The following letter to the editor was submitted in response to “Blowing off Hiking Ethics and Safety: How To and Not To” by James P. Johnson in OTM’s July issue.
I enjoy reading articles in your magazine, and in “Last Page” of the July issue was an article by James P. Johnson, entitled Blowing off Hiking Ethics and Safety.
The first paragraph told o f how Mr. Johnson had hiked towards a lake, encountered a NO TRESPASSING sign and decided to “soldier on” past it, only to encounter what he presumed to be a whacked out Vietnam Vet, packing a gun on his hip. Fortunately, all turned out OK, but he left me with a disturbing mental picture of all hikers, bikers and just plain folks that enjoy the outdoors, thinking anyone enforcing rules are a bunch of nut jobs!
Not so! Sometimes it’s the outdoor enthusiasts that cause most of their problems by their attitudes and actions.
Case in point! A couple of years ago I heard what sounded like dirt bikes roaring around on my posted, and fenced property. I went to investigate and discovered that indeed some young men had cut my fence and were tearing trails thru my private property. I told them to leave, which prompted one of them to tell me to go away, as they would ride wherever and whenever they pleased. I restated my rights, as the property owner that they leave immediately, to which another one pulled a very large hunting knife from his boot scabbard and brandished it at me. As I stepped back, I drew my concealed carry sidearm and told him to drop the knife, which he did. For the last time I told them to leave! Guess my position prompted them to comply. I fixed my fence and now have a very nice 10″ Buck hunting knife.
Moral of this story is: If it’s posted NO TRESPASSING it means what it says!