One was killed and eaten, the other was mauled. The lady that survived, said, in essence, that we should kill off all the big cats, and the other things that can hurt us so we can go where and as we please. To me, this is WRONG on so many levels. I won't go somewhere that there are things that look at me as lunch, without the means and ability to give then heartburn. To go without the ability to set up "camp", get a fire going, signal for help, treat your injuries, stay hydrated and fed, is anathemas to everything I've ever been taught. Read the definition of "victim". No disrespect intended, and to the one that was lost, Rest in Peace, but Geeze.

 

Regards, guns in the wilderness, I might I be able to defend myself/my family from a large determined predator that's looking at me/us as it's next meal, with my knife, or axe, or lance/spear, or bow/arrows, maybe, but I think the old ones that lived with these creatures "tooth to jowl" day to day, would have used the most effective tool available to them to protect them and theirs. Just as metal replaced stone in tools, and bullets replaced arrows in hunting/war weapons, they knew something better when they saw it. "Modern" tools/weapons are dependent on modern technology for production, and continued use (rifle without bullets or the ability to reload/repair when it breaks = club. Modern metal tools can't be replaced in nature when broken or lost. Traditional tools can, are, were. Redundancy in all things, weapons/tools included, is good.

 

The beginning of the end, cultural erosion, maybe, but I think the introduction of more efficient tools of and by themselves, made their lives better. But, they would never go for a walk in the woods weaponless.

Regards, Jim

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Rick, not everyone who carrys a gun into the wilderness is to fight against the wilderness. You and I trained the same place so we have the same ideas. From strictly wilderness....I totally agree. But around here the bush is not as deep and dense as where we trained. So for us here, you run into people all the time. If I was to carry in the bush, it is not because of the bush....but because of some of the people. There was a lady and a couple killed here (in the states) not too long ago by a man that was just your "average" hiker type. It is more the assault aspect than the wilderness aspect. It is hard to find a secluded area around here.

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I've got to take the pacifist approach and and go with guns doing nothing but harm.  Now, I'll never deny another's right to own one, so gun owners, your rights are safe with me, in fact, I'll go to bat to ensure nobody takes them away from you, it's just from my own perspective I find them destructive, especially ones that can spit out molten lead at high rates of fire.

 

I've run from angry fishers, been followed by an overly curious black bear, even had a face to face with a cougar From that I've learned one thing, they don't want to get into a scrap any more than you do.  When a wolf starts curling it's lip at you it's not because it wants to attack, it's because it's just as scared as you are.  Back away slowly. Don't make eye contact, but don't look away or turn your back. It's alot easier than needlessly blowing away one of god's creatures.

 

As I said, I don't like guns, but I do believe they have their place, just not in my backpack.

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Me "Ambivalent? Well yes and no."   :unsure:

 

Ambivalence is a state of having emotions of both positive and negative valence or of having thoughts or actions in contradiction with each other, when they are related to the same object, idea or person (for example, feeling both love and hatred for someone or something). The term is also commonly used to refer to situations where 'mixed feelings' of a more general sort are experienced or where a person experiences uncertainty or indecisiveness concerning something.

 

Valence effect is another page on the psychological phenomenon.

 

I hope this clears that up.    :hugegrin:

dude i read it like 5 times still has not cleared up for me

i think people carry weapons out of fear i have spent allot of time in the desert around many a rattle headed copper moccasons and never felt the need to kill them because they wwas near me same up here in canada i understand wildlife cuz i do animal rehabilitation have raised moose and bear so i feel comfortable, but i also have had and do continue to have the priveldge of living in more remote areas

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This is just the reason Les Stroud didnt want any threads related to guns in his forum. The difference between gun owners and non gun owners couldnt be farther apart and different opinions always eventually show up.

 

Im proud of the way this discussion has been handled where everyone took the middle ground while voiceing their own opinion.

That was the jest of my Ambivalent post. Theres merit in both opinions and its totally a personal belief.

 

I decided to allow gun posting in this web site to include both groups but at the same time I hope the debate doesnt fuel any hard feelings from either camp.

 

I liked the point Alagator made about going to an area where you are now part of the food chain and its a responsaibility to "survive" the trip. After all thats what were all about "Surviving" in whatever enviornment your in.

 

Carry on.

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A firearm is a tool.  There are many tasks that this tool can do that no other tool can do.  I've been around them forever, so cannot imagine depriving myself of the options that they provide.  I kinda go with Unca Walt...in that case where I need one very very bad, I'd rather not allow a philosophy to have deprived me of it.

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This is just the reason Les Stroud didnt want any threads related to guns in his forum. The difference between gun owners and non gun owners couldnt be farther apart and different opinions always eventually show up.

 

Im proud of the way this discussion has been handled where everyone took the middle ground while voiceing their own opinion.

That was the jest of my Ambivalent post. Theres merit in both opinions and its totally a personal belief.

 

I decided to allow gun posting in this web site to include both groups but at the same time I hope the debate doesnt fuel any hard feelings from either camp.

 

I liked the point Alagator made about going to an area where you are now part of the food chain and its a responsaibility to "survive" the trip. After all thats what were all about "Surviving" in whatever enviornment your in.

 

Carry on.

 

Agreed. There's no in between. People either love or hate them.

 

Anyone ever consider pepper spray as a substitute for a pistol or rifle?  Deter instead of kill?

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Its great that we can discuss this in an objective way and not let emotion rule....

 

Aligator, Unca, Machine, Antagonizer, Nuker... all make valid points... perhaps it because I've never owned or used a gun that I think the way I do. Many of the things Aligator touched on has made me rethink certain philosophies. But it is also our responsibility to accept that we were not meant to be in some places and have to earn the right to be there. To me.. carrying a gun doesn't give you the right. It is too easy for somebody to buy cold weather gear a rifle then head into the Arctic and kill the first polar bear that comes too close. There are those who would only do so in the most extreme cases... but how responsible is it for you to be there in the first place? Why do we find it necessary to venture where we don't belong... I'm guilty as anyone else. Am I overthinking this?..... I tend to do that sometimes.  

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Agreed. There's no in between. People either love or hate them.

 

 

Actually......, there are some who have a love/hate relationship with them. I love what they are capable of in times of need, and take pride in my abilities and the fact that my wonderful uncle sam once labled me an expert marksman.....,however....., I hate the fact that they even exist, in a perfect world they would not. But....., no gun has ever killed anyone or anything, it has as always simply been man using another in a long line of weapons he has either found and used or created for the purpose of taking the others life. One year, at a few of the WMA's around here we had a total of over two hundred deer shot and all but the head left to rot......, they were bow shot. As stated earlier if my gut says so I go armed...., but the animals have no fear, there have been a total of six couples killed that I am aware of in my lifetime along the cumberland trail (miles north of here but the same trail) where the woman was attacked and......,then killed, with the husband killed first. If I am in my camp, or asleep in my tent and assaulted, I will not feel as if I owe this gentleman the courtesy of determent, although I would much rather deal with him with a quieter means like say......., a hawk, because I see no sense in ruining the night for the animals for miles around shattering the relative silence of the night that way......, I personally hate the sudden unexpected sound of gunfire in the night.

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Mistwalker wrote...

 

"no gun has ever killed anyone or anything, it has as always simply been man using another in a long line of weapons he has either found and used or created for the purpose of taking the others life."

 

Well said... another fine argument that gets me to question my stand on this issue.

Rick

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Agreed. Whether you shoot a bow or a gun doesn't dictate if you're responsible or not.  That's left to the individual. It's the sole reason I've never been against banning them. As said, they have a purpose. They deter violence, keep the govt. honest, and provide quick access to food, and in a survival situation, I would definitely use one.

 

However, I've never heard it said that "the bow accidently went off".  Now, I've actually seen some fool get between an archer and his target, and end up with a shaft in his leg, but never have I heard a story where little Davy picked up dad's recurve and killed himself.  Never has a story about hunter 'A' accidently killed hunter 'B' because he thought he was a deer.  You need to be far to close with a bow for that to happen. If Cheney had had a bow, fox news would have had no story that day...then again who knows.  8| When a camper hears a noise outside his tent, and in a blind panic starts shooting...not with a bow.  A bow will never go automatic on you...

 

I'm not saying these things couldn't happen. I'm certain bow hunting accidents happen all the time.  I'm suggesting that a bow makes us somewhat more accountable for our actions. That when you fire it at another person, it's with intent.

 

BTW I don't include crossbows in this. To me they are a firearm and should be treated as such.

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Gents, 2 quick points on the subject, I have spent 30yrs. in EMS and 23yrs. as an RN at a trauma center in the Bronx (concomitantly, I'm not that old!), I think I have established my reverence for live, and that extends to all life. I will never be a "sport" hunter, I'll never hunt for trophies. I don't judge those that do so long as they do so humanly and ethical, but even then, it's not mine to judge their heart. I avoided going hunting with my grandfather, despite several invites, because one of the men he hunted with would shoot anything that moved and leave it there to rot. I was afraid that if I was around, that man would suffer a hunting accident. I was taught that weather you were a friend or a stranger, if you needed a roof over your head, I'll provide it, a coat, you can have mine, food in your belly, I will do that too, because we are entrusted to each others care, but...

If any creature on, over or under Gods green earth, threatens my family, your mine, and I will terminate the threat you pose with extreme prejudice and violence. For I am a daddy, and one of my rolls is to make sure no harm comes to my family.

 

We, as humans, need to kill to survive. Said a thousand different ways, by a million different people, over hundreds of millennium, we are of the same Spirit, the same Spirit runs through ALL, both animate and inanimate. A life is a life, we can't eat without something or part of something dieing. I would kill an animal to feed my family, it would be done with humility, respect, gratitude and a good deal of sorrow, as quickly and humanly as possible. Everything that can be used would be used, and if you kill it, you eat it. But how long should I wait to see if an animal (remember, our brethren), that's big enough to be able to cause harm and is behaving in such a way that threatens me or mine, is bluffing or not, before it's too late?

 

Consider, a word can cut the soul deeper then the sharpest knife, but it can also heal a broken heart. A pen, it is said is mightier then the sword, the words it joins to paper can cause irrevocable damage (Dear John,...), or can make the spirit soar, or it can be used to impale someone, or it can be used to help create an emergency airway and save someones or somethings life. Our knives and axes, we depend on them to help keep us alive "beyond civilization", but they have and will continue to be used as weapons, of good or evil. Our guns, Keep us free, put food on the table when our families are hungry, are the most humane method of harvesting game. The presence of a gun has spelled survival for many that were starving. It's absence has contributed to others demise.

Long term survival/woods craft is all about food, it's availability and procurement.

They are all tools, we are creatures of tools. If I can borrow a phrase, "Do No Harm/Do Know Harm".

Regards, Jim

 

PS. Askdamice, We are so far removed, we are strangers in our home. Once we could wander anywhere our feet and knowledge and skills could take us, but we were always home, in our back yard. I think we need to re-learn how not to be strangers. Jim

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Part of the accidental shootings is a result of cultural change.  When the firearm was a tool, everyone had one, everyone was trained, and an accident just doesn't happen in the hands of a person trained properly.  In the old days, before we worried about liability and such...the family that didn't teach weapons handling properly slowly lost the advantage, sort of a social Darwinism, because their kids would have the accidents.  If you couldn't shoot accurately, you didn't eat.  It's only been since we've become wealthy that people have the luxury to take up less efficient ways of getting food than the firearm.

 

When Tess and I got our CCW's (concealed weapons carry permits) the first time, we really had to talk out how we were going to use these weapons, in a situation that required their use.  In the 5 years of our licenses, we never pulled them once, but they were comforting in thinking of a situation that could arise.  A situation where one person with a rifle, admittedly an almost vanishingly rare situation, can cow many people, and just doesn't usually happen in an armed area.  I think if you look at the areas where these events occur, it's a location where the citizens have been disarmed. 

 

Most importantly, though, if you are going to carry a weapon, you have to be able to use it.  If you don't think you can, I personally think you are safer without it.  Hunting is one way to see if you have the proper mind set to use a firearm.  You must use it under a rule system, you have to shoot when your heart is beating fast and sometimes your hands are shaking.  There is nothing like shooting at live meat and taking its life.  You could wish that it is not necessary, but that isn't the way the world is constructed.  The game animal that has lost its life to a bullet has died in one of the least painful ways it can.  As predators, we usually kill with mercifully quick methods.  This does not occur with most of the other predators.  For many years, I've had a simple rule.  If I kill it, I eat it.  I do understand that some people have to shoot animals for predator control, but I've never been comfortable with it.

 

We all have differing opinions about this, and I respect that.  I just thought that some insight into the way a sport shooter, hunter, and user of modern weapons for self defense thinks might be of value.  There is no glee at the shooting of an animal for food, there is the satisfaction of a job well done, and recognizing the food value of the meat, at least for me.

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Just when you think you've got a well thought out philosophy, someone goes and beats it down with facts and common sense... Once again I am greatful to have a venue like this to openly discuss topics that in most cases would escalate into a heated arguement. The daddy thing really hit home for me... I have come to terms that in some areas I'm not the top of the food chain and risk being somethings lunch... but the thought of losing a loved one over a philosophical choice really humbled me.

 

... Now, I will look into Canadian gun laws to see where I stand... I won't run out and purchase one... but I will definately give it more thought and you guys have convinced me that there is a place for it.... and I hate the fact that there is!

 

Good thread.

Rick

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Mistwalker wrote...

 

"no gun has ever killed anyone or anything, it has as always simply been man using another in a long line of weapons he has either found and used or created for the purpose of taking the others life."

 

Well said... another fine argument that gets me to question my stand on this issue.

Rick

Well..., I grew up hunting, and still do when needs be, but rather not if not necessarry. The way I see it...., since I cannot make them go away, it's better to be good with them. I love the statement Tom Sellik makes about them (he's refering to handguns) at the end of the movie "Quiggley Down Under", I identify closely with his character in that movie, so it's one of my favs.

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