Dealing With Forest Critters
The mountain lion attack of the couple up at Prairie Creek is still in the news with the Sacramento Bee running a nice feel- good editorial on the incident. (As always, if asked for login, use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot for the password.)
Our very own John Driscoll wrote his own feel- good commentary on the incident in the Times- Standard this morning, John being the one who wrote the first Times- Standard coverage of the attack.
I'll have to say, I don't mind inspirational type feel- good commentaries. Don't get me wrong, but it seems something's been missing in all the talk about these animal attacks. With all the talk dealing with potential dangers in the wilds, why do so many people seem afraid to suggest carrying a firearm while walking in the woods?
Finally, after the Times- Standard published some of the online comments on Driscoll's first story, I see at least a couple folks agree with me. Still, it's a shame that such a common sense protection measure is left out of most commentary and I suspect that's mostly with an eye toward political correctness on the media's part.
A word of warning, though: I believe it might be illegal to possess firearms in national parks. They might be illegal in state parks, as well. Still, as they say: better tried by twelve than carried by six....
In my early days of backpacking, when I was just a kid, I never carried a gun and don't recall ever having any serious problems.
Once I got older and had acquired a number of firearms I nearly always carried a handgun with me. I got to thinking what a hassle it was. It was heavy, at least by backpacking standards, and I only used it once, firing twice into a tree to scare off an overly familiar bear at One Mile Lake in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
I finally decided to leave my pistol at home deciding it wasn't worth the extra weight. The first trip I took without it was up to Canyon Creek Lakes in the Trinity Alps. No danger that trip that I was aware of but I couldn't honestly say I noticed the saved weight from not carrying the gun.
A few hours after I got home a friend called. He asked me if I'd been up at Canyon Creek Lakes and just when I'd been there. It turned out that while I was there, just about an hour or two timewise, in the same place on Canyon Creek, a guy was shot and killed.
Some of you old timers (this was in the early eighties) might remember the guy who got killed worked for Fish and Game, out of Arcata, and was up there hiking with his wife. They met some guy and didn't think much of it. The guy came back a short time later, with a rifle.
He started shooting and killed the husband. The wife jumped over the side of the trail down to the river bed and got away. She made it back to the trailhead and eventually the Sheriff was contacted. They arrested the shooter some days later in either Weaverville or Redding. I forget which.
Boy, that kind of got to me. The first time I decided not to carry my gun and I was within an hour or two of possibly needing it.
I wasn't sure of the exact location the killing occured at but I was right in the area, as best I could determine from what I'd read, within an hour or so of the shooting. I don't recall hearing or seeing a thing and didn't recall seeing any couple walking in as I walked out. How'd I miss them?