Standing Ground In National Forest

This is a discussion on Standing Ground In National Forest within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So here is a 'scenario' that happened to me in the Kaibab Nat Forest. Few years back my ex girlfriend and I were deep in ...

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Thread: Standing Ground In National Forest

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    Member Array quietsage's Avatar
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    Standing Ground In National Forest

    So here is a 'scenario' that happened to me in the Kaibab Nat Forest.

    Few years back my ex girlfriend and I were deep in the Kaibab Nat Forest setting up camp at one of my favorite spots deep in a hilly section of the forest. It was September which meant hunting season was on and quite a few hunters out and about. I'll quickly add that this post is no shot at hunters what so ever. Anyway, my ex (very pretty lady) was busy setting up tent and I was mucking about pulling gear out of the bed of my truck. We were off a secondary (at best, jeep track) dirt road. As she is fussing with the tent I hear an ATV coming down the track and I get out the truck bed(camper on top) and have a look, standing near the truck. She is on the other side yet visible from the track. Two guys in full camo with their rifles are coming down the track on one large ATV. As I said, this area is very hilly and the track slopes down quickly.

    Well, these guys stop in front of us and just stare at my girlfriend. She is still messing with the tent, I'm closer and total distance is about 30 yards them to me. These guys aren't even looking at me, just tunnel vision at my girlfriend. I can HEAR them saying, "Yeah", "Oh, yeah", "Lets do it", and so forth. I then yell at them, "HEY, WHATS THE DEAL FELLAS!" Give them the stare and so forth. Not a single reaction from the guys but they begin to move on, slowly and looking back. My girlfriend has finally realized something is up at this point and walks up to me.

    I watch the guys on the ATV go down the hill, out of sight but can hear the vehicle. Well, the ATV stops...nothing for a few seconds then I hear them turn and begin to come back up the hill. Bad, bad feeling at this point. Less than a minute till I see them I think. I fling the truck door open(passenger side) and pull out my AK and 12 gauge. Thats right, had them right behind passenger seat. I quickly pump a round into the gauge and hand it to my girlfriend and tell her, calmly, to get behind the truck(other side) and stay out of sight.. but be ready. She complies without balking. ATV is getting louder, should be cresting hill in moment I think. There is no way I could have driven out at this point: truck to big, guys will have drop on me, really thinking these guys have bad intentions for my girlfriend after I'm handled. All these thoughts burn through my mind in a second.

    I get a magazine in the AK, round in chamber, safety off, and lean it against the truck. I then stand next to the AK within easy, quick grab and stare at the track. Here they come, looking directly at the tent with smiles. No one there. They then see me staring at them and oh my, is that an AK leaning up against the truck. Funny, both of them look straight ahead ..smiles gone..actually quite serious looking now and hit the gas on the ATV. Neither of them bothered to look back.

    I explained the possible situation to my girlfriend once the guys were gone. What they were doing while she was putting up tent, ignoring me and the like. We stayed and camped and had no further problems. I honestly felt that the guys had decided to do something while out of sight, down that hill. Not to mention they were armed. Deep in forest, remote northern Arizona, closest LEO...who knows, cell phone don't work.

    I figured the sight of the AK would be enough to change their minds if their intentions were bad. I didn't feel it necessary to hold the rifle even though one of them had a rifle in hand(guy in back, of course)...though I could have had it in my hands very fast. I suppose it wasn't wise to hold back for that extra second but it worked.

    What do you all think? AK in hand, defensive positions, run, keep AK and Gauge in truck, go to other side of track with girl and get behind tree with rifle before ATV crests hill?
    I decided to stand my ground (as well as girlfriends) in the event of a situation. No where to go really. And I hope I did not sound cavalier with this post but the situation at the time felt very creepy. Any replies appreciated.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    First off, glad you both are OK.

    I may be inclined to retreat into the brush, taking longarms and girlfriend with me. That will show the intentions of the badguys better than staying there waiting for them to make the next move. If you can retreat to a more concealed position that also provides cover you're ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned.

    What you describe sounds like a crime of opportunity that was only foiled because you were prepared. Once you let it be known that they were going to have to "work" for what they were going to get they decided to pass. If they had decided to push the issue you were at a significant disadvantage. That's why I favor the retrograde action into the brush in your described scenario.

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    Member Array quietsage's Avatar
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    Thanks BikerRN, I see your point clearly. If I'm reading you correctly, we could have gone up the hill on other side of track, looking down at fellas from tree line, concealed that is.. with long guns. At the time I really felt it necessary to keep eyes on them. Now I'm thinking one could have got off when they stopped at bottom and flanked us while the other slowly drove up the track to concentrate our attention. 'What If'..right...

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    Member Array charlie1826's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did the right thing to me.
    Only criticism I would have is, where was your sidearm? I know the long guns are preferrable in this scenario but you didn't mention a sidearm at all. Also, I probably would have at least moved camp sites after that, don't want them sneaking back in the middle of the night.
    Other than that just glad you and your girlfriend are ok.

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    I agree with the others, I would have retreated a but with the long arms to see what they would do... and also keep them in hand... Also while camping out in the woods a side arm might serve you well for 2 legged critters, as it won't interfere with your camping as much as a long gun will. Good SA
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    No issues with what you did...But I probably would have moved my campsite elsewhere. Who is to say they didn't plan on coming back while you were sleeping?
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    If you & girl-chick haven't taken training on how to manipulate your weapons under combat conditions, as well as how to move with your weapons, flank attackers, advance & retreat while maintaining fire on your attackers, and so forth...

    You are fooling yourself thinking you were prepared.

    You may know how to shoot...does she?
    You may know how to keep a weapon loaded during a fight...her?

    Can she shoot from concealment/cover? Solve a malfunction?

    Is she someone you can coordinate with...or is she someone you need to protect, and therefore a distraction?

    Yeah, you frightened people off this time.

    Yippee.

    Next time you have this happen, you may be less lucky...And you were lucky.

    Oh...And you say you stayed in the kill zone that night. Brilliant. You camped...right were they knew your location. Wow.

    Lucky this didn't degenerate into a gunfight, lucky you weren't ambushed at night...
    And lucky when you woke up the next morning to leave the tent and the last sound you heard was POP...because that's how I'd have done you. No fuss. No fight.

    Examine your incident from a 3rd person point of view aimed at looking to take yourself out.

    Then ask "Would it have been really hard?"

    You won't like the answer.

    I'm not picking on you. I'm telling you the way I see it...and how I see it, you made a lot of errors that could have cost you both a lot of pain.

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    Not a "pretty" response MitchellCT, but a real 'eye-opener' and service for me. You make it clear how dangerous this could have been.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Telling it like ti is...
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    Mitchell is correct you lucked out on this one. These guys were not very determined to do you harm if A. the sight of a firearm made them leave and B. they did not come back on there terms while you were least prepared. You didnt mention if you kept one or both of the firearms with you during the night, I hope you did, but in that situation someone with a little skill, determination and a sharp knife could have easily eliminated you as a threat and done what he wanted from there.
    Never seperate yourself from your weapon. Leaning it up against the truck seemed like the thing to do at the time but as stated under stress, them shooting at you or speeding towards you on the ATV, you may not have the time or thought to grab the weapon and engage the threat. If you plan on using it keep it in your hands ready to engage with the least amount of motor skills required. Just my opinion glad it all worked out.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    In a situation like that, you really don't know what their intentions are. Could have been a couple of good ole boys who see a good lookin woman, and and are just thinking about doing a little flirting, thinking maybe she is with some other female companions. Being respectful to woman, is not one of some of these guys strong points. Or, it could have been that they were criminal minded , felon types, with bad intent. It is easy to pass judgement on your actions with the benefit of hind sight, but having been in similar situations, it sounds like you did ok. You made eye contact, and showed them you were not food, without going too far. Depending on how far back you were in the woods, I may have changed my location, but if you were deep enough that it would have made an attack at night on foot to much trouble for them, I would have stayed also, as you can easily hear an approaching vehicle in the Forrest for miles at night. All in all, I think you did fine. The only thing I can recommend is to carry a 10mm pistol to your arsenal to have as your sidearm! Lol

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Another vote here for moving the campsite. With an AK and a shotgun it sounds like you had sufficient firepower to deal with the clowns, and I do like the decision to split apart a bit. Having her move off into the brush to set up a crossfire would also be strategically sound. Once the immediate threat was over, moving the camp really seems mandatory. These guys might have decided to come back, with associates.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Most of the jerks I encounter in the AZ back country are desert rat cowards, but there are the group who have drug ops going on ( like cartel members and other assorted meth making fiends) and can and will be dangerous because you are threatening their money supply. Mitchell hit the nail on the head, next time move the campsite immediately. The only thing I disagree with is as far as knowing how to shoot and flanking, etc. My guess is once that AK started barking, those guys wouldn't want to stay around and have a gun battle unless they knew you have gold in that tent and it was worth something for their lives.

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    You did Good, But as said by others You should have Broke Camp ; )
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    The only thing I disagree with is as far as knowing how to shoot and flanking, etc.
    Why?

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