PERHAPS THE GREATEST ARGUMENT for the right to keep and bear arms is protecting one’s life, family, and property from evildoers. Most of the time, that is framed within the context of a murderer or rapist breaking into a home or attacking in a dimly light parking lot.
But what about self-defense in the woods? Increasing numbers of hunters and other outdoor lovers are encountering criminal elements and psychos. Add to that growing human-animal conflicts, not only with bears, mountain lions, and other carnivores but also with feral hogs, elk, and moose.
We will examine some basic strategies for staying alive and some great gun choices for defense beyond the pavement.
The following is a list of things I have put into practice for years that have kept me safe. The list was inspired by close calls that inspired this article and reinforced to me why we should never enter the woods without a firearm.
The Internet is an excellent tool for studying areas. If you find out an area is a high drug trafficker area, for example, avoid it like the plague. I have several places I no longer frequent because of this issue.
Stay calm if you encounter people in the woods who seem uneasy or a bit shifty. Getting angry or showing fear is an easy way to trigger someone who has violent tendencies. Staying calm is also essential for encounters with predators. If a bear catches you off-guard, for example, the last thing you want to do is run.
Leave your spouse or close friends a travel plan and let them know the points you plan to explore. For example, give them a time frame, and let them know who to call for help if you have not returned by a particular time or day.
Always park your vehicle facing out of the area as you check out. In a tight spot, you don’t want to have to back up and turn around during a retreat. Also, park in a clear area that you can see from a distance. If someone is waiting on you or has moved into the spot, it will give you a chance to assess the situation and prepare.
If you see strangers poaching in the woods at night, for example, don’t be a hero and try to stop them. They are armed and probably will use their weapons on you if you try to stop them. Call and report activity to local game wardens and get out as quickly as possible.
I carry a beacon that will alert all rescue personnel at the touch of a button. Don’t rely just on a cell phone. Get a beacon of some kind, too.
Not all information is on social media. Talking to locals in a gun shop or sporting goods store can give you good intel on the local region. For example, if you drew an elk tag for Wyoming, locals would know if grizzlies have been seen recently. That’s important to know.
In this publication, it goes without saying that carrying a firearm you are comfortable with using is crucial.
It doesn’t matter if you’re flyfishing a remote stream in the Hill Country or bringing your kids berry picking in the Pineywoods. Always carry where it’s legal.
The following are a few carry options for different outdoor self-defense scenarios from our friends at CZ.
Designed in 1975, the CZ 75 is the flagship model of the CZ handgun line, with more than one million produced. It is recommended as a top self-defense handgun by many experts. Google and see.
An entire family of pistols is available based on the CZ 75 design: compacts, decockers, single action only, ambidextrous, alloy frames, and competition pistols.
The 75 B features a steel frame, a black polycoat finish, three-dot sights, 16+1, 9mm capacity, and, of course, the ergonomics and DA/SA action that have made it the most copied handgun design, second only to the 1911. The “B” designation indicates that the model is equipped with a firing pin block safety.
The CZ 75 B is used by more governments, militaries, police, and security agencies than any other pistol. It comes chambered in 9 mm Luger and has a magazine capacity of 16 rounds.
That’s enough to mow down a rabid coyote and to give you confidence that if you got in an exchange with a criminal, you would come out on top.
The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol is perfect for carrying in your vehicle for cruising down remote roads or packing for defending the tent.
Finally available for public consumption is the much-anticipated Scorpion sub-gun. Imported as a pistol, it is a blowback-operated semi-auto in 9mm with a short 7¾-inch barrel.
Open sights ride on an 11-inch Picatinny rail perfect for mounting optics. Starting in 2016, Scorpion Pistols feature 1/2×28 threads hidden underneath the factory flash-hider, meaning users can fit either 1/2×28 or 18×1 accessories to the muzzle. Also added is a QD sling swivel pocket integrated into the rear sling attachment point.
Simple and reliable, the Scorpion not only has ambidextrous controls, but its non-reciprocating charging handle is also swappable, and the reach to the trigger is adjustable.
With a wealth of accessories and attachments available for the Scorpion platform, customization can easily be done with several braces, grips, forends, magazines, safeties, mag releases, charging handles, and triggers explicitly designed for the EVO 3 platform.
Venturing into bear country, even if you’re scouting for a hunting trip before the season or camping, means you need to be cautious. This is becoming increasingly true in areas with high concentrations of feral hogs.
Over the last two years, Texas has had one fatal hog attack and several other vicious attacks on unsuspecting victims.
The CZ 600 Alpha chambered in .300 Win Mag will get the job done for protecting against animal attacks. The lightweight aluminum receiver balances the semi-heavy barrel so it won’t weigh you down.
On top of that, CZ guarantees it can get it done in sub-MOA style. It’s also an excellent and highly accurate choice for an all-around big-game rifle.
Time in the wild is fun, exciting, and generally stress-free, but there are moments when it can get dangerous. Following these easy-to-follow tips and carrying the right weapon can give you confidence, and they might save your life.
THE MOST IMPRESSIVE STAT on the Scorpion Pistol is the price tag. Current production Scorpion pistols lack the 3/4-inch sling slot on the left side of the action that is present on earlier variants.
The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol is legally classified by the ATF as a pistol and is intended by CZ-USA to be used as a pistol.
Under current federal law and ATF policy, attaching a stock to this pistol—or attaching a device which is then used as a stock or intended to be used as a stock—constitutes the making of a short-barreled rifle which requires registration with the ATF and the payment of the applicable tax.
Users of the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol bear the sole responsibility for ensuring their use of this firearm complies with all local, state, and federal firearms laws.
—story by CHESTER MOORE