“Surviving” an Airedale– Lessons From a First-Time Owner – Part 1, by S.M.

Our adventure in Airedale parenthood has been rewarding, educational, and reinvigorating. This breed is not for the faint of heart; they are active, tenacious, self-directed, and the strongest 65-pound animal I’ve ever experienced. With careful consideration, proper training, and responsible puppy parenting, you can enjoy the same incredible journey we’ve had. After the passing of our beloved Boxer, we longed to add another canine addition to our family. We knew we wanted a larger dog again and wanted a dog with spunk similar to that of our Boxer. Having still another elderly dog, as well as a small dog and a new grandbaby, we began researching for that perfect addition to our family. We came across a book by Mr. Rawles. After reading that he recommended Airedales as a favorable family dog and addition to your arsenal of preps, or weapons so to speak, I decided to do extensive research on the Airedale breed. After all, any dog owned by John Wayne, Teddy Roosevelt, and several other past presidents, would be a notable addition to our family. Fun facts: John Wayne got his nickname from his boyhood Airedale, “Duke“. President Theodore Roosevelt is remembered as saying, “An Airedale can do … Continue reading

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Reloading Ammunition For WTSHF- Part 1, by S.B.

First off, let me say that I am very grateful to have SuvivalBlog. Over the years I have learned so much from the accumulated wisdom of the writers and the administrators. I felt that it was time to give back to this community, so I decided to share what I have learned over many years of reloading my own ammunition for rifle and pistol, while being conscious of both budget and space/OPSEC concerns. Please believe that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or have a 1000-square-foot shop dedicated to reloading in order to produce your own high-quality reloads that will serve you as well or better than factory ammunition, which is especially valuable for times when factory ammo may not be available due to another buying frenzy or government action. Several years ago I purchased my first high powered rifle. One of my first considerations was that it was kind of expensive to feed this rifle, but feed it you must, if you want to become proficient with it. I went for a while buying ammunition and saving my brass until I ultimately decided that it made economic sense to get into reloading. If you look at the … Continue reading

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The Costs and Benefits of Hunting, by J.B.

I’m a lifelong hunter that has gone from being a kid taken to a hunting club by his father, as an introduction to hunting back in the mid-70’s, to being a self-sufficient property owner, who can hunt year round for the non-game species (hogs) if need be. I’ll be the first to say that hunting for self-sufficiency in today’s world, particularly in the Eastern U.S., would be a short-lived venture during a TEOTWAWKI situation. The reason being is that there would very likely be a mass migration of people from the major metropolitan areas out in the rural areas looking for food. As people become hungry enough, shooting, killing, and butchering of animals will take place without any regard for regulations, since all that will be gone. People may say that these “City Folk” will not have the skill set to hunt. I beg to differ. In the last 20 years, most of the guys I’ve hunted with live in the major city area of Atlanta, GA and have lived most of their lives in this city’s sprawl. That hasn’t stopped them from joining hunting clubs well outside their home area and hunting successfully. I’ve had members come from middle … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: Hunting for Self Sufficiency

Hugh, DK may want to investigate joining a private hunting club that leases or owns their own private land to allow hunting boar year round and of course other game in season. – Lone Prepper o o o Hugh, The statement “In spite of that, all Florida public lands only allow boar hunting for a few weeks of the year in special WMAs” is kind of misleading. In reading this, it sounds like a person is only allowed to hunt hogs at certain times in certain areas and with a permit; this is not true. This statement applies only to public lands and WMA (wild life management areas). During certain hunting seasons, such as muzzle loader, you can only use a muzzle loader and archery (only a bow). They do limit hog hunting for specific seasons (like spring turkey) and allow no lights at night on public land. Other than specific times that coincide with other hunting seasons, hog hunting is allowed year round on public land. You would only need a permit to hunt hogs, if you are hunting on public land, in a WMA, and during a specific season. On private land, all bets are off with year … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hunting for Self Sufficiency

Hugh, I am not sure how far the writer is from the Georgia Border, but you can hunt feral hogs year round, 24/7, with night vision, flashlight; it doesn’t matter. Farmers in Georgia do have issues with these non-native animals that were introduced for sport hunting in the early days of this nation. If you can find a farmer that would allow you to hunt (and if Georgia is not that far from you), you should be able to take quite a harvest. You can even hunt over bait with these critters. I am amazed that Florida would only allow hog harvest for a few weeks a year, as they do reproduce rapidly and are destructive. The cost of an out-of-state hunting license and transportation may be cost prohibitive, but if they are not consider butchering them yourselves. They are not that hard to process, although the skin is very thick– twice the thickness of deer. WOW, the meat is sweet; it’s some of the best tasting meat I have ever had. Good luck – RT in Georgia.

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Letter Re: Hunting for Self Sufficiency

James, I’ve been a follower of your blog for many years and find it both a good resource and a great way to keep your ear to the ground among all the survival/prepper sites that trend to sensationalism and speculation. Patriots was my first real fiction and began a great love of survival fiction. Thirty or forty books later and daily searching for solid tips on the prepper blogs, I believe the time has been well spent. My wife and I live alone, and due to a degenerative neurological affliction neither one of us can work and I am her 24/7 caretaker. We were blessed with a good nest egg, so I struggled to make wise decisions on what hard assets and survival items to purchase and what training to take on. At this point, we could probably subsist for a year on our food stores, with both medical and dental supplies, as well as utilizing assets. The expectations were realistic, and we adhered to the one is none adage, and days if not weeks of research are done before purchases were made. My personal justification for a substantial purchase was to require that the purchase would be a contribution … Continue reading

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From Debt to Rural Independence, by R.T. in Georgia

You may read that the first thing you should do when prepping to prep is to get out of debt, but there is not much depth beyond that in the description of why you should get out of debt. My family has made a journey from debt to sustainability over the last seven years and absolutely the main thing that enabled that to happen was getting rid of our consumer debt. This is a quick description of one family’s fortune, what God allowed us to do and the opportunities that were made available to us when we took the challenge to pay off our debts. None of this could have happened with continuing consumer debt. Getting Out of Consumer Debt It took three years to pay off cars, credit cards and get to a place where my only expenses were food, utilities, insurance, car maintenance, gas and my house mortgage. That was a liberating feeling that I can still take comfort in years later. We started saving to get that minimum $1,000 in savings, then added to it. Just being out of debt opened many opportunities and the possibility of buying a second piece of real estate became a feasible … Continue reading

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Scot’s Product Review: S&K Scope Mounts, LLC

I have been growing more and more fascinated with older military rifles. You can often find them at good prices, and they are legal even in some restrictive locales. Most of them are bolt actions, and some of them are better made than most current production rifles. It is tough to beat a Mauser 98 or Springfield, and the Enfield is no slouch either. The venerable Mosin Nagant is certainly capable, and the M1 Garand is one of my all-time favorite rifles. They almost always come in cartridges that are excellent for hunting medium game in the U.S. or for self-defense. Some of them are getting harder to get cheap ammunition for, though. Most of them, however, don’t come with good sights, and they are often zeroed at ranges that make little sense for hunters or self-defense shooters. Fixing the sight issue can be difficult. While the Enfield and Garand come with excellent aperture sights, most of the rest have rather poor open sights. The logical solution is a scope, but how, pray, do we mount one on most of these rifles? Unlike modern rifles, they generally are not drilled and tapped for scope bases. There are mounts on the … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Preparing Game Meat For The Table

Greetings, I read this article with interest and found it full of good information. However, there are a couple of points that I was concerned with and feel compelled to share my opinion as well. I am concerned by the statement that game meat fat should be removed and is “nasty”. I feed my family strictly subsistence caught meat and fish. Yes, a bear eating salmon will smell of salmon; however, a bear eating berries will have delicious meat. The vast majority of the time, the fat on moose, caribou, bear, muskox, deer, goat, and other animals is not “nasty”. When we are lucky enough to shoot a fat animal, we are happy to add this to our ground burger (instead of purchasing ground pork, as he suggests). I often render the fat as well, for use in various cooking projects or saving for the future to add to lean ground meat. This is important for people to note. Many people want a low-fat diet today, but in a survival situation fat is an important nutritional component and should not be discarded. Smaller game varies in its fat content. Rabbits and many birds do not have much fat. However, beaver … Continue reading

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Preparing Game Meat For The Table, by Kestrel

As a hunter I’ve often heard the question, “Doesn’t ____ meat taste gamey?” I get this question from people who have never eaten game meat or from those who have eaten improperly-prepared game. The word “gamey”, to me, speaks of meat with a rotten flavor. I’ve had spoiled meat before, and it does indeed taste “gamey”. My usual response to the above question is that wild game just has a different, often stronger, flavor than the beef that we are used to in this country, but there is no reason it shouldn’t be delicious. In this article I will give some tips to ensure that the meat from animals killed in the field, especially wild game, will taste good when it gets to the table. During hard times, or right now with hunting seasons going on and meat prices as high as they are, you might want to kill an animal to feed your kids. Small game is pretty easy and a good place to start. A few pounds of squirrels is easier to take care of than a couple hundred pounds of deer. Gutting After the shot, get the animal gutted as soon as possible. There are videos and … Continue reading

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Meat Prices Soar While Deer Populations Explode, by KAW

This headline could sum up a multitude of news reports over the last few years. Droughts and severe winters have left the United States beef herd size at a 63-year low. In response, beef prices have increased steadily with hamburger topping $4 a pound this year. Pork prices have jumped due to porcine epidemic diarrhea that has killed millions of baby pigs. Inflation, a growing human population, and a higher demand for meat in emerging economies also contribute to ever-increasing meat prices. Ironically, America’s deer herd has exploded in the last 30 years. The deer population in North America when the Europeans arrived has been estimated to have been over 50 million. With uncontrolled hunting, by 1900, they had been reduced to less than ½ million. Since being protected and reintroduced in many places, the deer population has rebounded to become a major overpopulation problem that exceeds what the land can bear. Presently, there are one or more species found across the continental U.S., southern Canada, Alaska, and northern Mexico, and the deer herd is estimated to now be higher than ever before. By some estimates the deer population can more than double in one year. There are more than a million vehicle/deer collisions each year with over 100 human … Continue reading

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Why You Need a Net in Your BOB, by JRV

Much of today’s survival discussion focuses on storing freeze-dried and canned foods and hunting game with guns. For the long term we can grow gardens, resume agricultural food production, and keep domesticated animals, just like our ancestors did in the 1800’s. However, what can we do for short-term food, without the stores, garden harvest, and chicken coops? One positive scenario is we can learn how to be good foragers and hunter-gatherers. An advantage of hunter-gatherer hunting techniques for today’s survivalist is that they are quiet. Trapping a rabbit in a snare or a net trap doesn’t give away your position quite like the loud report from your rifle. Early human hunter-gatherer societies started developing modern hunting techniques many thousands of years ago, before the domestication of livestock, and the evidence of early man at the start of argriculture show hunting was a source of about a third of the human diet. The development of hunting tools had advanced from rocks and clubs with the development of the bow and arrows. There is fossil evidence for the use of spears in Asia for hunting. Hunter-gathering lifestyles still exist in some remote locations but are now mostly seen in old National Geographic … Continue reading

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