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What lurks in those hills?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by pdxjohann, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    Can anyone describe the current threats occasionally found in the hills, boonies, woods, no-road districts? On another thread concerning motorcycle riding off road, several references to uncomfortable interaction in the woods were mentioned. My experiences have only been generally safe to solitary while stream fishing and treking about. So, perhaps some of you can clue me in. What am I missing which should be of concern? How should I plan and prepare?

    Sincerely, Johann
     
  2. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

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    I have heard alot of stories but personally nothing to talk alot about. One time while shooting by myself early in the morning I had a weirdo come out from no where and walk over about 30 yds from me. I said hi and tried to strike a conversation as most people at the pit are nice and like to talk about shooting. Not this guy, He just kept staring and watching me without a word. I kept shooting my .22 pistol for a minute but I was starting to get a little freaked out. So I took my ak out of the car, slapped a loaded mag into it and started towards the guy. He got a paniced look on his face and took off into the bushes. I didn't fallow and soon left the area. That is the only thing I have came across but Im sure other members will have more. As for preparation I would just be aware of your surroundings and pack some protection.
     
  3. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    +1
    AND try to not display any paranoia yourself in those surroundings or YOU may appear to others what YOU are trying to avoid. I have spent most of my life hiking, backpacking, hunting & fishing and 99% of the time my experinces
    have been safe but awareness and recognizing potential threats has kept me away from the 1%. Probably my biggest complaint is disrespectful dirt bikers and quad riders (and I own a quad) but they are for the most part harmless otherwise - once they are asked to steer clear of my camp. Probably what concerns me most is the dirt-bag looking types that I occasionally run into in the woods. Some of them appear to be hard cases and are living in their vehicles. AND some have no compunction about approaching and asking for handouts or other weird requests. Last summer a friend of mine was quad riding on a trail behind his house with his girlfriend and her son when they stopped at the waters edge and were approached by three drug types that were babbling about this and that and one continued toward the son sitting on his quad and insisted he "get off and let me ride it" and continued to say "it's ok, it's ok" My friend is no slouch at about 230 and muscular but became concerned by this behavior and made a couple quick steps to his quad, grabbed his nine an held it at his side. This sent a message to the three and they scurried off. My friend told me the boldness of the one is what disturbed him the most.
     
  4. ron22250

    ron22250 Newberg Member

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    I'm in the woods a lot mostly by myself and it's the 2-leggeds I'm most concerned about. I've had three armed instances in 30 years. Here's one.

    Just finishing up a target shooting session on a dead-end road, a truck came in and two guys hopped out. One came around the driver's side of my truck and the other started around the other side. I believe one was trying to distract me, the other moving to get behind me. But as soon as they split up I drew and held my .45 pointed down and told them to stop. They left without a word.

    The 4-leggeds.
    Some have teeth & claws, some may stalk you, and some weigh more than you. Respect them. I've had some encounters, but they weren't as serious as the 2-legged kind.

    Enjoy the woods but be vigilant.
     
  5. SheepDog223

    SheepDog223 Salem Well-Known Member

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    When your in bear country you look for bear sign. Just keep your eyes open and carry protection. It doesn't hurt to go with a buddy who carries protection too. I'm sure bad bad things happen up there in the deep woods, just as I'm sure they happen everywhere else too. Wherever you and I can go, so can everybody else(dirtbags included).
     
  6. BrianL

    BrianL Hermiston Active Member

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    In the 2009 Oregon Big Game Regulations on page 24 is a warning to hunters about unlawful marijuana grow sites on State and National lands. I believe with the increased efforts of the US and Mexico to crack down on drug smuggling into the US, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that drug dealers or growers, that reside in our forests may become more aggressive towards people whom recreate in the forest, in order to protect their grow operations. I have personally never come across a grow operation in the forest, but if I do, I will waste little time getting out of there. (Looking for boobie traps and bad guys along the way)

    Oregon State tip line 1-800-452-7888
     
  7. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

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    I have never heard of this but I can totally see it happening
     
  8. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Visit any trail-head parking area and see all of the broken car window glass from roving prowlers, many of whom don't come by car and actually live in the woods. Camp in a State campground and find your site rifled through while you are on the lake. Hotspring sites are especially infested with campers who LIVE THERE and are hungry.

    I should also mention the simple creeps who dump truckloads of household trash into the backroad ravines, and resent witnesses. I used to live out in the woods at the end of a short gravel road. I had "unexpected visitors" weekly at hours when I should not have been home, "Sorry, just seeing where the road goes!" Uh, huh.

    Farther off-highway see the trucks full of drunken punks looking for fun and something to plink at, or something unattended to steal. These are the guys who drive around gates to see what they can find and who they can scare just for fun. Enjoy their cold stares as they slowly roll by your vehicle or campsite, and their yells as they pass by again after dark.

    Way off of the backroads hope to not follow a trail toward a creek and stumble on a marijuana grow site. I have, in years past, and backed out quickly. The forest methamphetamine lab sites are pretty much extinct these days, but you can still encounter metal-theives burning the insulation off of all of the wire that they have stolen. You can always see the burned sites. They are always on meth or desperate for more anyways and looking for somebody to rob, especially witnesses.

    I'm not saying you will encounter outlaws every day out in the boonies, or that everyone is suspicious. But they are out there, especially recently now that so many felons are homeless in this economy. If your spider-sense is tingling, pay attention. Something might really be happening to you.....................elsullo :(
     
  9. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    About 20 years ago a hunter set off a flash-bang set as a warning somewhere in the Ochocos - some may remember this one - several do who have lived in Central Oregon for any amount of time.
     
  10. PDXGS

    PDXGS Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon Member

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    +1 on the two-legged vermin.
    Pack and pay attention.
    I spend a lot of time riding off road and doing search and rescue training. Our dogs are the best protection and nuisance to those who would do us harm but a good pistol helps.
     
  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    The best thing you can do is trust no one and nothing. I usually shoot in the woods and like to hike and camp as far away from people as possible.
    There's a few things you should always do.
    If your shooting always keep a handgun loaded and ready to go. So you don't get caught with a bunch of guns and no way to quickly defend yourself.
    For animals there's a lot of big cats out there and they stalk and will attack you from the rear, so watch your six. Remember to keep an eye behind you at all times.
    Always tell people where your going, and if your out and see some suspicious people use your cell phone to text message their descriptions and more importantly license plate numbers to others.
    Try not to go out alone.
    There's always some crazies out there looking to get their sick fix on terrorizing someone. So make sure you do everything to put yourself at a tactical advantage.
    Park your vehicle in a quick escape plan. Park it towards the exit, leave keys in the ignition, and leave the window down to prevent locking them in your car.
    Try to find a place with more than one exit.
    Really just keep your wits. Plan for the worst.

    Good luck to all. Have fun and be safe.
     
  12. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Also with respect to the grow operations.
    My step brother used to be an under cover drug det. He used to go bust those grow operations all the time. There still everywhere in the woods. So be aware. These guys patrol those areas with bad intentions. The last thing they want is for you to find it and go get the cops.
    Be careful when stumbling on these. They use boobie traps, pitbulls, and guns. If you stumble on these get ready for a fight and get the **** out.
    These guys will a lot of times just cut and run for fear of being busted but I wouldn't take the chance.
     
  13. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    deliverance.jpg

    :paranoid: :laugh:

    It's pretty much all been touched on...


    1. Watch out for weirdos...

    ...scoping you out, trying to run up on you or your gear while down range, when out of ammo, etc. It has happened. Not shooting alone if possible and carrying a sidearm and keeping a long gun loaded are advisable when shooting out in the forest or desert, IMO.
    I have been both watched and approached by individuals and groups of people in the woods where I have thought that things could go badly. It's not super common but I have been in one situation that comes to mind where I really thought I might have to draw down. That being said I've also been watched by people waiting for me to stop shooting so they can comb a pit for brass/steel/etc. It's all about being observant and keeping your eyes open for folks who look like they may be up to no good.


    2. Be aware of potential recreational use conflicts.

    Off roaders, dirt bikers, quad riders, etc. can, depending on where you are, end up causing problems. I know I've mentioned several times on the boards that I've had instances of people entering a pit being used as a live range literally as rounds are going down range.


    3. Otherwise nice friendly shooters with piss-poor safety skills can kill you just as quick as any naer-do-well


    Keep your eyes open for morons, pack up and leave if you have to. Nuff' said...

    4. Critters


    I wouldn't worry too much about black bears (except for keeping your stuff out of their paws while you sleep while backpacking). Cougar attacks are super rare and the odds are you won't even see it coming anyway so I figure why worry. Coyotes would have to be infected with Rage for them to post much of a thread to adults. Honestly 2-legged critters are about all that should give you much cause for concern here in Oregon.



    Also, do watch out for methlabs and grow ops. It's not like you stumble across that sort of stuff every day but it happens. I came across what I have to assume was a methlab once while 4-wheeling as a teenager and was rapidly greeted by two white-trash looking dudes who I'm pretty sure would have killed me had hey caught up to me.




    Haha... so yeah... nothing to worry about...
     
  14. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Last year 3 Wildlife Service workers were held at gun point by marijuana growers in the Humbolt River area of Northern Nevada. Two days later I was working in the same region. Alone except for a dog that never barks, I took a brief pause at the top of each hill to scan the valley for movement or patches of lush green. Then for the first time in ages, I lost track of time and the sun set on me while I was still a couple of mountainous miles from my truck...

    Situations like this are why I always carry my Spot Messenger, record a waypoint before leaving the truck, and have a laser on my field gun.
     
  15. Maddwarf

    Maddwarf Eugene New Member

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    "If your shooting always keep a handgun loaded and ready to go. So you don't get caught with a bunch of guns and no way to quickly defend yourself"... +1 on that. Infact, you have two hips, wear two pistols.
    Mad
     
  16. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I highly recommend not going alone. The place I usually go is secluded enough to where I have only seen one other person there. Several of us had lots of guns out (loaded of course), and one guy in a truck drove by on the logging road. He hardly even looked at us as he drove by. On the other hand, that's why I try not to let anybody else know where that place is, so they won't ruin it for anyone. Lot's of good advice on this thread though. +1 to never getting caught without at the very least one pistol loaded at all times.
     
  17. Scott

    Scott Battle Ground Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that statement. Always try to have someone with you and not just for safety but in case something happens as well. The worst I have heard and seen here in the woods of the St. Helens area are mushroom pickers and the Cambodia type. You come across there camps and they all have AK's and are very serious about what they think is their land. I do know someone who has a run in with them and guns were drawn but know shots fired. Sometimes it looks likes the pics of Nam. I would rather face an animal than 10 Cambodians armed.

    Scott
     
  18. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    Thanks everybody. Your thoughts need to be pondered before reading again what you wrote. (Dutchy, photo is precious - you caught me off guard :)
     
  19. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Kind of funny that I was looking through the gun magazines at the store today and I see a picture of a Cougar on one page. No, not the pistol by Beretta/Stoeger or an attractive older woman, but an actual Mountain Lion. The paragraph went on to say that Clint Smith out at ThunderRanch here in Oregon had warned one of his students about Cougars in the area and to think about them as another threat. The actual likelihood of a cougar attack on a human is pretty rare but I think Clint's big bore revolver fetish would serve him well...:)
     
  20. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    Helpful info from all of you posters helps me keep my thoughts straight. Thanks to all - this board rocks! So, to me it seems plan and observe similarly to city living with the exception of the fewer witnesses about leaving trouble makers to feel falsely brave. Plus great reminders to "watch your six" and bring a companion.