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By Tom in Oregon

Having reached over 20 years as a police officer without needing to fire my gun, I was about as secure in my career as I could be. Comfortable in the patrol unit, teaching survival skills, mostly gun-fighting. Using some earned vacation time, two workmates and I decided to try a new fishing spot closer to home. Normally, we’d take a 10-hour drive to the Snake River. This trip would be a 2-hour drive to the John Day River for four days of relaxation . . .

After three days in that location, I decided to take the guys out to the Columbia River to wrestle a big sturgeon or two. As it was a short drive to the boat ramp, I pre-loaded my Ruger MK II in a gun rug and put it on the dash of my boat. It’s an all-around great boat gun.

My buddy “Mark” was in the front passenger seat. He also taught at work and at the state police academy. My other buddy “Tim” was in the back right hand seat.

We made the five-minute drive to the general area of the boat ramp, but were having trouble finding it. I finally noticed the driveway and had to turn the land-yacht-towing-a-boat around on a wide spot on the gravel road. As I started to cross the road, I saw a blue car coming. A quick glance and I knew I could make the entrance without causing him to brake.

As we entered the ramp area, we discovered that it was about the crappiest boat ramp we’d seen and pretty cramped for our setup. Then we noticed the nicer ramp next door wasn’t fenced and was wide open. On to the next driveway.

As we had been looking backwards, I failed to notice the car that was on the road earlier was now parked at the gated opening. A really big dude was waving his arms and walking towards us and it looked like there were two others in the parked car about 50 yards away.

The unkempt, sour looking, staggering, 6’4″, 350+ pound dude was in baggy shorts and a t-shirt. He got to my window and introduced himself. He said his name is “Chief Muckleduck (insert two unintelligible clicking noises) something, something.”

He then informed us that we were trespassing on Indian land, and for that infraction we had to pay a $10.00 fine or he and his friends were going to get their guns and “rock-and-roll” on us.

Oh. F&@k.

This dude was loaded up with jail house tats. He had burn marks on his forearms from doing the cigarette burn game. His eyes were so bloodshot he could cry hemoglobin. Then I noticed the U.S. Government property signs on the fencing surrounding the parking lot.

Inner voice: Keep calm, talk him down.

Other inner voice: Holy sh!t.

The first inner voice won. I spent the next 10 minuntes – the longest of my life – talking to the guy. Everything from the salmon run to salmon for sale, to giving in to his demand for a cigarette. Then he made the comment about he and his friends and their guns “rock and rolling” on us again.

During all this, some subtle communication had taken place inside the truck. I checked with Mark and he had his GLOCK 26 on his belt. Tim left his gat in the camper back at the camp site.

Mark had been staring at the blue car the whole time. He was as focused as I’ve seen him. I knew he’d computed the bullet drop, windshield deflection, and round count to put down those two.

Meanwhile, I kept talking to the “chief.” He was adamant that we pay the fine. NO. Then the fine was handing over all of our beer. NO.

I was sick that I left my gun on the dash in the boat. I was thinking…20+ years on the job. Never had to shoot anybody. Had a few close scrapes. I was about to be in a gunfight. My gun was 25 feet away. I was off duty. I was on Indian land. I…we are so screwed.

Then my thoughts turned to the tribal court. White guy shoots Indian. On Indian land. While violating Indian trespass laws. It was getting uglier by the minute.

As I confessed during the Grand Jury inquest later, if my gun had been between the seats as it normally was, I would have put two in his face at his parting comment. Chief Muckluckfuckaduck made his final demand, “So, are you going to pay the fine?”


He said, and I quote, “OK, I guess it’s rock n roll time”. And he started walking to his car. I let him get about five steps from my door and I got out and ran to the boat.

I jump in. Open rug. Check mag.

Then I heard screaming. It’s Mark. Oh sh!t, I was late to my own gunfight!

I rack a round and come up, gun pointed, safety off. I was going into a gunfight with a .22. I was thinking, make ’em count.

As I looked toward my truck, I noticed the exit-blocking car had driven down into the parking area. Chief Toomanyvowels was still walking toward it. Mark was leaning out the driver’s door, yelling “let’s go!

I jumped out of the boat, gun in hand, and make a run for the drivers seat. Mark’s still yelling, “let’s go!

I floored it and we split. Fast. As we passed the car, my gun was in my hand below window level, pointed at the three. Mark’s is un-holstered at a low ready. I was ready to go full-on ramming speed if I saw anything that looked like a gun.

We made it out of the parking lot, no shots fired. I told the guys, “Well, that screws us out of sturgeon fishing. I’m not parking near there so some pissed off, sobering-up-drunk idiots can trash my truck.” So we drove back toward camp.

Tim then said, “Hey, that guy just committed a bunch of felonies on us.” A dialogue ensued. Do nothing and fish, or shorten the vacation and type up reports. But what about the next victim? Some 80 year-old great grandpa gets a heart attack from this guy’s threats? NO.

We call 9-1-1, explained things and in about 15 minutes, they caught the guy. Turns out he was a four-state felon. Not only that, his name was Troy Walker. He wasn’t even Indian. And the boat ramp? It belonged to the Army Corps of Engineers for dam maintenance.

During the Grand Jury appearance, I learned that rural folks are indeed, the salt of the earth. They wondered why we didn’t just shoot the guy and avoid the trip and jail time. Mr. Walker never made it to trial. He pled guilty to a few felonies and some misdemeanors, did a few months and was released. Again.

Lessons learned:

If your gun is not on your body, within reach or in your hand, it’s useless.

While a gun was not used in this instance, the presence of one may have diffused the situation.

If the bad guys did have guns, at least the gunfight would not have started off one-sided.

Calling 9-1-1 from where we were, the call went to Washington state, transferred to Sherman County, Oregon, then on to the state police, since we were on the interstate and the nearest deputy wasn’t available.

How many times has it been said here? “You, are your own first responder.”

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  1. “Never not bring a gun to a gunfight with a non-Indian Indian.

    Is that the lesson here?

    Glad you are ok.

    I’m amused his “fine” was only $10 and upon threat of death if you didn’t pay. I think you were/are probably worth more than $10.

    • Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute. *His* life was not worth Dan’s $10. And I agree. F*** placating bad people.

    • This is actually an awesome answer. It redirects the confrontation and might actually get him to back down.

      • Not so sure about that. The local Pomo Tribe where I grew up were pretty vicious to any other native american kids in school. Those little punks and their little gang are generally the exception to the rule, but it sounds like the same type of dumbassery going on in this instance that I can remember from middle/high school.

  2. If you are outside the house you shouldn’t leave a gun anywhere. You’re always one fall or accident away from leaving it unattended as is. But a well – prepared friend changes these calculations drastically. Doesn’t mean set a gun down but does mean it wasn’t as suicidal.

    Hindsight is 20/20 and whatever so…glad you made it out and got the guy booked on something even if you didn’t blast him.

    • I wanted to ask that myself but assumed he figured his friends had enough adequate heat. I’d have a .357 mag myself. Outdoors may have any number of annoyances that aren’t as easily dealt with using varmint rounds and it didn’t sound like anyone brought a magnum.

    • Too much focus on the fishing I guess. I don’t have a good answer to that question.
      We tend to shoot A LOT while fishing. Typically a brick a day. It’s just cheaper.

    • The .22 is the most usefull all around cartridge for hanging around in the boonies. Barring gunfights and rabid bears.

    • At current ammo prices, anything more powerful would render it cheaper to just pay the guy the ten bucks……. 🙂

      • No guarantee that paying the $10 fine was going to keep them for getting “rocked and rolled”. Then the “chief” demanded a case of beer. I think he did the right thing considering the circumstances.

  3. Early in my gun carrying career I didn’t always carry a gun when I went running, just pepper spray. One of the times I didn’t have a gun I ran into a neighborhood gangbanger trying to kidnap and kill his ex-girl friend.

    Luckily, I was able to intervene without the need of using a gun, that time.

    I said to myself, NEVER AGAIN!

    You never know when you know what is going to hit the fan.

      • As a first attempt at diffusing the situation, yes, I agree that ten bucks is pretty affordable. If he escalates from there, at least you can later credibly argue that you made a real attempt to peaceably extricate yourself from the situation.

        • If it was me, and I bet 90+% of potential victims, I would just have paid the $10 bucks and not thought much more of it. Which is why the racket probably worked for awhile to being with.

          But these guys were off duty LEOs. And off duty LEOs posting on gun blogs at that. Which likely means they are not only much more confident in their gun fighting skills than the average Joe, but have much more experience dealing with this kind of dudes, as well.

          I just keep trying to put myself in this hapless schlub’s shoes. All he wants is ten bucks for some beer, and he’s probably thinking he’s come up with the sweetest little racket for the summer. And then, just his luck, a car full of LEOs pull up, and he’s hauled off to jail again……

        • And that’s exactly why many criminals think they can get away with so much… because so many recommend capitulation.

        • Are you seriously going to let a 6 ft tall 300 lb guy who threatened to roll you within 20ft of you to hand him a tenner? F*** that noise.

      • At the time they were thought to be legitimate law enforcement, enforcing the laws of a sovereign tribe! Not a four state felon on Army Corp land, faking being an Indian. That was only revealed in hindsight.

        • Because legit Native American police officers always dress like that guy did and demand $10 on the spot with the threat of shooting you if you don’t pay.


        • “Because legit Native American police officers always dress like that guy did and demand $10 on the spot with the threat of shooting you if you don’t pay.”

          $10 bucks. Or the rest of your beer.

        • Not all organisations hold themselves to very high standards, add on top of that a bad apple.

          On the other hand, I suppose I took it far to literally and Tom’s suspicions weren’t adequately spelled out.

        • Nope, legit tribal police wear spiffy uniforms and if they don’t like your paleface on the rez because you’re dating one, it’s gonna be much more than $10. After they remind you how far you are from white man’s country, that getting four flats is really common, and that white people walking can get lost out here really easily.

    • Chances are he would have just killed em anyways. If they are already threatening your life for $10, you honestly think they will let you go if you comply? Sure, talk down the situation as was the case here. But always be ready to use deadly force ESPECIALLY when they have threatened to kill you.

    • Do you want your attention diverted from the large aggressive threat while you’re digging out your wallet? Where are your hands while you’re trying to buy off the threat with just 10 bucks?

    • Well Eric; How much is your freedom worth? Your dignity? Your right to be free from threats of force or actual violence? The knowledge that that moment will be with you for the rest of your life; fresh in your memory thirty years later as if it was yesterday.

      And in that moment will you remember the feeling of violation, the emotional rape(if not also the actual rape), of you bowing down and submitting to the tyranny of a predator?; or will you remember standing up and defending yourself from the depredations of a human tyrant, intent on enslaving you, making you his property, to be abused, degraded and maybe even murdered as he saw fit?

      I don’t know about you; but I made that choice when a human predator threatened my life for the paper in my wallet. I won, barely; but I remember like it was yesterday, It is also why I carry a gun today.

      • I would probably have a hard time reconciling myself to the fact that I shot an unarmed man over ten dollars. And put my family through a lengthy and expensive trial, if not my incarceration, over $10.

        My freedom is worth $10. And it wouldn’t hurt my pride to buy off some drunken scumbag for a measly ten dollars and save the trouble and danger of a gun fight when all I wanted to do was go fishing with my buddies.

        Haven’t you ever bought a guy a beer to diffuse a bar fight?

        Again, just because you’re in the right, doesn’t make your actions right.

        • Actually, if you’re right, you’re right. Its not about the ten dollars, you didn’t shoot anybody over ten dollars, you would’ve shot somebody because of the use of force against you. Extortion is extortion regardless of the amount. Ever read ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’?

        • Well, don’t shoot a guy for robbing you of $10, no. But the choice here wasn’t ever “$10” or “Shoot a guy”.

          A big part of DGU aftermath is being able to articulate what happened and what you believed (at that time) to be happening. In this case: “demanded guns or beer, but mostly I focused on the REPEATED DEATH THREATS, after which he stated his intent to go to the car to get his gun to carry out his DEATH THREAT, following which he walked to said car.”

          If the chief had pulled anything remotely gun-shaped out of that car, and a gun fight had (understandably) ensued, would you still argue that the whole thing was over $10 in cash? That might have been his first demand, but it would have been the threats that I’d be reacting to.

        • But, it didn’t happen to you. Please feel free to react however you want in a life threatening instance. The OP is sharing his experience. Please share if you have a story of your own.

      • I don’t know about all that, what I do know is that I’m not taking my eyes off the threat and when he’s at your car window asking for $10 it’s either a distraction or he intents to snatch your wallet when you bring it out. Guy at the window threatening to kill me and I’ve (somehow) left my gun out of reach: hard right turn and accelerate in reverse. I’m not sure exactly what tom was driving, but if it will haul a boat it will down a BG. Why even try for your gun when you have a more effective weapon already at hand?

  4. Through out the story you seemed to indicate you thought you were on Indian land, where THEY are the law, you starting a gun fight puts you seriously in the wrong!

    Of course hindsight shows otherwise, but your story clearly indicates that in situ you were planning to start a gun fight with what were thought to be legitimate law enforcement officers.

    • I dont believe he ever thought them to be legit. 350+lb shabby dressed dude with bloodshot eyes says cop to me about as much as a fist sized rock says apple.

      • You might not view them as legitimate, but if they were adorned by their tribe with those powers, they were every bit as legitimate as any other LEO.

        If you exchange Indian for Mexican, and move the location from the US interior to the border, I imagine people would have a much different reaction. While off roading through what you thought was Southern AZ, a Federalle stops you, wants a small bribe for his troubles, you assume he’s telling the truth and you just didn’t see a marking at the border, so you plan to start a gun fight with him! WTF!

        Only to find out later you were still in the US and the guy was a fake, so it’s all ok.

        • If you’re Inadvertently crossing the border when offroading in AZ, it ain’t the Mexicans you have to worry about shooting you…..

        • Indian Reservations are NOT foreign nations, and they have laws similar to most of the US states. And, as far as I know, all federal laws also apply.

      • But he wasn’t a cop, he was the Chief, the big kahuna, the grand poo-bah. or so he claimed.

  5. Never never never will my piece be anywhere else except on me or in its house while I’m sleeping in bed. Never
    If I go to your funeral, on me.
    Your wedding, on me.
    The only exception is a place that I MUST go that is a no carry. Those are very few.

    • So happens I just got back from a funeral. Yes, I was carrying.

      I’m new to concealed carry, So far from limited experiments (bear in mind I used to work at Walmart and don’t have a job at the moment, so buying a lot of guns and holsters or making dramatic alterations to my wardrobe is pretty much out) I’ve discovered that in the scheme of things it was easier to go with a mousegun in a pocket holster. In this case, a Ruger LCP in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. I typically wear baggy jeans with a T-shirt. For the funeral I wore slacks and a dress shirt, with the pistol in my wallet pocket. If anyone noticed, I couldn’t tell. Anyways, the point is the same. You are your own first responder, and any gun on you is better than a gun elsewhere or none at all.

      My next ongoing set up is to find a good shoulder holster for my Glock 20 to wear underneath my riding jacket – there’s plenty of room and it would be much easier on the draw than the wallet pocket. Particular when wearing riding gloves. I’ve also considered putting a G19/23 in a Crossbreed Ohai velcroed to the pocket on the underside of the lid of my Chase Harper 650 tankbag – this would be fairly easily accessible as well. Don’t suppose Blackhawk offers a shoulder harness for a Serpa by any chance?


  6. Just give the guy $10 and go on about your day. Ten bucks is cheap fare to get out of spending the next ten minutes dialoguing with an asshole, let alone having to shoot the dumb bastard.

    Sometimes just because you’re in the right, doesn’t mean you’re right.

    • you did read the same editorial I read right? The “fine” kept arbitrarily going up. If they gave him $10, they would have known they had these guys by the short hairs and proceeded to extort them for anything else they wanted.

      • I read where he asked for a cigarette. That costs even less that $10 where I come from, and the author gave into that demand.

        He didn’t give into the demand for all of the beer, but so what?

    • It’s my ten bucks, not his. I worked for it, not him. In some jobs I’ve had, that would be a major portion of an hour’s work, if not more than an hour. I’m not going to just give it away because some drunk asshole asks for it.

      In other news, I just got panhandled walking out of my bank. That does not work for me. At all. I was only carrying three rolls of quarters this time, but it could easily have been 10 or even 100 times that. I went back inside and told the manager, and then made sure he called the cops before I left. I didn’t do it for me, I did it for the elderly woman in line behind me, or the young single mother dealing with two kids that was in there at the same time. Maybe the beggar wouldn’t have approached those folks out of respect for their ages and situations, but I wasn’t willing to take that chance.

      • If shelling out $10 means I don’t have to shoot an unarmed drunken goon, put my best friends at risk of a gun fight with the other two (possibly armed?) goons, lose my carry gun to the authorities, and spend the next weeks or months of my life (and thousands of dollars) in criminal and/or civil legal battles?

        Yes. Here is my $10.

        • It’s not about the $10 or even the principle, it’s about the inherent threat that existed even if the BG in this case hadn’t made it abundantly clear that he was armed and contemplating murder. Also, this was neither just extortion nor robbery, it was (also) aggravated assault.

          The answer here was never ‘just give him the money’, it was either deescalate (which displaying money wasn’t guaranteed or even likely to do), flee suddenly, or attack.

          I’d lean heavily toward flee suddenly (and violently) in this case where imminence wasn’t imminent as they sometimes say. In my experience people move hastily away from a vehicle that has suddenly been floored. Survival instincts usual trump wanton aggression. In this event that fails I’d rather be fighting with someone at my drivers window while accelerating down the road than while stopped, momentum gives advantage in such case.

        • Comes close to the kind of situation I was considering some time back when I decided a better answer just might be to pop him once or twice (mousegun, again) until he loses interest, then drive away. The chance of a bunch of drunken criminals calling the law to explain how they were trying to rob me and (gasp) I shot them seems rather low. In this exact case I would have ignored him and driven away, as they eventually did. If he/they actually attacked me I would defend myself. Give him $10? Not in a million years. Even if he was in uniform.

    • There is a problem with your suggestion. Hardened criminals like the man in this story have no regard for human life. The only thing they respect is strength and force. If you come across weak, they will devour you. What is worse, those types test people and probe for weakness. Agreeing to pay him would be an obvious sign of weakness and could result in the criminal carrying out his threat. Even talking to the man for so long was a sign of weakness. It is better to respond with resolve something along the lines of, “screw you … leave me alone”.

      • I’m with you U_S. My stock phrase for panhandlers is that I don’t have any money. It both indicates that I’m not giving them any and suggests I might not be worth robbing. I do this while continuing to move, often away from them even if it’s obvious that I’m doing so to distance myself from them.

        For the more persistent I tend to insist loudly and flatly that they leave me alone. It’s eye opening for many petty criminals when ‘prey’ acts more like a predator (i.e. turning to face them while stepping back and away or giving forceful commands such as “Stop” or “That’s Close enough” while obviously preparing to react to any attempting attack).

        I’ve been robbed exactly once in my life. I was parked at a curb counting a small amount of money that my passenger had just handed me. A man walking by on the sidewalk must have seen, double back and came up on the drivers side. He reached in the open window, snatched the money from my hands and ran off. I saw no since in pursuing him for less than $20 and simply left the neighborhood (which wasn’t a good one to begin with and a stupid place to sit with ones windows down).

        As far as I’m concerned I paid him to teach me a lesson: Crime is generally impulsive and often simple, quick and violent.

        Ten guns would not have prevented that robbery. Counting the money somewhere else, rolling up the windows, or paying more attention to the people in the environment would all handily have thwarted it.

    • Peter, what would your mom have said if, in elementary school, you came home and told her you needed double lunch money?

  7. “Then my thoughts turned to the tribal court. White guy shoots Indian. On Indian land. While violating Indian trespass laws.”

    Just as an FYI, in Oregon (except for the Warm Springs Reservation), a non-Indian who commits a crime in Indian country would be subject to state jurisdiction pursuant to Public Law 83-280. In states where 280 does not apply, a non-Indian would be subject to federal jurisdiction only when they commit a crime against an Indian (crimes against non-Indians and victimless crimes would still be state jurisdiction).

  8. If you were where this bridge is you would have even bigger problems as it is in Echo Bay Canada. You can’t take handguns in Canada.

  9. That picture you guys have up is from Garden River, Ontario CANADA. Home to an impoverished but friendly people. Been there many times and live across Lake George on the U.S. side. Way to insinuate this incident happened there. Absolute hack journalism.

      • So if you use google chrome, right click on the image and select “Search Google for this image”

        2 seconds to verify it was a canadian image, keep your google fu strong!

    • Lighten up Don. Nobody is inferring anything but you.

      If you READ the article it was about the John Day River.
      And a boat ramp on “government land” identified in the story as Army Corps of Engineers, not a reservation.
      And the “Indian” reference was about the lie the bad guy told, ie nothing to do with Native Americans.
      And a click on the pic shows its public use on Wikipedia, ie ANYONE can use it, and ANYONE with any common sense knows it.

    • lol – wow. Take it down a notch there sensitive Sally. As a reader who has never been to “Garden River”, much less heard of it, a sentiment I assume 99% of the readers of this article share with me… I felt the photo effectively evoked imagery, to enhance the story the author was communicating in the article that followed. I’d hazard he meant no ill association with the internationally renowned tourist destination Garden River (First Nation), Ontario.

  10. Funny how everyone is getting hung up on the $10 demand, while forgetting the fact that the demand was made with a threat that he would shoot them.

    Hint: Focus more on the “I’m going to start killing people” part of this story.

    And remember, as always, never go full Yeager.

  11. I’m just sure the nice man would have let them go, if he got his 10 wampum.

    No, actually I have a feeling the $10 demand was just to see how easy the stranger would be to roll.

    • My read is, he would have let them go. Content for a day with his ten bucks. A “4 state felon”, with obviously nothing but little trash offenses (he’s out in a few months) indicates hand to mouth near-do-well more than hardened killer to me. Chances are, he just wanted some beer money, and is just too hopeless to be able to come up with any other way of obtaining it. I mean, if your standards aren’t all that; sitting around some remote boat ramp drinking beer, doing nothing more than getting off your fat ass 10 minutes every day shaking down the occasional camper for ten bucks; may not be such a bad way to spend a summer…..

      • “doing nothing more than getting off your fat ass 10 minutes every day shaking down the occasional camper for ten bucks; may not be such a bad way to spend part of a summer…..”


        • + whatever you deem appropriate.

          The best POS is a dead/disabled POS. Were that subhuman trash to pull that crap on my GF or my kid, I would hunt his filthy soul to the ends of the earth. I don’t have a particular set of skills, but I know enough to find garbage and eliminate it.

        • Easy now. That’s got a good chance of ending like “The Phantom Menace” and not “Taken”.

  12. +1 Matt. Hanging out at a BANK is really rude. Asking for $ with an implied threat is just BS. Anyone remember Bernard Goetz ? 4 young thugs “asking” for $5.

  13. This is why my dad packed his .357 magnum around Oregon when we were outside of the city camping, fishing or hiking. You never know when a dirt bag will decide he wants your stuff.

  14. Ditch the .22 and the G26 for a G23 and an AK. Much better Indian tamers.

    (What kind of knuckleheads go running around the woods without real firepower? Ever seen Deliverance?)

  15. To those talking about the $10 “fee”: learn a little bit of reality. Do you think a 4-state felon willing to threaten a life for “$10” is legitimate? Or lying about being on Indian land? Or being an Indian? Did you also believe the Obamacare promises?

    Why don’t you pull out your wallet, with your cash, cards, and personal info? That’s when a whole lot of thieves say “I’ll take the whole thing.”

    The safest best is to assume that a politician or a crook (but I repeat myself) is lying. They want as much money as they can get. You don’t shoot because of the alleged dollar amount. You react in defense of the threat against your life.

    • “The safest best is to assume that a government employee or a crook (but I repeat myself) is lying.”


  16. Tom in Oregon: Thanks for relating your story. It’s interesting to see how a trained LEO handled an off duty confrontation. One of the lessons learned – for me anyway – is to try to deescalate the situation while constantly formulating a Plan B…and Plan C…in case things go south. The other lesson learned was the follow up actions you took that resulted in the successful prosecution of the thugs.

    Stay safe, thanks for what you do.

  17. Great story Tom. Verbal judo and GTFO and call the cops.
    Smart use of force continuum, and less paperwork that way too….;)

    • Thanks.
      I used stuff from hostage negotiation classes, verbal judo classes, and repeated trial and error a thousand times more than I ever drew my gun on duty.
      This one just had that feeling.
      When I saw the guys rap sheet the following week, I figured my gut was still reading things right.
      He was a real bad dude.

      • Great story and glad that you shared it with us. I’m pretty sure I would not have come out of this as well as you did, and I’m VERY glad that I was not there, because that kind of stuff really rachets up the blood pressure/heart rate and I’m too old to deal with that. But your story does serve as a good learning tool, constantly evaluating several options as you went thru this, not locking yourself into one response. Good stuff to know!

  18. What a way for a cop to show his respect for other cultures,
    “Chief Muckluckfuckaduck, Chief Toomanyvowels”

    • Why are you trying to call him a racist? There was nothing to that effect, and you haven’t provided an accurate quote.

      Go away.

  19. A threat is a threat, they’re about to shoot or shoot first (doesn’t matter what ethnicity they are)a thug is a thug , defend your self .

  20. So next time there is a criminal act up here can we use pictures of your neighborhood in the description of the event? Dont matter if you live couple thousand miles away. It seems TTAG needed a pic of some misbehaving “Chiefs” and just any old pic would do. Fabulous journalism.

      • TTAG’s own timezone, which is Central. So your comment shows up for me as being left at 1339, which is 1439 my time. If you’re in the Pacific timezone, comments are coming to you from the future. Whoa!

    • And PS: not to go OT on Native American rights and all that- its a horrible history, and I suspect you and I Don might have more in common, sympathy-wise than you might suppose – based on how you are coming across.

      But the point of the story was, I think, how you don’t just have a huge, drunken asshole, with jailhouse tats threatening you, but also alleging tribal ties., which makes it complicated in a couple ways.

      You may not like to hear this, but for the sake of any other NOOB hunters, ask local LEOs if there are problems with crime on the rez, and if it gets hinky, like sometimes REAL sketchy, if you are on that land by mistake, then you can be over your head before you know it.

      Google is your friend, and I do some armchair scouting on-line as well as on the ground, and make sure my map and GPS are clearly marked, to be VERY sure I am not trespassing on the rez, or anywhere near while hunting. Simple courtesy first, and SA second, as in the 3S’s may apply.

      That is all I am going to say on this, but you can PM me in the forum if you want to talk politics further.

  21. I think everyone is missing an important point. This was Army Corp land. Up until very recently, having a firearm on Corp land was deemed illegal and I think it’s just a temporary injunction keeping it that way. The average Joe could be in big trouble if a gunfight broke out in this situation.

    • Because its much worse to be fined by some govt flunkie than given the Deliverance treatment by a 350 pd drunken Injun.

  22. Yep…a gun in the holster on your hip is worth a safe full at home when SHTF. Was out walking today on the greenway and saw this wildman sam looking dude bopping down the trail and my first thought was glad I am carrying but I wasnt damnit. Wife is always rushing me out the door. Got to change my habits and make sure the first thing in my pocket is my piece, wallet and keys last.

  23. As to the photo…
    Before I figured out it was probably a stock photo, I must admit that I looked at the inscription on the bridge and thought to myself, if I were there and confronted (peacefully) by some radicalized Indian guy, I’d have felt like saying “Who built you that bridge? Huh?”
    btw, having some native American blood myself, and if it were actually tribal land, one might ask, “OK, so what tribe’s land is this? What tribe’s land was it before your tribe took it from them? Was it still their land when your tribe took it? No?
    Then if white folks had taken it from you, then how would it still be your land?” h/t to old Louis L’Amour.

  24. Ahh the fishing trip…
    I have run into lots of seedy characters while out enjoying the great outdoors. Water edges around sunset seems to draw them. Backwoods boat ramps and government land are a collection areas for the edgy types. Abandoned cars, long term “campers”, meth cook dumps, and the occasional decayed body.

    “What’s that pistol for? You know, snakes and such.”

  25. My take is, once he opened the wallet and fished the 10 spot out, what makes you think that would satisfy this creep’s demands? 10 lousy bucks, na, he wantum all the cash and credit cards, now what? At what point do you draw the line? The off-duties were doing things right in my book, vigilant and wise. Yes, they were lucky that the big dude didn’t inflict some hurt, but I read it as if they sort of outsmarted the crooks. Just because the big ape was intimidating didn’t mean he could have his way with these 3 smart fisherman.

    About having the .22 Ruger along in the boat, it is something lots of people do. The camp gun .22 has been a staple of fishing gear for like, ever. Yes, it was not meant to put permanent dents in that 350# dude, but when I am out fishing it is nice to spend time plinking away at shoreline targets to pass the time

  26. @Chris Mallory,

    In reference to myself – I’m pretty damn honest. The vast majority of my enforcement contacts are on both audio and video. That information is available both via subpoena and the civilian complaint process. I can lose my job or face punishment for discrepancies between my stated testimony and the evidence on the video.

    You may not believe that, but I frankly don’t care.

  27. Glad you’re ok Tom, and glad it didn’t turn into a shootout over $10. As a fellow resident of Oregon, I appreciate the heads up on this kind of crap. I do a lot of hiking, and this sort of thing could easily happen at a trailhead, way out of cell range.

    Another interesting part of this story is the cash demand, I rarely carry cash on me anymore. I couldn’t have given them much more than spare change if I had wanted to.

  28. “chief, how would you like to meet John Moses Browning? Oh, you wouldn’t like to meet him? Then I suggest go back from where you came.”

  29. I’ll throw in. If it was just some bonehead, with mild intimidation, that wanted $10, I’d probably give it to him if I was armed or not. That is just easier than dealing with everything that comes from shooting somebody. This was not that bonehead. This guy would have gone farther and was dangerous. Good for you Tom in Oregon. Lessons learned and shared. I for one feel better off having read this.

  30. It is always a good idea to carry a case of throw-a-way cheap beer wherever you go. Always hide the good stuff.

  31. “He pled guilty to a few felonies and some misdemeanors, did a few months and was released. Again.”

    Yeah. I beat he’s *never* going to threaten and rob people again. /sarcasm

    Chief Douchecanoe is an unfortunate victim of a system that coddles him too much.

  32. I’m glad to hear you survived and that creep is back in jail. Just wondering about your adrenaline level at the time and if you felt it would affect your accuracy etc?

  33. You got out of a semi-bad situation clean (but for the paperwork), and like they say in aviation: Any landing that you walk away from is a good one.

    There’s a lot of lessons in this article. ID clues. Behavioral clues. Situational clues. Rule #1 is “Be Informed”.

    Thank you.


  34. Run ins with tribal police suck, I’ll leave it at that.

    By the way the reply button is till missing on the mobile version of the website in the comments.

  35. Several years ago, after I got my CCL, I decided to do some more research about Oklahoma Law. I knew only a little of the fact about Indian Tribal lands and Indian Sovereignty. I gave the Oklahoma law a thorough search, but that wasn’t enough. I tend to try to get my info directly from the source so I contacted an Attorney General of one of the many Indian tribes in my state. I learned a few things:
    1) Most tribes have an outer zone where in which they observe white-man state law. But they have an inner zone where it’s truly Indian-only country. In both of those zones, it is still a patchwork of jurisdictions. If there is Indian-on-Indian that tends to be under Indian Tribal Court Law. But if it is White-on-Indian or vice versa, that would fall under US Federal Court jurisdiction. According to Indian Treaties, Indian Courts do not have jurisdiction white citizens. That being said, if that man was actually an Indian Chief, he might have been within his right to make you pay fine for trespassing.
    You made the right move is just leaving, but if you shot or killed these guys (assuming they were legit) you would have would up in US FEDERAL COURT, trying to justify grounds for Self-Defense or a Stand Your Ground Defense on property you were NOT legally entitled to be on. Good Luck with that.

    • As I state in the above comment, Indians territory typically has an outer zone where they recognize state law, but they have an inner zone. And if you enter that inner zone you just walked onto a different planet that has their own separate laws. If you walk a gun into the inner zone of Indian tribal land you may had been better off if you had tried to walk a gun into the US White House.
      My advice is if you are going anywhere near Indian Land, you better know their laws just like you should know the laws of any foreign country you travel to.
      Oklahoma has 37 distinct separate tribes.

  36. There are about 560 Federally Recognized Indian Tribes. Each with their own sovereignty, laws, and jurisdictions.
    Source: American Indians and The Law by N. Bruce Duthu

  37. “Calling 9-1-1 from where we were, the call went to Washington state, transferred to Sherman County, Oregon, then on to the state police, since we were on the interstate and the nearest deputy wasn’t available.”

    Let me just state what many might be thinking. If some violence did go down it might be more prudent to for go calling 911 – even if people died (especially if people died). In terms of pure numbers, it might be better to take your chances w/ (not) getting caught then w/ a jury. How does the saying go? You might beat the rap but not the ride?

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