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Hand guns on the trail?

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Do you take a Gun on the trail?

Yes
102
48%
No
112
52%
 
Total votes: 214

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AZ_Hiker
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Hand guns on the trail?

Post by AZ_Hiker » Jun 25 2003 10:31 am

I was just wondering how many or if any of you take a gun when you hike. I do. there are many reasons I can think of to take one along.

I have a few friends here at work that are both experanced hikers. one was part of search and rescue for many years, the other was a cop. Both have hiked just about every area of AZ and both have told me to always take a gun for many different reasons.
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bryanmertz
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Post by bryanmertz » Jun 25 2003 10:34 am

I don't own a hand-gun - so don't carry one. I'm considering getting one however, and if I do - I would probably take it with me (especially on overnighters;) although I would carry it in my pack unloaded - not as a sidearm. I usually have some pepper-spray or alternative non-lethal deterant in my pack.

Bryan
Last edited by bryanmertz on Jun 25 2003 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » Jun 25 2003 10:38 am

The results are already in, check out the topic "scary nra militia types"

http://hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtopic.php?t=471

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Daryl
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Post by Daryl » Jun 25 2003 11:05 am

Note that if you want to keep your hand gun in your pack you would need to have a concealed weapons permit. Even if it is unloaded.

Furthermore, if you keep in in your pack, why bring it? In the even that you wanted to use it for something it would take to long to dig it out of your pack and load it.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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AK
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Post by AK » Jun 25 2003 11:57 am

If I'm going on an overnighter or to bear country, I carry mine. Loaded. But not on day hikes. (see aaronhales recent story in the bear encounters articles) http://hikearizona.com/dex2/article.php?AID=14

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pauldelamancha
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Post by pauldelamancha » Jun 25 2003 1:11 pm

I don't. I figure the chances of having an accident with it are about equal with the chances I will have trouble with animals. Besides it is a good chunk of weight that could be something that was useful I figure. I wonder if there are any statiistics on how many encounters were actually aided by use of a sidearm. The greatest deterrant is prevention I figure (being careful with food and so forth). I suppose if I was hiking in Grizzly country I might reconsider.

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ellehcim
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Re: Hand guns on the trail?

Post by ellehcim » Jun 25 2003 1:46 pm

In response to AZ_Hiker's reply:

I dont currently own a firearm, but I was the Armorer for the Rifle Team at NIU for a while.

And I have to tell you that I have alot more respect for guns that people. I have never seen a gun act stupid.

I dont see a reason to carry one on a local hike, but I would not advise against it. And if you are going out for several days in the outback then it might be a good idea, especially if it was close to mexico.


It is a personal choice in this country and especially in this state!!!

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Daryl
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Re: Hand guns on the trail?

Post by Daryl » Jun 25 2003 2:17 pm

In response to ellehcim's reply:

I agree, I wouldn't hike anywhere south of Phoenix with out one. Drug running and people smuggling out of mexico is at an all time high.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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coaster
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Post by coaster » Jun 25 2003 2:23 pm

The only times I would consider one is when hiking in bear country or when hiking close to border towns.

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Randy
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Handgun

Post by Randy » Jun 25 2003 5:30 pm

I certainly am no stranger to handguns. I love all guns and have quite a few. I used to carry all the time in the backcountry, and stopped after I discovered that in 20 years of packing that iron, it had never been needed for protection.

I lived in Cochise County for a while and did lots of hikes in the Chiricahuas. As others above have noted, I would be apprehensive down by the border there today without serious firepower, mostly around the back roads and trailheads where cars are, not so much at 9k in the backcountry.

If you are considering carrying, I have three suggestions. 1. Carry enough gun to do the job. If you run into a really mad bear or a really bad person (guess which is worse), they will only be worse company if they are wounded but not put down. Our special ops folks in Iraq no longer carry a 9mm, they've gone back to my favorite, the 45 auto. 45acp, 40 S&w, and .357 mag are all pretty effective stoppers, .38 with +P overloaded ammo is acceptable, 9mm I just don't have much faith in, especially on thick hide or heavily clothed targets. Don't shoot bears in the head, the skull is amazingly thick and even heavy rounds can glance off. Aim for Chest/body mass. Same is true for the two legged critter, head is small target. If really nervous, remember that any center fire rifle is more powerful than a hand gun at close range. If it's still moving, keep shooting. Reload, reload, reload.

2. Know how to use it well, before the crisis. Remember how automatically you acted the last time you had a close call when driving. You won't have time to think about how the mechanism works when the need arises, you'll rely on practised response. This means practice....

3. Be emotionally and psychologically prepared to use it in appropriate circumstances. Really bad folks are the best psychologists in the world. If you have it, but are afraid or unwilling to use it, they will not only know it, they will smell it. There is then a very good chance that it will be taken from you. This happens, and is probably worse than not having the protection in the first place.

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AZ_Hiker
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Post by AZ_Hiker » Jun 25 2003 8:15 pm

Randy makes lots of good points

I would never pull a gun unless I was going to use it.. for animals if there was time I might give a warning shot :wink:
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Giovanna
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gun on the trail

Post by Giovanna » Jun 25 2003 9:45 pm

I carry a gun when I hike alone. I have been followed on a trail and had to hold it in my hand as I high-tailed it back to my truck and got out of there. The person who was tracking me stayed in the brush. I am glad I had something on me and I was very willing to use it if the need arose. I was relieved that it didn't and I rarely hike alone anymore.
Giovanna

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Daryl
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Post by Daryl » Jun 26 2003 11:31 am

I carry a little, lightweight .22 on hikes where I feel it is required. I agree more fire power is always better, but I feel fine on hikes with my little .22 for the following reasons:
* 9 times out of 10, with an animal, all I would want to do is scare it away. The bang from a .22 should be enough to do that for most animals. A mad bear may stay put.
* Even with a higher powered gun, shooting a bear is not a good idea. It takes a lot to kill one and they have a temper. If I had a bear coming after me, my first 2 shots would be warning shots hoping he would turn around and run.
* In the event you are dealing with the 2 legged evil creature, even though a shot from a .22 may not stop them completely, it will hurt them enough to make them think twice about continuing. My .22 carries 6 bullets and I have extra clips. I'd bet they stop before I ran out of ammo. Also, the 2 legger should be wise enough to stop before catching the first bullet if you are pointing a gun at them.

Furthermore, what every you carry, be accurate! Emptying your weapon without hitting the target means game over.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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RedRoxx44
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Post by RedRoxx44 » Jul 03 2003 6:02 am

As a usually solo female hiker I usually carry in remote places. I have been trained and know how to use a weapon. I agree, you must be prepared to take action and use common sense or leave it at home or don't have one. I have hiked a lot in remote areas of southern Ca. and met a lot of people south of the border heading north. I've never had a problem but you never know. A few of my Border patrol friends can tell you some real horror stories. I had an unpleasant encounter once at a remote trailhead up on the Az strip , but fortunately worked out ok. The best action is to act confident, be aware of your surroundings and be prepared.

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Randy
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running

Post by Randy » Jul 03 2003 10:27 am

RedRoxx's comments remind me of when a woman was attacked and killed by a lion while jogging near Ranch Cucamonga, Ca. some years back. New developments built in wildlife habitat sometimes create unfortunate encounters. The lesson from this accident is to never run (I haven't in years, and have the physique to prove it :oops: )

Seriously, if a predator sees a runner, the animal is likely to assume that the runner is either pursuing prey, and in HIS territory to boot; or that the runner is being pursued by another predator, again in HIS territory. This situation can end badly (at least for the pursuee).

Contrary to the old joke, predators rarely stop and say grace first....they do so after....

So, don't turn your back on them, don't run, try to appear as large as possible, always undo hipbelt (being placed in "turtle" position on the trail is not good, unless you are preparing to dine on hot entrails...) and be prepared to drop pack.

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hegstrom
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Post by hegstrom » Jul 03 2003 1:35 pm

I don't own a gun nor would I carry one on the trail, although safety from the other two-legged critters out there has come to mind a couple of times. I harbor many of same opinions that ck1 stated quite well in the old/previous thread that was linked earlier.

I was really amazed at the previous poll results as well. From the results of the poll I guess I'll start carrying a 'pepper' spray type of something.

I'm surprised that the previous thread was so long, hopefully this one will come to a close soon as well. This discussion kind of tarnishes the pristine outdoor feeling.
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AZ_Hiker
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Post by AZ_Hiker » Jul 05 2003 1:27 pm

people that carry a gun "tarnishes the pristine outdoor feeling"?
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ck_1
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Post by ck_1 » Jul 05 2003 2:24 pm

AZ_Hiker wrote:people that carry a gun "tarnishes the pristine outdoor feeling"?
I don't believe that is what was said.

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AZ_Hiker
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Post by AZ_Hiker » Jul 05 2003 3:23 pm

thats why I asked the question. Just wanted to be clear about what was being said.
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ck_1
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Post by ck_1 » Jul 05 2003 9:44 pm

ck_1 wrote:
AZ_Hiker wrote:people that carry a gun "tarnishes the pristine outdoor feeling"?
I don't believe that is what was said.
But I'd say that I don't feel as comfortable on a trail when I've noticed another hiker with a holstered or held handgun. So, I guess the wilderness becomes less pristine for me in this regard...

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