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Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Aug 05 2002 10:44 am
by pixelfrog
Hi All,

I was on a beautiful hike this past saturday morning on the Bluffs Springs Trail in the Sups. The Temperature cooperated, the sun was behind clouds, there was a nice breeze and of course anyone who's been out there knows the scenery is increadible.

The only weird thing about the hike was on the way back to the trailhead at the end of my hike probably within a half mile of the peralta trailhead, I ran into these two guys that were all suited up for war games or something. Camo, Knives strapped to gear suspenders, a pistol at the older man's side who had so much facial hair, you could barely see his face.

As I passed them with my hiking poles out the older guy said to me all suprised, "Ski Poles?!!!" I quickly explained they helped the old knees on the way down after I noticed he had a gun at his side. I pretty much smiled and nodded then continued on my way.

Now I'm all for everyone's right to bear arms and all, but seeing this kind of freaked me out. I know it's legal to carry handguns in Arizona and that's fine, but I was thinking there isn't a very large reason to carry a gun out there, especially if you are with another full grown adult male.

I have no idea what their reason would be for bringing those types of weopons out there, and the whole incident was a bit disturbing. I was glad that I encountered these yahoo's close to the trailhead. Anyone else run into any of these gun toting militia type weirdo's?

Paul

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 4:53 pm
by chumley
Jeff MacE wrote:Any idea where one actually is?
Mike's got it right with the Rim area. There have been a couple of well-publicized busts over the past couple of years. I believe the largest one was in the basin upstream of Fossil Springs. Literally thousands of plants were burned by DPS. (I camped at the top of the valley for a few days for the fresh mountain breezes ... :D )

There was another one busted which was accessed from the Highline Trail. (No pun intended).

But seriously, most people don't know where one actually is because that's a serious threat to somebody's very expensive stash. According to the news stories I've read, the farms are often protected by coyotes and/or illegal immigrants who are paying for their passage to the US. Usually well armed with automatic weapons. :gun: I'd be surprised if anybody who is risking so much will only protect their farm with a guy in a tent with a 9mm. Its worth a lot more to them than that. (Where's the "bong-smoking smiley?)

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 5:11 pm
by te_wa
the info I got about 2 Mazatzal busts was during my "interview" with Gila Sherriffs. What I learned was the guys they caught last time started shooting at 2 hunters, and the hunters were obviously better prepared because they caught the bandito, and held him at gun point. They were prolly using the standard rifle (308, 270 etc..) but might have had a sidearm as well. The pic of the bust area listed in the Payson Roundup showed a Marmot solo tent in plain sight. The paper might be wrong, but for the coyote or immigrant to be in a Marmot tent was a surprise to me! (they dont sell 'em at Walmart)
chumley wrote:(I camped at the top of the valley for a few days for the fresh mountain breezes ... )
hey thats pretty funny.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 5:37 pm
by Jeffshadows
te-wa wrote:the info I got about 2 Mazatzal busts was during my "interview" with Gila Sherriffs. What I learned was the guys they caught last time started shooting at 2 hunters, and the hunters were obviously better prepared because they caught the bandito, and held him at gun point. They were prolly using the standard rifle (308, 270 etc..) but might have had a sidearm as well. The pic of the bust area listed in the Payson Roundup showed a Marmot solo tent in plain sight. The paper might be wrong, but for the coyote or immigrant to be in a Marmot tent was a surprise to me! (they dont sell 'em at Walmart)
chumley wrote:(I camped at the top of the valley for a few days for the fresh mountain breezes ... )
hey thats pretty funny.
Good grief...

On another note, the PC Sheriff Deputies used to routinely bust yahoos up on Lemmon at Hitchcock and in Spencer Canyon cooking crank on a campstove outside a panel van :? ...

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 6:06 pm
by te_wa
what!!?
(in a van down by the river? now that would be funny :sl: )

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 9:15 am
by formertexan
Back in early June 2008 I heard some heavy explosions around the Black Mesa area of the Superstitions. Any ideas whether this is from somebody's attempt at prospecting, or yahoos playing with the new army surplus toys?

A post script on this lengthy topic: your wits will always be the best protection. If you don't hav'em around you, then a backpack full of guns won't help.

Cheers, Bill

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 10:07 am
by SuperstitionGuy
In 1985 while hiking up Red Tanks trail I kept hearing explosions to my north northwest. They were about five explosions and were each about five minutes apart. When I approached the east end of Upper LaBarge Box, I saw and met Chuck Crawford as he was rolling pieces of a giant saguaro off the trail down into the wash. He was using a heavy crowbar and was attempting to hide the fact that he had dynamited this saguaro down, and into many pieces.

When he found out that I was not a Sheriff's Deputy, a U.S. Forest Ranger or a member of the Sierra Club, he calmed down and then tried to enlist me into bankrolling his then illegal mining operation! What a character! He was dressed in camo from his sweaty head band to his lightweight hiking boots and he carried a 9mm pistol in a shoulder holster and had a US Viet Nam style rifle resting nearby. Even his pocket hankerchief was camo!

As it was late in the afternoon I spent the night at his camp while he regaled me with stories of the Superstitions. He quite frankly believed everything he had ever read or heard about the Superstitions and then some! I offered to return again and record these stories and help him write a book about his adventures in the Superstitions but he declined, wanting all the attention and $$$ for himself. I did return two weeks later with a recorder and offered again to help him by co-writing a book but he still turned me down. To bad, as Chuck passed away a few years ago, but then I wasn't all that interested in perpetuating a bunch of stories that are mostly lies anyway.

And why was he dynamiting that saguaro down? He believed it had been replanted there by the spanish gold miners and that it was hiding the entrance to their mine shaft. So if you happen to hike just east of the entrance to the Upper LaBarge Box and fall through the ground and into an old mine shaft, you just might become a very wealthy man, if you survive the fall....

And why was I backpacking the Red Tanks trail? Well, I was a volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service and was sent to check out dear Mr. Crawford, one of the last real miners of the Superstitions.... And I still have the pictures of Chuck, his camp and his diggings. Unfortunately they are not digital or on my computer so I cannot share them with you at this time.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 10:28 am
by Jeffshadows
Many years ago some clown down here in Tucson discovered that a Kalashnikov rifle can be made to fire in full-auto mode by restraining the movement of one of the sears (For safety's sake I'll omit which) with a small zip tie. The only problem being once modified it will fire in full auto and not stop until the magazine is empty.

Long story short, he figured out this "minor" catch the hard way while shooting at a large saguaro near the Tanque Verde wash. After riddling the poor cactus with his gutter-engineered Class III amusement device, the saguaro promptly fell over and killed him. My understanding was the ATF still arrested his buddy and tried to fine his wife for unlawful possession of a machine gun. I love it when nature fights back... :sl:

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 3:49 pm
by te_wa
why, why do you people wait all this time to tell us these stories.. :?
SupesGuy, go buy a scanner NOW

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 4:07 pm
by nonot
I heard a hell of a lot of noise and explosions this past winter from the western Supes, I figured it was either the work on the dam or the mine near first water.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 5:06 pm
by Jeffshadows
te-wa wrote:why, why do you people wait all this time to tell us these stories.. :?
SupesGuy, go buy a scanner NOW
The timing had to be just right :D

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 9:03 pm
by base871
that noise your hearing might be this guy with a mini civil war cannon. just powder and wadding, tho. ive seen him around and he is a hoot to talk with. ive seen him all over, especially on fr143.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 18 2008 10:04 pm
by big_load
base871 wrote: just powder and wadding, tho.
That's all it takes to kill you when things go bad.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 22 2008 8:54 am
by Grasshopper
chumley wrote:Jeff MacE wrote:
Any idea where one actually is?

Mike's got it right with the Rim area. There have been a couple of well-publicized busts over the past couple of years. I believe the largest one was in the basin upstream of Fossil Springs. Literally thousands of plants were burned by DPS. (I camped at the top of the valley for a few days for the fresh mountain breezes ... )

There was another one busted which was accessed from the Highline Trail. (No pun intended).

But seriously, most people don't know where one actually is because that's a serious threat to somebody's very expensive stash. According to the news stories I've read, the farms are often protected by coyotes and/or illegal immigrants who are paying for their passage to the US. Usually well armed with automatic weapons. I'd be surprised if anybody who is risking so much will only protect their farm with a guy in a tent with a 9mm. Its worth a lot more to them than that. (Where's the "bong-smoking smiley?)
On NPR this morning, another sophisticated operation and ~4600 plant find by two hikers yesterday at the bottom of WOODS CANYON (near Flagstaff).. http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=155

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 22 2008 8:57 am
by Jeffshadows
Grasshopper wrote:
chumley wrote:Jeff MacE wrote:
Any idea where one actually is?

Mike's got it right with the Rim area. There have been a couple of well-publicized busts over the past couple of years. I believe the largest one was in the basin upstream of Fossil Springs. Literally thousands of plants were burned by DPS. (I camped at the top of the valley for a few days for the fresh mountain breezes ... )

There was another one busted which was accessed from the Highline Trail. (No pun intended).

But seriously, most people don't know where one actually is because that's a serious threat to somebody's very expensive stash. According to the news stories I've read, the farms are often protected by coyotes and/or illegal immigrants who are paying for their passage to the US. Usually well armed with automatic weapons. I'd be surprised if anybody who is risking so much will only protect their farm with a guy in a tent with a 9mm. Its worth a lot more to them than that. (Where's the "bong-smoking smiley?)
On NPR this morning, another sophisticated operation and ~4600 plant find by two hikers yesterday at the bottom of WOODS CANYON (near Flagstaff).. Where is Woods Canyon located and what active trail goes by/through there?
Flagstaff and the real backcountry that exists up in that part of the state is *not* the backside of the Catalinas, of course :D

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 22 2008 7:24 pm
by nonot
Must of been Woods Canyon North of I17, I don't think you could set anything like that up South of the highway.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 22 2008 11:12 pm
by chumley
West of I-17, south of Schnebly Hill Road.

From Verde News:
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Local, state and federal police officers raided a clandestine marijuana "grow" in the Coconino Forest at a remote area in the bottom of Woods Canyon near Sedona.

Two outdoor enthusiasts were hiking July 7 in the rugged area. The canyon is located south of Schnebly Hill Road and west of Interstate 17. The hikers discovered what they believed to be a large marijuana farm and reported their suspicions to the Northern Arizona Street Crimes Task Force (Metro). Using spotting scopes and other equipment, the task force confirmed the hikers' tip. Metro agents observed the area from the top of the rim but did not enter the canyon fearing they may alert suspects tending to the plants in the area.

A special team made up of the Coconino SO, Flagstaff Police, Forest Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration positioned themselves in strategic locations to watch the suspected marijuana field. Detectives observed as many as five men who appeared to be caring for the plants.

This past Wednesday, task force members descended the canyon and secured the area. Because of the thick vegetation, the vast area involved and the steep terrain, the five suspects who were believed to be in the area eluded apprehension. Officers secured 4,200 marijuana plants and numerous items that are associated with an illegal cultivation operation. The plants were grown in an area the size of two football fields and were about three feet tall.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 23 2008 5:50 am
by azbackpackr
Well, there goes another few pounds of good domestic!

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Nov 11 2008 9:24 am
by desert spirit
I read this forum with great interest, and appreciate everyone's reasoned input on the subject.

Personally, I hate guns. And I am very dismayed by the prospect of liquored-up gun whackos whose credo seems to be "if it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, tear it up with your ATV." And by the way, I didn't come from the east, bringing my anti-gun ideas with me (not sure why it matters what part of the country you're from).

That said, I'm not exactly partial to the idea of being assaulted, either. I like to hike by myself, because to me the essence of wilderness is solitude. But the reality is that there are more and more whackos of one sort or another out there all the time.

Taken all together, these things have made me think again about my stance on weapons of self-protection. I do carry spray, as well as a buck knife almost as tall as I am. The only time I've come close to needing either was in a Forest Service campground, not out on the trail. Consequently, I don't camp alone in campgrounds anymore.

My own personal jury is still out on getting a gun, however. I'm just going to have to think about this some more.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Nov 11 2008 9:28 am
by Jeffshadows
Unfortunately, a small but highly visible minority of gun owners ruin it for the rest of us. Trust me, we cringe along side you. Case and point: http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=75517

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Nov 11 2008 9:59 am
by mapit
AS an ex pat brit who has lived and traveled in spooky places such as the gaza strip,Spanish Sahara 1982,I would say I have at times had access to guns,I have only ever been in fear of injury here in AZ with the combination campers who need a beer in one hand and a gun in the other,Down by the Verde it sounds like a war zone many nights.I carry a sling shot,as a deterrent its confusing because it is quiet,At close range it can be as lethal as a hand gun.Non humans never worry me even when camping hiking solo.If you feel the need ,responsibility is heavy .
It may be that personal fears are valid,but remember fear is what kills along with its brother Panic.