An acquaintance of mine died last weekend. Jere Melo had spent over 50 years of his life hanging out in the woods. He loved everything about the outdoors. He loved the forested mountains and the Pacific coast. For himself and his family, they had the best of both worlds. Jere lived in Fort Bragg California, which is a small town on the California coast surrounded by beautiful and productive redwood forests. Jere was the past mayor of Fort Bragg and had been on the city council for 15 years. He was well liked by all. All I can do is offer my sympathy and condolences to Jere’s wife and family. The entire community of
is going to suffer because of his death. Fort Bragg, California
When one hears of someone dying in the woods you think first of a heart attack. It could have been a bad fall or worse yet, an attack by a bear or mountain lion. A hunting accident is also a possibility. If Jere died from any of those causes at least we could say that he wouldn't have minded dying that way. He loved doing what he did for a living.
Jere knew the woods like the back of his hand. He was the manager of that land and was looking for the pot farm so he could call in the location of the crop and have it eradicated. Unfortunately, Jere and his coworker ran across a plantation guard who had no regard for human life. Jere was shot and killed in the woods. His coworker was able to escape. The man who shot Jere was described as being fully armored, dressed all in black, with a semi-automatic weapon. It is assumed that the gunman was a guard for a pot crop growing in the woods, although there is rumor that the crop was opium poppy.
Being out in the woods is a dangerous place to be, and not just because of the bears or mountain lions. It doesn’t matter if you are just out for a hike in the woods, practicing your survival skills, or are conducting some form of fire or forestry work. People who act as guards for the drug trade spend their time lying in wait for someone to come by. If you venture off the well beaten path you’d better know what you are doing and where you are going. You’d better have the ability to have outside communication.
There is so much talk about bugging out into wooded areas to be safe from the hordes. The individuals in the woods are more frightening to me and I, like Jere, know the woods like the back of my hand.