Survival Hunting – Lessons Learned – Part 2, by O.V.

(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.


  1. An under appreciated topic nicely put into a nutshell. I’ll briefly addressing late this night, three concerns raised in the article, barrel life, ammunition, and game hiding in thick brush.

    The least expensive and proven hunting ammunition is 7.62×39 Tula, or Wolf 154 grain soft point. It is an equivalent in performance to the Hornady FTX 160 grain .30-30 load in all regards. It costs only .21 cents per round at SG Ammo, or 209.50 for a case of 1,000. I use it as defense load in a 21 inch barrel that launches it at about 2,400 fps, same as the Hornady load. Hog hunters love this round. It penetrates tough hogs, and expand to about 3/4 of inch diameter in ballistic gelatin. It is much more accurate that the standard Russian 122 to 124 grain ammunition. If used in the chrome lined barrel of a SKS, the barrel will out last all other rifle barrels. It is a good poor man’s .30-30, and it has 10 rounds in the magazine for follow up shots if need be. I suspect that the SKS in no less accurate than the time tested .30-30 with buckhorn sights. Most deer are taken at less than 100 yards. Wolf recently began offering subsonic ammunition in 7.62×39 that cycles the action. Some post-banned Com-block rifles do not have threaded barrels. For longer shot opportunities, we can set up on a hill with a scoped full power rifle.

    As for game in the brush, the .30-06 using 220 grain round nosed bullets will not be deflected by thick brush, and will take game hidden in cover. .30-06 is arguably the most versatile rifle for this country. My elk and bear load is a 200 grain Nosler Partition loaded with 54.5 grains of IMR 4831 for about 2,500 fps, but the 220 grain Remington CoreLokt is my favorite for bear. We gotta a lot of Grizzly here. Round nosed was used because it can hit heavy bone and not be deflect away as much from the heart/lung area. This means the round can stop the bear, and put out it’s lights too. It has unfortunately been supplanted by faster and trendier loads, but the old school RN’s have a place. .30-06 has the case capacity and the 1:10 barrel twist that allows to handle these heavy bullets that the .308 Winchester cannot. As the article mentions that wary game under pressure from hunters will tend to stay in the brush, the 220 grain RN .30-06 would get the game when the .308 Win. could not, as well as take Grizzly with more authority.

    1. Correction: The Privi Partisain load is .60 cents, not .24 cents and that manufacturer states that it does not cycle the action. Here is the Brown Bear offering at .51 cents/rd, that in the video posted, does cycle the action. It is best to buy a sample and see what works in your rifle before going for large quantities. Test for accuracy as well. An SKS, if the barrel is threaded, or not, is least expensive platform for 7.62×39 ammunition.

      Brown Bear Subsonic ammunition in 7.62×39:×39-196gr-fmj-500-rounds

      .300 Blackout is the better dedicated subsonic platform, and ammunition can be found for as low as .55 cents/round. The greater selection of ammunition means the best fit of gun and ammo could be found. Here is an upper from PSA for $199.00:

    2. Great information Tunnel Rabbit. I agree that strictly for hunting, the good ole .30-06 definately one ups the .308. I also think everyone should have some inexpensive wolf floating around. I have only noticed one potentially significant problem with the steel cased laquer coated ammo. I left a couple of boxes of .223 wolf on the floor of my garage. Some moisture precipitated into to the paper box and slightly rusted the case through the laquer. I was curious to see how the round would function. I shot them through an ar15 that I have never had a single malfunction in. A quality chrome lined barrel with a well finished chamber. I had only 1 out of 10 rounds that extracted. The rough surface from the rust and the polymer coating would not allow the case to be extracted and they had to be knocked out with a cleaning rod. So I will still buy some wolf or tula to use in a class some where that I can’t pick up my brass. However If my life depended on it, I am going for brass case all the way. I was reading a gun magazine at the grocery store in kalispell tonight and what struck me as interesting is a company called true velocity releasing plastic case (not just coated ) ammo. Time will tell if it is less expensive than brass. I agree with you also that having a suppressor, despite the hassle of the $200 tax stamp and the wait, is a great thing. They are almost as effective as a muzzle break at recoil reduction, in addition to the sound deadening. The only thing I have noticed is that suppressor that are made from titanium seem to give off mirage much faster than steel case suppressors.

      1. With hand loads in a bolt gun, the .30-06 can run 200 to 300 fps faster than the .308, making for flatter trajectories. The difference using 150 grain bullets in a comparison, is about 10 inches at 500 yards. This is the difference between the .30-06 and the .300 Win. Mag. So if all you have available is an .30-06, there is that advantage, as well as it ability to handle heavy projectiles. Too bad they discontinued my favorite 208 grain Amax. Having a semi-auto for DMR work is a better choice, but for long range precision ‘hunting’, the .30-06 has the edge.

        About the 77 grain Tula .223. This was proposed a the the best choice for the lowest price. This is not lacquer coated, but zinc coated. It is inclined to rust too, but it cannot melt in a hot chamber, and will not gum up the delicate AR-15 action with particles of lacquer. Of course, if you can afford the best for your AR, you should get the best. The brass case will expand and seal the chamber, and prevent the expanding gases from fouling the action. I would go for the 77 grain Sierra Match King (OTM) bullet, and insist that the primer is sealed, as well as the bullet at the case mouth. This kind of ammunition can run north of $1, verses .20 cents. I do have ‘champagne tastes’, but do not even have a ‘beer budget’. Fortunately I do not drink, so it matters not.

        My primary is like the MAC-91 that was made for the crude Russian ammo, so it shoots a 154 grain SP that is also a good deer and hog load. This combination is essentially a semi automatic box magazine fed .30-30. It will hit hard and make large exit wounds. I also recommend Kalashnikov actions for most folks, who are not trained to clean and maintain any rifle. Simple is best, because simple is reliable.

  2. Great article Sir. You are speaking about many things I have learned from hard experience. I have to confess that I like to shoot (3 gun and long range) more than I like to hunt. Your advice on sticking with common calibers and getting good with them is very sound. You can learn the fundamentals at the lowest possible cost while still being able to get the job done. When you can shoot a .308 at 800-1100 yards with consistency (or large game dictates), but you start to become frustrated by the inherent limitations of the cartridge, then it is time to consider a magnum. The problems with magnums besides cost, recoil and muzzle blast? They wear barrels out much faster, ya that E=MC squared formula is real. The positive side is that never before have such an array of tecnologies and designs been so cheap and available in the firearms world. I have become a big believer in well made chrome lined barrels (Criterion is a great barrel maker) and nitrided barrels. It is a joy to shoot tight groups at long range with magnum rifle, and sad to see those groups open up as the barrel wears out (900-1800 rounds for many magnums). Chrome lining done well (meaning uniformly deposited axially and radially the entire length of the barrel) on a quality steel (uniform molecular density and alignment) is great for your ar15 or ar10. You will have a barrel that shoots very well with wide variety of ammo, and the point of impact shift with differant ammo will usually be vertical due to velocity. If chrome lined barrels for savages and remingtons and rugers were available I would be a buyer. However we have nitride for now, and it seems to give 2-4 times the barrel life. It is great to be skilled with a .300 win mag and be able to shoot it for 3000+ rounds before the barrel goes bad. You really come to appreciate the flat shooting characteristics and energy on target. Putting all of this together for the prepper means: start with common cartridges and learn to shoot (appleseed, Front Sight etc.) then depending on you motivation, finances and interest build upon that. At the basic level you will be miles ahead of the person who has no firearsm and no training and no practice. Arm up and don’t forget our Kinsman in Virginia

  3. Great article and very sobering. For myself with little or no hunting experience looks like it’s time to stock up on some more canned goods 🙂

    Thank you for contributing.

      1. Muddykid: I don’t think it is lack of interest in hunting or trapping. I used to hunt, have my life-time license and I’m still a good shot, but I no longer that the strength to chase them down or drag them out of the deep woods, back to the ATV. But I can process them, preserve the meat and make sausage in exchange for a younger model to do the hard stuff!

    1. “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” = Words of Wisdom from a Clint Eastwood movie. … Some of the readers of Survivalblog, are fully capable of swinging through the trees like Tarzan, and surviving in the wilderness with just a belt knife. [Everyone else =]

      It would behoove the rest of us, to store up some needed preps from the advertisers on Survivalblog. … A water-filtration system and some storage-food would work during one of the many local emergencies. Try out the different storage-foods available.

      The storage-food can be used while camping, road trips, and on vacations. “Take along food” is safer than stopping at many of the Burger Joints along the highway. (It’s less expensive too.) Eat your own storage-food; if necessary buy just a treat for the kids.

  4. Having lived in heavy deer and elk country ( waking up to elk prints in the snow – on my porch – Having deer eat 2 – 50′ rows of green beans that had about 5000 perfect 1-inch long baby beans in one night) I learned to check the door before opening it. But no matter how much they hang out in your yard,eat your garden, tear your hay stacks apart or any of the other amusements they enjoy, the first day of hunting season, they are GONE, so when SHTF and people start banging away at them they will pull on their invisability cloaks or hide in the tree tops or whatever they do to keep from being eaten. So you must realize what looks like easy pickins today will be unatainable then. I think putting away corn is a great idea, and would add salt to the list. 50 pound blocks of livestock salt are cheap, easy to store and will be useful as bait or barter. But the reality is you are not going to have elk steaks every night, so store up on protiens now, (freezers will fail so have shelf stable food put away) canned meat, jerky, dry beans, store LOTS of fats, canned butter, lard, tallow, olive oil etc rabbit, squirrel etc is very low in fats and rabbit starvation is a real thing. If you can’t hunt get to know your neighbors, help them put up (process) their game for part of it. Very good article, many ideas to incorporate into my plan, thank you.

    1. Good input, VCC.

      But please give us just one name of one person you can show died of Rabbit Starvation.

      I am absolutely flabbergasted at how pervasive this statement is among every survival blog.

      Rabbits were a critical item for 6 years of wartime diet in the UK. Literally hundreds of thousands of them were consumed.

      My parents fed them to me for three years, from age 1 to 4. I grew up to be a 6’2″ 230 pound athlete, competing nationally in biathlon.
      Hardly starvation.

      People who keep dissing a good source of protein are not helping their neighbor.

      So please give us just one name with the source we can reference ourselves.

      God bless, and Merry Christmas.

      1. You are right about rabbit. I often wondered about that protein thing. Some on the nutrient content chart I have is as follows:

        Rabbit: 21.8%protein, 2.4%fat
        White Tail Deer: 23.6%protein, 1.4%fat
        Beef – USDA: 22.0%protein, 6.5%fat
        Wild Boar: 28.3%protein, 4.38%fat

        These values can vary somewhat. My son swears you can tell how bad the winter is going to be based on the deer fat content.

      2. “Once a guy, McCandless was his name, went to Alaska to get the right answers to the wrong questions and got himself killed by eating rabbits, caribou, weeds and berries … and not having a decent map!”

  5. Give me a break! Should the SHTF, large game will be gone almost overnight, yet you are talking calibers and baiting like nothing has changed. Get a clue! You will be lucky to find road kill! You will be so busy in other survival pursuits you won’t have time to hunt… in a barren landscape cleaned out by your neighbors.

    Learn to trap. Stays on the job 24/7/365. Maybe you will be lucky enough to collect enough protein to add to all that rice you stored.

    1. Les,
      Gotta agree. Yet even trapping would be dangerous and too time consuming during a ‘die off’, because security should be job #1. That is why we should pile it up now with the goal to get to the other side of the ‘die off’. Then we may have to hunt again to at least supplement our food production. This is what folks had to do during the Great Depression. I am also prepared to trap. Fortunately I’ll be on the edge of the wilderness where people are scarce, and big game thrives. After a ‘die off’, there would be even fewer people in that region. As it is, most of them do not know how to hunt or trap, and do not have any long term survival plan.

      We are sadly a very different people than we were during the Great Depression. My guess is that less than 2%, even out here in NW Montana, are prepared for a long term collapse. Fortunately, within a square mile of here, we can boast to have moose, elk, deer, grizzly, black bear, wolf, coyote, mountain lion, badger, beaver, coons, weasel, turkey, rabbits, pheasant, trout, and salmon, and more… Oh, forgot to mention the herds of cattle, and some buffalo….something for everyone. This will keep a few people who did not prepare well enough alive, if they rediscover how to hunt and trap. We’ll be strengthening our defenses while they do that…

  6. I understands RGs chart on white tail fat content. Having said that, this year’s does and buck in WI were full of fat when we butchered them. This is the first year I butchered at home as a new hunting buddy does all his own butchering and I was eager to learn. My buddy’s father came hunting one weekend and explained that the fat could be trimmed out and rendered into lard.

    While the fat percent seems low on a chart, there’s plenty of fat on a white tail if you spend the time trimming it off/out. Not necessarily an attractive requirement now but when the SHTF, different story.

    Good article to keep us thinking about our regions’ wildlife options and alternatives.

  7. Wheatley Fisher- Rabbit starvation is a form of nasty malnutrition from eating lean rabbit meat almost exclusively. It is not exactly starvation leading to death. On the Wiki page for protein poisoning the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson is quoted talking about the effects of eating lean men after they died being akin to rabbit starvation. 19 of 25 died.

    This guy from Colorado says John Speth coined the term or developed the concept. I’m sure you do not mean to imply your parents feed you nothing but rabbit for three years, nor, that Brits ate nothing else for six do you?

    Pretty much rabbit starvation is limited to very bad situations where even though you have plenty of calories, the meat does not have enough fat to keep you functioning normally. Probably the best known examples are from the Corps of Discovery- look into Lewis and Clark winter issues and you’ll see how bad it can get.

    One nasty side effect is switching from lean winter/starvation foods to fatty fish (a specific L&C problem that killed at least one guy). Your body can simply not process the abundance of lipids when they suddenly had access to fish. Lipid malabsorption is not to be taken lightly… that will kill you. If anyone is interested in these two issues just search around, there is plenty of information on both available.

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