The Editors’ Preps for the Week

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
We had a rainy week, here at the Rawles Ranch. So we concentrated on hunting and some indoor projects.  I tagged a nice fat young whitetail buck earlier this week.  That gave me a sense of relief. You see, it doesn’t feel like we are really ready for winter until the woodshed is full, the hay barn is full, and we have at least one deer hanging.

But I didn’t have any luck in filling my elk tag. Grumble, grumble... But I can only blame myself, because I didn’t take the time to get out in the woods very often, since Opening Day.

By the way, I usually hang skinned deer and elk for a full week to season the meat before I butcher them and wrap the cuts. I should also mention that I regularly pay a local shop to butcher our cattle, but I’ve always cut and wrapped the deer and elk meat by myself.

Meanwhile, Avalanche Lily was quite busy with homeschooling and Thanksgiving holiday cooking and baking, so she didn’t get much prepping work done. Her latest check on the greenhouse showed that we have several rows in a bed of spinach that are spouting nicely.

We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps this winter.

May you all have a blessed week, – James Wesley,  Rawles


The Latimer Homestead has some reorganizing to do in their food storage area. Seed has been processed and is in storage for next year’s garden, and there is only a little rooted produce left in the garden. The freezing night temperatures have put an end to most produce, and so we are taking some time to do some rotation and possibly reorganizing this coming week (or two). Additionally, we are continuing to manage and monitor our chickens, but they seem to be improving. We still have some chicken therapy going on, with the interactions between the old and new flocks getting more competitive. Our rooster is apparently also getting a first-hand understanding of what it means to be “hen pecked”. Poor fella! Sarah is quite unhappy about this behavior in a few hens. Her rooster has been a good protector and quite the gentleman with his hens. The poor chicken behavior is just a little too similar to that of some humans we know.

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Couple years ago I read an interesting article in Ontario Out of Doors magazine, 3 butchers who accepted wild game were interviewed and all stated there was zero benefits to hanging wild game.(unlike marbled with fat beef) My butcher was one of them and he told me that much of the gaminess attributed to wild game was from animals hung above 5 degrees Celsius causing the fat to turn rancid.

    1. I’ve always put mine in ice water for 3 or 4 days before butchering. Let the water drain out every day & add more ice. It takes some of the blood out & helps with the gamey taste some people don’t like. I tried hanging them but went back to the ice water as it is easier & they taste better.

    2. Soaking big game meat in milk for 4-8 hours in the fridge before cooking will pull the adrenaline which will nix the gamey flavor.

      Here in the deep south its 75F during deer season, you have about 2 hours after a kill to chill the quartered meat before it starts to go bad. I would imagine different climates have different issues to adjust to. Grats on the tag 🙂 . Nothing moving in my hunting area 🙁 .

  2. You will find that if you leave the skin on the deer while you hang it, (ideally for about 10 days at 40 degrees F.), your meat won’t dry out as much so less waste as you chop it up. I understand it is easier to skin when first shot, but it isn’t much more difficult after 10 days.

    BTW, thanks for the butchering link a few days back. The same dude has another video on skinning.

  3. Finally finished the coal bin and filled with 1 ton of coal which we purchased at a resonable price. Picked the last of some leeks and onions. Filled the garden beds with some old hay. Chopped more fire wood. Now unloading a huge trailer from our move from last year into a storage bin. Had a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving. Giving thanks to our Lord for all He has provided and guided us through this year. Blessings to all on SB.

  4. We have had 9 hens for 5 years and they started not laying the last year but maybe 1 every other day and there would be a broke egg in the nesting boxes but could not figure it out. So we decided to cull one a week so the real MEAN hen was the the first to go. The very next day 3 eggs, the next day and next 3 eggs, and so on.
    We had noticed when throwing scraps that she would hog them and keep the others at bay. We thought it was normal but now they all get along now that she’s gone. I have culled any more since. We get at least 3 eggs a day now.

  5. I have always butchered the day after the kill. I’ll hang pigs or cows for a while but not deer. Venison doesn’t have enough fat to marble. But, what ever works for you is fine by me.
    We’re getting a break in the weather here, going to be in the low 50’s for a couple days. Got to get the garlic covered and haul off the old tomatoe plants and all the rest of the frozen plants.

  6. BTW, I know ALOT of folks who hang deer for a while. When I was a kid and we went to town in the fall there was a guy that usually had 4 or 5 deer hanging from an apple tree. They’d hang for 4 to 6 weeks at times.

  7. Turning over the garden and amending soil (Compost, lime, leaves, etc.) It’s only the first year for our retreat garden, so the soil is going to take some work to get up to par, but the afternoon’s have been sunny and warm, so it’s a pleasant way to enjoy the peace and quiet.

  8. We constructed our forms [in squares of 4 x 8 feet] on our unfinished roof of our our new log home. Next step is to stuff it with insulation [giving us the R-value needed] and put the OSB over top, then wait on steel from the vendor. Looking forward for temps above freezing this week [at least one more week]. We also did another lesson in our PhD in biblical studies. My wife and I are enrolled in the same curriculum.

  9. Here is SW Missouri we are being blessed with days in the 60’s and 70’s. The hubster cleaned the chimney and gutters today. We both worked on raking leaves away from the house and woodstack. After raking them, we fed them to the goats who enjoyed the treat. Their field is grass only. The boys took some time off to do some shooting. Momma canned venison, both chunks and burger. The jars are pretty sitting on the shelf and it is comforting to know that quick meals are just minutes away if needed. We also made 5lbs of jerky which if think will disapear withing a couple of days. More weeds were removed from the garden. Manure was spread in that area. Cardboard and compost was put down until we ran out of both. Everyone is healthy. We are blessed.

  10. If your game is “gamey tasting” make sure you have no hair on it. I skin my Deer and Elk right away and wash it and let it dry.I put a meat sack on it and tie it so no fly’s get to it and let it hang for a couple of days.That is the way we do it. To each his own. I cut my own meat and bone it all. I vacuum pack it and freeze it asap. We also can some.
    I lived in Alaska for 30 years and we ate lots of moose and caribou If it is strong tasting cook it in olive oil.It take’s away much of the gamey taste.

  11. Took my two grandsons hunting on my survival property near mexico…most of you saying horrors…Texan all my life …my property is next to a part that is across from huge canyons and is for the most part impassible…won’t say where for Opsec reasons…know the culture and know the area…would be lost in the redoubt area lots of mule deer and javelina had the time of my life hunting with my grandsons…wonderful weekend..

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