Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watch yourself in the woods

It's been a long day.  I started at six this morning and it's now 10:00 at night.  I'm just settling into the hotel room.  The four hour drive to get to the meeting was uneventful.  The drive home was more difficult due to it being dark and pouring rain.  I kept hitting potholes in the road and bouncing the truck all over so I decided to stop for the night even though I'm only about two hours from home.  I'll drive the rest of the way in the light of day.  Of course the truck is full of gas and I've got spare gas in the back. 

For the most part the meeting was a normal boring meeting.  It was good to see people from throughout the state who I only get to see a couple times per year.  There was a good deal of talk about the state budget, new regulations, lawsuits, and what's happening in their neck of the woods.  When I listened to everyone's reports I took my normal notes so I could repeat it all to those who work with me.  There was one item that was discussed that really caught my ear.  It didn't really surprise me, after all, I've already had to deal with some of the issues, but it certainly is worth writing about tonight. 

Survivalists and preppers pride themselves on being ready for anything.  Some of us will test ourselves in different situations just to get some practice in dealing with out of the ordinary experiences.  For me, I may purposefully get lost in the woods or drive somewhere without a map.  I may decide to go fishing without any fishing gear.  The worst experience I can put myself through is to go to a shopping mall.  Trying to stay alert to your surrounding there is one of my most challenging practice situations. 

I've written about being shot at in the woods this past year.  The person wasn't really aiming at us, but above our heads.  The shooter was just warning us to stay away.  Several years ago I was working up in the northern end of the state and someone started shooting at me.  I was able to get out onto the road and flagged down a cop (this was before I carried a handi-talki).  I told him someone was shooting towards me and his response was I need to learn to get along with the people in the neighborhood.  Whatever...

So why am I bringing this up tonight?  One of the discussion items was about one of our folks getting extra training with a county group in dealing with the Mexican drug cartel.  It seems that the cartel has taken over the local hippy type of pot growers in the woods.  The old time pot growers patrolled their crops and carried guns, but they really didn't want to hurt anyone unless you were a pot stealing hippy type.  They just wanted to make sure you weren't going to mess with their crop. 

It's different now.  The pot can be worth a million dollars per acre and more.  This is really high stakes business.  The cartels send people up here to tend the crops.  We've been told that those who are caught are armed with a minimum of two weapons and a lot of ammunition.  They are ordered to shoot anyone who may discover the crop.  The cartel tells the worker that if they don't protect the crop then the workers family who is still in Mexico will be killed.  So the worker has a lot to lose.  They will do whatever needs to be done, including shoot at you or shoot you in order to save their own family. 

Why is this important to survivalists?  We often spend a lot of time in the woods.  We may hunt, hike, camp, work, or just purposefully get lost in the woods.  Often we do this alone.  There are more dangers out there nowadays than just running into a bear or twisting an ankle.  You could disappear.  If you do go out into the woods, especially during growing season and especially during harvest season, be careful and let someone know where you are going to go.

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