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Jerry (who no longer owns a diesel or lives in Virginia) writes . . .

I have taken a different approach to WICN. This is a loadout I carry most days when I take Ranger Moe on his daily walk through the woodlands, prairie and wetlands in Western Wisconsin. The wilder life includes bears, coyotes and snakes. There have been mountain lions caught on local trail cams.

I have a Springfield Milspec, a working man’s 1911, with a mixed loadout in a Wilson Combat 8-round magazine carried in a utilitarian Springfield holster.

The +1 and the first round in the mag are CCI .45 caliber shot shells followed by 7 rounds of Underwood Xtreme Penetrator. I am more likely to see snakes than anything else. Most are harmless but we do have rattlers around. The backup mag has eight rounds of 230g +p HST.

I bring an inexpensive woodsman’s multitool with me for emergencies. The watch is a Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch.

I switch back to my Browning Hi-Power when we come home.


This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]



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    • That and the shot shell. Just leave the snakes alone and they’ll do the same for you. If you’re that afraid of wildlife maybe you shouldn’t be outside.

      • You know, wildlife is like people most will leave alone but a few won’t. Isn’t that why we carry a gun in the first place?

      • I do leave the non-venomous alone. Anything Viper is toast.

        As any fox, raccoon, possum, that comes toward me in daylight….most likely rabid and dangerous.

        Policing my piece of Eden.

        • Grey foxes are diurnal. I would leave them alone unless they are acting aggressively. When I lived in Arlington we had grey fox who had the hots for my Redtick. He would stop by day or night to say hello. It was funny to watch.

        • TD
          I have dogs that dont like foxes….if they advance…not taking chances.

          I know two people that have been bitten by red foxes (which are out during the day here) with rabies.

          Killed a possum last month that was walking around in circles and shaking its head…..either rabies or had been hit by a car…..either way it was kilt.

      • Says the man that has never been snakebit. Yes, I have been bit and through no fault of mine, and not because I wasnt leaving them alone. Keep the snakeshot dont listen to stupid advice, if you feel its appropriate.

        • I spent my childhood and youth handling snakes, critters, and surrounded by animals. I got my first degree (and initial career was…) in biology and environmental science with a focus on field ecology, countless hours in field trapping, tagging, and otherwise doing nature things. I also conducted trainings on local wildlife, focusing on reptiles and what is dangerous, etc. I still do pest removal for friends and family and relocate animals when nuisance. I’ve come close to being tagged by a few venomous snakes but been able to avoid any bites so far. A stick, being aware of your surroundings, and a willingness to step back and move along is the best prevention for snake bite. There is no real need to carry snake shot and be triggered by snakes when hiking about. I have herpetologist and vet (DMV) friends that have been bitten, but they don’t go around lopping the heads off all snakes they encounter off duty. The last nest of newborn copperheads (and the mamma snake) I encountered was ruthlessly wiped out due to it being too close in proximity to my elderly parents’ garden area and tool. That is a far cry of walking a trail and having a snake slither by.

  1. I don’t care who made his pistol. Why is he carrying snake loads for his first two shots? Don’t they have sticks in Wisconsin? And why switch from a 1911 to a Hi-Power? I mean, I own and like them both, but really. You can drop an entire 9mm round down the bore of a .45 ACP and it will rattle on the way down. No thanks to the 8 rd. Wilson. Spring gets weak and won’t hold the slide open after the last shot. 7 rd. Wilson? A+. I must own 50 of them. EDC needs a better knife and a light.

    • Why do I carry a 45 in the woods? Maybe because I live in Black Bear country and I find one handing a 10mm with a bear load accurately to be beyond my capability? Different tools for different tasks.

      • I carry a 45 in the woods sometimes….but it’s a long colt with a SWC at 1000fps.

        If i was in bear country it would at 1200 fps. ACP ain’t much of a bear load IMO.

        • Kodiaks have ge done in by .45 ACP. It can easily handle a black bear with the right load.

        • I would want something hot and sharp-shouldered.

          Either way it would not be my go-to load.

          I have seen hogs hit with 200 gr SWC loaded pretty hot. Both took multiple hits.

          No comparison to a 250 SWC at 1100-1200 fps.

          Just my experience. Carry what you’re comfortable will get her done.

      • Based on the article that was hosted here pretty much any handgun worked against bears. Might not kill them but got them to retreat.

        • Okay. I never shot a bear of any kind.

          But I have read a lot by people who have. Not necessarily hunting but being attacked on the trail.

          Lots of horses, dogs, and peoples maimed or killed before the bear was dead or left.

          Less when it was dead…..

          One thing for a curious bear to leave after being peppered with bullets, another thing entirely its wounded and hungry…..or a sow with cubs.

          I’ll stick with big, hard, and heavy bullets at over 1000 fps. YMMV

  2. +1 .45 230gr +p HST. Personally, I carry .40 180gr HST. Works on all varmints, regardless of the number of legs.

  3. That’s a handsome Walker Hound!

    .45 ACP or 9 mm…as long as you can place the rounds where you need to, the difference between those two cartridges is mostly like comparing media outlets…which one is giving you the story you want to believe.

    (I carry an FN FNX converted to .460 Rowland in serious bear country…there’s something about 16 rounds, each capable of 900+ ft / lbs of KE for a total of over 14,000 ft/lbs [7 tons] of bear repellent)

    • A 16 round .460 Roland is a more a bragging gun that a ‘serious’ gun. A simple .44mag with 300gr bullets would be a much more reliable penetrator than those fast low SD .451s. It is rather doubtful you’d get time for 16 shots on a charging bear.

      • Ah, but for roughly the same size and weight I have 16 vs your 6. Whether or not I have time to fire them all is irrelevant…will you have the time for your 6?

        I live and play in grizzly country…I carry what works for me…44 Mag power in a semi-auto.

        Superior firepower is rarely “bragging”…only prudent.

    • Nah. I’ve got a live stream of the local news on, been on for awhile. Also have scanners up for Denver Metro and Adams Co. Cops are blocking vehicle traffic for the pedestrian protesters at this point.

      Some assholes waited until after the curfew and then lit off fireworks to try to stir things up earlier. They got nadas, just got the crowd chanting “Peaceful Protest! Peaceful Protest!” in return.

      DPD fired a cop today over some shit stirring online. IA investigation was quick but the guy was obviously guilty, posting that shit online makes it pretty hard to deny.

      Basically nothing happened. More people were hurt by car accidents and drunk driving today than any protest related issues. At least so far, there is like an hour and 10 minutes left in the day I guess.

      Our town had a bit of a protest today, a few middle/high school kids who didn’t really understand what’s going on, that shit was all over NextDoor. But whatever, they held some signs for a few hours and didn’t even block traffic. Parents jgrabbed them, took them to DQ and talked to them about goings on to help them understand, particularly the younger ones.

  4. Thanks for sharing, underwood ammo is definitely a game changer with any caliber. Would have liked to see a pic of your Hi-Power, they are my favorite pistols. Own several, 9 and .40 they are like art mated with function. Two best things in life next to a beautiful woman, and a muscle car with a big block V-8 is a Browning Hi-Power and man’s best friend.

    • I was going to post that but JWT posted his Hi Power and didn’t want to be repetitive so I decided to do something different and came up with the idea of my daily outdoorsman carry.

  5. Do you use your snake load often?
    Having lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin most of my 45 years I have never considered the need for a snake load in my sidearm.

    • All but one the snakes I have seen was harmless. There was one possible juvenile massasauga on the trail but I wasn’t going to get close enough for a positive ID. Again I don’t carry because I expect to need it.


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