Fishing and firearms

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Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

You know, all this reminded me of an experience I had years ago...

I was floating a section of Walker Creek in Giles County, Virginia with a friend who is also a lawyer. This was a beautiful little river that flowed through some very remote and pristine country, and my first ime on this particular water.

We'd been in the water for a couple of hours and were approaching a bend in the river when David said, "You need to put down your rod while we go through this section of river." "Why?" I asked. David replied, "Do you see that little white farmhouse about four hundred yards ahead? The old farmer who lives there comes out and hollers at people who fish through that section of river in front of his place."
I continued, "Is that legal? Even if he owns the land on both sides of the river, I thought the navigable waterways laws allowed us to fish or whatever on the water as long as we stay IN the water."
David responded, "You may be right...but I don't make it a habit to argue the finer points of the law with a man holding a gun."
I put down my rod. Never did the see the old mountaineer.

Mike :rolleyes


Dana Miller

I'm glad that you have never needed a gun while fishing...yet! And I hope that you never do. But to think that if you just be "nice" to everyone and bow out when uncomfortable will keep you out of trouble is just naive.

The "reality" is that the boogy man does exist. There are people out there would kill you for the watch on your wrist or just to see you bleed. Just being a nice guy does not exempt you from that! There have been many murdered people that were as nice, or nicer, than you.

If you choose to not carry a gun that is your choice. But to call someone who does paranoid and not wanting to be around them is bigoted. Instead of fearing something that you know little about, you may want to get to know someone who owns firearms. You might find out that most of them are nice people too! Heck, if you live nearby, I'll show you the one I just bought.:)
>I know some of the carp that Keith (wrench)
>caught were so darn ugly I wished I'd had a gun to
>shoot them and thereby spare us their collective
>misery. Poor bastards.
>I personally think the guys who hunt carp with bow and
>arrows are onto something...
>Mike :rofl :rofl :rofl

When I spent a summer working on a research team in Wisconsin we hauled in several boat loads of carp. After many days of being up to our ankles in carp slime, a coworker and I wished we could keep some to test various loads out of our guns. What better way to learn how our hunting or self defense loads performed than to shoot 20lb carp? Sadly, we had to release them all, except for those we donated to the local sportsman's club for their smoke house.


Active Member
Perfect!!! :thumb :thumb

In response to the cougar/bear question below. You can almost guarantee that a cougar attack will be from behind and you wont even know it until its over. Bears, possibly a chance of heading it off but youre chances are extremely slim. I just finished reading a few books on cougar and bear attacks....SCARY!!!!

And as LS said, you better be smart about how/what/when you pull a handgun. Practice, education, & trainging.

Just a fun fact for everyone: A bear has been recorded at reaching 34 miles per hour in under two seconds. How fast can you pull your handgun?? ;)

~Patrick ><>


God, I love fishing!
Yes, I carry. I have various firearms that I carry. When fishing in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or Alaska, I carry a 44 mag. Everywhere else, I carry a 9mm or a 45 cal.

I do not like to think of a world where I need to carry weapons; however, it is reality.

Thank you to those of you who do carry and are responsible. To those of you who do not carry, I support you. You have that right. I am thankful that I have the right to protect myself and mine. This was an interesting thread.



Active Member
After some serious consideration, I've decided not to carry. At least for the time being. But I'm leaving my options open. I've had a couple wildlife encounters but nothing too serious, and I was once mugged at gunpoint in the city. I'm glad some of my fellow fishers are in fact packing, I just may need ya someday :)
While not fishing related, I did have a very ugly incident with a gun. Between marriages, I had invited this pretty young lady over for some spaghetti and whatever.
I look out the window to see her car in front of the house, slam on her brakes, and dash for my door. She is shaking like a leaf when I open it and tells me she is being followed by two guys who are going to kill or rape her.
I told her to stand in the kitchen out of the way and I got my Colt Lawman, 2", Mark V revolver in .357 magnum. I stuck in the back of my belt.
Here they come, dash up my walk and I confront them but I'm standing inside my house. The one proceeds to flatten himself in back of one of the double doors and I can see him rather plainly through the colored glass. The other gives me a ration about how my girlfriend had cut them off and that she was going to pay for it. I could have provoked the argument with a lot of macho but I quietly said that I wanted them off of my property. They left with some,"you better tell her this and you better tell her that." The incident came to a close.
During our little conversation, I kept my hand behind my back and on the gun with my finger on the trigger I think he may have noticed this.
If he entered the house, I would have killed him and his partner if he came in as well. What with her testimony and the proximity of the asshole to me, I don't think there would even have been an investigation.
On a more pleasant note, after the spaghetti, one of the wildest nights of my life occurred. Just a bit of thanks I guess.
P.S. Never pull a knife on a man who might be possibly armed. It would be a perfect and legal excuse to kill you.
Damn Bob, I like what you wrote. My grandfather was born a poor ass kid in the old country. Only the rich had guns and hunted. He made a point of owning guns, hunting and owning 3 summer homes and a log cabin hunting camp. He loved America and what it did for him. I'll never forget sitting around the hunting camp gas lights burning, wood cook stove warming and grandpa talking about the 2nd amendment. Memories...
And to all you *#%#@ that think we should turn our guns in...well... I won't say it because this seems to be a rather gentlemanly web site.
Sisu, its what America needs:rofl
Well, it's great to read these replies. As a gun owner, hunter, defender of the second amendment, and avowed local yokel, it does my heart proud to know there's so many of you running around armed and dangerous. I guess I'd better start packing, because when you open up on me I want something better to return fire with than my four weight.

What fear drives this? Don't you understand you've made the choice to use the weapon when you load it and put it on, not later when you're threatened? If you're in a wild place with vicious animals, I understand it, but the Sky, the Yak, heck no place in Washington is that far from civilization. Try something else.

Think before you arm yourselves. Instead, I consider as essential safety equipment on all trips: Beer. Throw full beercans at black bears and cougars, they go away. Give a beer to a local yokel, he's now not quite so threatening. Offer one to a property owner, and enjoy access to unfished water. Use empty beercans as bailers to save a swamping boat. They're very versatile, and nobody goes to the hospital after getting hit by a beer.

C'mon, this is the lower 48! I'm always armed with beer. :beer2


Be the guide...
Good point. Even those that 'pack' should not let that get in the way of common courtesy and common sense. Use your brain to get out of tough spots. I've encountered quite a few questionable characters, been close to a few fist fights, and threatened by wild dogs - but not one time did I use a weapon to get out of it. Just used my brain and\or controled my fear\temper. But in that 1 in 1000 encounter where my brain just won't do it, I like to know I have the option of packing if I so choose.

But to address your question: "what fear drives this?"
Well, ever watch the movie "Deliverance"?? Enough said :eek
Not to be a jerk, but one of the best uses for an empty (or full) beer can is to toss it in the air and blast holy hell out of it!
Bob, the Man, I've really turned bad, haven't I? :rofl :rofl :rofl
Well, I guess i'll throw in as well. I own a gun, and I take it with me occasionally when I go fish way in the sticks, for two reasons. My wife hates the idea that I own a gun, but I think that's because she grew up in suburbia and I grew up where you laid on the floor because of the drive by shootings. That's the first reason, there are some people out there that will put a bullet into you for no good reason. I love my wife and my two year old much more than I care about anyone who would put me in a position where I felt it necessary to draw a weapon. Secondly, i'm scared to death of bears. If any of you have ever seen what is left of a person after a bear has mauled, or god forbid eaten a person, you would carry some sort of weapon too. I know that we aren't in Grizz country, but I only weigh about 175 pounds and there is no way I would be able to fight off even a 200 pound bear. Yep, they're long odds but i'll hedge my bets.
I do carry on occasion, Glock 26 (ballistic tupperware). I suppose views on this vary, depending on whether or not you are in a remote location...say the Hoh river an hour before sunrise waiting for your guide to return from dropping off a vehicle at the pickup location...or hiking to a "not so secluded" location a short hike from the highway! I thank god I've never had to reach for it, or even think about doing so, but I know that it's there if need be. I treat a firearm with respect, and I look at other fisherman as if they were carrying also. This is a very different world we live in these days, and I'm a strong believer in self preservation!!!
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