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SWWASAS

Gifford Pinchot Encounter April 21, 2015

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SWWASAS

No grizzlies in this part of WA that I know about.    They are in the Northern part of the state.   No rattle snakes here either.  I like both facts very much.     Used to be no wolves here either for a long time but now they are around again.

 

Well you can look at the too much coffee thing two ways.    If you think you are being watched, it seems to elicit a response if my theory is correct.   I guess one has to decide if you want to take the chance by provoking one and maybe get to see or hear one, or be a good neighbor in their territory in hopes that they might like you hanging around.    If any of the Northern Washington stories about BF intimidation charges are true, then I have always thought provoking that the best way to get video.    Why shoot a video of something 100's of yards away trying to get away when you can get one of an angry BF charging right up to you.   Easy to say when you are not the one holding the camera.    I wasn't exactly what you would call courageous the other day.  You should hear my rapid breathing on the recording when I was making tracks back to my truck. 

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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Guest

Courage isn't the lack of fear.

Courage is the acknowledgment of danger, of risk, and demonstrating the willingness to step forward to complete the task ahead.

You did okay the other day.

Your plans to move forward with the investigation, to step into the unknown again...well...I'd say you are just fine.

Courage is admitting that something scares the hell out of you, but ignoring the fear and doing what is necessary.

 You are there.

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BC witness

Well said, Northfork. +1

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MIB

Hi Randy -

 

I listened to the audio.  I don't have a special audio card or anything like that, just a laptop and pretty darn decent headphones.  The only thing odd I could pick out was in the 1:19 to about 1:26 time frame.  Do you have any sense of whether what was making the noise was standing still and the sound volume was changing vs whether the sound volume was pretty constant but the source moving?  Is that even part of what you are describing?

 

Thanks!

 

So far as "bigger guns" .. you've got to practice with whatever you pack 'til you're proficient, not at the range but when surprised by the need for it.  You've got to develop muscle memory through practice.  Just owning "bigger" doesn't help.  I've seen too many people assume that merely having "bigger" is enough and put themselves in higher risk situations with less ability to mitigate the risk than they realize.   If you go bigger, try to get a smaller version of the same gun, as identical as possible, and practice a TON with it.   I would not switch to a long gun but if I did, I'd follow Norseman's lead.  I owned a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 for a few years.  It was designed with protection from big bears in mind.   For a while their quality control was pretty aweful.  Make sure to function-test yours before relying on it.

 

Be careful out there.

 

MIB

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Airdale

I don't disagree with anything you've said about firearms, MIB. I had several thoughts in mind when mentioning the Kel-Tec .223. The weight empty is not that much more than a magnum handgun and the folding stock allows great flexibility of carry, even attaching it to the side of a backpack with a quick release strap and having it covered with some fabric to disguise the shape. Even though anemic as center fire rifles go, 30 rounds is a lot of weight of high velocity lead that can be sent down range rapidly while maintaining good control, even if time doesn't allow shouldering the weapon. Lastly, the .223 is capable of making an impressive display of sound and fury that might intimidate an intelligent creature if a few rounds struck the ground in front of it peppering it with debris. If that gambit proved unsuccessful, you would still have two dozen plus rounds remaining to settle the issue.

 

In '85, while camping with my best friend above Lost Lake in Montana's northern Bitterroot Range half a mile from the Idaho border, I had a late night encounter with something large and displeased with our presence. My friend had retired to his '74 Econoline van while I stayed up to photograph the full moon due up about midnight. Had my Canon AE-1 with 300 m.m. tele on a tripod all set as the hour approached. The evening was clear and quiet as only the high mountains can be, with stars and a Coleman lantern turned low providing the illumination. Without warning a thick clump of bushes well above head high and about 20 feet away began to shake violently, accompanied by grunting, blowing and stomping that literally shook the ground. I drew the 4 "D" Maglight at my left hip and Security-Six .357 at my right rapidly bringing them to a wrist cross brace facing the disturbance. The ruckus repeated leaving me feeling decidedly under armed, so I began backing slowly to the rear passenger door on my '68 Suburban. When I got to the truck I opened the door, laid the light on the floor while keeping the revolver on target, reached to the rifle rack in the built in cabinet and retrieved my Mini-14 with 30 round mag. The visitor repeated its performance a few times during this time, but my friend remained sound asleep until I chambered a round in the rifle (he has the same model) at which time he awoke and said "What's going on out there?". I said "We have a visitor." As if on cue we were treated to an encore. I'd been partially shielded from sight by the truck door while up-arming, but at this time stepped clear of the truck into the lantern light as I brought the rifle to bear on the brush. That was the end of the affair; I'd heard nothing approach and heard nothing leave though the ground on the other side of the bushes was thickly covered by juniper interspersed between the pines. My friend came out armed with his Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag and covered me as I secured my weapon and collected the photo gear, deciding that discretion was the better part of valor and there would be other full moons to photograph in the future. The following photos were taken in '87 at the same spot, the first is on the road about half a mile short of our camping spot to give an idea of the country we were in. The second is at our camp, the whatever was in brush at the tree line to my left in the photo. The third photo is for fun and because it's supper time!

 

post-22377-0-15643900-1430008969_thumb.j     post-22377-0-43359200-1430009040_thumb.j    post-22377-0-22388600-1430010029.jpg

 

 

 

That occurred long before I renewed my teenage interest in Sasquatch and that thought never crossed my mind until three years ago. At that time I stopped by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks H.Q. in Helena and spoke to a bear biologist. She assured me that that was common intimidation behavior for bears though not specifying whether black, grizzly or both. All I know is it ceased and desisted as soon as my rifle became clearly visible (the revolver may have been hidden by the glare from the Maglight). We'd spent a fair amount of time and a lot of ammo in rapid fire practice on military silhouette targets acquired through work over the previous couple of days camping, and I felt confident in my and my weapon's ability to stop whatever was out there if the situation escalated. That being said, If I were heading to an area where an encounter with a large and potentially dangerous predator was not unlikely it would be the Springfield Armory M-1A Socom-16 with 20 rounds of Federal Fusion 165 grain persuasion in the magazine slung at the ready, not the Mini-14.

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MIB

When it comes to firearms every choice is a balancing of tradeoffs.   Familiarity counts for a lot when the chips are down.   Since college I've had about 35 different .44 magnums.   I've burned through somewhere over 50,000 rounds of home loaded ammo.  Most of those guns were Ruger single actions, been a couple DAs in the group though.

 

I don't worry about people looking at me funny.  I choose a handgun over a rifle because it leaves my hands free for other things like operating audio recorders, taking pictures, using binoculars, casting flies, etc. 

 

Interesting ... I just checked Google Earth.  I've been not too far from Lost Lake.  South a bit, Idaho side.  I'd love to go back and spend about 7-10 days around Kelley Creek with a backpack and a fly rod.   Someday maybe.  It's a long, long drive.

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Airdale

My arthritis and fibromyalgia have reached the point I've downsized to 9 m.m. for daily carry. Still have the Security-Six but can't shoot it with heavy loads too much. The Socom-16 is as heavy a rifle as I shoot; the right shoulder is the only major joint above the waist that is still in good shape and that .308 doesn't kick much more than the Mini-14 due to the clever design of the flash suppressor/muzzle break.

 

I don't know what the road is like on the Idaho side but it's exciting on the Montana side. Take the Cedar Creek road just east of Superior and you drive about 25 ground miles to cover just over 12 air miles. Beautiful drive, a grove of huge, ancient cedars and the last five miles is one lane with turnouts. We would always head up on Monday morning and return Friday afternoon because if you encountered someone coming the other way one of you would have to back up as much as a quarter mile to the last switch back. The drop on the down side could have you rolling 1,200 feet or more in places. It's not a drive to take if you're fussy about your paint job as there are places that pretty stiff brush is going to be scraping the sides. I haven't been up since '94 as the road was washed out near the beginning of the final leg over a decade ago. My friend in Missoula is planning on checking it out next summer to see if it's been repaired as there was supposed to have been a grizzly study there a few years ago. He's done a lot of exploring around the St. Joe River area on the Idaho side and once my wife retires we'll definitely be spending some time there.

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SWWA this is my last comment on firearms, don't want to derail the thread, if you have ? You now know there are three of us here who will be happy to point you in the right direction...or at least share what we know. I shortened this post up, if you want specific recommendations for a specific rifle and how to outfit it let me know.

We revert to training when under stress, proven fact. MIB and Airdale both make good points. There is no sense whatsoever in packing something you can't hit the target with. I was in a position to train a whole bunch of folks over the years, and while we absolutely wanted them all to carry a .40 S&W, a very small minority of them simply could not couldn't qualify with it.

When using the identical pistol, in 9mm, (Sig-Sauer P226) we could get them to qualify.

Any round in the bullseye beats a whole magazine in the 6 ring, and we ultimately wound up issuing them the 9mm to those select few.

Point being carry the biggest handgun you can put rounds in the center of mass with on a regular basis, and then train like hell with it.

Not just standing at the 7 yard line, either.

Go run 40 yards hard and then come up to the firing line and go through the drill while winded. Best way to simulate stress. Learning to shoot weak handed might be overkill, buying a couple of speedloaders and learning how to use them might be overkill too, but I'd do both were it me. Train, train, train. This is about developing muscle memory and hand-eye coordination. It is the exact opposite of riding a bicycle. Shooting is a perishable skill. You skills will degrade if you don't put in the work to maintain them.

We all hope and pray you won't need to use these skills on your mission, but if you do you want to be on your game.

(I am at the range training at least twice a month, and put at least 300 rounds a month down the pipe. Myself and a few other crusty old farts I worked with are on a team and shoot in a twice a month pistol league. On league night we can tell if one of us has missed a practice.) Overkill for you but you get the point.

Your purpose for carrying a firearm in the woods isn't the reason I carried. It is my opinion that a handgun in your situation would be a secondary choice. Frankly, I like the .45-70 that MIB talked about but agree wholeheartedly with him regarding Marlin's Q.C. over the years. If you can source and test a 45-70 levergun and find it to be functional and in good shape that would be a very good first choice for me for your mission...and the big wheelgun on your hip, absolutely.

I just can't get my head past the ballistics of the 5.56 when looking to deal with the potential mission you would need it for.

That is just me.

You are not looking for long range, but you are looking for serious knockdown power. If things go south and you need this thing to work, you really, really really need it to work...

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norseman

I pack a 45-70 government guide gun that I put two picatinney rails on. One for a scout scope and the other for a tac tight.

I was packing a Ruger Super Backhawk 44 mag with 7.5 inch barrel as back up. But have downsized to a Bisley Lipsey special Black hawk 44 mag with a 3.75 barrel

post-735-0-47116900-1430138274_thumb.jpg

Edited by norseman

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SWWASAS

Hi Randy -

 

I listened to the audio.  I don't have a special audio card or anything like that, just a laptop and pretty darn decent headphones.  The only thing odd I could pick out was in the 1:19 to about 1:26 time frame.  Do you have any sense of whether what was making the noise was standing still and the sound volume was changing vs whether the sound volume was pretty constant but the source moving?  Is that even part of what you are describing?

 

Thanks!

 

Be careful out there.

 

MIB

To answer your question, the source of the chuffing sound did not seem to be moving. At the time it happened my mental image of what was happening was that it was just out sight, knew where I was, and was making the noise to get me to get in my truck and leave. The volume of each chuff seemed to go up and down but so did the pitch so I did not interpret it as moving much at all rather more like lunging. Quite honestly and this probably is influencing my impression, but the whole thing seemed very much like a gorilla mock charge. I will return there today with company, have a chance to try to find the location. Perhaps there still might be tracks. Once something gets in the vocalization stage it is unlikely to be careful about leaving footprints. But there has been some rain since then so there may be nothing.

My gun will be one I already have, since I was in Oregon the last few days and could not buy one if I wanted to. Today it will be a 4 inch barrel Ruger 357 Mag with self protection loads. Don't have anything bigger. I did not even think of drawing my gun last time because while it was scary, I did not think they had any agenda other than escorting me out of the woods and I was not sure of that intent until I was already back to my truck. I probably would have spent more time there that day if it had not started raining. While I have not done any recent combat style over, under and around barrier shooting with a handgun, I did have that sort of frequent training in the military. In my younger days I shot Expert with the M-16. In those days they even let you fire a burst full auto to see how that was.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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MIB

I hope you got up there, I hope the trip was productive ... and safe! 

 

The "vibe" of our experiences is oddly different.  I wonder why?   You seem to get more overt confrontation.   After the time I got mad and went back to make a stand that ended.   I think if anything the level of interaction has gone up but the feel of it has changed.   I wonder if it is the location or the person or some of each.  I guess the answer we offer points to what we believe they are and ... I don't know.

 

MIB

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SWWASAS

Went up yesterday with a forum member who was kind enough to accompany me. The whole experience was very different

for me being in the field with someone that had a lot of field experience. As we drove into the area passed some shooters who seemed to be sighting in a rifle with scope from a bench. That pretty well dashed my hopes of anything happening. They were firing about half the time we were out there. Again numerous deer and elk tracks in the area.

The question about chuffing was quickly answered once we were started hiking. A raven flew low towards us, made a hard U turn, and flew off. The sound was close enough to what I experienced the other day at nearly the same location I am probably 75 to 80 % sure it was the same thing. Never heard a raven fly that close before so the sound was something I had never experienced before. I will strip it out of the recording and make it available so others do not make the same misidentification. It does sound a lot like an animal huffing like the movie bear charge. I am glad it was kind enough to give a repeat performance with a visual appearance this time.

Anyway we spent a lot of time looking for tracks in a marshy area. Deer, elk, and coyote scat and tracks were evident. But nothing remotely that could be linked to BF. Did have a curious thing happen on the way out. We stopped to examined a rabbit skeleton then when we got back to our vehicles right behind the vehicles on a stump was a metal rabbit napkin holder. The thing looked brand new. We should have seen that when we left to hike because we had to walk right past it but neither of us saw it then. Strange! Was a really nice day to be in the woods so very enjoyable.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT
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SWWASAS

I hope you got up there, I hope the trip was productive ... and safe! 

 

The "vibe" of our experiences is oddly different.  I wonder why?   You seem to get more overt confrontation.   After the time I got mad and went back to make a stand that ended.   I think if anything the level of interaction has gone up but the feel of it has changed.   I wonder if it is the location or the person or some of each.  I guess the answer we offer points to what we believe they are and ... I don't know.

 

MIB

The whole vibe of the April 21 experienced changed for me afterwards when I realized that me peeing might have triggered any hostility. I can understand reasonable behavior or an animal response to my actions. And now that the third event that day has been explained as a raven, then the whole experience was a big misunderstanding on my part. Before I went out yesterday I had already calmed down enough that I would have gone back solo. Better armed maybe but still solo. But a well armed companion certainly made it a lot more comfortable.

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norseman

^^^^^^

Amen

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CMBigfoot

Hi SWWASQUATCH,

 

And you were saying what about my Raven Theory? Even after I linked a video and the time to start listening to the wing woosh sound.

 

As for the low drumming sound you described hearing. Here is another video for you to check out.

 

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