As a survivalist, you will be hunting and maybe raising your own food. With that comes the responsibility of knowing how to do these things and how to store them effectively. You will need to know how to hunt, raise, preserve, and how to prepare it.
Being able to hunt on your homestead or other grounds can provide you a variety of foods. From fishing to deer, you will be able to have several different meat sources. Be sure you understand your local regulations because every state is different. Check with your local game warden if you aren’t sure about the specific laws.
- Bow hunting – Bow and crossbow hunting can be used for a broad variety of game, including deer. Wild turkey and wild hog are also popular choices when it comes to bow hunting. Be sure to practice your bow hunting skills to ensure success while hunting.
- Shotgun – Okay, you may not find a hunter-gatherer using firearms for hunting, but our frontiersman-forefathers did. You can hunt small game, like rabbits, squirrels, and a variety of birds with a shotgun. Not many people hunt deer with a shotgun yet it can be done if you know what you are getting into. The range will be much less than a rifle.
- Rifle Hunting – Rifles cover a broad range of calibers and that means that you can hunt a variety of different animals. The big advantage over shotguns is the high degree of accuracy at a distance that you get with a rifle. You can hunt small game like squirrels or opossums to much larger game like deer, elk, moose, and even bear.
- Snares – Trapping with snares is popular for many different kinds of small game. Animals like groundhogs, wild rabbit and even possums can be caught by this method.
Raising your own livestock is a great way to know where your food is coming from. You get to determine how your food is raised and you control what they eat and what kind of supplements, if any are given to them. There are many different animals that you can raise on your homestead or compound depending on the space you have.
- Small herd animals – Goats and sheep can also provide food by meat and milk. They are generally easy keepers and are versatile around the homestead.
- Fowl – Chickens are a favorite among survivalists, homesteaders, and preppers. (It turns out survivalists, homesteaders, and preppers have a lot in common.) They are easy to raise and provide two different sources of food with their meat and their eggs. They are relatively low cost to feed and easy to breed. And then there are turkeys have the same needs and environment as chickens, and they get along pretty well. Turkeys can provide a good bit of meat to store, and they can easily be raised.
- Rabbits are a great source of meat and most people think they taste like chicken, perhaps a little more gamey. The rumors are true about rabbits –they easily reproduce, creating a self sustaining meat source. Rabbits are also popular for their fur as well.
Cooking Off Grid
Once you have the meat (or other food) you have to do something with it — cook it! When you are cooking off grid, unless you have a solar panel, most of your cooking will either be done outdoors or on top of a wood heater. Knowing how to properly cook your food items is imperative. These skills take practice, but with time you will have no trouble cooking off grid.
- Smoking – Smoking is a great way to prepare your food and every week or so you may find me smoking a pork butt or some brisket. A smoker or even a smoke house can be created on your homestead with a minimal amount of effort. This method will give you great tasting food and even help you to preserve your food items.
- Campfire cooking – A broad variety of foods can be cooked over a campfire. From stews to meats, campfire cooking is highly popular. You will need to make sure that you have the proper items like wood (dense hardwood if you have it) and a large cast iron dutch oven.
- Underground Oven – Cooking underground will allow you to cook anything that you would like and can help to cook things like bread and even biscuits. Vegetables and meats can also be prepared by cooking underground.
Making The Food Last – Preservation Techniques
Preserving your food is a good skill. Whether you hunt or grow your own, you will often have an abundance of food leftover. You will need food for long term storage so it is imperative to know how to preserve your food.
- Canning – There are many foods that can be canned including meats and vegetables. Canning your food allows it to stay good for a year or more. Canning can be done on top of a wood stove with ease. Make sure you do your research and learn how to properly can your food without any risk of bacterial contaminants.
- Dehydrating – Just by using the sun, you can dehydrate your foods. The great thing is that you can dehydrate almost anything: fruits, vegetables, and even meats. This is a good way to store a broad variety of foods for future storage. After dehydration, you will want to make sure that you a proper way to store the food.
Raising your own animals, hunting, and preserving are all must-have skills of a survivalist or prepper. There will have to be a trial and error process but with practice and research, you will have no trouble finding or raising, and preparing your own food.