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


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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. 

I'm not going to try to use this thread as a soap box, but I do believe that ignorance of and lack of propper respect for firearms has been responsible for many firearms deaths. Having one in you possesion is a very big responsibility for as I was taught by my father and my platoon sgt. "the owner of the firearm bears all responsibility of what happens to, with, or because of it". Blaming a death on a gun makes as much sense as to me blaming an obesity on a hamburger.

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Askdamice. This world has never been a safe place, and it is an illusion that our civilization makes it safer. There are two kinds of predators, 2 legged and 4 legged. One hunts us because its hungry or threatened, and if we're around, might look at us as food. The other kind is ... I don't know, why do some people do evil things? I address behavior.

A gun is just a tool. Anything, just about, can be used as a weapon (It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog) Some are more efficient in an specific application then others, but all can be used to prevent harm, or to cause harm, for good or for evil. The difference resides in the hands and heart of the person using it. For as long as anyone can remember, people have armed themselves to protect against the things in their environments that could harm them and theirs, both naturally occurring and the 2 legged aberrations. Regards, Jim

 

Copied this from somebodies signature line, who probably found it somewhere else, but I believe it to be germane to this discussion;

There are times when ten thousand people suffer, because of the evil of one man. Therefore, in killing one mans evil, you give ten thousand people life.

In such ways, truly, the sword that kills one man, will be the blade that gives others life. Yagyu Menenoi

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Quote>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.

 

I did some police work years back ( I know what was I thinking) and we had a class called "when to shoot and when not to shoot."

 

The jest was if you make the decision to pull your gun at the same time you MUST decide if your going to use it. Lets say the perp (thats cop talk for perpatrator)  :P  says "I aint scared of that gun. Go ahead and shoot me" What are you going to do now?

 

As far as accidental gun deaths. Are they more unnessary than the 50,000 people on average that are killed each year on our nations highways? That doesnt even take into account the ones who are maimed and injured for life.

 

Any death is tragic but are the victims of murders, robberies, rape, and kidnapping any less tragic?

 

It comes down to personal choice. Like Nuker says "it gives me a feeling comfort". Of course theres the responsibility factor of protecting your family also.

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I'm not going to try to use this thread as a soap box, but I do believe that ignorance of and lack of propper respect for firearms has been responsible for many firearms deaths. Having one in you possesion is a very big responsibility for as I was taught by my father and my platoon sgt. "the owner of the firearm bears all responsibility of what happens to, with, or because of it".

 

Well said.  My fear is that we use the 'protection of our children' as a shield that we hide behind, allowing us to conceal guns under our jackets.  That we blindly incorporate a philosophy of, "the bad guys carry guns so we carry guns" using it as a mantra. That if anyone were to question this principal then they're accused of having something against children...

 

Now, as Aligator mentioned, "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 all seek to protect our own and we'll go to any lengths to do so, nobody can fault a person for that. But I have to say we do more harm to our children than good as they watch us blow away another living being in their name.  We try so hard to teach our children not to be victims that we turn them into predators.  "Take their life before they take yours."    I think it's this apathy that causes circle of violence in the first place.

 

I think that Aligator was eluding to, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that we have more to fear from other people than animals in the bush, and in fact I'd say that's 100% true. Against predatory animals, your best weapon isn't a bullet, but an education.  In fact, it's what survival and bushcraft is about, it's what we here are all about, are we not? I tell everyone here every animal can be dealt with peacibly, without a weapon.  Even a hard headed, arrogant moose in the middle of rut only wants to run you off, not to kill you. Alot of these animals would be saved if only people knew that all you have to do is get out of it's line of sight.  Moose have profoundly poor eyesight, but then it's our education that teaches us that.

 

Aligator, I hope you don't think I'm picking on you my friend. I'm just using a couple of quotes from your posts to express some ideas. In fact I agree with much of what you say.  It's simply my hope that I can put across a different ideal for our kids. Not one of violence, but of education, skill and bushcraft.  LOL! it sounds like a platitude, but I really do believe in it.  ipsa scientia potestas est

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I'm going to carry a gun when I go hiking, as soon as I get my CC permit.  I do NOT want to be one of those women who get raped and killed because I did not take steps to protect myself.  I've taken self defense courses, I'm already very careful to stay on established trails, I watch out carefully when strangers approach me, and I try not to hike in isolated areas.  But the sad truth is, there are predators out there who specialize in attacking women, even in very public places.

 

I want to be out there, enjoying nature and thinking my own peaceful thoughts as I walk along the trail, not staying at home because "it's too dangerous" for me to go hiking alone.  I can take someone with me, but the truth is, I actually enjoy hiking alone as much as I do hiking with friends.  Sometimes I need that quiet time alone.  I should be able to hike alone without being in fear for my life.  And if that means packing a pistol to protect myself, I'm fully prepared to do it. 

 

I don't look at it as purposefully preparing to kill somebody.  I look at it as protecting my life to the best of my ability.  And with luck, I won't ever have to use deadly force.  And if I am ever attacked, I hope that I won't kill the person anyway. :nono: 

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Mr Antagonizer, Sir, First I applaud your position, and your obvious strong sense of right and wrong. I wish that it would be so, but I address behavior. As stated above, given half a chance, I will do anything I can to help a soul in need, for that is what I'm here to do. But life threatening behavior on another's part, can't be reasoned with in time to save your life. At that point, I don't care what is the root cause of the behavior, I will disengage and run if thats an option, if not I will address the behavior with the best tools available to me at the time, empty hand, stick, knife, gun, whatever. I always seek the best tool for the job.

 

As regards four legged predators, I'm all for education, if it saves an animal from being needlessly killed, great. But Tim Treadwell (RIP) should have carried a gun. He thought he knew "his" bears, and it cost his girlfriends life. To my understanding, and I'm not in any shape or form an animal behaviorist, most animals flee from people. I've watched enough TV to see how people work around dangerous game (" don't worry, I slept at a Holiday Inn last night"), but I'm willing to bet there's a dude in the background with a .458 WinMag just in case. My concern is what if I guess wrong in betting that a dangerous animals aggressive behavior is just a bluff? That if I follow your or anyone else's advice to just disengage, which I would do anyway, that if the animal doesn't follow the script, without a weapon, I have no Plan B. What if I'm out there with my family (Yea, fat chance)? Or someone else's? I'll keep my rifle, thanks, just in case.

 

As far as child rearing, I try to let my kids have their childhood, mean while, I do my job. Do my kids know its a dangerous world, and that they need the skills and tools to take care of them selves and their families when they grow up? Absolutely. Regards, Jim

 

 

Holly, Move off the X, draw your weapon while moving, and shoot them to the ground. Then look around for the other one you didn't see yet. Always think in terms of +1. Jim

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the problem with predators is that they seldom look like wolves and more like sheep, i am 6'4" 220lbs very mean looking full of tatoos when i am out i always see fathers grab their teen daughters hand as i walk by while the wife is eyeing me in that bad boy way, cracks me up i teach people how to not be a victim and defend themselves. predators are practiced in what they do, they earn your trust then attack, if you have a gun most times you do not have time to react and the possibility exsists of them taking it away from you, i doubt that the young lady in georgia found the man to be threating in any way until it was to late. we have created a society of fear our children cannot do any thing beacuase of the fear we have instilled in them. when out in public most attacks will come from a gruop of people will you have time to draw and shoot and what about the innocent people who are in the line of fire. the only time i can see being armed would help would be in a situation like virginia tech a shooter runnning around on a mass shooting spree if he went into a class room the armed person could deter the shooter. but really how often does this happen yes i know once is too much, but i will not live in fear of anyone, most attacks occur in a personall space, now i am fortunate that i am the big scary looking guy people give me a wide space when i come thru i do not look like a victim or an easy target and that is what i try to teach people not to look like a victim

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Well said wareagle.  I often find that people inherently trust me. I suppose it's a mix of disposition and image, however if people are on edge I can usually win them over in a few minutes.  For my wife's sake and my son's, I've often wondered this about other people. How easily their trust is being won.  For example, my wife is the last person in her car poole to be dropped off, and the driver is a male.  She puts alot of faith in him does she not?  Suffice it to say, the real predators are in the guise of sheep and by the time you recognize them for what they are, they've already sunk their teeth into you.

 

Aligator, I agree with you about Mr. Treadwell.  A man with that low of an IQ should be armed. LOL!  Seriously though. I've watched his video and concluded that he stepped into the domain of the bear, but wasn't willing to live out it's roll.  Sure, he gained their trust, but they are bears. Even I know enough to draw limits around wild animals.  If you've ever rough housed with your dog, you know that they 'play' on a different level.  They grab with their mouths, and strafe with their paws, and are generally rough.  Sometimes they take it to far, and end up destroyed because they've ended up mauling a little child.  Bears are no different.  They don't know their own strength and that playfull bite can end up a mouth full of flesh.  After that, it doesn't take much to turn a bear into a man eater. I think they're the only predatory animal that actually likes the taste of carnivore flesh. 

 

Now, Tim Treadwell was not a behaviour specialist. He was an an amateur documentary filmmaker and naturalist. What he knew of bears he learned from bushcraft.  His mistake was putting himself in the role of expert and taking it to far, however if all he had was a little bushcraft, and was able to spend so much time with the bears, then it suggests that the average person need only educate himself, and with more common sense precautions exist in the bush without the benefit of a firearm.

 

Really animals are hyped up in the movies as agressive, oportunistic hunters, but that's far from the truth.  What motivates them is the same things that motivate us, but on a more primitive level.  When you feel yourself not wanting to get into a confrontation with Mr. Bear, you can be certain he wants the same thing.

 

 

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Wareagle, Good morning sir, I hope I find you and your family well.

Interesting prospective. It has been said, "If you look like food, you will be eaten" (Clint Smith). From your description of yourself, it sounds like you've got that covered.

The attack from bad breath range is a problem. That's why I train in empty hand combatives. At that range, you won't have time to access a weapon that isn't already in your hand (which is one reason I carry a walking stick). Even if it's appropriate/legal to use a weapon, you need space to access it. I train to disengage at the earliest appropriate moment, and either flee, or "go to guns". I also have "stuff" scattered about me in such a way that I can usually access something.

On the other hand, most well intentioned people won't approach you that closely. If a stranger walks up on you, and your "spider senses" are tingling, when you "alert", the casual ," Joe six pack", "I just wanted directions to..." would back off. If they keep coming, they've already announced their intentions. They now have one of three options, they can leave, they can stay where they are, or they can advance. Either of the last two, requires you to do something pre-emptive. If you allow them to act first, you may never recover. I know it's not always possible, but no one you are not "intimate" with, should be allowed to approach you any closer then the distance that they would require, to take a step or at least shift their weight, before they could touch you. If they are already there, make the space (either move you or them, which ever is easier). Regards, Jim

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Mr. Antagonizer, Good Morning Sir.

What Mr. Treadwell was or wasn't, no longer matters, because he no longer is. My point was that he thought he new enough about "his" bears, to live with them unarmed. That decision cost his girlfriends life. And they weren't mauled, they were eaten. That isn't rough play, that isn't defensive mauling, that's predation. Wild animals are unpredictable. I can't begin to guess their motives, but when your being pulled out of your tent at 0 dark 30, by a black bear, he doesn't want to play. When he persistently trails you, when he climbs up the tree your in to get at you, that's not a good sign.

I'll continue to learn about wilderness, but I'll also continue to have a Plan B.

Regards, Jim

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I really can't wait until I am old enough for a CCW.  Most places where I want to hike, I would feel so much better while packing because people are creeps!  You can never know what people are going to do. 

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Mr. Antagonizer, Good Morning Sir.

What Mr. Treadwell was or wasn't, no longer matters, because he no longer is. My point was that he thought he new enough about "his" bears, to live with them unarmed. That decision cost his girlfriends life. And they weren't mauled, they were eaten. That isn't rough play, that isn't defensive mauling, that's predation. Wild animals are unpredictable. I can't begin to guess their motives, but when your being pulled out of your tent at 0 dark 30, by a black bear, he doesn't want to play. When he persistently trails you, when he climbs up the tree your in to get at you, that's not a good sign.

I'll continue to learn about wilderness, but I'll also continue to have a Plan B.

Regards, Jim

 

I figure it's not my job to change people's minds about things. I've learned that regardless of what you say or do, people do well making their own minds up about things.  I did want to end on one particular note though.  Timothy Treadwell was a bad example for all potential naturalists.  In fact, he'd been cited more than a few times for things like improper food storage, and antagonizing the animals. Things that anyone versed in bushcraft knows can get you into trouble. If you watch the documentary 'Grizzly Man', they delve into the actions that caused his death.  First and foremost, although most of their food was in bear proof canisters, there was a supply of snack food open, inside their tent.  A blatant no-no.

 

Treadwell's three solid mistakes;

1) familiarity with the bear - Bears instinctively avoid humans, however his constant presence among them 'taught' them not to fear humans.  In fact, bear related incidents have gone up nearly 300% around Kaflia Bay since Treadwell's time.  Coincidence?

2)  You never, never, never, never, never, never leave open containers of food in your tent. If I'm being vague, add a few dozen more nevers in there.

3) He treated 1500 grizzly's like puppies. You don't get between these animals and their food.

 

In closing, my point is, contrary to what movies like 'The Edge' would teach us, bears do not make a habit of dragging people out of their tents and eating them. Timothy Treadwell taught his bears far too well.  They didn't fear him, and when one of them wanted the snack in Tim's tent, it took it. If you watch the video, he was fond of scolding the bears who were being mischievous.  My guess is that his hungry intruder didn't much care for that.

 

As I'm fond of recounting, I've had alot of experiences with bears. From visiting the local dump to watch scavanging bears on weekends, to 2 camp and 1 trail confrontation.  The last time it literally followed me for 5 minutes before wandering off. Not once did I wish I had a gun.

 

Like I said, I'm not in the business of changing minds, so this is the last post I'll make on it.  I'm far to opinionated to continue, but please don't view Timothy Treadwell as an example. By trying to teach us understanding and compassion for bears, he actually advanced the causes of fear and ignorance. Not a good role model at all.

 

Peace

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As I'm fond of recounting, I've had alot of experiences with bears. From visiting the local dump to watch scavanging bears on weekends, to 2 camp and 1 trail confrontation.  The last time it literally followed me for 5 minutes before wandering off. Not once did I wish I had a gun.

 

Who was with you during these confrontations? I, too have had several experiences with bears (black). On the trail and in the camp. Each time I hadn't the need for a gun... education was my weapon.... but I was alone or with fellow bush-peers. If I project myself back to those situations and include my family .... my stomach drops... I would have been in a completely different state of mind... "protective parent".... I really don't know how it would have ended.

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The bears Ive come into contact were black bears. Three in camp or fishing lodge one in a dump and one on the trail ,and one on a lake. All ran like they had been shot at. I think the farther you get back in the bush the more dangerous they become. Its not hard in Northern Saskatchewn to find animals who have never seen a human. The ones who dont contact humans and learn to avoid them dont know how to take a human when they come into contact.

 

The one on the trail stood up on his hind legs and woffed at me for what seemed like a long time as we stood 50 ft apart stareing into each others eyes. It was by surprise as I was purposely being quiet as I trecked down the trail. It would have done me no good to run as he could have closed the distance before I could run five steps. All I had was my walking stick so I just stood my ground and stared right back. He finally huffed loudly and dropped down and ran a few steps back and stood back up to see if I was following him. So we stood and stared at each other some more.

 

I just stood leaning on my walking stick frozen in my tracks. He finally dropped down and ran off into the bush. Had it been a mother with cubs I think I would have been in trouble. Its way better to make lots of noise so they can hear you comming.  Ive heard them crash off into the bush in front of me on several occasions as they either heard me or smelled me before I saw them. They can cover remarable distances in a remarkably short time.

 

Use more caution on windy days when the wind is in your face because they wont hear you or smell you until your too close.

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First, let me say to each his own.  If someone doesn't want, feel the need, or feel comfortable with a firearm I won't try to argue or persuade that person to change his or her ways.  Personal experience seems to shape most of our views, and that seems to be what is fueling our thread.  I am really glad to see that we've been able to discuss even opposing views with a calm sort of respect for each other.

 

Now, my personal choice is to carry a firearm in the bush.  As so many others have said, I do not carry it to blast a snake or kill the first furry critter I see.  Yes, I have encountered bears in the bush.  Both bears I've encountered on the trail turned and ran as if I were the anti-Christ.  The next one may or may not react in the same way, but I wasn't just itching to blast the daylights out of the animals I've encountered.  As others have stated, I mainly carry a firearm due to the possiblity of human predation.  But I'm not going to rule out the possibility--however remote--of an encounter with a hungry or angry animal.  Black bears rarely attack humans, but it has happened before and will again.

 

I know that many believe that a firearm is unlikely to be of help in a situation with a predatory person.  The Department of Justice has estimated that firearms are used  by citizens in the US about 2 million times per year to defend themselves from violence.  That's 2 million fewer rapes, robberies, murders, assaults, etc, than there would have been with out the legal presence of a firearm.  This isn't from the NRA, The Second Ammendment Foundation, or any other group, but from the Justice Dept.  In most of these instances, the firearm was not fired--it's presence alone was enough to deter a criminal attack. 

 

Each of us will evaluate our personal needs and make decisions accordingly.  We have a thriving drug trade here in Eastern Ky, with meth, prescription pills, marijuana (sp?), and others being real problems in the area.  I've found a couple of plots of pot in the woods, and was able to get out of the area without trouble.  The next time?  Crimes involving these drugs are becoming more, not less, common.  I do have a CCW, and yes I do carry a firearm on a daily basis, and while in the woods.  I do have pepper spray, and I would hope to use it instead if necessary.  If there is a breeze, well, it will be nearly useless (ask a cop about wind and pepper spray).

 

I know that I will always try to avoid confrontation, use my brain first to find a way out of a bad situation, and seek to find a peaceful resolution to a problem.  I will also always realize that there are predators out there who do NOT want to be peaceful, who will SEEK OUT confrontation, and do their best to hurt others to satisfy their own desires.  Believe it or not, there are those who wish to do evil in this world, and enjoy  doing it.

 

I will also fervently hope that I will never need the firearm I carry, just as I hope I will never need the first aid kit, the air bag in my car, or the fire extinguisher in my house.  But I do have them, just in case.  This is just my reasoning as to why I do carry a firearm.

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There is one other reason to have a firearm in the wild.  Rabid animals.  I would have myself put this as an extremely rare event, but a couple of summers back, we had a squirrel come into the yard, and while not foaming at the mouth, it acted in a manner I had never seen in a squirrel.  It walked up to within two feet of humans, and acted as though it had no fear.  It tried to climb onto a hot grill.  I shot it, and with surgical gloves, I burnt it in my big fire pit.

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I love this thread and that our members have the ability to state their point(s) civily and thoughtfully.

 

 

Keep it up folks. This is a wonderful discussion.

 

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I really can't wait until I am old enough for a CCW.  Most places where I want to hike, I would feel so much better while packing because people are creeps!  You can never know what people are going to do.

 

No you can't know what they are going to do, but don't make the mistake of treating people as though they are the people you see on TV or the news, or even the children you know from school.  Tess and I have been all over this country, often spending the nights in rest areas or out of the way places, we've never had a problem.  Except for the cop banging on the window of the car we were in....ahem, we must have been in the teenage makeout spot.  Of course, we were sleeping.... :blush:  While we urge caution, I'd stop at outright suspicion of the 99% of people who are decent.  That 1% that I call indecent will for the most part not bother you if you don't look or act like a victim.  The psychopath you really have no defense against.  Luckily they are almost vanishingly rare.

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Who was with you during these confrontations? I, too have had several experiences with bears (black). On the trail and in the camp. Each time I hadn't the need for a gun... education was my weapon.... but I was alone or with fellow bush-peers. If I project myself back to those situations and include my family .... my stomach drops... I would have been in a completely different state of mind... "protective parent".... I really don't know how it would have ended.

 

My son and my wife, were with me both times at the camps, and on the trail it was solely my wife.

 

I've learned something over the years. That there are three types of people in survival situations.  1 -Those that are too stunned to act. They end up dead simply because they refuse to believe what's going on. 2 - Those who act to hastily. They're the ones who think that attacking an animal before it attacks you is a solid course of action. Corner an animal into a fight and I guarantee there  WILL be a confrontation. They're the ones usually found deceased at the bottom of a ravine as they blindly tried to run through the forest.  3 - The ones who put thought into their actions. 

 

Even when my son was with me, I never allowed his presence to force me to over-act.  Actually if I recall correctly, he's the one who located my whistle attached to my backpack and started blowing it.

 

BTW I should mention the issue of firepower.  Consider how much it would take to bring down a 1500lb grizzly?  How annoyed will he be if you graze him, or miss altogether?  Even if you hit him the odds of him dying immediately are 100-1...

 

That's the essence of it Swede. Let them know that you're there. People think they need to be quiet in the forest, but really, let the pots and pans bang, and attach a bell to your pack.  I always have a whistle with me. Education and bushcraft will beat a pistol any day.

 

Bob, up here, I haven't had the exposure to the criminal elements, and crazies you eluded to.  Maybe that's cause for someone to carry a firearm, I don't know, I guess it's a matter of choice. In my opinion, Canadians and Americans view firearms differently. You see them as a shield, a form of defense. We see them as a tool, a means to an ends.  There are far fewer gun deaths up here, and yet no more rapes etc per capita, so I can't give firearms credit for that.  Maybe guns are a deterant, but this fact gives me hope that there are other solutions than taking lives.

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Usually in Canada with the bush like it is and the wind swirlling they smell you way before your close enough to be a problem.One other time I startled a bear I was comming up to Red Deer lake in Manatoba and the wind was blowing in off the lake. Bears always follow the shore line around all the lakes so when your in that area be aware its more likely to meet and surprise a bear. With the wind flowing in more of a straight line and the noise of waves lapping the shore its likely the bear wont smell you or hear you.

 

Ive only shot one bear in my life and I will never shoot another one. The meat is barely edible and the smell from skinning and gutting a bear will stay on your hands for weeks. Ive got a picture around here some where.

 

Heres a bear I caught swimming between islands on Amisk Lake Saskatchewn Canada>

 

bear2ij5.jpg

 

My bear rug>bearrugdz2.jpg

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Bob, up here, I haven't had the exposure to the criminal elements, and crazies you eluded to.  Maybe that's cause for someone to carry a firearm, I don't know, I guess it's a matter of choice. In my opinion, Canadians and Americans view firearms differently. You see them as a shield, a form of defense. We see them as a tool, a means to an ends.  There are far fewer gun deaths up here, and yet no more rapes etc per capita, so I can't give firearms credit for that.  Maybe guns are a deterant, but this fact gives me hope that there are other solutions than taking lives.

 

 

As I said, to each his own, and personal experience will usually be the deciding factor.  I, personally, do not want to take a life.  As for the differences in crime, maybe it's cultural...I don't know and I won't bother to guess.  Ours seems to be a culture of violence, and our prison systems seems to be better at producing hardened criminals than it is at "reforming" them. 

 

Like I said, I was just offering a reason for my decision.

 

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A brother and sister I went to school with left for Canada in the brothers senior year. They settled in Creaton Sask just across the border of Flin Flon, Man. The brother Dean married a local girl and ran a fishing camp on Amisk lake for years. They decided to come back to his home town for a vacation. Deans wife Bonnie was terrified after crossing the border into the U.S. and kept her door locked the entire time of their trip. She was deathly afraid for her life because of all the violence she had heard and seen on tv that goes on in the U.S. that we Americans have gotten used to.

 

So when I hear Ants description of the life hes used to I can see why he sees the gun issue differently. Like he says guns are for hunting up there and gun violence in most parts of Canada are much lower.

 

My first trip into Canada was through Manatoba where their motto is "frendly Manatoba". The people there were so friendly we were suspicious because back home anyone that friendly either wants to scam you or sell you something. Ive traveled Canada from Saskatchewn to the east coast and although it changes the farther you go east as far as population the people live different lives than most Americans.

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Thanks Swede.  I was worried that  my post would seem un-Americana, which couldn't be farther from the truth.  I'm a border Monkey.  I live on the shores of the St. Lawrence and spend alot of time on both sides of the river.  The New York I know is Ogdensburg and Massena, two beautiful towns.  What I've seen of New York City, I've only watched on television.  We have gangs and bad neighbourhoods here, but if what I see on CNN is true, then our 'bad' areas are a joke. 

 

The fault may be mine in that I lack the exposure to the 'human' element that would definitely be a strong advocate for gun use, however my stance on the animal world still holds.

 

 

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I'm not sure that the US and Canada is that different, I do think that the way crime is reported down here is different.  We frankly watch too much news, listening to what horrors they can drag up on the other side of the country.  While I don't advocate a stick your head in the sand philosophy I have to keep reminding myself of how many people I personally know who have been involved in a serious crime of violence.  Even less of those involved firearms, on either side.  Granted, I live in a rural area, and stay away from the bars and nightlife of the big cities.  Maybe 2 or 3 in 50 years, personally.  If I watch TV, I can see 5 a night.  I often wonder if the Canadian news is less unrestrained, and when you look at the dichotomy, you think it's lawless city down here.

 

In my case, I am a bit more concerned about the animals, even though to the average hiker, I think humans pose more of a threat.  The wife and I do winter camping, where you just don't see the numbers of humans you do in the summer.  If we go in the summer, we go somewhere fairly remote.  Most states, we have to rely on our machetes for defense, because a CCW usually is only good in your home state, unless the state you are going to has reciprocity with yours.  Even if the state you are going to allows them, you still usually have to travel through some  censored.gif  censored.gif state that doesn't.

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