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For shooters whose range is the BLM/NFS land around you

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Kevatc, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Took advantage of a rare coincidence today with that being a nice day and a day off to go do some drills. I found an old gravel quary that was about 800 yards up a spur off the main BLM road. Once you turn off the main road you pretty much have to drive to the end where there is a turn around loop. I was parked up at the turn around loop.

    After doing some short distance pistol and AR drills I decided to try my hand at a torso sized target out at about 150 yards. I had my empty pistol on me and two empty mags, my target stand, and target ... my hands were full. I had left my AR on the tailgate of my truck. Just as I get to the cut bank at the last turn heading up to the quary a beat up old Accord and a Jeep with a beater old camp trailer behind pulled up. Instead of stopping they just kept on chugging by me.

    The Accord had 3 people in it: a guy and gal in their late teens or early 20's and the driver was a hard looking, tweaked out, "woman" possibly in her 50's but looked about 70. My gut said meth heads. The guy pulling the trailer might have been in his early to mid 20's. All the players were some scraggly looking folks.

    My initial response was to get my 3 curious pooches out of the way as they went by me.

    Are your bells and whistles going off yet???

    Then I remembered that I had left my AR on the tailgate with 3 full mags right with it. So there I am feeling like a giant vulnerable idiot. They must have thought I was tweaking because as soon as I realized that they could get up to my truck at the turn around loop before me I was sprinting up the road next to the Accord doing my darndest to beat them. Thank God the Accord was going slow enough due to the rough road and the fact that my 14 year old Golden decided that just trotting in front of the car was good enough for her.

    I no sooner get there than the Accord parks right behind my truck and the "women" gets out of her car. Why??? Why not just drive the loop and leave???? At any rate, I grab the AR, step back behind my truck aways so I can see both her car and the camper guy start making his way around the loop. She starts quizzing me on how long I planned to stay, if I was camping, where was I shooting, what was I shooting, etc.

    Already long story made short: they left but all parties were really checking me out as they did so.

    Lessons:

    1. As a state trooper friend has told me keep your sidearm loaded ALWAYS when in the mountains. You never know if someone is watching you waiting until you are dry to come take your stuff.
    2. Don't leave guns and ammo out for easy pickings no matter how remote you might feel or remote the chances are that someone will happen upon you.
    3. Sometimes the immediate environment will make it hard to keep everyone in sight. Keep your head on a swivel.
    4. Be polite. Start thinking about how you need to move and maintain cover if things go south of cheese.
     
  2. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    Interesting. I keep my ar on me the whole time shooting because of people like that or worse

    Glad it worked out for you though...tweekers make me nervous too...always seems Like they are scheming to steal something. Like that lady you were talking with. She was probably feeling you out for an oppurtunity...never know
     
  3. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting that along with the 'normal' effect meth has on a person it also leaves him/her with a Complete Lack Of Respect, Care Or Concern For Anyone Or Themselves and a total loss of rational thought. A friend of mine had a similar encounter a couple years ago on the Deschutes River and not far from his house. A little more tense but it ended with everyone walking away.
     
  4. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I would bet they had a meth lab in that trailer and were looking for a spot to set up.
     
  5. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I lived on the central coast for several years, and used the timber lands there for shooting all the time. There was also a quarry off one of the main fire roads that "everybody" used to shoot, it looked like an open dump most of the time. Since I worked as a Voc Instructor for the Job Corps, I could have my guys help me clean it up periodically... anyway, I always got a creepy vibe at that quarry. If set up a bench and left my rifle on the table, I'd always take the bolt out and put it in my pocket if I left the table. If I had my .22, I'd sling it on my shoulder when I went to change targets. I didn't have a pistol back then.
    Once I got up there to see a crew exactly like the one you described. They had a set up camp, and obviously planned to stay a while. They had little kids, a malnourished dog, and a story about how 'her man" had finally gotten some work over here, and this was just temporary till they got settled. Well, they were complete and total squatters. I felt sorry for them until I saw the mountains of disgusting garbage they left behind. I am sure they felt they had no other option, or maybe they didn't think anything of it?
    We found another series of squatter camps while bear hunting once. They were all by the same guy, well known to the FS LEO. He was a veteran who couldn't reintegrate. His camps were spotless. They looked like something from a scout craft book, and were devoid of any garbage.
     
  6. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Man your lucky.
    2 rules for the woods, or shooting on BLM.
    1. Always bring a friend.
    2. Always be armed.

    When going down to set up targets or clean up. I always reload and take my pistol with full mags.
    AND when leaving. I never shoot all my ammo, I keep enough to fill all mags. So if I'm driving out nobody can hold me up.


    You never know when your going to run into a meth lab, marijauna grow, or just some crazy murderer.

    You made a initial mistake, but acted correctly in getting to your AR before they could.

    I they stayed I probably would have called the LEOs to check them out. Whether their leaving garbage or cooking up poison.
     
    CharonPDX and (deleted member) like this.
  7. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    +1 I keep my personal defense load magazines separate from the ones I use for target shooting when pistol shooting, and they go into my mag holder and the pistol when I'm done.
     
  8. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    BLM land is the only place I shoot, and I've seen more thief/tweaker looking people at the places I shoot in the past 6 months than the rest of my life combined. There's a lot more shooters at the places I go to as well, and most of them aren't picking up their trash afterward.

    In fact, it's gotten so bad that I rarely even shoot at most of the places I use to because of all the idiots. I'll just drive a little further and find somewhere no one else is likely to show up at, even if it's not as good of a spot to shoot. I was always have my keltec in my pocket, and if I do leave a gun on the hood when I'm walking to check the targets, I make sure there's no ammo with it.

    There's a lot more rude, disrespectful morons around now too. I was up Burnt mountain recently trying out some new loads at a gravel pit. I had just gotten everything set up and was on the first mag, and a truck of full of drunken fools and children drove down the road that goes along the top of the pit (it only goes about 75 yards and dead ends), stared right at me and seen I was shooting and what direction I was shooting in, but kept going and then parked right above where my targets where. I just packed up my stuff and left. Anyone so stupid that they would drive through a line of fire obviously doesn't care that someone was already there first.
     
  9. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    Not sure you 'have' to bring a friend with you everytime but it is definately a wise thing to do. I don't know anyone that likes to be out in the woods as much as me so I am out there alone more times than not. I guess my dog is always with me too but she's harmless. I too keep a spare mag of SD ammo for both my AR and .45 just in case. You never know... There are a lot of crazies out there. And some of them aren't afraid of an armed person so you have to be on your ready at all times
     
  10. marty8587

    marty8587 NE Portland Active Member

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    I was up at Memalose with a couple of friends one time when a tweeker gal drpove up with a car load of propane tanks she wanted us to shoot for her, we politly declined. Another time there was a group of 3 guys that showed up after we were already there and were picking brass, no problem until they got behind us and our vehicle and were working towards us, needless to say we put a quick stop to that. In all fairness though I must mention that I've met alot of good folks up there, some members of this forum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  11. A.I.P.

    A.I.P. UpperUS Active Member

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    I was unarmed in the woods a mile from my home last fall This drunkin ash hat, with 2 males in late teens accosted me, asked if I sucked Bleep and after a show down, (he was armed with a pistol) I walked away and he followed me blocked my exit with his truck exited his vechicle, demanded I step out and talk with him because he was unarmed, his holster was empty (he had the pistol in his hip pocket). 3 weeks later he's at my house but I had a riot gun so he left in a hurry I have his plate number:
    Black Dodge 4 door short bed PU vancouver address. The perp is 40-50YO 6' and thin build, he is dangerous.
    Now I travel armed w/camera and BA
     
  12. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    That was exactly what I was thinking.

    I have done some shooting at gravel pit up Burnt mountain ... wonder if it's the same place? Your description matches my memory of the place although I haven't been there in at least 7-8 years.

    I have also bumped into some genuinely nice strangers in the mountains as well. I am thinking they are just like me in that they love the solitude and beauty that you just can't get in town.
     
  13. Mica

    Mica Eugene Active Member

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    I do all my shooting on public land also. Looks like everyone here that does, have all there bases coverd. Im from north Idaho, and even there I NEVER leave guns loaded at the rig while down range and always take a rifle with me to reset targets. I would hate to miss a tweeker and hit my rig if one was messin with my gear.
     
  14. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    Whatever happened to stopping and haveing tea or a cold one with other out of doorers.
     
  15. marty8587

    marty8587 NE Portland Active Member

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    That can still be there, It just takes time... and references!
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    It's permanent brain damage. You can never trust a former meth head either.. it fries the conscience centers of the brain

    I've had a few similar experiences when out shooting.. once was caught semi-unprepared with a nearly empty AR15 and a loaded two shot .38 derringer in my pocket. These days I always have at minimum a full size, centerfire service caliber pistol on me with reloads, and if I have long guns I always have spare loaded mags for them real handy-like or inserted

    Ma Duce is right, it sounds like a cooking expedition
     
  17. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Meth and the other assorted madness and violence of the last 40 years
     
  18. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I guess I have been lucky so far. All my years of shooting all over Central Oregon and I have never had anything close to some of the encounters described. If anything I have met some great people out shooting and have swapped shooting guns with others. Probably one part luck, one part always being armed and one part staying aware. I have driven past some shady looking situations but just kept going.
     
  19. addiction

    addiction Monroe Wa Active Member

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    for some reason this reminded me of a scene from a book, Robert A. Heinlein's Time enough for love, its scifi, but the scene is he was homesteading with his wife and some bad guys show up, he ends up taking them in and serving them dinner, cause that is what you do when you are hospitable, well the bad guys end up threatening them, and because the main character was well prepared, he out foxes them and ends up killing the bad guys. During the dieing moments of one of the bad guys, the bad guy complains that they were not given a chance, he thinks this because they were so soundly defeated, and the main character points out they were given every chance.....

    don't know why, but that comes to mind.
     
  20. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    In the same general area as I outlined in the first post I got to talking with what turned out to be three generations of a family several summers ago. The one guy was so proud of his 375 H&H that he let me shoot it and then he gave me a round for my collection ... which until that moment didn't exist. Everytime I look at my collection now I just smile thinking about that guy and his enthusiasm for his gun and shooting with his dad and his son.