Why It's Time You Learn How to Hunt NOW

by Erich

When the shelves go bare, the supply systems shutdown, and chaos hits the populated areas, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be frequenting your favorite restaurant for some time.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for even a short time, you know how much importance I put on setting aside a years supply of food storage; but the reality is, food maybe taken from you or it may have to be left behind…

However, knowledge and skill will always be with you.

It’s during times like these that the skill of hunting will come in real handy.

After all, the more skills in self-sufficiency you can develop for obtaining food through either growing or harvesting (a.k.a. hunting/trapping) the less dependence you’ll have upon either commercial food sources or your own food storage.

Why it’s Time to Learn How to Hunt Now


Lest you think that you will simply walk into the woods and harvest a cornucopia of animals when things go south, think about this:

The sad reality is that our wild-animal population cannot support the total population in a country such as the U.S.

As an example, let’s just look at the deer population…

In the communist state that I live in (Massachusetts), there are a total of 85,000 whitetail deer. We have roughly 6.5 million people living in the state.

If you figure a generous 100 pounds of meat from each deer (the avg is probably more like 75 lbs), that equates to only about 1.2 pounds of meat per person — but get this — now the entire deer population is gone. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that’s not a lot of meat.

Sure, the deer population may be a lot better in other states, but still, the numbers of wild animals cannot support the numbers of people for any sustainable amount of time.

The good news?

Well, it’s going to take some time for the rest of the population to figure out how to do this.

For someone, who has been hunting for a little bit now, I know that you can’t just simply walk into the woods and take your pick of deer and other animals.

It takes some time to learn how to hunt and although there’s overlap, each animal has its own unique strategy.

Sure, in times where rule of law is void, you won’t be restricted by many of the laws and regulations that we as hunters deal with now. But, even without them, it will still not be that simple.

This will grant those who have developed the skills ahead of time a window of opportunity to harvest a good amount of animals to put away before a large portion of the population catches on.

Of course, this is all conjecture anyhow.

I can’t say what type of situation we’d be faced with. It could be a plague that wipes out millions upon millions of people leaving competition for the animals a non-issue; or it could be a total systemic collapse that leaves millions of desperate people in its wake — forcing them to leave the cities and spread across the countryside like a swarm of locusts.

Whether it’s the next “great disaster” or just tough economic times, the importance of learning to hunt now shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Benefits of Hunting

Learning to hunt now goes way beyond survival or even beyond supplementing your current meat requirements.

First off, there’s the obvious health benefits of eating free-range, organic meat.

Also the health-building benefits of being in the outdoors in the fresh air, exercising, enjoying solo time or the camaraderie that comes with the group hunt.

Let’s not forget that the skills you learn in hunting carryover to a great many other areas that are very beneficial to preppers.

For example with hunting you get practical experience in:

  • weapon handling, safety, maintenance, and function
  • how to fire dynamically and under pressure
  • scouting
  • tracking
  • camouflage
  • stalking
  • ambush
  • orienteering
  • and even building campfires and pitching tents during multi-day hunts

All these skills would easily carryover in a world where chaos rules.

So, if you’re interested in learning a new “hobby” that can provide just as many benefits in your life today as it would in a survival situation, I highly recommend you learning how to hunt.

Announcing a Soon to be Released Course

On a related note…

In February or March of next year, I’ll be releasing a new product that will teach you step-by-step how to hunt.

It covers everything from small game like squirrel to larger game like deer — including equipment recommendations, animal-specific hunting strategies, gutting, skinning, butchering, storing and preparing the meat for the table and much more.

Over 90% of it will be in high quality HD video so you can see exactly how each of these steps are done.

If you’re a member of my other course, Prepper Academy, you know how much of a stickler I am on quality and detailed information.

This course will be no different.

Keep in mind, this will not be a trophy-hunting course (although you still could use it for that I suppose) but is specifically designed for the prepper looking to feed his/her family or supplement their existing meat supply.

I’ve had the benefit of teaming up with a local hunter named Danny who’s been hunting and trapping almost every day for the last 40 years now.

He’s a real interesting character (think of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, with the white beard and long hair, except in a lot better shape and cowboy hat instead of the wizard’s hat).

Although about 50% of his family’s meat supply comes through what he hunts and traps, he’s told me there have been years where he’s been unemployed where their entire meat supply came from his hunting/trapping efforts.

I’ve been hunting for a bit now and I can’t hold a candle to him.

This guy knows his stuff.

I’m really excited about this course and will give you more info as the time gets closer.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your comments about things you’d like to see in a course like this. He’s got a wealth of knowledge and I want to make sure that we’re covering the most important things that you’d like to learn.

Keep in mind this is a hunting (not trapping) course. We plan on doing a trapping-specific course later next year. So please limit recommendations and comments at this point to be hunting-specific ones.

Thanks guys!

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37 Comments»

Comment by Rain
2013-12-10 14:51:24

I am (slowly) planning out a farm. I would like to learn how to hunt, but my family doesn’t approve of it. So, hopefully, I will eventually have that well fenced farm with plenty of animals and food sources growing. There are so many skills I will have to learn just for that! I absolutely suck at shooting a gun, but I’m amazing with a bow and arrow. I just need to get out there and start learning. My biggest worry is that I won’t get to where I’m planning to be by the time I will really need all of these skills and provisions.

 
Comment by Greg
2013-12-10 15:09:26

Hi

I think its a great idea and am definitely interested.

Would you be including any information on cross bow and long bow hunting for when the ammo runs out?

Loved your prepper course and learnt a tremendous amount from it.
Thanks for your effort and guidance.

Kind regards
Greg Benskin
South Africa

 
Comment by BMAN
2013-12-10 15:16:34

Erich,

I’m prepared to get flamed like crazy here but here goes anyway.
I will start by saying thank you for the information you provide here. I have been a reader since very early on and have even commented one or two times. I’m mostly a lurker but am appreciative of what you do and have taken advantage of many of your special offers and the ones you pass on to us from other sources.
That said, I want to point of one simple thing. Humans are NOT carnivores. Our bodies are NOT made to consume large quantities of meat. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Humans are made to subsist mainly on starches. While, I will agree that all of the skills that can be learned from hunting can be useful in our survival, I will also say that we would be better prepared to learn about the wild edibles in our immediate areas. The skills required to find, identify and process natural foods that grow in front of our very own eyes is paramount. Learning to cultivate the naturally occurring edibles in our AO is, in my opinion, hundreds of times more important than learning to hunt or trap. I was raised a hunter and trapper and feel that if required, I could harvest meat from my surroundings. The American focus on protein intake is so insane. The average American consumes something like 150 grams of animal protein every single day. Humans need less than 30 grams/day to sustain life. But we’ve been taught from a young age that we are meat eaters and it’s what we now believe. Protein is the last thing that our bodies digest. It is the hardest for us to digest. And animal protein is so acidic that it’s consumption causes major problems inside our bodies that go largely ignored or are blamed on other factors. A course on identifying, obtaining and preserving wild edibles in your AO would be better served to your readers.

I’m sure my opinion here will be wildly unpopular and I assume that the following comments will be somewhat of a blast Bman session, but I ask every one of your readers to take a couple hours of their time, before or after unleashing holy hell on me here, and go to youtube and watch a video called “Gary Yourofsky, The Greatest Speech Ever” then find the Q&A session that followed. Then watch a couple videos by Dr. Michael Klapper. Take a moment to rethink who you are. How can you apply all of these skills in a different way, that will still ensure your survival?

Nomex suite on… Blast away.

 
Comment by gb
2013-12-10 15:19:02

i would like to see a section explaining options if you are, for whatever reason, stranded without your bob or any weapons or provisions. what are ways to hunt/trap with only what you find in nature…

i know this will be also dependent on what part of the country or what season you find yourself in, but are there ‘general’ guide lines that could be followed and then modified or tweaked to your particular situation to help ensure your survival??

 
Comment by Larry
2013-12-10 15:19:22

Well your family better have a quick change of heart or pay the consequences. And you need to learn to shoot. Not only to protect the well fenced farm with plenty of animals, which you will have to feed. Because know this, those who do not have will take from those who have. And your family better learn to throw rocks at an alarming pace if they want to survive what is to come. Learn what happened in other countries such as Bosnia, Argentina, and other countries that just went thru what we will. And see how those who survived did it and what they went thru. Then realize this: America has become a lazy nation who thinks someone owes them to take care of them, and when no one does, you will see even neighbors who are nice and sweet do what ever it takes to feed themselves and their families. When it happens, your family too will learn to shoot, or be shot.

 
Comment by Trent
2013-12-10 15:19:50

Great course idea. I second Greg’s question about what to do when the ammo runs out.

 
Comment by Pat
2013-12-10 15:51:33

Why would your family not approve of hunting unless they are vegetarians? Raising animals for meat is very costly and time consuming. Free range wild animals only cost the time you spend hunting and preserving. You do not have to worry about fences, shelter, predators, food and water. They take care of themselves until you harvest. I thought about raising my own beef but then thought why pay to feed for meat when I can hunt for meat and have fun at the same time.

 
Comment by Pat
2013-12-10 15:57:41

Wow! Paleo diet for me.

 
Comment by LibertyChick
2013-12-10 16:07:51

BMAN – I completely agree & am a gardener/canner despite the fact that we do have deer, rabbits & squirrel here. I do keep TVP in stock for just in case though 🙂

 
Comment by Suzette
2013-12-10 16:23:48

No initial offering of a hunting course would be complete without also showing how to dress the animal and prepare for consumption and storage, safeguards, proper handling and disposing of entrails and waste parts, what tools to have on hand, hooks, tutorials for skinning, etc. Videos are nice, but in an electricity-down world, written format and diagrams are the most valuable. I think the list above would be basic information anybody who is seriously wanting to learn would need to know, and even what we might not even have thought of yet, as an inexperienced survival hunter. Even basic cooking skills with game would be nice to know as well.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-12-16 15:53:26

Thanks Suzette. Yes, these will all be covered. I do understand the need for a “grid-down” option using diagrams, print, etc. but this will likely be a course that’s 90% video. Many of the intricacies of skinning, gutting etc really require video to pass on the information.

If time allows, we will try to add a corresponding written format.

 
 
Comment by Paulaine
2013-12-10 16:31:51

I would like to know about the disease’s game carry and how to know what to look for and what is safe to eat. For example: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and any others you can tell us about.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-12-16 15:46:48

Good thoughts Paulaine. This would be important information to have.

 
 
Comment by ARH
2013-12-10 16:31:56

The hubs and I have no network of friends who hunt, however both of us desire to learn. We do have access to a nearby National Forest in the piney woods of Texas and would like to learn how to hunt on public land. I have been researching TX Parks & Wildlife Dept. (TPWD) hunting regulations & policies, various food plots, drawn hunts, etc. but it would be extremely beneficial to have training before going out, especially since basic skills are needed such as tracking, navigation, and where to set up.

 
Comment by Vidr
2013-12-10 16:40:15

Hunting and trapping are fantastic skills to learn regardless of tough times. To reply to a couple of the above comments;
@Rain: Bow hunting provides many more challenges than rifle hunting, but provides not only a fun challenge, but nearly silent hunting. As an experienced archer and bow hunter, I can suggest a few things. Firstly, shoot everyday! Our daily lives and responsibilities can sometimes interfere with this, but do your best to practice (OUTDOORS) as often as possible! Secondly, work on your rifle skills. If only as an alternative if needed.

@Bman; first off! Everyone is untitled to their opinion, but I disagree with yours. A carbohydrate based diet, while (over)efficient in our current society, provides many of the wrong types of nutrition, especially the further processed it becomes. A meat based diet not only provides high content in fat and protein(which in itself is fantastic) trans fats being the only bad fat, again from over processed foods). The only time you have a problem with this type of diet, is with the introduction of high carb based foods, allowing your body to use little of the carbs(because of the more efficient proteins), and turning the reserves into sugars, and storing them as fat for later use, causing heart disease, obesity and a large number of other health issues. You’re correct in saying this topic is very controversial, and everyone has their take on it! Aside from the nutritional facts, and dietary advice we get from dozens of sources all leading in different directions, there is only one fact that matters. We MUST eat. We MUST provide for our families, and wether it be protein, carbs or vegetables, if the shelves go bare, im pretty sure not even the neighbours cat will be off the menu!

I myself, try to eat a strict paleo diet, with the majority of my foods being meat and greens. My energy levels are stable and high, I have low cholesterol, and no known health issues. Some societies still exist today that only eat meat and fat (the innuit peoples for example) and have ZERO heart disease.

 
Comment by Carla
2013-12-10 17:41:26

Bman; I agree with you; I feel lucky that my parents have taught me a wide range of skills; not only hunting and fishing; but gardening and gathering berries and mushrooms!
I still feel the need to learn more about other wild plants that can help with other things as well.. medicinal as well as hygiene.. Man did not have the convenience of soap or deodorant; it all came from nature… and we need those skills as well!

 
Comment by laurey
2013-12-10 18:56:51

Hi Rain. One step at a time 🙂 Just try to make sure you know each step well before you go on to the next. Prior to my divorce, I had a small farm where I raised my animals, gardened, canned, raised chickens, pigs, cows, made butter and yogurt from my milk, sewed, knitted, wood heat, et all. Give yourself time, and prepare to be up from 0400 to 2200 in the summer! That is really the only way I got everything done!

 
Comment by laurey
2013-12-10 19:00:32

lol. I won’t blast you, but to a degree I disagree with you! Animal meat is the best way to get some major vitamins we need (B’s) and are virtually impossible to get from a vegan diet. And I still believe we have incisors for a reason!! That said, I do agree that people eat too much meat. Everything in moderation!

 
Comment by laurey
2013-12-10 19:02:15

If you are anywhere around Vermont, check out Root School…

 
Comment by Janet
2013-12-10 19:04:09

Perhaps your family also does not approve of eating then. I’m so sick of dealing with people who cannot or WILL not see what we are up against. Let them starve! They’ll change their tune real fast when TSHTF and there’s no man on the tv to tell them all is well, go out and buy a new truck.

 
Comment by laurey
2013-12-10 19:11:08

@vider: my cats are staying inside when shtf!! @ Carla: there are a lot of easy soap and lotion recipes out there for newbies! I make an amazing salve that works on everything from diaper rash to cold sores to burns and abrasions, and people say I look 10 years younger than I am 🙂 it all depends on the herbs you use. Get a field book for edibles in your area: I go foraging all year and know where to find the berries, asparagus, etc and when in my area. This year I canned over 20 cases of applesauce from wild trees in my area alone, along with 10 cases of jam and god knows how many cases of veggies from my garden and others’ who “didn’t have time to deal with it” (?!)

 
Comment by Dan
2013-12-10 19:11:36

Sounds like an awesome course, Erich!

I like the idea of trapping because you don’t need to spend all of your time and energy securing meat. I’m a bow and rifle hunter. It can take hours or days to find animals, pursue them, set up for a shot, etc.

I would like to learn more about trapping small game using modern and primitive methods. Each state has it’s own trapping regulations, but I’d also like any tips on how to practice these skills without “poaching” animals.

What animals are the most efficient to harvest? What traps are the easiest to make?

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-12-16 15:43:58

Great suggestions Dan. There will be an entire course on trapping after this initial hunting course comes out.

 
 
Comment by Frank D
2013-12-10 19:41:37

Everything from:

-Tracking
-Locating
-Targeting
-Shooting/Best gun for different animals/Where to hit for a clean kill
-Field skinning/dressing
-Meat preparation methods

Thanks!

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-12-16 15:55:01

Great list Frank. Yes, all of these will be in there.

 
 
Comment by Duckman61
2013-12-10 21:20:40

The map you posted is misleading. It only shows Whitetail deer. There are deer from coast to coast; there are mule deer and black tail deer that are found in the remainder of the country. Secondly, a deer generally yields 40 lbs of edible meat per 100 lbs of live weight. An average deer is about 125-150 lbs live weight. If the shtf, there is might not be power. How are you going to preserve that much meat without a freezer? Can it, make jerky or biltong? Diseases are generally carried in the brains, spinal column and glands. The last time I checked, those weren’t generally consumed by most people. The rest of the meat is free range organic and disease free. You cook venison the same way you cook beef. The biggest problem I see in people cooking venison for the first time is that they over cook it. Then they complain that it’s tough. Cook a good ribeye steak too long and it will be tough as well. Venison is best served medium rare, piping hot right off the grill.

A better hunting solution is to hunt small game like rabbits, squirrels, or game birds. There populations are far greater than deer. You can generally shot enough for a meal at one time and don’t have to worry about food preservation.

As far as weapons go, all you need for small game is a 22 long rifle (LR). You can easily carry 1000 rounds in a small back pack with plenty of other gear. For deer you generally need a larger caliber rifle like a .223 at a bare minimum. Rifles used for deer are not as effective in a bug out scenario as a 22 LR. Using archery equipment for deer is highly effective but requires a significant amount of practice to consistently place an arrow in the kill zone (8″ x 10″ area) at 20, 30 and 40 yards. Plus arrows get bent or broken wether the deer is hit our not. Plus you don’t always recover your arrows after you shoot. Now days a single arrow and broad head cost about $20. A quiver of arrows is at least $100. All that said, in my opinion the best thing to do is buy a good quality 22 rifle and as much ammo as you can stock pile.

People needc to learn how to be self sufficient; grow a garden, raise rabbits, chickens, pigeons, etc. They need to know how to purify water, make a shelter, start a fire without matches. There are far more useful skills to learn than hunting and that us hard for me to say because I love to hunt; especially deer.

 
Comment by Randolph
2013-12-10 22:17:54

Great post Erich, and like everyone’s comments.
Here you go from Canada…thought this was as good a poste as any to share this survival anthem by Mr Cord Lund. Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/5uASQgLwaIs

 
Comment by Alan
2013-12-11 03:03:36

Janet you are now hitting the nail on the head. One either takes preventive action or suffer the consequences. I believe that this site is very good in trying to prepare people for when TSHTF. One either plans for things to come or one does not. Believe me, as an ex military man who has lived his entire life in Africa and sorry guys I must say this that, I have seen with my own eyes what happens to people when civil unrest and open war starts. The innocent, the young and the old die. Not trying to be dramitic, just the truth. If you are starving you WILL eat anything not to mention the availability of clean drinking water. Look at the people who gym as a way of life. Dont they look good? Plain and simple they eat a balanced diet of protein (MEAT) freash vegetables, fruit and carbs.
For me at the age of 53, I am very fit, hunt regularly and I only kill what I can eat. My scout rifle in 308, a 22 rifle and hunting bow not to mention the short side by side shotgun and 9mm glock for myself and my woman are basic requirements for when TSHTF. For me the most uninhabitated area with a cabin freash water from a continual stream and an abundance of wildlife and arable ground is the ideal. To conclude, if the plan is not practiced you will probably have a 20% chance of survival.
Thanks
Alan
South Africa

 
Comment by Barry
2013-12-11 09:39:42

Great post, thanks!

 
Comment by Lance
2013-12-11 13:56:30

OK… no blasting here.. although.. if it comes to loosing the battle of cold, frost, snow, the lack of veggies and becoming malnourished and succumbing to lethargy, weakness, and death. Are you going to stick to the no meat Idea or roll over and die?

Secondly, READ between the lines…. it not necessarily about “hunting”.

 
Comment by Frank Mc
2013-12-13 00:20:57

Hey Alan,

Thanks the reality check! Anyone like you who still lives in South Africa after the big change, i.e. Nelson Mandela as president, has to know a thing or two. Kudos to you and yours for surviving there. I have several friends here who are from South Africa. Great people, I love them! All highly successful over here in the USA, by the way.

 
Comment by Great Grey
2013-12-13 04:50:06

You can practice all but the first two items on your list anytime.
Many deer are not as organic as you think, they eat large amounts corn and hay during the fall and winter.

 
Comment by Sarah
2014-01-04 00:08:39

Agreed. I’m learning to grow everything in a greenhouse and harvest local edible plants. I will focus on learning to grow vegetable protein sources.

When shit hits the fan.. are people going to come in and try to kill me for spinach? I bet not..

If I stock piled steaks and canned goods, my life would be in greater danger. My opinion.

 
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