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  1. #11
    Member AhNuts's Avatar
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    Not all the predators are animals and those are the ones that worry me. These days you are most likely to be robbed or assaulted than attacked by an animal, that is a sad statement for the world we live in.

    John
    I spent most of my money on beer and women and hammocks.
    The rest I just wasted.

  2. #12
    New Member foolhardy's Avatar
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    Well you guys have settled my nerves, so thanks.

    ...except for AhNuts who has convinced me that I might get mugged.

  3. #13
    Senior Member opie984's Avatar
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    lol, not being overly paranoid. I always carry. I view my gun as part of my overall equipment. Here in the panhandle of FL we have black bears, wild hogs, bobcats, and some serious raccoons to worry about. And in the spring, snakes are a really big problem. Don't go around looking to shoot animals, but want to be sure I can protect myself should the need arise.

    Just make sure you are responsible and I totally agree with Shug. Any piece of gear (including a gun) is absolutely useless if you (1) don't know how to properly use it (2) and don't have a plan on how to use it. Little role playing in your mind goes a long way to removing that paralysis you mentioned having in one other incident.

    BTW, not sure about your neck of the woods in AL, but I know there are A LOT of hogs in and around the Birmingham area.

  4. #14
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Have a great camp out. Alabama looks beautiful. Camping alone can be a great experience once you get over the fear of the unknown. Its not our nature to be afraid in the woods but most folks in the modern world are a long way,( in heart and mind ), from the woods these days so we get afraid. About half the folks in my area live in the woods right next to the back country, prime bear and cat territory . For decades folks have been going out to the back country to hike ,climb etc, with a pocket knife at the most. The thought of animal predators is never the concern but survival of the elements is. I would echo what a couple of others have said and that is if your not trained to use a gun leave it at home , if you are than do what makes you feel comfortable. The other day i went for a hike down the backroad by my place to a favorite spot by the river. I found linx tracks,( right next to the rabbit tracks LOL), and was excited that wildlife is still very much around. Good luck
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

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  5. #15
    Senior Member Peg-Leg's Avatar
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    Black Bear

    If you find one in North Alabama, please take a picture. There are rumors of BB in our area but, it could be just that.

    I would watch out for Bigfoot however. He loves the Locust Fork..
    If God had meant for us to sleep on the ground,
    He wouldn't have created trees....

    “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” - John Muir

  6. #16
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    There have been a few female solo hikers the last few years who would have been better off if they had something with them that they knew how to use, whether a gun, pepper spray or maybe even an adequate knife. To defend themselves from human predators. Which is not to say they could have successfully used any of them to defend from an unexpected attack, but they were most definitely helpless with out them, judging by results. I suppose a man might be just as at risk from humans, but I'm sure the odds are much more in you favor, both of not being assaulted in the first place, and of being able to defend your self if you were. No doubt, the odds of any kind of attack are very remote. But that knowledge is of little solace to the families of those women, I'm certain. Maybe one or more of them would have come out alive if they had a weapon.

    That said, your chance of having problems with animals that could not be handled with a knife and/or large stick or hiking pole, in most (all?) of AL are very remote. A snake bite would seem to be your greatest risk bite wise. And if you can see a snake to shoot at, assuming you could even hit it with a pistol, then you can avoid that snake.

    As you get a smidgen further north towards the TN border and surrounding area, bear encounters become something that must be considered more possible. Though the chance of trouble remains extremely remote. Personally, I have never seen one except near a major developed camp ground in the Smokies just outside Cherokee, NC. Or maybe on the road or at a dumpster in Gatlinburg. Still, several people have been killed by black bears in the southern Appalachians in recent years, and others in other parts of the country. It is just a fact, even if the numerical odds are in your favor. I'm sure all of these folks were wishing they had either a gun or bear spray. In fact, in one case where a 6 year old girl was killed Apr 2006 at a TN camp ground swimming hole, after her mother and 2 year old brother were seriously injured, the bear continued feeding/dragging the girl away until some one arrived from the camp ground with a pistol, scaring the bear off.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...424_bears.html

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...r-attack_x.htm

    But I think the odds, even up near TN/NC, are overwhelmingly in favor of you not needing anything for defense from animals. And even more so south of there. So, it just depends on what it takes for you to relax and how much you hate to carry the extra weight. It is very unlikely you would need a weapon against man or beast, but it sure would suck to need one and not have it, eh?

    OTOH, even south of the Appalachians, a RABID raccoon/coyote/dog sure could be a PITA! Not much chance of one seriously injuring a person. But I sure would rather shoot one than be bit by one!

    Still, I almost never pack iron in the south. But some times if I remember it, and I'm alone and I'm not much concerned about weight, I do.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #17
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opie984 View Post
    .....................
    BTW, not sure about your neck of the woods in AL, but I know there are A LOT of hogs in and around the Birmingham area.
    Well, I don't think there is any reason to get personal and insulting like that!







    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  8. #18
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Can't really speak about AL but out here the Wolf population has exploded in the last few years. From the endangered species list to thousands in a little over 10 years. I have never carried more than a pocket knife on a backpacking trip. But now the wolves are coming right up to homes, attacking family pets in rural areas. In some areas I am beginning to think that a handgun would be a good idea. While the likely hood of being attacked is remote it is hard to say what could happen until it dose.

    Be safe, have fun and enjoy the quiet, try to not let your self hear things that aren't there. some times that is the tough part of a solo trip (for me any way) But once I relax and just enjoy the quiet, solo can be a great time to think, clear you mind and really see the woods.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member opie984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post
    Can't really speak about AL but out here the Wolf population has exploded in the last few years. From the endangered species list to thousands in a little over 10 years. I have never carried more than a pocket knife on a backpacking trip. But now the wolves are coming right up to homes, attacking family pets in rural areas. In some areas I am beginning to think that a handgun would be a good idea. While the likely hood of being attacked is remote it is hard to say what could happen until it dose.

    Be safe, have fun and enjoy the quiet, try to not let your self hear things that aren't there. some times that is the tough part of a solo trip (for me any way) But once I relax and just enjoy the quiet, solo can be a great time to think, clear you mind and really see the woods.
    I understand what you mean. There is one area where I love to hike and camp that is FULL of blackbears. Beginning of this winter (oct '09) I was camping on a sand bar only to wake up the next morning to find some rather large bear tracks a little too close for comfort. Luckily, I wasn't on his menu. But I can tell you that bear mace is one of those things I am planning to start taking with me into that neck 'o the woods.

    But after that, I think I will always hear noises during the night ::

  10. #20
    Senior Member opie984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Well, I don't think there is any reason to get personal and insulting like that!

    No insult, I have a friend who live just north of Birmingham and there are coyotes and hogs galore on his property. Every time we walk his property there is either fresh rutting from hogs or coyote signs (poop, dead animals, etc.) or both.

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