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Old May 25, 2016, 03:24 AM   #1
Ton
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Engage or evade?

I've seen alot of threads discussing tactics surrounding dealing with a deadly force situation occuring inside of a home, a public place in an urban area, etc.

I've also seen alot of threads about people asking for caliber and firearm recommendations for carry while adventuring backwoods, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. The general theme of the threads seems to be "My primary concern is two legged threats, but I would like something that could deal with vicious animals as well".

In light of this:

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-cen...f-pinal-county

I've realized that tactics on dealing with an armed threat while in the great outdoors are seldom discussed.

When there's no 911, nobody around, and nowhere you can barricade yourself, and you find yourself face to face with an armed assailant (s), what reaction would provide the best chance of survival? Do you run or do you fight?

This isn't a situation I have ever been formally trained to deal with, so I really can't say much that would hold weight. Anybody with military experience have any advice?
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Old May 25, 2016, 05:02 AM   #2
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If as the video alludes to, your advisary in your referenced post is a drug cartel, there are no rules. You may win a battle (unlikely) but you (and your family) are more likely to lose the war.
Unless you're Superman or have a nuclear weapon you are prepared to use, you are seriously (verb of a threaded fastener) if you attempt to engage.

Lots of border families have paid the price engaging 2 legged animals.
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Old May 25, 2016, 07:25 AM   #3
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I have, in my short time here, advocated avoiding armed confrontation except as a last resort. I also do not have any military training or experience with the issue. Just because your question was directed that way does not mean others are not answering right?

That being said I am NOT going to be shot, running blindly away, in the back. Even when I leave a setting that I am uncomfortable with I do so in a controlled manner and making a considered effort to continue to assess the situation and surroundings. Retreat is a preferred option but it is a preferred option in that I believe it raises my chance of keeping my family safe and my own survival. Pinal county is arid (I checked under 13 inches of precipitation a year). Blindly fleeing away from a threat might lead you into another that you are less prepared for and it may just get you lost in an area you know little about.

I'm fleeing in a controlled and reasonable manner until I believe that fleeing no longer gives me the best chance of escaping safely. I doubt that I profile as a threat to most drug cartels and I would hope that absent making myself appear like one that I would be treated as such.
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Old May 25, 2016, 08:36 AM   #4
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I believe it best to always avoid initiating gunplay. Too many people with Walter Middy visions of being Superman and righteously stopping criminal activity while in progress. 75-16= 59 yrs ago , I was rear ended by a driver by a driver running from the cops, for going through a red light. I was doing 30 - perp about 90. We are talking about a major highway with lots of traffic. People get killed needlessly every day by cops , indirectly, doing such hairbrained chases.
You hear of someone in a bank pulling out a gun to stop an armed robbery in progress. When the shootings over, innocent people lay dying on the floor because some fool thought he'd be a "shoot'em up" Western Marshal hero. The $s don't matter; he just wants to be a hero. Trouble with that is "hero" valued becoming one more than the lives of innocent bystanders.
I am all for a lethal response once a criminal starts shooting. But starting it shows little forethought to costs in lives of bystanders. Pat
One thing about depraved ruthlessness of cartels. They have taken pictures of Mexican soldiers facing them - tracked their identities - and killed their families; all while the soldier was still on duty. Best to stay as far from their world as possible.
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Old May 25, 2016, 09:04 AM   #5
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It's hard to outrun bullets.
The answer to your questions is Gunsite, especially if you're in Arizona.
Or one of the many training facilities that might be in your area.
Random conversations on a forum won't help nearly as much.
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Old May 25, 2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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Engage or evade and a professional drug cartel assassination crew and this isn't a scenario for which you have trained?

Given that there are no other parameters for this situation stipulated, I suggest you play it by ear, do the best you can, and be ready with a plan at all times, head on a swivel, condition yellow at all times, watch your six, carrying spare weapons and ammo, etc.

In short, the scenario you have presented is so massively vague that any suggestions not equally vague are without foundation.
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Old May 25, 2016, 12:57 PM   #7
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"...deal with vicious animals..." No such thing on four legs. Animals do not sit behind trees waiting for people to come along.
ANY animals attacks are the result of stupid people doing stupid things where there are predatory animals being themselves. Running in Mountain Lion country, for example. Kitty doesn't see you as food, but if you run past, his "THERE GOES SOME FOOD!!!" reaction is triggered.
You'll note the supposed cartel hit men the PCSO thinks are dropping by are not reported as targeting hikers either. In any case, you really think your .38/.357/.45 handgun is sufficient defense against battle rifle armed criminals? Stay away from the southwestern areas of Pinal County.
Oh and the military's PBI only fight when they have no choice or have overwhelming superiority.
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Old May 25, 2016, 05:45 PM   #8
Ton
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In short, the scenario you have presented is so massively vague that any suggestions not equally vague are without foundation.
I intentionally left most of the variables open, as they will probably all be different depending on where you live and what types of recreational activities you prefer. Sorry if it was too vague. I am looking more to discuss what a good general rule of thumb would be not so much a specific action plan for a specific scenario.

But since it's going there anyway, I guess I'll redirect it specifically to the danger the sheriff warned of: violence surrounding human and drug smuggling for those who live close to the border. The sheriff's advice was "be armed" if you are going to recreate in these areas. While I certainly don't disagree with him, I feel a little more preparation is in order than to simply have a gun somewhere near you and assume you'll do the right thing when the situation arises. Hence this thread.

I asked for advice from military veterans specifically because I feel that training surrounding tactics you would use when caught "behind enemy lines" may actually be appropriate if you find yourself in the very unfortunate situation of being in close proximity to a heavily armed group of cartel members.

I agree, a G26 loses to an AR-15 every day, especially if there are 3 to 5 of them. I also agree that cartels are businesses, and thus are not interested in bringing additional unwanted attention by killing backpacker Joe. That said, it is entirely possible to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time where you witness enough to become a liability, or to just be mistaken for somebody you are not.

My best guess for a favorable outcome in this type of situation? Run like hell as soon as you realize what's going on. Depending on your ability to flee (ATV, horseback, or on foot), and your assailant's ability to pursue, try to just get away. If you can't, you may consider hiding and setting up an ambush after you have broken line of sight for a short period of time.

Again, these are just my guesses because I've never discussed a situation like this with someone who was qualified to give me advice.
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Old May 26, 2016, 11:41 AM   #9
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Ton,

If avoiding is an option, take it. Your adversary might just be a trained killer who's killed before. He might just have elite combat training. He might be able to kill you before you'll know you're autopsy bound. That's a risk only a fool would take.

If you're able to view an autopsy, do it. Death is as final as it gets.
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Old May 26, 2016, 11:26 PM   #10
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Well I did jungle training at the JWTC (Jungle Warfare Training Center) in Panama during my stint in the military. I've trained for several scenarios whether to gather information or inflict casualties and there is always one variable that most people do not realize. We had back up and we were always in control.

In any scenario that you may encounter, whether it is in the woods, or in a public place I would highly recommend that you avoid the altercation at all costs. Walk away if you can, hell run if you can. You must realize that in any armed confrontation your greatest weapon is what you have between your ears, and not on your waist.

I trained heavily in my younger years and all the training did was provide me the wisdom to walk away. I encourage you to learn self defense so that you never have to defend yourself.
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Old May 27, 2016, 12:33 AM   #11
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I asked for advice from military veterans specifically because I feel that training surrounding tactics you would use when caught "behind enemy lines" may actually be appropriate if you find yourself in the very unfortunate situation of being in close proximity to a heavily armed group of cartel members.
In a situation as you describe it is healthier to avoid the enemy at all cost. My father was in a German elite fighting unit in Russia and after amputations (without anesthesia) he was with an Austrian elite mountain hunter unit in Greece. In the last days of WWII they were ordered back to fight for Berlin when their lightly armed unit got under heavy Russian artillery fire and they made a run for life.

He marched with a dispersed Navy man, whose ship got sunken, all the way from Northern Greece to central Yugoslavia, avoiding all and any contact until getting close to a coastal town. They finally where found and captured by an overwhelming number of soldiers. Had they been able to avoid the contact, they would have fared better.

I lived in the Third World in very dangerous places without back-up and have seen enough dead bodies for a life-time. My military training in a West German PzGren batallion was little preparation for the baptism of fire but I firmly believe that in a fight the more aggressive fighter has an edge, with attitude and tactical thinking much more important than weapons skills.
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Old May 27, 2016, 05:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ton
you find yourself face to face with an armed assailant (s), what reaction would provide the best chance of survival? Do you run or do you fight?
If you find yourself face to face with an armed assailant, you do exactly what you would if you found yourself face to face with an armed assailant in your house, your driveway, the grocery store, your place of work, your kid's daycare, central park in New York city, or anywhere else.

Your situational awareness has already failed you, so you evaluate the current situation and either run or fight depending upon which one provides the best chance of survival.

Quote:
Mexican cartels are sending the "sicarios" -- groups of assassins -- to kill rivals trying to steal their drugs. The armed enforcers are expected to target "rip crews", who ambush other transport gangs to take their drugs and money.
If in the circumstances described in your link you were to come within a couple of feet (face to face) of a group of assassins or drug transport gangs most likely armed at a minimum with assault weapons and/or assault rifles who decided to kill you, regardless of what Hollywood would have you believe, you have no chance of survival, you will die no matter what you do, so you might as well try taking a few shots at them.

Last edited by 45_auto; May 27, 2016 at 05:38 AM.
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Old May 27, 2016, 12:06 PM   #13
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1st time - Generally agree with all!

I've posted before regarding some general disagreement, over complication and confusion when discussing these situations.

BUT I'm reading most all answers and in agreement this time. I'll summarize and y'all see what y'all think:

The situation;

I'm reading is your situational protection of avoiding the place/time didn't work. Your out numbered and out gunned. The last thing you should do is "pop-up" on their radar screen as a target! 1st - you may not be the/a target! Its always a possibility that just being there and witnessing the shooting can make you a target - But if your not the target back-off and evade.

Just be ready to fight while your withdrawing if at some point you do become a target. Until you become a target and have to fight, a strategy of getting as much distant between yourself & them AND getting out from in between them and their target(s) is the best (possibility to only) way survive. Also, It's possible when you have to switch to fighting, It could dawn on them them that you are defending only to get away and they could decide, at that point, that your not worth their time/effort/risk to continue with you.
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Old May 28, 2016, 08:34 AM   #14
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disparity of force decides most encounters. It wins battles, and it wins fights. If you are the weaker entity, and can evade, then do it. If you can't walk away, then yeah, you might have to fight it out, but the chances are not good for a happy ending,
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Old May 28, 2016, 11:15 AM   #15
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I can't recall a single homicide related to drug cartels in a National Forest in Washington state for my entire career there. There were, however, numerous seemingly random murders, just people walking up to the wrong person on the wrong day, it seems.

Drug cartels aside, if the mother and daughter that were murdered along the Ashland Lakes Trail here in Washington a few years back had engaged their attacker with a firearm, they would probably be alive today.

No possibility of evasion there, steep sidehill, alpine setting, etc.

Your assailant is not going to set up his attack site where you can either see him first or evade the situation. Unlike the animals that react to a 'food' stimulus, these attackers are genuinely laying in wait for you, a human being, to show up.
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Old May 28, 2016, 07:35 PM   #16
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Sorry, but I have to totally disagree with those who believe once you find yourself unfortunately close to cartel drug transporters that it is best to run, or to get some shots off "to take some with you". From experience I can tell you that not showing fear, and you may even not be fearful if you do not give in to it, maintaining your calm, avoiding eye contact, and not showing ANY interest in their activities may well save your life. I assume you have enough common sense to not visibly shift your grip on your rifle, should you be hunting.
Around 1967 , I used to hunt Big Bend area on Gulf Coast of Florida. Drugs used to be brought ashore from Pasco County up past Perry, in Taylor County. Might still be , but now too old to go in swamps and jungly stuff. Some of the trails through jungly stuff twist and turn so much you can't see more than 10 feet. I was walking very slowly and quietly when suddenly I ran head on into 10 or 12 Central American looking men in jungle camo carrying M16s, with the point at the ready, about 5 really big green duffel looking bags double teamed and a trail guy. Run and you will be like the jogger running by a mountain lion. Make eye contact and you are looking for trouble. If you change your motion you become suspect. I kept moving at the same pace, moving as far as possible to the right side to give the bag carriers room. They also had M16s slung on their backs. I always carry my rifle with muzzle down and did not change grip. Sounds strange, but I went cunning instead of scared. To do the slightest thing to irritate or raise a question in their minds would have meant me dead. They saw me as a hunter who wanted no part of them. So right they were.

Last edited by pappa; May 28, 2016 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Windows 7 changed camo to camp, etc. Gotta go back to Android. Also, I think it was around 67, not 65, but matters not
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Old May 28, 2016, 07:45 PM   #17
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Its doesn't really matter where I may be.. the rules are the same. If I can reasonably escape danger, I will try and when I cant... I will fight.
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Old June 11, 2016, 07:58 PM   #18
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Avoid any confrontation if possible.
If you are not in control of the situation try to get out of there.
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Old June 11, 2016, 08:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Do you run or do you fight?
Choice 1. Stay where you're being shot at.
Choice 2. Go where you won't be shot at.
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Old June 11, 2016, 09:46 PM   #20
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Run or fight?

That depends on how they are armed, how I am armed, if I can run, if they can run, night, day, rain, snow, number of attackers, number of defenders (or innocents), etc..

I mean it could be one guy with a knife and I have a 12 gauge.. (HE had better run in that case), a gang, my kids near by, etc...

It's not a simple 'run or fight'.

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Old June 11, 2016, 10:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
I mean it could be one guy with a knife and I have a 12 gauge...
That seems a bit unlikely given the OP's stated focus.
According to PCSO, Mexican cartels are sending the "sicarios" -- groups of assassins -- to kill rivals trying to steal their drugs. The armed enforcers are expected to target "rip crews", who ambush other transport gangs to take their drugs and money.
That said, even in the case of a man with a knife when you're armed with a shotgun, if you can avoid a confrontation, you're better off than sticking around and possibly being forced to shoot him.
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Old June 11, 2016, 10:54 PM   #22
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And if your kids are there? Run and let the guy with the knife do 'em? And if you physically can't run?

Oh, and being in Texas... I don't have to run.

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Old June 11, 2016, 11:10 PM   #23
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And if your kids are there? Run and let the guy with the knife do 'em? And if you physically can't run?
The question was stated with the idea that escape was an option. Clearly circumstances could eliminate that option, but then it wouldn't make sense to ask about or discuss whether to engage or evade.
Quote:
Oh, and being in Texas... I don't have to run.
Correct. If you're where you have a right to be in TX, you don't have to retreat if someone attacks you.

That legal fact, however, doesn't automatically make it a good idea to stand up and fight. In general, if you can avoid a gun battle, or avoid shooting someone, it's wise to do so. In the former situation because it can keep you from getting shot, and in both situations because shooting someone is a life-changing event even when it is legally justified.

Having the legal option to stay and fight doesn't have any bearing on whether or not it makes good tactical sense (or good common sense) to do so in a given situation.
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Old June 11, 2016, 11:16 PM   #24
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You evade, establish communications with Regiment, and get arty and air on it.

In your scenario, that means run for the Sheriff and mark up the overlay.
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Old June 12, 2016, 02:29 AM   #25
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When there's no 911, nobody around, and nowhere you can barricade yourself, and you find yourself face to face with an armed assailant (s), what reaction would provide the best chance of survival? Do you run or do you fight?

I see no such option to be able up run Kemosabe. He states run or fight. Many cannot run, and one may not be able to OUTRUN. Turning your back on a dangerous opponent is not wise, especially if their weapons can reach you.

It all boils down to the exact situation you are faced with. One assailant? Two? More? Better armed? More skillful? Terrain? Etc. Not some simple fight or flight.

And again, in Texas it's not wise to confront someone with a weapon and threaten them.

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