Almost had to draw

This is a discussion on Almost had to draw within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was camped in the Gunnison National Forest over the weekend and had an encounter that thankfully ended well. First off I will tell you ...

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Thread: Almost had to draw

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    Almost had to draw

    I was camped in the Gunnison National Forest over the weekend and had an encounter that thankfully ended well.

    First off I will tell you I made a bunch of mistakes during this encounter, the good thing is my wife and I learned from it.

    We were camped about 1/4 mile from a forest service road between Gunnison and Crested Butte near a trail head. I have never had any trouble with other campers or hikers so I was very surprised at what happened.

    As my wife and I were getting ready to go hike I was debating on leaving my weapon in camp. I will never have that debate again, stay armed.

    The hike was good, as we were returning I saw a truck parked across from my camp. Then I saw a guy cross the road to my camp, I went on alert but it is not unusual for folks to visit. I was surprised when he did not call out to see if anyone was in the tent.

    We were camped in a 12x17 wall tent, the guy unzipped the door and walked in. I went on high alert. Now is when I started making mistakes.

    We were about 40 yards away when he went in and when he came out I was about 10 yards from him with my wife about 10 yards behind me. I should have stopped and told my wife to retreat back up the trail when I saw him enter my tent.

    As the guy came out I yelled at him, asking what he was doing in my tent. He quickly saw that I had my hand on my gun and he was very startled.

    We were already close together and got closer, when I realized I wanted more seperation between us. I held up my hand and he stopped and I backed up a couple steps.

    He was trying to explain that he does a lot of camping with his family and wanted to see my set up. I resonded that he should have called out and when he did not receive a response he should have left.

    By the way he was dressed in a pair of running shorts and a Tee shirt and had a camelback hydration system on his back. And the mistakes just keep coming. I could not see a weapon, but I wanted to know if he had any of my stuff in his camelback.

    I told him to pull everything out of the pack. I am glad he did not have a weapon in the camelback. I should have emptied it myself.

    All this time my wife is standing off to the side and I asked her to check in the tent to see if anything was missing. Bad idea, I should have cleared the tent before my wife went in. Clearing the tent might have been tricky keeping an eye on him and clearing the tent.

    Any ideas on how to keep an eye on the guy and clear the tent?

    The whole time I felt threatened simply by the circumstances but he was physically much smaller than me, on the other hand you never know who has martial arts training or is just a tuff street fighter.

    He was big time apologizing to me and my wife. He had come out from Gunnison planning to go for a run and was courious about my set up. He said he knew he had crossed the line.

    In the end he went for his run and my wife and I talked about what we should have done different.

    I will always carry my gun. My wife did not bring hers, as she puts it you have yours. In the future she will have hers on her, which would have helped. She could keep and eye on him while I cleared the tent.

    After talking to him I relaxed and no longer felt he was a threat. Anyone caught in the circumstances would have been telling a story to get out of trouble. He did look like a runner and was dressed as such, he knew he had crossed the line. He looked scared, his blue shorts did have a brown tint in the back.

    After his run he apologized again, I am glad everything turned out well.

    I was surprised at how calm I was throughout the event. I believe this forum helped, but I still made a lot of mistakes.

    Semper Fi

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    I probably would've had my gun drawn.

    You realized your mistakes and learned valuable lessons.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

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    Distinguished Member Array ErnieNWillis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsee11789 View Post
    I probably would've had my gun drawn.

    You realized your mistakes and learned valuable lessons.


    No doubt about it!

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array DaRedneck's Avatar
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    I would have been very upset with someone doing that too. Checking out my setup is one thing and unzipping and walking inside my tent is another. Sounds like you caught a potential thief (or worse) but scared him straight.
    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elk Hunter View Post

    Any ideas on how to keep an eye on the guy and clear the tent?
    Have your wife cover him with her gun. Work as a team.

    Thanks for posting. This is a very real and daily consideration for my family. We are into offroading and camping far off the beaten path (UT & other Rocky Mtn states). I've had strange people walk into my campsite many times. In fact, the last time it happened it was quite similar...young guy in t-shirt walks into camp, right up to the offroad trailer and my buddy's Landcruiser. When my friend and I appear from behind the vehicle..he never saw us coming...he stumbled his speach a bit and stated that he just wanted to see the offroad camp setup. Didn't announce himself. He didn't see us...just our wives with our infant sons, at the time. Which put us on high alert. After talking with him for a few minutes we suspected "mushrooms" or something must be the cause of his huge pupils and affected speach. He was pretty close to having a "bad trip" and a close encounter with a Glock. You just never know what's going to show up in camp.

    This is one of the main reasons I began carrying. Your example was exactly why my wife carries too, especially when camping. She's always got a .357 and I usually have my 1911 or XD. Glad things turned out OK for you.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    Don't know where that is, but he would have probably got his butt kicked in Alabama. You just don't go in someones abode uninvited and unannounced. Glad all ended well.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    All in all I think that you did ok.
    It is wise to find out what you have befor getting too aggressive.
    By having your hand on your gun you conveyed authority and cut your draw time by half or more.
    Personally, I prefer closer to farther.

    As far as the tent clearing, you said it was a wall tent. Have him tie back the door flaps, then you can view the inside without having to go inside and you can still keep an eye on him.

    Cheap lessons are always valuable.

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    What a load of crap.

    In this part of the county, you dont even get out of your truck unannounced.

    You always "hail the camp" and anyone with common sense knows that.

    That guy was up to no good.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    After his run he apologized again, I am glad everything turned out well.
    I'm surprised he came back! lol
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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    All in all I think that you did ok.
    It is wise to find out what you have befor getting too aggressive.
    By having your hand on your gun you conveyed authority and cut your draw time by half or more.
    Personally, I prefer closer to farther.

    As far as the tent clearing, you said it was a wall tent. Have him tie back the door flaps, then you can view the inside without having to go inside and you can still keep an eye on him.

    Cheap lessons are always valuable.
    well stated...and good idea to have him tie back the tent flaps...i'm a fan of close myself...a half hip resolution is roughly 1/2 second away in a tight spot and the chances of a miss are slim at that range...

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    What a load of crap.

    In this part of the county, you dont even get out of your truck unannounced.

    You always "hail the camp" and anyone with common sense knows that.

    That guy was up to no good.
    sounds like a not too bright trouble maker who was embarrassed and scared when caught.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    In Oklahoma, Castle Doctrine extends to all dwellings, including tents and RVs. I don't know about your laws, but here you would have been easily justified in drawing, though I'd have personally just had mine exposed for him to see.
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    Member Array SteveInWV's Avatar
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    What a dope! Tent or House, what's the difference? It is your residence at the moment. Would he just walk right in to your house because "he wanted to check it out"? I think not! There are somethings that you just don't do. Sounds like you handled it fine, but I would probably stay on alert for the truck in case he decides to pay a return visit.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    All in all I think that you did ok.
    It is wise to find out what you have befor getting too aggressive.
    By having your hand on your gun you conveyed authority and cut your draw time by half or more.
    Personally, I prefer closer to farther.

    As far as the tent clearing, you said it was a wall tent. Have him tie back the door flaps, then you can view the inside without having to go inside and you can still keep an eye on him.

    Cheap lessons are always valuable.
    We were about 5 feet apart when I backed up maybe 4 ft so we were still close. Thanks for tent clearing idea. I think even with my wife armed I would still have him tie he flap back.

  16. #15
    Member Array sentioch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elk Hunter View Post
    We were about 40 yards away when he went in and when he came out I was about 10 yards from him with my wife about 10 yards behind me. I should have stopped and told my wife to retreat back up the trail when I saw him enter my tent.
    I agree that telling your wife to retreat would have been a bit more prudent.

    I told him to pull everything out of the pack. I am glad he did not have a weapon in the camelback. I should have emptied it myself.
    The safest thing to do would be to have your wife go through the camelback while you keep an eye on him, but I feel like it would have escalated the situation in a way to have you or your wife going through his bag rather than letting him show you.

    Yes, he crossed the line by entering your tent, and it sounds very likely that he was intending to steal from you, but once you gained control of the situation and he knew you had a gun ready to draw, I think it was safe to have him go through his own pack like you did.

    All this time my wife is standing off to the side and I asked her to check in the tent to see if anything was missing. Bad idea, I should have cleared the tent before my wife went in. Clearing the tent might have been tricky keeping an eye on him and clearing the tent.
    From the description of the scene so far it seems pretty obvious that he didn't have a partner so I don't see any safety concern about your wife checking the other tent.

    In fact there is an advantage to letting your wife check the other tent because it shows her that you two are a team, which is good for your relationship and will help to ensure that she supports the way you handled the situation, and probably make her more likely to carry herself next time.

    Bottom line, I think you handled the situation pretty well
    "In a world of compromise, some don't." -HK

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