Letter Re: Subsistence Fishing After TEOTWAWKI

James Wesley: In reference to CentOre’s recent article, “Subsistence Fishing After TEOTWAWKI”, one method not mentioned which works very well (speaking from experience) is to kill a non-edible animal like a prairie dog and hang it over a bank. After a couple of days maggots begin to fall off of the decaying carcass and the fish learn to come to that bank to get a free meal. Then using yo-yo fishing lines you bait whatever hooks you use with scraps and pretty much I’ve never gone without a pan full of fish a day to eat. The other method is …




Subsistence Fishing After TEOTWAWKI by, CentOre

Introductory Disclaimer: Many ideas expressed within this article may not be legal in all jurisdictions.  Items covered and methods discussed are strictly theoretical in nature unless otherwise stated. Many people have a love of fishing.  Take a pole, and maybe a youngster, down to the shore, or a dock, baiting up, casting out, and waiting for a bite.  It’s a great time to just sit, talk, and enjoy nature.  Right? Not after TEOTWAWKI!  There will not be many ‘restful’ days, or nights for that matter.  Our group has a saying that: “Sportsman-ship goes out the window when Survival-ship comes in …




Letter Re: Rawhide and Brain Tanning

Mr. Rawles, Regarding the use of rawhide, I would recommend the short film “Lige: Portrait of a Rawhide Braider” (1985), that can be found at Folkstreams.net. The film is just under half an hour in length and is fascinating for both the people portrayed and the information it contains about the traditional working of rawhide in “the region known as the Sagebrush Corner of northeastern California and northwestern Nevada”. The site contains many additional short films (free and licensed for individual viewing) that would interest readers of your blog – rural and traditional crafts, music, lifestyles are examined. Fascinating shorts …




Reasons for Rawhide, by Pat in Oregon

This time of year we have a lot of hides on hand – deer, elk, and even cow hides when we are butchering.  We’ve tanned them, traded them for gloves, given them away to others, but usually we just dispose of them.  Not anymore.  This last year we’ve been experimenting with using rawhide, and after a year, we are convinced having rawhide on-hand is one of the more valuable items for regular or emergency use.  It is quite easy to process, unlimited in its use, and readily available to most of us.  Hopefully some of our experiences get others thinking …




Letter Re: Rawhide and Brain Tanning

James, J.M.’s article on brain tanning mentions buildings and furniture held together with rawhide straps, and I thought I’d mention another such building. The roof of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah is a particularly innovative design for its time, and because of the builders’ lack of available metals (the few metal fasteners in the roof were made from discarded ox shoes) most of the structure depends on wooden pegs to hold it together. The builders wrapped parts of the wooden trusses in green rawhide; as the rawhide shrank during drying, it formed tight, strong straps around the …




Rawhide and Brain Tanning, by J.M.

In today’s world, you might wonder why working rawhide and brain tanning buckskin skill would be a benefit to anybody, when you can run to the hardware store and buy an unlimited supply of plastic, nylon, fiberglass, and what not to do your jobs. And why would anybody in their right mind want to wear anything made out of buckskin? When you have designer jeans, and all kinds of clothing to buy, in most stores like Wal-mart, K-mart, or even the used clothing stores? One question you might ask is how much of these things will be available when the fiat …




Three Letters Re: Trapping Options for the Non-Trapper

J.W.R.: Greeting from a long time reader in Southeast Texas. Regarding the article “Trapping Options for the Non-Trapper” by Pat in Oregon: When I was a child some 60 years ago, my neighbor had a problem with pigeons eating the chicken feed.  She solved the problem with large rat traps, which you can still get in any hardware store.   She baited the traps with the feed and placed them on the fence posts.  She also attaching about two feet of string to the trap and tied it to a nail in the post.  This kept the pigeon from taking …




Trapping Options for the Non-Trapper, by Pat in Oregon

Most folks are familiar to some extent with animal trapping but have little experience.  In a TEOTWAWKI world I suggest there are several advantages that trapping will offer almost everyone.  With minimal equipment and some basic experience trapping can offer security, food, and economic opportunities.  Before taking any action please familiarize yourself with your local laws and requirements related to fur-bearing animals and trapping.   I trapped coyotes and bobcat back in my college days with a good friend.  It was a great time but required considerable equipment, preparation, effort, and skill.  Today I still do a lot of trapping, …




Letter Re: How To Butcher a Squirrel

Mr. Rawles,   I had been planning to get a pellet gun for some squirrel problems here at my home. But after reading Will T.’s response to “How to Butcher a Squirrel” I instead bought some Connibear 110 traps.  I got the traps via mailorder and set them last night following Will’s advice. I used paper towels coated with peanut butter as bait.  I came out this morning and to my surprise there was already a dead squirrel hanging in the trap.  These traps are very simple, discreet, and efficient.   Thanks! – Paul B.  JWR Replies: A key advantage of …




Letter Re: How To Butcher a Squirrel

James Wesley: With respect to the recent posting on squirrel processing, I suggest that anyone seeking squirrels for food, not sport, leave the guns at home.  Save the ammunition and preserve the silence.  Use of a 110 Connibear trap on the side of a tree is much more effective and surreptitious.  There are a lot of ways to set them, but the easiest is to place a couple of screws into the side of a tree about an inch apart and set the trap so that it clamps itself to the screws while remaining in the horizontal plane.  A bit …




How To Butcher a Squirrel, by B.T.

It would seem these days the world in which we live is anything but predictable. Who is to say you will always be able to run down to the corner gas station and fill your tank? Or drive thru your local fast food chain for a quick fix, when those hunger pangs kick in? In the event of an economic crash or other disaster, food and other supplies may be very hard to obtain. You may not be able to make your regular trip to the local Wal-Mart or other grocery store. Store shelves will go bare very fast, and …




Let’s Talk About Trapping: North American Furbearers, by Jason L.

My father introduced me to the art of trapping when I was just 10 years old. I remember walking the edges of rivers checking the sets that he had made and seeing him bring home red and gray fox. When I was 12, I took a safety course and got my trapping license. The first year my father did most of the work setting the traps, while I did the baiting. As years went by he stopped trapping but I continued and by definition am now a professional. Whenever I had the chance to trap where someone else was setting, …




Letter Re: Let’s Talk About Trapping: North American Furbearers

Letter Re: Let’s Talk About Trapping: North American Furbearer As a fellow trapper I enthusiastically read the article on trapping and although I have never eaten Raccoon. I can vouch that beaver and muskrat are good meat sources. Muskrat, I do not eat regularly, but beaver is more substantial and I do regularly take the meat and the skin is durable enough to be used for hats, mittens, coats, etc. When skinning beaver take care not to cut the castor glands, first these smell awful and would taint the meat, second you can sell them, and third you can use these to …




Seven Common TEOTWAWKI Misconceptions, by Brian T.

Predictions are like, well, you know what, everybody has at least one.  Many or most predictions made are wrong and the content here is no exception.  I am not a modern day Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone but I have spent a few days in the woods, and hopefully after reading this you will not think I am still lost in them.  I did not fight in any war but had my share of the military experience and the same can be said for law enforcement.  I never bugged out but did backpack and still am a gym rat who …




Lessons in Survival: Family Innovation and Industry in the U.S. Great Depression by W.J.

I have always been fascinated with history and might have become a history teacher if there had been any possibility of making substantial money at it.  Growing up in the 1950s and ‘1960s in rural Texas the lessons of the U.S. “Great Depression” were still fresh in the memories of my family, so our frequent family get gatherings produced many stories from those days, some of which were “not so good old days”.  I want to relate some of this story for the benefit of those preparing for possible future, harder times: There was no money.  For a few years …