(Continued from Pat 1. This concludes the ariticle.)
The last animals I want to discuss are all the rest of the animals that come to the corn. That’s just about everybody in your area. Because they want to eat the corn, or the deer and other animals that do. So you’ll have turkeys plus predators of all kinds and especially raccoons! I don’t eat them myself, but the survival experts say they are a critical piece of survival food, with a lot of essential at. They are a pain for me because I do animal control work on a nature preserve and the corn they gobble up eats into my budget. But in a survival situation where corn is precious, coons will dig around to find every last kernel you wildly scattered into tall grass. I don’t see pigs every night especially after they have been shot at. But if there is corn, there will be coons.
If you are starting to see a trend, you should. Corn is an attractant for many game animals. Plan around it by planting or storing it or bartering for it. Don’t store it too close to the residence though. The beetles it produces are a real misery. Night hunting is probably going to be helpful, especially in the pea patch if it isn’t fenced.
And that brings up another piece of equipment I forgot earlier. Sound suppressors may or may not be legal to hunt with in your area in the present day but they will have huge benefits in a societal collapse. Don’t assume you’ll just stack up game animals like cordwood with one. It doesn’t work like that – they will still run. But it helps both with the animals and with the local humans – the good ones who want to sleep and the bad ones who want to see what you just shot.
I also forgot rain gear. Animals don’t like a storm much, but a drizzle is no hinderance to many animals. Your flyweight hi-tech stuff won’t hold up to hard use – ask me how I know. Get old fashioned stuff like Filson. It kind of sucks if you are working hard because it doesn’t breath and you get sweaty, but if you can’t go down to the store and buy another, it’s what you need. An appropriate breed of dog is huge. A metric ton of ammunition is another item I think most people are in denial about. You think you have plenty? Do the math. Your family plus refugees times 3 meals per day times 365 days per year times, let’s say, 15 years needing how many squirrels/rabbits/tweety birds per meal? The gun community has a saying as we watch the roller coaster of gun control panics: Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
Some seemingly oddball items are also quite important . Do you have comfortable, quality holsters and double thickness gun belts that allow you to wear a handgun all day – while farming? Do your rifles have slings so you can throw it on a shoulder and drag an animal? Quality binoculars to spot game all day without getting a headache? High quality rifle scopes for low light with appropriate reticles? Don’t need them because you have great vision or night vision? You will. Wait a few years when your vision gets weak and you don’t have any more batteries. Moreover, optics are huge aid in looking through brush where animals hide from you, or at long range out west. The more people hunt (in a collapse out of necessity), the more skittish the animals become, and the more your ability to reach out and touch them will help. It already does in areas with swirling winds.
Have You Zeroed Your Guns?
Have you done all your gun vetting and skill getting before The Schumer Hits The Fan? Remember that pile of ammunition? If your scopes aren’t zeroed and your semi autos jam and you can’t hit a deer off hand at 100 yards, picture that stockpile of ammo drastically reduced while you get your act together. Never mind the missed or wounded animals while you figure it out. There went supper and he’s gut shot so he’ll get away to die in a thicket and go to waste. That is unless you’ve got a dog.
Can you shoot with your weak hand? They always come from the direction you weren’t expecting! Bottom line is marksmanship and bushcraft don’t come from anything but practice and experience. And aren’t easy physically. And the ammo isn’t cheap, even though it is in a down cycle. By the way, are you in good enough shape to still hunt a few miles with a rifle, a pistol, and a pack? And then carry or drag the game home?
Getting back to ammo before I go, I’d recommend you stick with the inexpensive military calibers. Besides .22LR and your flavor of shotgun, 9mm, .223, and .308 are your friends if money isn’t plentiful. Low cost ammunition matters because you need to be able to practice to get the skill, and you don’t need a lot of flinch-inducing recoil. And these cartridges have long barrel life. By the time you get your act together a 3,500 fps cartridge is going to need a barrel change – and you can start over getting zeroed and wind dope because the new barrel won’t shoot the same as the old one.
Practice, practice, practice people. Game animals don’t like getting shot – who’d have thunk it? They will be lightning fast when a collapse happens and human = gunfire. The ability to spot movement and shoot quickly and accurately is fundamental to harvesting game. They won’t wait around where there is hunting pressure.
A Cellular Game Camera
A last item that is currently available and may or may not work in a collapse like the cell game camera, but is a little more likely is the smart phone map programs. I use onX and it is vastly more user friendly than the Garmin Rino I used to use. The phone would need the GPS satellites to work but the cell towers aren’t necessary because you can save the maps to your phone. This device allows you to mark anything you want like your truck (critical for those of us who are directionally challenged!), rubs/scrapes, bedding areas, acorn producing oaks, a dead deer, etc.
Now you still need to use a map and a compass. Always verify the direction of the road you want to return to with the compass before you leave your vehicle. But this technology is huge because good game areas tend to be good year after year. So you killed a deer there. Someone else will move in because of that white oak tree. You can have your whole area marked for hunting (or work or tactical operations) and find it in the dark or rain or a blizzard. And satellites might work longer than local electricity and cell towers. Have a solar charger and spare batteries because GPS work eats phone batteries. Make sure your phone has lots of memory for the same reason.
I hope this may have opened some eyes to survival hunting. It’s sort of like investing and self defense: a layered response will have the best results. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket because 1. you don’t have a crystal ball for a future collapse and 2. weather and other factors make one more appropriate than another on different days. Fishing, snares, traps, farming and gathering all go hand in hand to make a meal. But the protein in a 250-pound feral hog that you didn’t have to feed from a baby is a big deal.
If you have not prepped for survival hunting, then it’s time to get started.