Thank God for an off-duty officer professional enough to carry-this is the case for awareness of our surroundings and being always ready to be the first responder.....prayers for all the families involved...
Keith, years ago I was out in the woods away from Kalispell. I ran into another guy in the woods, who pulled a kershaw knife and said he was going to kill me... go figure, and of all places.
I pulled down, a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Spl as he took a step. The next sound I heard was him releasing his bowles and deficating all over himself as he dropped his knife. The deputy thought it funny but, I'm glad I did not have to shoot this scum bag, nor transport him to jail where I'm sure the ride was less than mountain air fresh.
Always be prepared, no matter where you are. I carry on the trail for an animal encounter of the two legged kind. I have done many a horse packin trip into the Bob Marshal Wilderness and never, never met a problem bear. I have met bears out there, that just went the other way, but I was prepared for that... its the two legged ones that can really hurt ya.
Anytime, anywhere---it can happen...an empty hand just ain't the same as a handgun-they aren't that heavy and it's so worth the trouble...glad you had one, JB-the forum wouldn't be near as much fun without you!!