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Identify what you need to put aside pt 7 – Hunting

The next article in our series “Identify what you need to put aside” is Hunting.

This harkens back to ye olde days where the man of the family went out and trapped or tracked and killed animals for the table. Now of course we get others to do this essential role and we can then wring our hands and complain about how animals are treated and hunters are wild uncaring killers whilst buying the cheapest cut of meat we can from a meat factory.

In a survival or self sufficiency situation hunting and trapping are still good ways to get meat onto the table. The issue that most of us hit is that we have to go on others land to hunt and finding places in this anti gun country is not easy. Luckily there are still a lot of farmers out there that will allow you to do so.

Legal Issues
Currently there legal requirements to be met when you are hunting. There are certain seasons when you can hunt and certain animals are off limits. Traps have to be visited regularly and certain traps are prohibited. I’m not going to go into legal issues and rules here but suffice to say that you need to be careful. However, what we are looking at here is hunting for survival thus the rules are out of the window.

So what can we hunt?
The following animals are around the UK and in a survival situation can be taken for the table;

  • Badger
  • Boar
  • Deer
  • Ducks
  • Fish
  • Pheasant
  • Pigeons
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrel
  • Swan

Trapping
Trapping involves putting down snares or leg traps near water holes or along animal paths where an animal will trip the trap and be imprisoned or held in place until the trapper comes back to collect them. Animals caught in this way usually have to be killed by the trapper in situ. The trap can be reset for reuse. Trapping is a very energy efficient method of capturing animals but requires a substantial area loaded with traps to ensure that animals are regularly trapped. Traps are not just for land as we can catch prawns and fish using traps in streams and, if you are close to the sea, lobsters and crabs. Traps can be improvised but commercial traps are much more effective.
Add gill nets, connibear traps, pan traps, brass snares and fish/lobster traps to your supplies list as necessary.
Relevant books can be found here in Hunting and Trapping Books.

Hunting
This is where you actively go out, track down your prey and terminate it with a weapon. You can use a gun, bow and arrows or a slingshot depending on the animal you are targeting and the weapons you have available. Practise is the key with weapons you should practise before you need to rely on the weapon to provide sustenance. Hunting skills, like all skills, come down to practise. Practise with the weapon and practise with the hunt itself. Each time you hunt you expend resources, your energy, your ammunition and time so you want to make sure you get a return on that investment.
Add weapons and ammunition to your supplies list. I would suggest you apply for a firearms license while you can and purchase at least a .22 rimfire and do the same with a shotgun license and buy a shotgun. Additionally a air rifle, with ammunition, and a bow and/or a crossbow, with arrows and bolts, with a professionally made slingshot will round off your hunting kit. The later items are license free.
Relevant books can be found here in Hunting and Trapping Books.

Processing
Animals caught by traps and killed or killed in the hunt have to be processed on the kill site or taken back home for processing. Some animals need to be drained of blood immediately or the meat spoils while others need to have certain glands removed or the meat is spoilt. Knives are used to disassemble the animals, you have a sharp one already don’t you? Instructions on processing the animals can be found here in Meat Processing Books.

In many ways hunting and trapping will be one of the few ways that meat will be available to us in a survival situation. Most of us do not have our own livestock now and rely on the food supply chain for almost everything. Meat, unless kept alive, does not store well yet is an important part of our diet as we need certain vitamins and minerals to survive and those vitamins and minerals are found in meat more than in vegetables or fruit.

Next up is part 8 in the series, Cooking.

14 comments to Identify what you need to put aside pt 7 – Hunting

  • Justin

    Just a few notes really:

    Rabbits with snares – http://www.thehuntinglife.com/html/sections/articles/ferreting_trapping/rabbit-snaring-rabbits.html
    Excellent information that I used to snare with a 20% success rate. Excellent for a novice as far as I’m concerned.

    Shotgun licence – It is a right to have one. They have to believe you unsafe to not give you one. If you follow the rules, you get one. Good to about 40 to 50 metres, depending on shot size, choke, etc.

    Air rifles – Needs practice again and is completely without licence under 12 pounds per square once of pressure as I remember it. Unless you are a child… Pellets are cheap as chips. Good only out to about 30 metres or so really, unless you are pretty good and do the maths.

    Archery – Ditto practice. Get some hunting arrow heads from the US, along with some practice heads. The fly differently due to the front loading.

    Skinning – Easy but takes time if not used to it and will waste meat if you make a silly mistake. Don’t make the dead animal dance, children don’t like it…

  • Skean Dhude

    Justin,

    Interesting article. Well worth a read. I’ve a few snares myself so I’m now looking at them and wondering if they are even the right ones.

    I’m not sure of the words ‘a right’. However, I do understand that no one who ticks all the right boxes can be refused one.

    Cheap as chips? At £5 a box. I remember when they were actually cheaper than chips.

    Practising with any tool only makes sense. The only problem I had practising with hunting heads was that they kept getting stuck in trees and breaking the shafts when I tried to remove them.

    Like everything else once you skin a few rabbits you will quickly get the knack.

  • Ronnie

    Add dogs and ferrets to your tool kit for hunting.

    Long netting is useful, but takes a long time to learn to do. Low technology, you can learn to make and repare nets yourself.

  • Skean Dhude

    Ronnie,

    I’ll look into the ferrets. Don’t know much about them more than they are vicious creatures.

  • Ronnie

    If they’re brought up nicely, they’re as tame as tame, and lovely! Will follow you for a walk and sleep in your lap! :o)

    Not saying that these types are the best hunters, but I’ve never been bitten by any of my working ferrets.

  • Skean Dhude

    I think I will give that a miss. I’ve seen the teeth on ferrets.

  • Found your site today and been looking around. Some of you might find this interesting and you will get a feel for trapping. I’m a professional trapper in the US. I have a site that has tons of free videos on trapping. http://www.wolfernation.com
    Keep in mind that this is not a survival site, even thow I’m a long time prepper. Hope this is not considered spam, because that is not my intent. We still get to use snares and traps to trap and are very good at it. If you are interested in snaring and trapping, some on here may learn alot if you read between the lines and get a feeling for catching animals. I can tell you that most of the stuff on youtube is a joke and should not be trusted if you need to fill your belly.

  • Skean Dhude

    Welcome neighbor from overseas,

    We are always interested in finding out new things. Trapping is one thing that we will need to learn in an event but I don’t see a big trapping market in the UK in general. For one thing we don’t have enough of the right animals to make a viable business from it.

    The info is going to be handy though.

  • I agree, busniss was not the reason I posted. one animal that I have told was in full supply in your part of the world is muskrats. You can build small simple cages out of scrap wire, swing down doors. Once you find the den holes, place the cage in front of hole. you can catch 1-8 muskrats in a night. super simple. A muskrat is not like a barn rat and they taste really good. just remove musk pod on lower belly before cooking. just something to keep in mind.

  • Skean Dhude

    I didn’t think it was and I appreciated the pointer to the videos. I was trying to say that in the UK we just don’t have the same wildlife nor the same market as you guys have and I would think the market was already tight. In saying that in an event everything is open to all just to live.

    I always thought the muskrat was exterminated in this country in the middle of the last century. The mink is the only species I can think of now that could warrant traps that save the fur. Even they are farmednow though here. Everything else is trapped for meat. Nothing though makes it worthwhile cost wise compared to factory grown meat. Too many whingey whiney people complaining about trapping and killing animals.

  • Ronnie

    Musk rats were introduced to UK from USA about 100 years ago, started causing problems and were erradicated by a Government (MAFF) funded program.

    Mink used to be farmed in the UK, (is this what you’d meant to say?) They were released from farms decades ago (60’s?) when it was still legal to fur farm, by ‘animal lovers’. They are still causing problems to live stock (eg. hens) and wildlife (eg. water birds and water-voles).

    Had a go at tanning some rabbit skins a few months ago, they’re preserved, but not soft. Trial and error! When I can do those, I’ll try the deer skins.

  • Skean Dhude

    Ronnie,

    Shows how behind the times I am. I thought there were still Mink farms. I know that animal nutters had released some from farms and that they now ran about wild. Don’t think they have been eradicated yet.

    As I keep telling my kids. Practice makes perfect. Those skins can do for sheaths for knifes or barrel covers. I’ll wait for the underwear version. 🙂

  • hammered

    Our local river had a good supply of cray fish untill some pratt let his pig slurry lagoon leak into it, caught them using breeze blocks those with two holes in placed upright in the river and a little bait in the bottom ie fish head or rotton meat 24 hours latter good chance of a cray fish nesting in the block or a simple lobster pot made from chicken mesh baited the same works.
    Hammered.

  • Skean Dhude

    Hammered,

    I take it the river is now lifeless? If so providing the contaminant is no longer leaking then they should come back. Nature abhors a vacuum. Hope the guy got his just deserves but as this is the UK probably not.

    I’ve heard both those methods are great for catching crayfish and the pots will also catch prawns and lobster if you are in the right places. I have a couple of lobster traps in my stores.

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