Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Grieving Texas Dog Owners Want Police To Be Trained In How Not To Kill Animals

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

Dallas News:

Grieving dog owners told House lawmakers Tuesday that animal training for police could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of beloved pets across the state.

“This training is mandatory for UPS and FedEx delivery men; why isn’t it for law enforcement?” said Cheri Scholz, who lives near Amarillo. Her 8-year-old blue heeler, Smokey, was fatally shot in 2012 by a police officer responding to a loose dog report.

Smokey had escaped from her yard. The officer attempted to get the dog into his car, but Smokey darted away, Scholz said. Neighbors who witnessed the event told Scholz the police officer then shot and killed the dog, she said.

The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee considered two bills Tuesday from North Texas representatives that would require police to receive training in encountering animals. The bills were left pending.

Controversial dog shootings have grabbed headlines recently. Since 2009, Texas officers have shot more than 400 dogs, according to the animal advocacy group 4 Keeping Our Pets Safe.

Law enforcement representatives told lawmakers the training — a course that teaches officers how to deal with aggressive dogs and read an animal’s body language, among other things — could prevent officers from being attacked and save families the grief of unnecessary shootings.

“Canine encounter training will help fill this void and provide officers with effective options and valuable knowledge to use when we come into contact with dogs while performing our regular duties,” said Amy Knoll, assistant chief for the Cleburne Police Department.

One of the bills, by Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, would require all officers to receive training in encounters with animals. Another, by Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, would focus solely on dogs and require new officers and officers seeking promotion to complete a four-hour training program within two years.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement would establish and require the training. Departments would absorb the cost.

Committee chairman Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, indicated that he preferred legislation that includes training for a variety of animals.

Phillips and Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, also inquired about offering the course online in an effort to reduce costs, particularly for smaller police departments in far-flung parts of Texas.

“There are a lot of financial costs to training like that, where there’s travel and everything else, so that’s something we’re all going to have to think about,” Phillips said.

Gosh.  I hate it when that happens to me.  Every time Heidi runs off or barks at me or anyone else I haul off and blow her brains out.  I’m on my seventeenth or eighteenth Heidi, now.  It’s getting old, so maybe I need the same training.

Prior:

Note To Cops And Survivalists: The World If Full Of Animals, Embrace It!

More On Animals, Cops, Logistics And Survival

Michigan Cops Raid Wrong House And Shoot Beloved 15-Year Old Dog

Ventura County Sheriff: Coward

Ventura County Sheriff: Coward

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Via Uncle, this from Wes Siler.  I’ll leave the background and setup to Wes but copy in the money quotes to this post.

In all of our visits, we’ve never seen any cops. It’s just a small little bar and a campground way out in the middle of nowhere. I’d hazard a guess that they showed up this time to look in on events. While it was a “biker” camp out, these bikers were mostly 20 and 30 something creatives living and working in Los Angeles, Ventura or surrounding areas. The weekend is a chance for them to let their hair down and wear their leather jackets, but it’s not exactly what anyone would consider a rough crowd. The event is advertised online.

The deputies must have seen us leave and followed us back to our tents. No sooner had we sat down and cracked a beer (totally legal), we saw flashlights approaching and, when they were 20 or 30 feet out, heard a man shout, “Who’s dogs are these? Get them under control or I’ll shoot them!”

Both Wiley (85lbs) and Sansho (75lbs) are big dogs and they do sometimes growl, bark or generally act like dogs do when a stranger approaches us in the middle of the night. Neither one is remotely aggressive or dangerous in appearance. Just a couple of fluffy house pets who are good with kids and other dogs and people in general. They did not act in an aggressive manner as the police approached and were not rough housing either; they were exhausted from being the centers of attention in a crowd all night.

Two cops, in uniform, were standing in the center of the campground’s drive, one had his weapon out of its holster, pointed at the dogs. Two other men, who we assumed to be cops were also present. They wore black jackets and were clearly with the police, but did not identify themselves as such. One remained behind the two uniformed deputies, hovering back in the shadows, while the other circled around our little campsite to approach it from the other side. The dogs were taking turns sniffing each other’s butts and peeing on a bush.

Ty and I stood up, hustled to cover the 20 or 30 foot gap between us and the cops and dogs. Ty was immediately able to grab Sansho, but Wiley heard the commotion and scooted around behind the cops before I was able to get my hands on him.

During the 10 or 15 seconds it took for me to grab Wiley’s collar and clip on his leash, the cop who hadn’t drawn his gun remarked loudly, “You do not appear to have control of your animals.” To me, that sounded like he was saying that as a precursor to shooting them or as a suggestion towards further action.

“He’s just a little puppy!” I responded.Wiley is 21 months old and, while a big dog, is still just a goofy, floppy little baby that cries in my arms when he gets scared.

The cop with the gun then approached me and explained in great detail how he was authorized to shoot any dogs he felt were a threat. “I can shoot any dog that approaches me,” he said holding his gun, in a gloating manner. “All I have to say is that I feel they’re a threat.”

I’ve explained this before.  If law enforcement officers cannot handle animals – dogs, horses and other ranch and farm animals – they are pussies.  If they are scared of dogs, they have absolutely no business going after violent criminals or pretending that they are there to “protect and serve,” as the lie goes.

They need to spend their weekends for several years working at a ranch, farm, or dog breeder to learn to handle animals.  This is simple boyhood stuff that their daddies should have done with them when they were young.  If they didn’t, then the officers can blame their worthless daddies and settle the issue with them.  They have no business taking their frustrations, failures and inadequacies out on peaceable folk.

In the mean time, before extensive retraining, the Sheriff should pull his officers back from duties where they may be exposed to animals since they are frightened of them.

Note To Cops And Survivalists: The World Is Full Of Animals, Embrace It!

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 6 months ago

There are two recent reports of dog shootings by cops in the news lately, one by the Nampa, Idaho Police Department, and another by the Mobile, Alabama Police Department (via David Codrea).  This behavior of reflexive, frightened shooting of dogs follows a pattern that we have observed before here and here, and just like we have observed elsewhere.

Before my children ever left home, they had been well-trained in at least rudimentary animal science.  They have been around animals of all flavor, knew how to ride, care for, train and (to some extent) doctor horses, knew how to raise dogs, and could handle themselves around most animals.  At least they knew when being around an animal required caution.  They knew how to build fire, rappel, and be at home in woodlands and mountains (although here I am diverging from the main subject).

If you are a law enforcement officer and know nothing about animals, are frightened all of the time around them, and cannot assert yourself at the proper time and in the proper way, there are options for you.  You can volunteer your time at local farms, ranches and dog breeders, and you can purchase and raise your own dogs.  You need to become accustomed to being around cattle, horses, goats, dogs and other such animals.  If you choose to ignore this gap in your training and life experiences, and you choose to run around frightened of everything that moves, but you relinquish your badge and gun, then who am I to infringe on your rights?  Do as you wish, and leave me out of it.

But if you choose to be that kind of person, where you ignore gaps in your knowledge and experience base, but you continue to carry a badge and gun, I think you’re a panty waist.  You are an irresponsible person who should feel bad about themselves, and you’re dangerous to those of us around you, and especially dangerous to animals.  You’re unqualified to have your job, and you are basically a liability to the community.  But I’m saying more than that.  I think you’re a panty waist.

There are only one or two breeds for which I would consider use of something like OC spray, and that would probably only be necessary if they were trained fighting dogs.  In any case, if you place yourself in a position where you are running from an animal while you’re on a call, then in addition to being a panty waist you’re an idiot.  You should knock on the door if you want an owner to secure his animals.  It isn’t any more complicated than that.

Now a note to survivalists.  You might spend time, money and energy on being prepared to survive in the wilderness, or perhaps being tactically competent.  But if your planning, education and preparation doesn’t include a moderate knowledge of and mastery over animals, then your preparations are incomplete and your calculus is faulty.  There are animals out there who truly can harm you, such as (in the West) brown bear, cougar and moose, and (in the East) black bear if they’re badly hungry, or feral hogs.

You need to know when you need dogs with you.  Daniel dispatched this hog with a fixed blade Ka-Bar, but he had pit bulls with him for strike dogs.  I won’t go into the mountains without a dog and gun.  A feral hog with turn on you and cut your femoral artery, and if he doesn’t respect you, a horse can turn on you and kill you.  Horses don’t love you or even like you.  Horses learn to tolerate you in what they consider to be a mutually beneficial relationship.  Know them.  Understand them.

And that’s the key, isn’t it?  An ATV will run out of fuel.  With the exception of certain necessary things such as worming medication, a horse is self feeding, and I would rather have a good Quarter Horse or Appaloosa than an ATV any day in most parts of woodland or mountain America.  You need to understand what animals can do to you, what they can do for you, and how to manage them the proper way rather than reading books or relying on the internet.  Or for LEOs, rather than shooting them because you’re scared like a little girl.


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