Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Run for Cover or Shoot Back?
Let’s set the scene. You’re out hunting and you come across a massive pot farm, or even a few shacks that serve as a meth lab operation. And then, compound the situation with guys shooting assault weapons at you – just because you were tracking an animal and wandered into their “space,” or you were out scouting and all of a sudden have moseyed into enemy territory.
This happened recently to two brothers who were hunting near Taijique, New Mexico. According to a news report from KOAT in Albuquerque, Torrance County Sheriff Heath White stated, "They [the brothers] said they ran right face into large marijuana plants, and as they were looking around, four male subjects start shooting at them with assault rifles."
In case you’re wondering, 200 marijuana plants are worth millions of dollars.
So what’s a hunter to do? Sure, carrying a personal defense gun always works as a backup, but I think running for your life is a great option. In this case, the guys stayed alive, alerted the authorities and the operation at this location will be shut down. Meanwhile, the authorities will look harder for the miscreants who ran the farm.
While I support a personal defense firearm – even during bow season – and don’t forget, I live in MethLand Missouri, I also believe you don’t want to get in a gunfight with more firepower than you are carrying, if possible. That’s why it’s important while hunting a) to not get lost b) to plan your hunt and hunt your plan and 3) to always carry communication equipment – like cell phones (great when they’re in service), radios (great when they’re in range), flares and other means for letting people know where you are.
How about you? Do you carry a personal defense firearm when you’re hunting? Please only respond if it’s legal in your state to do so.