As a father I do find myself often questioning if it is really in my son's best interest to go prospecting in the areas we do. I think about this stuff alot with requards to my son and our outings. I do not let fear govern my decisions but sometimes never the less second quess my reason. My 10 old son and I often go out alone and camp over night in remote areas in the Santa Ritas. He loves prospecting and is the one who really got me into it. He follows along for hours, has the patience of Job and digs holes! I think prospecting is good for him, gets hime away from the TV and video games and gets him outdoors. We are learning together and maybe someday he will learn how to better find gold. But news such as this should make all of us who spend time in the outdoors south of Tucson or the I-8 question what reasonible precautions to take...
Personal defence, sidearm training and awareness may really help. I think another really good option and an asset is a well trained K9 hunting partner. Dogs in the outdoors really come into their own. A well trained dog can heighten your SA and deter some evil doers including bears, loins, snakes and "coyotes". But I think the best think is numbers. I like putting together a small group of guys to hunt an area.
Heres some of my side kicks enjoying an outing.
Another thing I do is leave a gallon of water and a bit of food outside my vehicle when I go hiking. I once came back to my vehicle at Ariavca Lake to find a man waiting for me. I was scared too death and unarmed. He had been left out there and was living on lake water that I think was making him sick. He was very thristy. We gave him a ride to the closest town and alot of water. What if he had been breaking into my vehicle to get some water as I approached, what if I was armed, would I have shot him? What if he had a 10 year old son waiting for his dad somewhere, a wife, a daughter. I don't want to shoot another man because he need water to save his life even if it costs me my Jeep. You can't kill a man because he is a mexican in the US desert illegally. Use caution and reason, when you "go to" your gun you had better be sure about what you are doing.
There are basically three type of illegals around our southern borders.
1. Workers - Men and women looking to make a better life for themselves. Most hard working and good people
2. Mules - guys running drugs. Most of these guys have familes and lives too and just really want to make a buck and drop their load with no problems and are unarmed. You most likely will never see these guys, they are in the business of avoidance.
3. Bandidos - these guys are often armed and looking for easy targets. They steal from the mules and the workers. They are becoming increasingly aggressive toward Americans. They move in groups, have communications and some have military back ground in the 3rd world.
You end up shooting an unarmed "mule" or "worker" and your going to have to live with that most likely in a jail cell for a long time. You end up running into a well armed group of "Bandidos" and you're most likely going to be out numbered and out guned. You're not going to "quick draw" your way out of that. Give them what you got and keep your life then go join a border militia or something.
My hope is in the odds. Odds I got a better chance of finding the next Boot of Cortez then running into a group of bad guys. But I will still have my AR, my 9mm and my dogs close by. When out and about.
Well cheers guys! Best of luck in finding some great gold and not shooting anyone in the process.