Glad you had a good time!
I carry one of my Glock 9mms on most forays into the field, even if it's just a photography hike. If I'm carrying certain firearms while hunting, the Glock may be replaced by something bigger or smaller, but it's usually a Glock on my hip. They are small and light enough to be there without always being in the way, but able to help in many situations, even if it's just used as a signaling device or to drive away animals acting in a peculiar or threatening manner.
Speaking of threatening animals, I applaud your restraint on dealing with the dogs; they might not have been so lucky in my area, or around most of my friends. Around here, lacking clear signs of being a current pet (collars/tags, clean groomed fur, well-fed look, etc.) they are usually considered a nuisance (at minimum), a threat to wild animals (which the wildlife management areas are designed to protect and nurture; could be why you didn't see any ground-nesting birds or rabbits), and possibly a threat to people unaware of feral/animal pack behaviors. I'd like to recommend you report the incident to your state Fish and Game department; even thought you let the critters walk, the wildlife area manager may want to address the problem more directly.
Last edited by DJ Niner; 09-14-2009 at 03:09..