People often ask me what I think is the biggest threat in the woods.
And they are shocked when I don’t answer bear, mountain lion, rattlesnake or wild boar.
My answer is always the same: humans.
There is no greater danger on the planet than the human being and for several reasons I will discuss, they are by far the greatest threat in the woods.
I am not one of these anti-human wildlife lovers.
I love wildlife but I love people too, in fact even more than wildlife.
Me and my wife Lisa work with children who are abused, terminally ill and suffering loss. We love those children dearly but a great part of why we have so many children to work with is because of the dark side of humanity.
The same evil that would guide someone to harm a child will influence someone to kill, rape or maim in the desolate setting of the forest.
Isolation has always been a playing ground for the wicked.
Evil people like to do their deeds under the cover of darkness, in the shadows and sometimes in the woods.
This is why I never enter the woods unarmed. Never.
You see as a journalist I have been privy to numerous stories of danger, death and chaos in the woods through talking with game wardens, hunters, hikers, fishermen and rural ranchers and farmers.
Strange and dark things sometimes happen out there and this series is designed to raise awareness so that you will be more prepared on your next wilderness excursion.
I used to set game cameras in an isolated high spot in a tract of marsh that was just past the city limits but that people rarely visited.
One day I am making my way back toward the vehicle and I hear gunfire.
Then it comes again and again and again.
As I sneak onto a high spot to get a glimpse I see about a dozen young men gathered near my truck and a couple of them are shooting pistols into the air. They are all drinking and there are several motorcycles and a couple of cars.
I started to wait them out but I figured the drunker they got the more dangerous the situation might become.
I also recognized this was very likely a gang situation because several of them had on the same vest and I better handle myself right or I might not make it out of here. Darkness was closing in.
I waited until they sort of backed away from my truck and walked straight in. I waved as I came up and they just looked at me.
Several spoke words in Spanish I didn’t understand but the tone wasn’t exactly friendly. One of them approached me and spoke in English and asked what I was doing.
I told him I was getting my truck and going home. He stood and looked at me for a second. Neither one of us blinked.
I then opened the door of my truck, laid the .45 I had in my jacket on the seat and backed out of there.
As I left the gunfire started again.
I thanked God it was shooting in the air and not at me.
A couple of weeks later the police shut off access to this area due to a bunch of crimes occurring including someone fishing nearby getting shot.
That’s just one crazy encounter I have had in the wild.
We are about to take a trip into dark territory. Please share these blogs on your social media and with friends.
It’s important we are aware, alert and focused when we enter the woods. There are dangers out there and most of them walk on two legs.
Chester Moore, Jr.