To survive in the wild when SHTF, you have to learn to hunt the most abundant forms of game. This includes rabbits, squirrels, quail, turtle and even the occasional chipmunk, if pickings are slim. One thing is certain: When things start to get ugly, you will need to be able to take whatever game you can, if you expect to be well-fed.
To maximize the benefits of the hunt, here are few things to keep in mind.
Small Game vs. Large Game
Stalking is one of the most effective ways to get squirrel and other small game. Normally, the best time to hunt both is in the early morning, although late evening is good too. Unlike big deer, who will bolt at the slightest noise, small game will hang around a second or two longer. Be ready, though, because they are much faster at the getaway once they decide to take off.
The Best Kill Shot
Unless you want to use the brains for food, the best kill shot for a small animal is a headshot. There are a few good reasons for this: A head shot is a direct kill and won’t damage the hide. Squirrel and rabbit hides can be tanned extremely soft, and they are excellent for boot liners and children’s clothing. The second reason: It maximizes the amount of usable meat you can harvest from the animal. This also keeps a majority of the long bones in tact. If preserved correctly, the long bones can be used for sewing needles and awls, fish hooks and a variety of other tools preppers need living in the wilderness.
Know What to Keep and What to Discard
Small animals are more susceptible to rabies and other forms of parasites. When you gut the animal, be on the lookout for any indication of illness or disease. If you see anything that looks suspicious, don’t keep the meat. Bury it with the rest of the entrails and make sure it won’t be able to be dug up by another animal looking for food. If the hide and bones are in good shape, clean them exceptionally well before using them or preserving them.
Do Not Over Harvest
Limit the number of animals you take from one area. One of the best ways to do that is by trapping. Not only does trapping allow you to conserve your ammunition, it also makes sure you take animals from different areas at different times. Set your traps and go about your business. After a few hours, make your rounds and harvest your rewards. A properly set and bated trap will net animals on a regular basis, if you continue to move and cover them frequently.
Common Sense Rules
No matter where you are or where you hunt, always be aware of your surroundings. Now is the time to take a hunters safety course online so you have a good, working understanding of what is expected of you while you are out in the woods. A smart hunter knows where to find his prey, but he also knows where his competition is. Make sure you have the advantage by keeping your weapons and traps at the ready.
……..by Allan Humboldt
Allan is a grad student majoring in microeconomics. He is a fan of the outdoors and hopes to one day merge his passions.
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