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Hunting and Getting Food When SHTF

The first thing many think they will do to feed themselves when SHTF is grab ole Betsy and head to the woods to kill a bar’.

While this isn’t a bad idea in and of itself, but if you live near any kind of population center, you will be in direct competition with every Tom, Dick and Harry that owns a gun.

So how do we get food during SHTF?

Hunting
Yes, hunting will be viable in some cases, either where there are fewer people for competition, or when done in conjunction with other food gathering activities and taking targets of opportunity when they present themselves. 
Out in the wilderness, in many cases you will spend more calories hunting than you eat from actually getting something. Best to hunt while gathering food in other manners.
Trapping
Trapping will usually put more meat on your table than any other activity, with the possible exception of fishing. You set the trap and it works for you 24/7 until it connects. 
You only have to glance at it once it is set, to see if you need to pick up your food and reset it , or move along to the next one. 

Foraging
A vegetarian would have a hard time keeping themselves fed in the wild. While wild foods are not too difficult to come by, it is hard to get enough calories to maintain yourself if you are going to do anything besides gather food. A good field guide and time spent online familiarizing yourself with the local flora will help immensely. No one wants a diet of exclusively dandelion greens; because that is all you know how to identify.

If you have edible nuts in your area gather as many as you can find, since they are high in calories and fat, things you need to eat a lot of to keep going in the wild.

foraging
Fishing
If you have good fishing waters, you can feed yourself for a long time on the fish they will provide. A well stocked fishing kit (hooks and line) should be in everyone’s kit. If you are planning on only hunting for your food, you have a faulty plan. 
But if you plan for diversifying our gathering capabilities, you have a much better chance of feeding yourself and your family no matter what happens.
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Basic Survival Hunting Skills

There are many reasons you should have some basic survival hunting skills learned and practiced. During the first few days of an event happening which leads to your move to the wilderness, panic can lead to very bad decisions. The lack of food and water can create even greater stressors, including bad decisions making, hallucination’s, and hysteria. Knowing just a few skills can make the difference between survival, and death.

Basic Survival Hunting Skills 
Part of preparing your family and your self for future survival, is learning a balance of hunting skills to cover many areas of potential resources. Being able to gather meat is vital, but along with that comes many other resources that can be useful.

Not only does an animals meat provide you with food to survive on, you can also utilize it’s other resources such as skin, fur, bones, intestines, blood, and the fats and oils from the body. Although consumption is not possible with all portions of an animal, it’s intestines can be used for bait, bones for tools, and pelts for warmth.

Fishing 
Although not directly a form of hunting, knowing how to catch fish can be very important to the initial survival process. This is usually the first and sometimes last resource available to those hunting and gathering their own food.
fish

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Some important skills to learn about fishing include creating makeshift fishing lines and poles, hooks, stringers, nets, and the process of cleaning fish. While out in the wilderness, fishing is a potential resource for unlimited food. Knowing how to cure a fish can help preserve your caught food for longer periods of time.

Trapping 
Trapping is probably the second most important skill for your family and your self to learn and practice. In most cases there will be plenty of small animals that can fall subject to your traps and provide another line of food.
trapping
One major advantage of learning how to trap, is the potential to capture food while not having to fully focus on the process. Once an animal trail has been located, you can set multiple traps throughout to increase your chances of catching an animal. Once your traps are set, you are free to leave them alone for several hours, and continue other work.

Projectile 
The most commonly known type of basic survival hunting skills is projectile. This consists of many different kinds of weapons ranging from spear, to firearm. Although it’s important to know how to fire a gun accurately enough to kill an animal, other skills such as shooting a bow or crossbow is even more important. The downside to using a firearm is the limited supply of ammo. Once you fire a bullet, you will never get a chance to fire it again, unlike arrows, slingshots, and spears.
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One of the most useful skills a person can learn for outdoor survival, is building your own bow and arrows. Even simple bow designs can be effective in killing small to medium game. The projectile is reusable, and they make very minimal noise.

There are many more skills to learn while preparing for your survival, hopefully these will be a good starting point for you. Learn as much as you can from the list above, practice them in real life application, and your family will be able to safely survive in the wilderness.

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Tips for Hot Weather Fishing Success

 

The fishing can be as hot as the weather if you know what to do and where to fish.

Hot Night Fishing:

Night fishing is a traditional summer activity for thousands of anglers in many regions of the country. But often the most important part to good night success is selecting the right lake or river for your fishing.

Frequently, clear, deep lakes that have a lot of daytime use are prime night waters. Such lakes have water-skiers, sailboaters, speed boats, jet skis, and swimmers during the day. But at night, the bulk of human traffic goes home, and sportfish go on the prowl.

Look for bass, stripers, walleyes, crappies, bluegills, catfish and other species in typically good “feeding” areas you’d expect to locate them during a “hot bite” in the day. Points, islands, riprap, dam areas, weed lines, docks and pilings all can offer excellent night fishing. Some of the best and easiest to fish night spots are where there are large lights that shine down into the water–like around docks, piers, marinas and some lake dams.

 

Lights attract insects, which draw minnows, and that pulls in feeding game fish. Sometimes bass, crappies, catfish, and others can be caught right in the bright parts of lights shining down into the water. But often the biggest, oldest, and most shy sportfish hold in the dark, just outside a light beam hitting the water’s surface.

Fish slow and methodical at night. Fish at night can have a difficult time homing-in and hitting a lure, so make it easy for them. Slow-swimming minnow-like lures, chugger plugs, buzz-baits, and big spinner-baits with large Colorado blades are good because they make a lot of commotion and put out a lot of fish-attracting vibrations.

Rapids Hold Hot Fish:

During the hottest, brightest parts of summer, many fish (and plenty of surprisingly big ones) can be found holding in riffled stream or river water. This even occurs on some waters where there are deep holes and under-cut banks offering fish plenty of shade.

There are several reasons fish “hold” in riffles. One, such water is highly oxygenated, and since low-oxygen levels stress fish in some rivers, they naturally gravitate to riffled water. Further, in riffles and rapids minnows, crayfish and stream nymphs are tumbled around in the water column and disoriented, which makes such places excellent feeding sites. Riffles also often “funnel” river water through narrows, which makes them natural places for game fish to ambush prey.

 

Any mid-stream current break in a riffle could be a key holding spot for fish to ambush prey. Casts should be made above, to the side, and below such stream breaks, which can include boulders, log jams, and bridge pilings.

Fish commonly found in summer riffles include most trout, smallmouth bass, some sunfish, and in deeper, slower riffles catfish and largemouth bass are available.

Many live baits score well in riffles, but artificials do, too. Soft plastic jerk baits, spinners, spoons, small crankbaits, and streamer flies and nymphs can be counted on to catch most riffled-water species.

High-Speed Lure Retrieves:

While there are no “absolutes” in fishing, during summer when the water is warm and cold-blooded fish are more active, high-speed lures often catch fish that ignore lures that inch along bottom.

This is just the opposite of what many anglers believe. The old wives tale about the “dog days of summer” still persists in many fishing regions. Such anglers believe that a slowly worked plastic worm, jig, or spoon is the only way to catch “lethargic” summer fish.

While slow lure speeds may at times work in summer, faster lure speeds more frequently are the norm.

 

Naturally, faster cranking techniques with plugs, spoons, spinners, and plastic worms likely will produce more summer fish. But more subtle ways of increasing lure speed can be accomplished and may tempt more fish into striking. For example, use a heavy spinner-bait with a smaller willow leaf blade that spins fast as the lure “drops” more quickly than a light spinner-bait with large Colorado blades. Such a lure has a lot of flash and sparkle due to its fast-spinning blades, and that draws active, summer fish.

Often a crank bait with a tighter, “shorter” wobble will catch more fish in summer than a similar lure with a slower, wider arch in its wobbling action. A curly-tail worm looks like it’s moving faster than one with a normal or straight tail. Curly-tail worms added to spoons and spinner-baits can make them appear as though they’re moving much faster than they really are.

“Bump” for Bass and Others:

For some reason, a lure that “bumps” or slams into an object or the lake or river bottom during a retrieve often is struck by fish that ignore the same lure that doesn’t “bump” cover. This is especially so in summer, when bass, pike, trout, walleyes, muskies, and other fish are particularly active.

“Bumping” is easy to do and doesn’t take much altering of lures or retrieving techniques. Just make sure that when you’re casting a spinner-bait to a lily pad or bulrush clump, you pull the lure right into the cover, allowing it to “bump” and carom off. Be sure crank baits are brought in so they bounce off a bridge abutment or dig and hop along bottom, a rock retaining wall, standing timber, brush, or rip rap bank.

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How to Fillet a Fish: An Illustrated Guide

Reblogged:  http://www.artofmanliness.com/

fish

Few summer pastimes are as satisfying as fishing — it’s a great activity to do with your kids, makes for an excellent microadventure, and harkens to our manly imperative to be providers. What makes it even more satisfying is being able to fillet and cook your catch for a real water-to-table experience.

This illustrated guide is a useful starting point that will be accurate for most fish; some varieties have unique methods, but in those instances you’ll likely have someone with more expertise with you. Get out there and bring some dinner home!New

Hat tip to AoM food guy Matt Moore for consulting on this piece.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak