Letter Re: The Fallacy of Hunting as a Survival Technique

Sir,

I have been concerned about the mindset of hunting in national crisis for some time. The general assumption that one can hunt to feed one’s family long term is likely to prove empty. I had the privilege of living with my grandmother just after I was released from submarine duty. We spent many evenings talking about the old days and the days to come. She bore 12 children and was in her 30’s during the depression. My grandfather was a wood-walking, ax toting lumberman. He managed mills all over Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. My grandmother ran the mill store and home.

Her words hit home with me back in the 80’s because I wanted to homestead, and she gave me the guidance I needed to move in the right direction. The secret to living during the depression was to grow it and keep close tabs on everything. She told me that two mules and a wagon was cheaper to keep than a truck. She said they were fed well because they kept a sizable garden and canned everything. Fruit from fruit trees provided the desserts. She kept chickens galore (over 120) and a cow in the yard to butcher once a year or so. She also said that there was no money, none extra that is, just barely enough to pay the rent (few people owned), and the things they had they wore out and made do, repaired along the way, and reused. Nothing was ever thrown away. And finally to my point: they didn’t hunt…there wasn’t anything to hunt. She said all the coons, possums, deer, bobcats, squirrels, and other critters were hunted out by the end of ’31. And too, shells cost too much! She said people ate anything they could kill; animals that you wouldn’t consider edible, people would kill. There were no strays.

This fact was driven home when I attended a Hunter’s Safety Course that year. The instructor told us that Bag Limits were instituted in their present form in 1939 as a means to bring back the wildlife numbers. He also stated that the deer population dropped 90% during those years, and it was likely that other wildlife were that low, too.

When one considers that we now have double the human population and probably many times the number of hunters that hunted in 1931 not to mention better training and equipment, the possibility for even half of the hunting population to feed their families seems to lack a sense of reality. I also believe that hungry hunting people will not be on their best behavior in a WROL reality. Hunting in any area will require a Battle Buddy to cover my 6 while I bring home the bacon.

I believe I will put my hunting skills to use on guilty looking chickens, goats, and cows in MY back yard! Until then: Good Hunting and be safe! Subdrvr from Bama

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