If they can hear you they can find you. In some cases, you will have to minimize your noise signature so as not to comprise your location, or mission if you will. In a grid down scenario or in certain other situations, you may have to hunt to survive, and you may have to hunt using stealth and noise discipline to keep your location or the fact you are even hunting a secret.
Obviously gunshots can be heard for miles, so hunting with a firearm would be out of the question when stealth hunting. Some may be thinking use a suppressor or silencer then.
Some advocates want an increase in the use of suppressor for hunting to reduce noise pollution and to help reduce hearing damage.
This is all fine and good but the average silencer will not eliminate the sound, it only suppresses it on average about 30 db. A gunshot can have decibel levels between 140 and 170+ depending on the caliber. Silencers will reduce or eliminate muzzle flash however, which can give away your location in low or no light situations.
Firearms with silencers can be used in certain situations to mask the direction of the sound of gunfire. Silencers used in noisy situations can help keep others from pinpointing your location.
Silent or Nearly Silent Weapons for Hunting
1.) Slingshot for Small Game and Birds
A slingshot is silent and can be used in urban areas to include your own backyard with very little risk of collateral damage or much risk of being detected. They can be made by anyone, but if you have a choice, you should purchase one, and pick up extra bands as well.
Certain slingshots today can be modified to fire short bolts/ arrows silently.
Slingshots are not toys, they are a weapon and must be treated as such. The average slingshot you could pick up at Wal-Marts’ can send a projectile downrange anywhere from 150-to 300 Feet per Second (FPS) depending on the bands and ammunition used.
Some enthusiasts claim they can achieve much higher speeds, by heating the bands and other complicated methods, but people can claim about anything they want.
You are in a survival situation. This is not the time to be experimenting, and you do not need complicated methods. You can purchase higher end hunting models that may be able to reach close 400 FPS and even then, the FPS may depend on multiple factors.
You can use pebbles, ball bearings, and even marbles for ammo, but scattering red and blue marbles you pilfered from your children’s toy box all over the forest floor will let someone know you have been there recently. Ball bearings of course can be spotted, but they will not stand out nearly as much.
The longbow has been used for thousands of years as a weapon of war and for hunting. The longbow was one of the first weapons designed by humans that allowed us to become apex predators instead of just prey.
Today the bow is used extensively for hunting, and there are any number of models and designs available. The longbow is a hunting weapon that can be made by practically anyone in a wilderness environment.
The bows are silent and deadly and they are capable of bringing down big game. Choose one that fits you, and remember it will take hours of practice to become proficient. Keep in mind you may not be the only one that will be using a longbow in your family or group, so make sure everyone that may use it has the physical capability to use it effectively.
3.) Atlatl (Spear Thrower)
An Atlatl is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart/spear throwing. The design uses a bearing surface which allows the user to store energy during the throw.
Today there are various designs, but the basic concept is rather simple. The shaft can have a cup or a so-called spur fashioned at the end where the butt of the projectile rests. The Atlatl is held in one hand with the grip at the end farthest from the spur or cup. The dart, bolt, or spear is thrown using the action of the upper arm and wrist. This combination acts as the lever and creates tremendous trust behind the spear. It is considered a long-range weapon and the speed of the spear can reach over 90 mph.
You can make one yourself along with the spears. It will require extensive practice to become good enough to bring down big game however. Today a “bannerstone” is added to the bearing surface to help increase stability and reduce the noise of the shaft as it exits the device, which is described as a loud zipping sound. When a bannerstone is added the “zip” sound is reduced to a “woof” sound, so game is not spooked nor are other humans in the area alerted. Some experts claim that an experienced user can expect an effective range of 100 yards.
Not as silent as a longbow, but a crossbow is just as deadly, and they can be used by virtually anyone. In fact, they were designed to be used by untrained individuals. To become proficient with the English Longbow took years, so weapons that did not require extensive training to use effectively were needed.
There are various designs available from the traditional crossbow to ones that have pistol grips and stocks similar to long rifles. Pick up, aim, and fire. The hardest part about a crossbow is the cocking of it, so make sure everyone can do it safely and quickly.
5.) Air Rifle for Small Game and Birds
Air rifles are used for hunting and can be used by you to hunt small game when you want to hunt silently. Air guns do make noise of course, but others would have to be relatively close.
Air guns are dangerous and serious injuries can occur. Follow all safety protocols as you would with any firearm.
The rifles can be used in an urban setting. A setting like your own backyard where collateral damage would not likely be a serious consideration and your chances of being discovered because of the noise is minimal at best.
Concerns would be ammunition availability and air cartridges. Some of the higher end air rifles have a cartridge that must be charged while other rifles can use disposable CO2 cartridges or be manually cocked. You would need of course an ample supply of ammunition and cartridges or the means to recharge the cylinders. There are various price ranges and quality does matter when it comes to range and accuracy.
Other Silent Weapons
To use a spear effectively it needs to be balanced and weighted properly. A spear in the hands of an inexperienced person is a self defense weapon instead of a hunting weapon.
Boomerangs and stout curved pieces of wood can be used as well as rocks. You would use whatever is available at the time, and virtually anything that can be thrown can hit a target.