OK. Serious now. I'm considering a sidearm. Although I grew up shooting guns I never had an affinity for handguns- in fact I hate how easy they are to get. Handguns kill people accidentally, often. I've spent much time in the woods including weeks on end in AK griz country. I'm not concerned about black bears or cougars, at least enough to take the risk of packing (which is much more dangerous statistically than any animal would be). That said, I'm not afraid to protect myself. And the rural Washington I have seen is bad news. I feel sorry for the culture that has no pride, blames everyone else, deface their property with burned out cars, poaches as a right of passage, and live out a spiteful life. WA is back asswards- no doubt about it. For me, I need to take the reality of this place into account. Would I carry in Montana? no. In most any state? no. In meth crazy, and ghetto pride WA? yes. I hate to say it. So I am considering it. What to do? I must admit- my encounters with the silly tar heels have been all bluff and no bite. I think they detect no fear, like any scavenger, and run away most often. I fear the extra confidence of a sidearm would lead me into trouble, since I have no patience for those ghetto poaching no brains. What to do, what to do.... (the culture is dying, they have no work, no future, but what to do in the mean time? In ten years, they will be gone, as will the lonesome rivers.) A fishing buddy of mine served as Marine in Vietnam, and he's not packing even though he explores deep into cougar/bear country. I trust his experience and perspective. Plus I don't want the hassle of thinking about a gun on my ankle or whatever. Until I hear abou a documnted attack in the areas I fish, I'm going clean. Yet, I am thinking about it... PS: anyone had a run in with the wild dogs on the sauk/skagit? PPS Skycries- Nothing says "dipshit" like an out of control Rottie or Pit Bull. Would love to pop one into the white trash owner instead of the poor worthless breed. Seen too many of those wannabes trying to get tough buying a crap breed of dog to drive around in the H2. YO! MTV ain't watching you, dork. Figure it out and get a real dog.