Will Hunting for Food in A SHTF Scenario Be a Viable Option

Hunting For Food
In the 1800’s Whitetail deer in the United States were almost hunted to extinction. Venison was fresh meat for the table and virtually everyone living outside of a town or city had to hunt to provide food for the family.

People could hunt, as they needed too, no such thing as a hunting season or license. There were no restrictions on the number or type of animal that could be taken or restrictions on the sex of the animal.

As more and more people expanded westward, hunting became a business, and many restaurants and general stores employed hunters to provide them with fresh meat daily. This all was before refrigeration of course, so fresh meat was literally fresh meat (Grubinger, 2006).

Hunting slowed somewhat however, as a man named Fredric Tudor came up with the idea of selling and transporting ice in the 1800’s, ice harvested from frozen lakes. The business got off to a rocky start because obviously the ice melted before it could be shipped long distances. However, he soon discovered that large pieces of ice could be transported thousands of miles without completely melting away by covering the ice in sawdust (Lewis, 2013).

Once businesses realized they could have freshly butchered beef shipped from the stockyards in Chicago and Kansas City to points out west because of iced rail cars hunting slowed dramatically as a commercial endeavor. Beef and other meats along with poultry could now be shipped on ice and transported virtually anywhere in the United States and still be fresh upon arrival.

Soon ice was sold everywhere and placed in home “iceboxes” so homeowners could store meat for longer periods without drying or smoking and this of course reduced the need to hunt on a regular basis. People simply went to the store and purchased fresh meats for several days at a time. They could keep it fresh at home in their zinc-lined iceboxes because ice could now be delivered to the home.

The population in the 1800’s according to the Census Bureau was approximately 63 million people. Today the population is over 300 million in the United States. Much of the food today is raised commercially. Cattle, swine, various types of poultry such as chicken and turkey and even bison are raised commercially for human consumption (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.).

Commercial food production would stop during a major crisis however, leaving hunting for many as the only means of supplying fresh meat to their families and communities.

In the short-term hunting would likely be a productive way of obtaining food for the table for experienced hunters. Stockpiles of non-perishable foods would be depleted quickly however. People would be searching for ways of obtaining meat, and many would turn to hunting regardless of their experience.

Cattle and other animal farms would supply a certain amount for a short time, but it is possible that the federal or local governments or other organizations/groups could seize upon commercial operations quickly. Rationing and wholesale theft of foods would likely begin almost immediately. Without any energy sources, or the means to feed the animals many would be left to roam wild if there were any left at all.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are over 300 millions firearms in the United States, with less than 50 percent of households claiming to have a firearm in the home. Assume what you will about these figures (Pew Research Center, 2013).

The point is that anyone with a firearm regardless of experience may very well be out hunting for food and because of the number of firearms available anyone that wanted one could likely lay their hands on one at some point. Animals of course would be on the move so deer and other big game may even be hunted in suburbia.

Inexperienced hunters will be roaming the streets and back roads shooting at anything that moves out of desperation. The animals would be on the move because of the numbers of humans thrashing about in the woods and lanes. This means you would see animals and those trying to kill them virtually anywhere.

Once the dust settles so to speak, individuals, families and groups of people along with small communities would likely begin to organize hunts just like in days past. Once again, hunting may become a commercial endeavor, and this is when extinction of certain animal species may become a real possibility given the tremendous increase in human population compared to the 1800’s.

Hunting would need to be an ongoing process due to the lack of refrigeration, and because of the increase in human population, hunting would be ongoing virtually everywhere.

This would make for a very dangerous situation for any hunter or any person anywhere for that matter. Limit laws and hunting seasons would be ignored and not likely to ever be enforced by anyone. It could turn into a free for all even in suburbia.

People would be shooting at any game they see with high-powered weapons, and of course missing their target most of the time. It is highly likely that accidental shooting deaths would skyrocket.

Your safe haven miles from any city may be overrun by desperate people in search of fresh meat for the table, and many would be inexperienced people with firearms. This is all speculation of course, because no one yet knows what may happen but you can make reasonable assumptions.

Much would depend on how many people perish from the initial crisis. The competition for resources may be reduced because of a reduction in the human population. However, a crisis that dramatically reduces the human population may very well decrease the animal populations as well.

Carefully consider just how viable hunting will be in an extended crisis. It is important that you do not rely too heavily on any one source for food during a crisis, especially a food source that may not be sustainable or renewable.

Grubinger, V. (2006). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/deer.html
Lewis, D. (2013). Retrieved 2014, from http://nowiknow.com/the-ice-king-cometh/
Pew Research Center. (2013, June 4th). Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/04/a-minority-of-americans-own-guns-but-just-how-many-is-unclear/
U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/hiscendata.html

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70+ Homestead Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Homestead hacks

The amount of time it takes to do a job is based on knowledge about the subject, the more you know, the less time it will take to complete the task. The same is true for homesteading. There are many tasks the average homesteader must complete each day, so many, that if an outsider suddenly found themselves a homesteader, they’d fail miserably. Here are 70 homesteading hacks to make your life easier and more efficient on the homestead.

70+ Homestead Hacks: Nifty Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier 

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Preppers Passing the Baton: Who Can Take Over If You Fall?

Preppers passing the baton

In some families or groups, one person may have more of a desire for, or commitment to prepping than other members may. You may even be dealing with a spouse, partner or children that believe you have slid off the rails.

One-sided prepping is difficult, and it makes the one committed to it feel like they are shouldering the entire burden. You may even resent the fact that no one else is as passionate about it as you are.

Here you are taking on the responsibility for their safety and they do not appreciate it. You grit your teeth and wonder how they cannot see what you see, how is it they do not understand the danger out there.

You may have to change how you approach the situation, because everyone must be onboard when it comes to prepping. If no one but you knows the plan then your family may be left wandering aimlessly during a crisis if you are out of action for whatever reason. However important you may think it is, it may be difficult to convince someone else of the need. This kind of a relationship creates a dilemma in an actual crisis.

Even if your spouse or partner is onboard with your prepping, they may be simply indulging you and they may not be as committed if they are even paying attention at all, to what you are doing. This still leaves you with the problem of what happens if, you are taken out early in the game.

Has Happened Can Happen Is Happening Now

Instead of trying to convince your spouse, partner or even children of the possibility of an EMP caused by a solar flare talk to them about things they can see happening now or things that have happened.

Unemployment is real and a real possibility in anyone’s family. It is likely that you and your family members know of someone that has lost their job, and realizes it is a crisis for that person or family. It is disaster, and one that must be prepared for. Everyone can understand it, and everyone can see the need to prepare for it.

Once the money stops your need for food, water and energy does not stop. Regardless of the disaster the needs for you and your family will always be the same, you will need shelter, food, water, and energy and in most cases a home defense plan. You can prepare for these types of disasters now, and your spouse or partner cannot deny the need if presented this way.

Banks collapse all the time, the one down the street that has your savings and checking can fail at any time. This type of crisis must be prepared for. Everyone can relate to it, and can understand the need to be ready.

Everyone understands natural disasters and the need to prepare for them. What family has not experienced a disruption in utilities? The next natural disaster may cause a power disruption for weeks or months instead of a few hours or days.

The stock market can collapse, it has before, the economy make tank, and some believe it already has. Energy may get so expensive that only the very wealth will have access. Cars may become a luxury that only a few can enjoy. This is something that most people can understand if they stop and think about it.

The situations presented above are not abstract theories conjured up by so-called experts playing with computer models, they are real, they are tangible things. If the financial system in this country collapses, for example, it will lead to an energy shortage, which will lead to power disruptions and water shortages because treatment plants will be shut down and the list goes on.

You can easily show someone how the markets can collapse, and then begin to point out the effects certain disasters will have on the country and on your family more specifically.

This brings it back to the original point. You cannot be the only one that knows the plan. Will your family survive when an EMP does occur, or a massive earthquake takes out half of the country’s power grid or a hacker shuts down the entire system?

Get everyone onboard and understand not everyone thinks like you no matter how long you have lived with him or her. Humans like all mammals mark territorial boundaries. In humans, this is called their comfort zone. Many people essentially live in a protective bubble, they travel the same roads every day, visit the same stores, and see the same people usually. You cannot just burst in one day, start talking about doomsday, and expect to convince people of it happening anytime soon.

What you can do is show them what has happened what can happen and what is happening now to help them understand the need to be prepared. People often times need to arrive at the same conclusions that you have on their own. Essentially ordering everyone to follow you and do what you say is not the answer. They need to know the reasons why it is important to prepare and once they do, they will be a willing participant.

Everyone in the family or group must know what to do in the event of a disaster. Someone besides you must know how to use a firearm. Someone else must know the evacuation routes, where any emergency supplies may be cached and so on. Share what you know with everyone in the family so they have the skills and knowledge to pick up the baton and carry on if you get injured or otherwise cannot make decisions.

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Mini Off Grid Solar System

Mini Off Grid Solar Power System With Emergency Lighting

Do you realize just how dark the world would become if the grid went down? Flashlights are nice, but think back to the last power outage, wouldn’t it have been nice if the lights just worked? This low cost, off the grid solar powered emergency lighting system might be just what the doctor ordered for a grid down world.

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Wilderness Survival Rules of 3

Wilderness Survival: Some of You Will Probably Die

The rule of three is pretty well known and yet many have decided they can rearrange the rules, because they think they know better. Some of course do know better, but for anyone lost, not just away from camp or home for a few hours, but actually lost or stranded needs to follow the rule of three or they may not make it back alive.

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Over 70 DIY Recycled Pallet Projects

DIY Recycled Pallet Projects

 

Pallets. They are everywhere whether you know it or not. Next time you are on the highway look at all of the semi-trucks, each one has two dozen, shipping everything from TV’s to bananas. The proliferation of pallets allows nearly everyone with a bit of ingenuity to recycle them into nearly free, repurposed, and dare I say “upcycled” furniture, art, and functional pieces. Heck, I’ve even built a shooting bench out of them. Check out this article below on 70 Pallet Craft Ideas.

Read more at… 70 + Pallet – Craft Projects – Collection

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The 15 Commandments of Food Storage

15 Commandments of Food Storage

How many of you have stocks of food that you might not normally eat unless SHTF? How many of you want to store food, but haven’t started? Who finds the thought of months or years of food overwhelming? Sometimes folks have a way of simplifying a subject, and this article on food storage is one of them. If you just follow the rules, or in this case the commandments, things become much simpler. Check out this excellent article below by the Survival Mom.

The 15 Commandments of Food Storage

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Aluminum Foil Fishing Tip

How to Attract More Fish with Aluminum Foil

Everyone has those days where the fish just aren’t biting, each cast into the water not finding purchase. As with most things in life, the solution to a problem can be very simple.

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Preppers: 5 Things That Can Kill You

Prepper Death

1.) Hoisted On One’s Own Petard

Petard: from Middle French meaning bomb

It means, “To blow oneself up with one’s own bomb, be undone by one’s own devices”. (From Shakespeare’s Hamlet)

“Booby trap” a setup or device placed with the intentions of killing, harming or in some cases, surprising a person.

People that fool around with booby traps are sometimes called “Three Fingered Bob” or referred to in the past tense. Booby traps are dangerous and yet there are hundreds of blogs and websites dedicated to them for home defense in a survival situation.

Side Note: Attaching noisemakers to a wire or rope strung ankle high across a path or around a perimeter is not a booby trap in the traditional sense. These early warning systems are effective in some circumstances and not normally considered dangerous.

What a booby trap is designed to do is to delay the enemy, channel the enemy along a specific path or course, to harass and demoralize the enemy, and finally they are often used to supplement a unit or organizations firepower.

Booby traps will kill or maim you, your family members, innocent bystanders and animals if you do not know what you are doing. For booby traps to be effective, you need a clear plan for their use and have a reasonable expectation of enemy forces moving through the area. Additionally, like in many war zones the conflict moves to another area and yet the anti-personnel traps are left activated for children and others to stumble upon days, weeks and even years later.

Trip wires attached to a shotgun trigger or to the pin on a fragmentation grenade is deadly. You can imagine setting traps of this sort around the perimeter and then tripping one yourself no matter how detailed your map is of where the traps are. Once the firefights starts, you do not have time to consult your map, and thus you and yours end up tripping your own devices as you attempt to flank the enemy forces. Done in by your own devices.

2.)  The Irony of It All Death by A Thousand Cuts

You could define irony as living through a nuclear war and then dying from a small cut to the leg because of an infection. Tetanus (bacterial) for example, often called “lock jaw” is many times fatal, even with treatment. Taking preventive measures is important. The two major means of preventing tetanus are immunization and wound care. A tetanus vaccination is good for up to 10 years.

It is important that you are updated on all vaccines and for those that do not believe in them so be it. For all others it is important that you keep up with this because once the SHTF you do not want to remember your tetanus shot was 11 years ago.

Keep yourself clean, and know basic first aid. The little things in life can build up to the point they will kill you if you do not stay ahead of them.

3.) Food Poisoning (Food Borne Illness)

Dirty serving utensils, dirty hands, lack of refrigeration can, and will lead to food poisoning. According to the FDA, there are 48 million cases of food borne illness every year in the United States, causing thousands to be hospitalized and resulting in 3,000 deaths (FDA, 2014).

Amazingly, with the technology available today, people still get sick and die from food-borne illnesses. Imagine how many will get sick when clean water for sanitation is at a premium and there is no refrigeration. People will die and in large numbers because of contaminated foods.

How to help stop it from happening is relatively simple. Clean your hands before handling foods. Cook all foods at a high enough temperature for long enough to kill any bacteria present. Keep your work area free of spoiled foods, other garbage and have a plan for the disposal of human waste.

Do not let just anyone handle your food supply unless the proper precautions have been taken. Make sure you do not eat any leftover foods that require refrigeration unless they have been stored at a safe storage temperature, usually at 40ᵒF/4.4C or below.

This all requires planning for disposing of waste, storage and cooking of foods and keeping your hands and body clean when the SHTF, otherwise you may die from that delicious wild turkey casserole from last night.

4.) Failure to Adapt and Thus You Cannot Overcome

People become convinced their plan is the only plan, because well, it is the only plan they have. You cannot get so impressed with yourself that you start to believe you know it all. Always check and double-check your plans and always have a backup plan.

You must be ready to change plans if a better idea is presented. Ego will get you and others killed. Survival is about using what is in your environment and adapting to it. You cannot pound a square peg into a round hole so adapt to the situation.

The rigid back breaks while the flexible one bends. If you are unwilling to look at different ideas and are not willing to adapt even when the information on the ground says you should you will not survive long.

5.) Not Being Realistic

The “gravy train” has left the station. Survival is not easy at the best of times. People have become accustomed to just getting through the day, dealing with traffic, cranky bosses and co-workers and poor service at the local deli, life is so hard.

In a SHTF situation hard takes on a new meaning and just getting by is living long enough to bring back some food for the table. You really have to fight tooth and nail to sustain life. Do not romanticize doomsday, or think that a power grid failure is an adventure. People by the thousands if not millions will die in the first few hours and days after a grid failure. It will be anything but an adventure.

You will get that flutter in your stomach that says bad things are coming and you will feel so small, because living and staying alive just took on a new meaning. Things you never imagined will hit you like a wave. Fear will be your friend that keeps you alert through the darkness. Get real with your preparations. Life after a disaster it is not a carnival ride that will give you a few thrills and then you are allowed to step away after the ride winds down.

FDA. (2014). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm103263.htm

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Delicious Camping S’mores Recipes (Graphic)