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  1. #1
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    Need for a gun in the woods?

    So we just moved up to the Eastside (of Seattle) from the San Francisco Bay Area. Several people in a row in one week (including some very large, strong movers guys) tell my wife that they always have a gun in the car in case of wildlife encounters (i.e. bears, cougars, etc.) and that it isn't safe to go into the woods without a gun. FWIW, my wife's cousin's husband who is a cop also brings his gun everywhere.

    So my question is...is it so unsafe in the woods that it is necessary to have a gun at all times? I've got to admit that coming from the SF Metro area and having backpacked/camped for 20+ years, the idea of carrying a gun around all the time is a bit foreign to me.

  2. #2
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    The people that you talked to are idiots.

  3. #3
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    Yes, IDIOTS!

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    I've been in the greater San Fran Metro area frequently. Thats the area you absolutely should be packin!

  5. #5
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    yeah, idiots. Most of the time I would say that wildlife doesn't even really care about you and if they do they usually runaway from you...think about how weird you look to them, a man (probably unfamiliar as it is) on a bike.

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    In all the years there has been mountain biking in the PNW, I can only think of one or two wildlife encounters where someone got hurt. When you think about the MILLIONS of hours of riding that has happened here since the 80's, you are way more likely to be attacked by a motorist when you drive to the trailhead. Only the paranoid and fools carry heat on the trails here.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comedic moment. That gun in the car will do wonders for you when you are out on the trail. Mo-rons...

  8. #8
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    Well apparently I am a moron, idiot or whatever you want to call me.....

    You ask if it is safe to go into the woods without a gun. Well that depends. If you do not encounter a bear, cougar, tweeker or need one for some other life threatening emergency situation than yes, it was safe. To me that is kind of like asking if it is safe to not wear a seatbelt. I have been driving for 20 years and have never been in an accident so for me it would have been safe to drive without a seatbelt, I use one because I do not think that way.

    I spend between 50-90 days a year in the woods doing various recreational activities. I carry a small lightweight revolver pretty much all the time, especially in the woods.

    In my years of outdoor activities I have been face to face with an angry mother bear, a very horny bighorn sheep that wanted to head butt me, a bison at 5 feet that made it clear I was trespassing, tweekers that were cooking meth, thieves that were stealing gear from cars and camps. I have also been lost overnight where having a gun could have fed me had I not found my way out in a timely manner. It also could have been used to signal help. I have friends that have been attacked and or stalked by cougars. A friend of mine has a cougar skin on his wall that he shot off of his fatherís back, likely saving his life. There have been dozens of bear, goat and cougar attacks in Washington over the years. A man was recently killed by a goat in the Olympic national park. The parks department has even recently changed laws allowing guns in the national park due to the risk off animal attacks.

    What are the chances of you being a victim? I donít know, probably small. I think you have a better chance to be attacked by a person. Either way I go back to the seatbelt analogy. I think I would rather just have the tools and knowledge to take care of myself if I need to.

    The revolver I carry weighs less than a pound and fits nicely in my pack. Again I see it as a tool just like my bike tools, and other gear. If having the means to take care of yourself when faced with creatures, people or situations that want to harm you makes you and idiot than so be it. I think not having the wherewithal, tools and knowledge to take care of yourself makes you an irresponsible, narrow minded human. You make your own opinion.
    Last edited by thehotrodpig; 01-12-2012 at 01:05 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    they always have a gun in the car in case of wildlife encounters (i.e. bears, cougars, etc.)
    That is silly. All you need to stave off bear and cougar attacks is a riding buddy who is slower than you.

    Quote Originally Posted by thehotrodpig View Post
    The revolver I carry weighs less than a pound and fits nicely in my pack. Again I see it as a tool just like my bike tools, and other gear.
    That is reasonable. Especially if your riding buddies are not disposable.

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    Sometimes I love web discussions. Like a moth to a light.... First of all, they are mo-rons for leaving the gun in the car if they are going to bring one at all. Read the inital post. Second, it's very likely IMHO that little revolver will only piss off the bear/cougar even more. IF you can get it out of the pack in time. Sure, it may be worth having. Not judging there. Only if you can get to it in time. And, I've seen way too many instances where it takes 5 minutes just to find a bike pump...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Sometimes I love web discussions. Like a moth to a light.... First of all, they are mo-rons for leaving the gun in the car if they are going to bring one at all. Read the inital post. Second, it's very likely IMHO that little revolver will only piss off the bear/cougar even more. IF you can get it out of the pack in time. Sure, it may be worth having. Not judging there. Only if you can get to it in time. And, I've seen way too many instances where it takes 5 minutes just to find a bike pump...
    Its an internet forum, discussing opinions is what they are for, not sure what moths have to do with it. Guess I could use the same comment towards your initial reply but I don't see the point.

    I don't recall giving any details about the little revolver or the caliber so I am not sure where your assumptions come from regarding its ability to do its job, whatever it may be.

  12. #12
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    Question for gun packing mountain bikers, how many times have you seriously needed a gun in the woods?

    I never have, well one time when Bob wouldn't shut up, but that's a different case.

  13. #13
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    Have been trolling around outside in this state state first on the Oly pen and now in central Wa. All year 'round. Day and night, the latter quite a lot while dog mushing. I own guns FWIW.

    Kittitas co has a fairly dense cougar population and I've only tangled up with one, and yelling at it and throwing gravel was enough. Bears... Your typical encounter will be suddenly seeing a bear butt running away. If we had a lot of moose maybe I'd change my mind, but in that case you need a serious hand-cannon anyway. I know folks who carry every time they're in the woods because of 'safety' and honestly I don't get it. I have a full survival kit perminantly in my camelbak but I just can't bring myself to that level of paranoia.

    City freaks me out though, especially DRIVING in the city. I'll take the mathematical odds of making it in and out of the back country safely without a gun ANY day over the hazards of Peugeot sound traffic!
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

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    It cracks me up how some folks call carrying a gun paranoia. Its a simple tool, nothing less nothing more. If you don't feel the need to carry that tool that is fine. It is your choice to carry whatever you think is necessary when you are in the woods or in the city. Paranoia has nothing to do with it.

  15. #15
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    Firstly I don't care for the name calling.
    I spend about 342 days a year in the woods riding, night riding, building trail,hiking,running. Mostly solo.I do not believe I would be able to get a gun out of a pack in enough time to be effective. I carried concealed in my twenties and stopped altogether because I am far more likely to put myself in a dangerous situation if I have a firearm. Carrying gives me a different mentality, I am paranoid when carrying, evrything takes on a different light. Guns kill...
    More fun than an open casket funeral

  16. #16
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    I was raised around guns, my Dad is like Charlton Heston...
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtlnd View Post
    Firstly I don't care for the name calling.
    I spend about 342 days a year in the woods riding, night riding, building trail,hiking,running. Mostly solo.I do not believe I would be able to get a gun out of a pack in enough time to be effective. I carried concealed in my twenties and stopped altogether because I am far more likely to put myself in a dangerous situation if I have a firearm. Carrying gives me a different mentality, I am paranoid when carrying, evrything takes on a different light. Guns kill...
    You bring up a very good reason why you should not carry a gun.

    Guns do not kill, people kill. Sometimes a gun is used as the tool. More commonly a car and alcohol are the tools.

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    Than it surprises me you would make a statement that "guns kill",, perhaps in jest?

  19. #19
    Just roll it......
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    I wouldn't say anyone's a moron for carrying a gun. They are fool-hearty in thinking they'll pull a gun out of a pack, holster or whatever in time to kill/deter an attacking cougar. If you are about to be attacked by a cougar, you aren't even going to know it happened - let alone pull out a gun in time.

    My ammunition for Bear/Cougar are two ferocious trail dogs. They make so much gawddamn noise that any self-respecting animal should be a mile away from us. I do a LOT of bushwhacking/scouting/building in the middle of nowhere....no starbucks, no golf courses, no cell phone coverage and I've never considered bringing a gun with me. That said, a buddy is building a trail where there is a lot of cougar evidence and has run across it twice (guessing a den is nearby) and has been carrying a gun when he goes up solo to work. It does give him some peace of mind, but again he's in the middle of nowhere building trail where there is nothing currently.

    EB

  20. #20
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    The good news in most of the state is that there's active hunting pressure on these cats, so if they get overt they're likely to get creased some time in the fall if nothing else. I honestly believe over time this affects their behavior. We've also had some WSFW studies in this area where cats were treed with hounds, tranqed and dropped out of a tree, and collared/inventoried. This is a Really Bad Day for Big Kitty, and IMO reinforces their avoidance of humans. They can live, eat, and reproduce even on the edges of populated areas without folks knowing as long as they're sufficiently motivated to stay undercover.

    Most of the horrible injury/fatality attacks seem to be coming out of California, where hunting or harassing cougar is illegal. I have long speculated that this causes MORE problems for cats over the long haul as they can be completely brazen with humans without consequence.

    We've had a cat in our 'hood off an on over the last few years, but we're so overrun with mule deer that they aren't even bothering with people, livestock, or pets. The whole arrangement works fine, and I don't see a reason to change it unless it actually poses a problem.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  21. #21
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    A gun is designed for one thing, and it ain't playing with legos.
    Yeppers i'd shoot a lot of people, cause I'm tired of stoopid people.
    ****, i'd just as soon stick a Pulaski in someones head.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimba View Post
    Question for gun packing mountain bikers, how many times have you seriously needed a gun in the woods?

    I never have, well one time when Bob wouldn't shut up, but that's a different case.
    Really?

    im not a hunter or a gun nut BUT:

    its not a matter of how many times did you need one in the woods it comes down to this:

    if you happen to roll up to a angry mtn lion, bear or other deadly animal that is showing signs that it will attack. would you want one or would you not?

    would anyone answer no?
    29er's are Goofy

  23. #23
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    *sigh* I'll retract the mo-ron name calling if anyone else thinks it's just fine to go through all the trouble just to leave the firearm in the car at the TH for some crackhead to break in and get... (That alone is where the reference applies.)

    Like many here, I carry way more tools than I think I'll ever need in my pack, just in case. But, a pistola has never been on that list. Don't see any reason.

    Might need one for the Stink Spoke ride on Saturday though. The poker card stop lines are terrible.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotrodpig View Post
    You bring up a very good reason why you should not carry a gun.

    Guns do not kill, people kill. Sometimes a gun is used as the tool. More commonly a car and alcohol are the tools.
    I don't commute during rush hour either...same reason...
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotrodpig View Post
    You bring up a very good reason why you should not carry a gun.

    Guns do not kill, people kill. Sometimes a gun is used as the tool. More commonly a car and alcohol are the tools.
    Hey wise guy, I quick drinking and driving 3 months ago.
    Well at least drinking, I still drive. Kinda sucks without a beer though.
    More fun than an open casket funeral

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