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I’m not a big fan of nature. It’s filled with animals operating under the assumption that “territorial means never having to say you’re sorry.” Nature is also home to billions of bugs ready, willing and able to risk their lives to have a piece of you. Just as I don’t feel comfortable exploring new Boston bars without ballistic ballast, I wouldn’t dream of communing with nature without a gun. Paranoid much, you ask? Yeah well, clock this from “The [15] kids were fishing when a beaver was spotted approaching a dock where about four or five children were located, a nature center staff member who witnessed the incident told Fairfax County Park Authority spokeswoman Judy Pedersen . . .

The beaver jumped on the dock, staggered and jumped toward a 4-year-old girl, Pedersen was told. The staff member grabbed the girl, some of the children’s fathers took the kids away from the area, and nature center staff immediately called police. “Certainly the children were startled by it,” Pedersen said. An Animal Control officer shot and killed the beaver, police officials said. No one was bitten, and there were no injuries.

So nothing to worry yourself about, then. Right? Carry On Camping?

“I really think it’s a coincidence” that there were two rabid beavers found in one week, said Fairfax County Health Department spokesman Glen Barbour. On Sunday, a rabid raccoon was seen acting strange and walking toward people near homes near Lake Barcroft, police officials said. It is unknown whether the raccoon bit the beaver that attacked Peterson. Animal Control officers plan to canvass the area with educational fliers about rabies. Barbour could not say whether there was an increase in rabid wildlife at Lake Barcroft, but he said rabies occurs naturally in the county and that rabies activity countywide appears to be consistent with levels in previous years.

Consistently carrying a gun (snubbie?) out in nature appears to be something people should do this year. And the next. And the next. [h/t Glenn Reynolds]

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  1. Someone told me that we humans are only at the top of the food chain when we are armed. Otherwise we are not even in the top 25. That is something I often think of when in the woods.

    • Makes sense if you think about it. Anything from as small as a bee up to bears can kill you quickly and easily!!!
      Where I live in NE Arkansas we have rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, etc that can either kill you or put you down in a hurry. Not to mention the black bears, coyotes, wolves and cougars around here!!
      It’s funn that the Ar Ame and Fish Commision will tell you there are no wolves and cougars in this area but none of them have taken me up on my offer to come to my house and sit outside late at night and listen to them!
      Once you hear them you never forget what they sound like. With the exceptionally dry summer we have had there have been many nights we could here them out hunting food and looking for water.
      2 of our deer we feed on our place were killed within 100 feet of our place while we were gone late one night.
      Was definitely an animal that done it. Not dogs but something wilder and a whole lot tougher.

    • Surely you jest! Nothing short of a 44 magnum could have laid waste to this beast.

      Seriously though if there are bears in your woods (or moose etc), I would consider carrying much more than a .22.

      • I’ve killed over forty groundhogs in my day, most with a 22LR.

        As for a 22’s on bears, that’s more than enough, I mean don’t you just have to shoot your hiking buddy in the leg to get away?

        • It’s sort of like carrying a knife when you go scuba diving. In case of a shark attack, you cut your buddy and let him bleed.

          That’s why he’s referred to as a “chum”.

  2. Why are they out camping or whatever and not have someone with a firearm? Makes no sense, a lot of the hikers I know arent firearm enthusiasts like me but the have enough brains to keep a gun on them when they’re in the sticks.

    • I haven’t spent much time attempting hand-to-hand combat with beavers, but a few encounters with woodchucks and raccoons have instilled a strong belief that large rodents are best countered with high-velocity lead.

    • Go ahead and kick it!!! I will stand by and video it for you!!! You can watch it and laugh with us once you get out of the hospital!!!!
      Guess you have never seen a raccoon kill a dog by drowning it.
      Just because they are smaller doesn’t mean they can’t hurt you bad!!!!

    • Frank, rabies is no joke. Something like 98% of people who contract it die. Id rather stay well away and sling some lead in the beavers direction rather than risk death.

  3. There is that “target and beyond” thing to be considered, here. Depending on how sparse that wooded area around the lake happens to be, there is the possibility of the stray round taking off past the end of the dock, skipping off the water, and making the mere 150 yards to residential properties on nearby Holford Lane.

    Of course, your mileage (literally?) may vary based on what’s being carried. I’m also not an firearms expert, but I [wish I could] play one on TV.

  4. Nature can also be the urban streets of Florida ie the wacko zombie who ate a man’s face until terminated with multiple shots.

  5. I live next door in Arlington County. Recently I spotted a probable rabid raccoon wandering around the neighborhood in broad daylight. I called animal control and asked them if they could try to find and get rid of it. Their answer was “unless it’s incapacitated they will not do anything about it.” I then asked if I could shoot a rabid animal on my property. They told me that would violate Arlington County’s “no discharge” law. It doesn’t count as self defense which preempts the County ordinance. If my neighbor the LEO, actually the Arlington County SWAT commander, is home I will ask him over and hand him my 22 and let him do the deed. It’s not a dog but it should be fun.

    But seriously if you live in suburban America you never go into a wooded area without at least carrying pepper spray. Contrary to popular belief that we see more wild life in our neighborhoods because urbanization is destroying habitats, wild life habitats are expanding not contracting.

  6. The woods is the primary reason for getting my LTCF. When I was single I had a couple nasty run-ins with wildlife and luckily got away with my feet and hands (as in climbing up a tree or running away–or in that one case of the black bear ripping open my tent to get my peanut butter simply cowering in the corner) Any situation I get in now with an animal (human or otherwise), with my wife and 3 and 4 year old, are stand my ground situations, period. I’d rather stand my ground with the most effective tool for doing so thankyouverymuch.

    Now if I could only get Maryland to see my point of view.

  7. This is why God gifted Mankind(and Womankind) with feet and Shoes.
    Punt that little tree-muncher across the yard!

    Now if it was a raccoon, that might be a little different. Those buggers are fierce. We had one that was rabid in our back yard. It decided that tangling with my dog (60lb pit-bull / German shepherd cross) was a good idea. The dog held his own (but so did the coon) until the coon retreated up a tree. I later blasted it out of the tree with my 9mm.

    BTW, 9mm hollowpoints do indeed produce one-shot-one-kill effect…when used on raccoons.

    The animal control folks sent it off for testing and confirmed it was rabid. Dog and I went for Rabies shots as a precaution. Good times.

  8. As an x farmboy, boy scout, and GI I can tell you that nature’s a bitch. I think the best saying about it is “nature is red of tooth and claw”. I have had my share of close encounters with the four legged critters and some of them have ended in violence. As for kicking any rabid animal, don”t. You don”t have to be bitten, any body fluids on your skin can infect you.

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