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Saturday the 20th was just another normal day for me. Wake up go to work a little rain, no big deal. I got a chance to get off work 2 hours early and decided after some short rain spells it would be nice to clear my head of this weeks hastles etc. I have grown up on reservation area of northern Arizona and never gave going to another Reservation close by a second thought. I knew of an area that had some little discovered desert area and thought this is the place I would go. After driving about 20 min. I stopped at my location and locked the truck grabbed me a walking cain with a magnet just in case, cause you never know.(Now I know some of you are thinking Trespassing But don't even go there with me) I walked around for about 2 hours and all while doing so I heard some gun shots out in the distance and it was not spuratic, It sounded like the occasional target practice. I was heading back to my truck as I heard an approaching vehicle. I kneel ed down not knowing what to expect. The truck was not on a road just 4x4ing over bushes and scrub heading toward a road I had just crossed. I saw the dust clouds clear and I it appeared that they took the road all the way back to the main road. About 10 min Later I could see the reflection of my truck and as I got closer I saw figures that had surrounded my truck! I could see these individuals banging rocks against my windows! Unarmed due to just being off work I did the 1st thing that came to mind. I shouted hey!!!!! The figures stopped and turned towards me. I figured they thought my truck was just abandoned and where trying to steal everything inside. As I approached I told them they could have everything inside trying to reason with them and I would be OK with that, Life sucks sometimes. One of them yelled at me Homie? Do you know where you are? I answered yes! I have been in the area before. They told me to drop my Cain and walk to the front of the truck, as I did that I told them I was unarmed and had no intention of doing anything to them. Before I could blink I had a pistol stuck to my head! I was thrusted to the front of my truck with my head being pushed to the hood. I knew right there I was not going to see my family again. I was told I was part of an gang related activity and my day just went from good to bad. I just agreed to them with whatever they wanted. I was roughed up and was searched and everything I had was taken. My cell phone, House keys, work keys, shoes, work clothes, wallet, Everything I had in the truck. The whole time I was told not to make eye contact with them or they would shoot me on the spot, I then realized one of them climbed in the driver seat of my truck and started it. The main guy told me to stand up and look to the east. He then told me to start walking in that direction, I did. I waited to feel a very painful feeling enter my body(shot) IT DID NOT HAPPEN! He jumped in the truck and both trucks took off. I could not believe what had just happen, did this just happen!!! I jogged the best I could to a road where a rancher saw me and called the tribal police. Long story short and still no end to the story, Always be aware of all your surroundings, Let someone you know, know where you are going, carry a weapon, These days we live in are getting bad. Even if I would have had a gun I probably would not have used it but I would have felt less helpless. Stay away from Most Reservations, you are no longer on your turf, The rules are very different, and if I was shot and if the FBI did not get involved it would have only been a misdemeanor! I feel very lucky to be hear today and my family is as well, Hope my lesson learned will also help someone else in the future!


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Billyazprospector, you made several mistakes that could have killed you - which you freely admit with your cautionary tale. Your guardian angel was on your shoulder in the desert that day. Your actions and reactions, and lack of planning and preparation for a quick walk after work, taught you a lesson you will (thank God) live to pass on.

That could very well be why your life was spared - so that you could save another through your post. Thank you for having the courage to post this information Billy! Let us know if they get these guys! Here's hoping we can all learn valuable lessons from your frightening personal experience. Terry

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It's a very good idea to check the land status before you hunt anyhere at your lcoal BLM office or online. Also it's my understanding that it's illegal to hunt for gold and/or meteorites on indian reservations. Probably best to stay far away from them.

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First of all, you are one lucky dude to be able to walk away from these idiots. Knowing that you are in the middle of nowehere they could have done the worst and just left you in a hole.

And another reason I always recommend to anyone hiking along to start carrying a firearm along with a cellphone.

Hopefully these guys will be caught before they end up killing someone.

Aloha and be safe out there as usual.

Stan aka Ka'imi

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I am glad that you survived your unfortunate ordeal!

The Reservations here have had similar situations to yours. Some have not ended so well. I have a friend who works for BIA and he tells me it is much much worse if you are not a local native. Even other natives from neighboring reservations are not tolerated let alone a non native!

I sure hope you reported this to the local tribal police. If not, you really need to. They will more then likely have a good idea of who might have perpetrated these major felony crimes against you! The B.I.A. will also do an investigation. I bet these guys are local from the fact that they were driving cross country. Did you happen to get a plate number while they were driving away?

I know you will get advice on always carrying a handgun while out hiking or meteorite hunting. I agree and disagree with this advice. If you are going to carry a gun you better be VERY familiar with not only its operation but also how to use one under stressful conditions such as the one you found yourself in. That is if you decide to fight.

Billy, you know what I do for a living so it makes a huge difference the way I look at your situation.

I am also sure if you would have pulled a gun out during your ordeal it would have ended very badly. You made all the right decisions to survive your ordeal.

Remember though, if anyone finds them selves in a similar situation we can always stay way back and let them take our stuff. We can REPLACE property but can never replace a life.

Buddy I am glad you are OK for you and your family!


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This is the reason that I own several pre-1898 handguns that fire cartridges, under Federal Law, (I will have to look up the exact portion of said law) pre-1898 firearms are not considered a concealed carry firearm, and I know in Indiana and North Carolina I can freely carry these weapons pretty much where ever I want without getting in any trouble.

I've been shot at alot while deployed, and have had guns pulled on me several times in the States. There is a 99.9% chance a ghetto-ass gang type won't shoot you in that situation, they just want to scare you. Now if you stumbled upon a methlab then you would've been shot. I carry an assortment of pretty weapons that skirt federal and local laws, and I've shot 3 people during my deployment, I have zero issues with wasting people causing harm to me or my personal property. Now I don't know the rules on Reservation Lands, but if I had my pistol on me, it would've been lights out for them. I know I can shoot, but untrained side-shooting gang members usually can't. You would've gotten shot at if you didn't hit them fairly quick, but you had the drop, and would've had time to take good aim. Remember, take a steady well-lined sight picture, breathe in, exhale completely, fingertip on the trigger, pull, don't jerk, exhale, repeat. Works like a darn charm. Bet no one will be out there trying to rob the hunters anymore.


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Hey Billy,

Glad to hear you made it out ok. I have never seen anything like that while being out in the desert alone. I did find an illegal out in the middle of no where while riding a dirt bike, it looked like he had been out in the desert a while, carrying a gallon size water jug on his side, and a large back pack. That is about the only weird thing I have come upon out alone in the middle of no where. I have had friends target shooting on BLM land before and the rangers rushed them, with their guns drawn, and confiscated their guns until they went to court and about $1,000 later to get them back. That is one thing I guess you can do if you have a gps and phone, call the rangers and give them your location if you see something not right, and if you report weapons being fired, I know BLM rangers have certain area's they patrol, and I also see the game warden out every now and then also. Just my :twocents:

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Lessons Learned!

Never get more then 20 yards from your vehicle.

If you do, Be Armed.

Be Aware of your surroundings.

We have Banditos Here in New Mexico that pray on Wet Backs crossing. They Rob them of every thing of value and I don't think they would pass up the opportunity to Rob Me.

I don't carry a cannon , just a Ruger .22 Mark II with two mags!

It has been enough to convince people I'm not a peace of Candy!


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BillyAZ, That is one crazy ass story. I dont know you, but I am glad you made it out alive man.

Regardless of weather you were on indian land or not , this type of incident could happen anywhere in the Southwest. Although less likely the more remote you are, especially with gang banger types. While your chance of a run in with a grow operation,Smugglers, or a well hidden meth lab are probably moderate in the very remote areas.

I dont know if having a sidearm would have helped you in that situation or made it way worse. Maybe it was good that you did not have it that day or maybe not. Being on the tribal land who knows what legalities you would have dealt with if you had to shoot on of those punk ass, poor paint huffing, thieving dipshits. Sometimes you have to feel powerless to survive, and im sure it is a humbling experience. I would be more concerned with loosing all my rights the second I steped foot on the tribal land than anything else. If that same situation had occured on Federal soil, at least you would have had rights, and been justified in returning fire in self defence.

Thanks for sharing.

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Hey Ben,

If you look at the BLM website for your state, it will tell you places you can and cannot shoot, and also rules, I guess my buddies were shooting close ( less than a mile from some protected environmental site) and the BLM ranger confiscated their weapons and gave them a ticket, but he treated them like they were terrorists. Im sure if you run into some ranger that is having a bad day :*&$*(: , they can get you for anything.

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Man I got my truck back Yesterday and did they do a #. They ran the truck back into a tree and demolished the passenger side of the truck. Then on the inside it looks like a tornado hit, The whole dash is ripped out with wires everywhere, They took the radio which I figured they wanted(glad they did all that for a $40 radio) Took a bench motor and a lapidary wheel. I had all my personal property in a bag from my other truck I had just sold and that was gone. The only thing that got dropped was a Guardian Angel Pendant my MOM gave me when I turned 16 and have always kept with me in my vehicle, Kinda ironic Huh? These guys where Native and Know I have to decide if I want to point them out in a court.......What really bugs me is they have my address. I have re-keyed the house and my shops doors Yesterday cause no keys but the truck keys where found. As I went back out to get my truck Yesterday the Forensic lady even said I was very lucky they just had Two men that where non native shooting doves last week out there and where told by tribal police to just leave and not return. They left and then what did they do, RETURNED and now both are in ICU in the hospital! She even told me they still find people scalped out there farther into the reservation! This is crazy just like the old ramped Indians they used to deal with in the early 1800-1890s. It truly is still the old West on these lands. The 1st picture shows the window knocked out and large dent into door, 2nd in inside and 3rd shows driver side dented and hood popped up.




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Hi, I am so sorry some of my fellow native people did something like this, i do not live in the southwest, that is not the point, I just wish these "people" would see what they are doing to ourselves, My son was a tribal officer, i have talked with him about what people should do when things like this happens, best thing that you could have done was to keep away, I know that would have been hard, but its the safest thing to do, only carry a weapon to protect yourself from aniamls, its better to run and be safe and live then injured for life or dead. And please take a friend. Its alot more fun and safer.


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Hi BillyAZ, I'm glad you made it out alive... These idiots are very stupid, there's no telling what they would have done to you. Your a very lucky man. You should never approach anyone like this without a firearm (at the ready) or back up. I've been held up at gun point 3 times in my life. Mexico, Cambodia and the Philippines. I had a weapon in Mexico, when I pulled it, they ran.

The best thing to do is to stay hidden, let them do their stupid stuff and leave. If you shoot them, make sure their dead and dig the slug's out of them. Or use a shotgun, pick up the shells, the extractor pin may be traced/matched if they find the gun.

If you carry a weapon, be sure you can use it. AND you won't hesitate to pull the trigger if need be. Next time please have a friend with you... The buddy system is the safest way to travel. I don't go anywhere with out a gun.

I'm an experienced shooter, 3 years 4 months of combat in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia, Spec Ops with the 5th Special Forces. Also a former Police Officer. It's better to stay away from trouble than to face it unless you have to for survival of yourself or other's in need.

God smiled upon you.. I'm glad your safe... best wishes, Jim "bones" :ph34r2: (James Shorten on Facebook)

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Billy I am sorry this happened,and it could have been

worse. I have a few questions because I have spent years

on lots of reservations.

You said that you have been in the area before. Are you

a member of any tribe? What made you think you would be

left alone while trespassing on a reservation?

I know that some of the younger guys in the last few years

are pretty radical,and get out of hand. But on most reservations

if you are caught trespassing,or prospecting,the cops won't

be much friendlier. You probably wouldn't have got your truck

back if busted by a Rez cop.

Garimpo The only rights an outsider has on a reservation

is limited to the right of way on a State or Federal highway.

And that is only for the purpose traveling through.

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Hey Nighthawk,

You had a gun in Mexico ?? :WOW: About 7 years ago I went down to mexico with some buddy's fishing, they searched our vehicles at a check point, and found an empty .22 spent cartridge in the bottom of my buddies tackle box, and they arrested him right there.... He spent a night in jail, and it cost us $1500 to bail him out, then we went right home because he had a court hearing with the judge in mexico, now he can never go back to mexico because Im sure there is a warrant for him, and that was just for a spent cartrige he did not know he had.... Dave

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Wow! Close call, glad it turned out w/o anyone getting hurt or worse.

Hi Garimpo, yes Tribal lands in Montana are shown on GeoCommunicator website. (Click surface management) I didn't check AZ for Rez/Tribal lands.

Gene, welcome to the forum. I agree with you as that's what my training was too. Don't engage or disengage if possible, more so whenever outnumbered. Society on Tribal lands is unique and often misunderstood. It took me 3 months before locals would stop switching to native language when I entered a room. Once I was accepted it was a pleasure to visit and prospect on Tribal lands. I always invite Tribal members or better yet the kids to have a day on their land. Now that I think of it, only one group never did accept me on their land. That was a woman's elder society. We showed respect for each other, but I was always an outsider to them. They would cross the street rather than walk past me.

...Fritz :cigar:

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Hi Dave, I responded to your question of caring a gun in mexico, off list. Your absolutely right about getting caught with a weapon or shell casing, etc. This took place back in 1967, Tijuana, Mexico. I used to hang out in Mexico back then. I was pretty rowdy when I was in my teens and 20's... Drank beer and hung out in the bar's, etc. That was the last time I went to Tijuana. After that I hung out in Agua Prieta, Mexico. I had a great gal there and we'd spend my leave from the service together. The cab driver's got to know me and watched my back. It's a long story that I won't bore you with.

Back in the early and mid 60's they didn't have the checking device's, etc, that they have now. It was easy to go and come with a weapon. But, shame on you if you got caught.

best wishes, jim "bones" :ph34r2:

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