You need more than just a gun for hunting!

Have you ever met one of those fools that insist that if SHTF ever happens, they will just go off in the woods and kill what they need to eat and survive off of it? Most of the people who say this are those that go out deer hunting once a year (sometimes with a Guide) and if they are really lucky they might kill one small deer. I can’t decide which is worse, their arrogance or their ignorance? Hunting is a skill that has to be practiced to be of any use at all. Trying to survive with this mentality and without the proper tools and experience is a recipe for disaster! Now don’t get me wrong, I plan to hunt for fresh meat when I can, but I know that it will not be a walk in the park and I am building my hunting skills every chance I get. I am also adding certain tools to my preps to assist in this endeavor. In today’s post, we are going to look at some of the items you need to have in your preps, to help when you need to kill fresh meat in the wild.

OK, so when you need to hunt for fresh meat in the wild, there is no reason to only use a gun. If you do that, then you will be drastically increasing the chances that you will come back empty-handed.  In a SHTF world, calories will be at a premium and you can’t afford to waste them by walking all day and coming up empty-handed in the end.   I recommend that you add several wire snares of different sizes to your preps. You can set these out and comeback each day and check them. If they have caught something then you can just remove the animal and reset the snare and then be on your way. It’s kind of like shopping at a supermarket where you look each day to see what’s available. Yes, I know that it’s not really that simple, but I think you get the idea. There are a lot of great books out there that can help you get started if you have never done it before and you should add one or two of these to your preps as well. Don’t wait till SHTF to learn how to use them though, start learning now and keep practicing until the time comes that you will need them to survive.

Spring traps are another great way to catch food. Just like snares, they will offer you the opportunity to eat without burning a lot of calories to do so. They will also take a little practice and again there are a lot of books on the subject that you can learn from. I mean why try to rely on a deadfall trap when you can prepare now and have several ways available to you for when the time comes? It just makes good common sense to purchase and learn to use them now while your life does not depend on it. Like the snares, they too come in different sizes and even styles as well.

Cage traps are another great way to catch a good meal, such as Rabbit, Raccoon, etc.  These are also ideal for catching animals without killing them, so you can save them until you are ready to cook them and have really fresh meat for dinner. You can use these to catch all types of small animals, you just need to use the right bait and put them in the right place. You can also use them to get rid on nuisance animals, like possums or stray cats that may be raiding your supplies when you are not around. These can be folded down so they lay flat and take up very little room in your storage. I would recommend that you have at least one or two of these in your preps as well..

And then you have your Bows and Crossbows that are almost a must have for every Prepper. Without a doubt, there will be times that you will need to hunt both large and small game in as close to silent mode as possible. Perhaps there are others close by and you do not want to draw their attention, or maybe the situation just dictates extreme stealth. Whatever the case, you will certainly need the ability to hunt game without letting the whole county know where you are. In this case nothing beats a Compound Bow or a crossbow. They are deadly accurate provided you have taken the time to learn how to use them. If there is no place to practice with them at your home, then check the local area for Archery ranges. There should be a few close by, if you live anywhere near a city. Like any tool, they must be used and practiced with on a regular basis for them to have any value at all. Take the time to learn how to use these tools and add them to your preps to help ensure your survival when SHTF comes.

One more item that a lot of people add to their preps is the sling shot. These come in a multitude of shapes and sizes as well. While many kids grew up knowing these as only a toy, I can assure you that they can be deadly when used properly and with practice. These are great for quietly killing Rabbits and Squirrels with. Some of the newer ones are even setup to allow you to use them to shoot arrows with, as well as traditional ammunition such as rocks and marbles. I personally prefer to use ball bearings as my ammunition of choice. They can be purchased for very little and are extremely deadly when used properly. Just be careful when practicing with them as they can do a lot of damage if you are not careful!

Lastly, let’s take a look at a few tools you will need after you make that big kill. The first thing you will need is a good knife for field stripping it. These come in all kinds of styles and sizes, just be sure to get a good one that will hold an edge. Next you will need a cart of some kind to drag it back to camp. You can make this yourself or you can buy them already made. Unless you’re very strong and don’t mind taking a chance on hurting your back with a big kill, you will need the cart. They are not that expensive and are well worth the investment. Once you get your kill back to your camp, you will need a place to hang it up to clean it. If it ways over 75 pounds or if you are small, this can be quite a chore. What you will want to get you is a Lift System with Gambrel. Just hang it on a high limb and use the lift system to pull it up so you can work on it and finish butchering it the way you want. These cost around $25 and are worth every penny! Once your kill is skinned and cut into large cuts, you will want a surface to place it for the final butchering. For this you will need a really sharp knife set and a good bone saw. If you don’t already have these in your prep supplies, then you will diffidently want to add them. Survival without these could be very difficult. if not impossible, when it comes to butchering your kill. Depending on how your plan on preserving your meat, you may also want to add plenty of cheese cloth to your preps for wrapping large pieces of meat to smoke hams or for salt curing. You will need lots of curing salt in your preps as well as it will quickly become in high demand for preserving food.

Well, if you have all of these items in your preps as well as guns and ammo, you could safely say that you would be off to a good start when SHTF hits and you have to start hunting wild game to survive. Just remember that even if you have every single one of these, if you are not skilled at using them,  they will be useless when the time comes. Don’t just buy them and add them to your preps, but make the time to learn how to use each of them and practice regularly with them as well.  Don’t be one of those people who think they can just go out in the wild and survive just because they have a gun and went deer hunting as a kid. It just will not turn out the way you hope, if you do. Get the tools and start practicing, your life will depend on it! Well I hope I have given you something to think about and maybe a little information that can help you when SHTF happens, so until next time, keep on prepping!

-The Sargent-

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