If/When/Where the SHTF and you were starving and you had some type of shot gun and ammo. You see a herd or group of moose/deer/etc., how would you decide to hunt?
Now the reason why I ask this is because you and your family are starving, think about the animals you are hunting. They also have to replenish their numbers, especially if they are starving. Let’s say you see a small group of females. Are they older? Are they pregnant that you can tell? Are there younger offspring with them? What would you do? Hard time to think if you are starving, but you will need to be efficient in your decision as this could be life or death for you and your family. So I will give you an idea of what you should do, but that doesn’t mean you have to take my advice.
You see a small pod of moose/deer. They are females and some have calves. You will want to shoot the younger moose/deer. Reason why. Most of the older females know how to find food, yet the younger calves still have to learn. Also the older females may be pregnant which will help replenish the population. Now which calf would you take? If you can tell which calf is a male or a female, the suggestion would be the male. If the older females are pregnant, in many cases they may be carrying twins (in a good summer feed) which may be both male and female. Also males are more prone to try to stick around mom, unlike the female calves which are kicked off faster since they are competition during rut. Male moose/deer are also more prominent during good summers and dropped in the march-june calving season. If there is a cooler summer, more females are born. FYI if you did not know.
(notice in this pic that the Mama Moose's ribs are showing. She has had a hard winter and was probably starving. The ratios for twin calves to live is not good.)
Now let’s say you see a pod of bull moose/deer. If does happen, but this is usually only during Rut or if in the deep of the winter. How do you choose? Watch the pod. Look to see who is hurt. Which one is the eldest? Which one seems to be in their peak? Which one seems to be the youngsters of the group? My suggestion is to go for either an elder or the youngest. Reason why, is that the eldest usually are past their prime and usually just eat and fatten up for the long winter as well as the youngsters, who are not in their prime and as much as they would like to “mate” they don’t have a chance for possibly another year or so. The meats on both of these are usually not too tainted due to the Rut, which can make the meat taste more gamey than usual.
(Male moose do not usually "hang out" as they are solitary. Only in the extreme cold of winter, Rutting season, or if they are brothers do they do this.)
Now, I know I said to kill the males more in general, rather than the females. But one male moose/deer can “mate” with over 20-30 doe(s) in a good season. While it would be understandable to hunt whatever you could, this is just a tool of suggestion if you happen to come across a pod in a starving situation. This is a conservation tool for you to use in future uses.
Common Sense is something not used a lot and in many circumstances and more so while hunting. Beginning to use good skills and practices for hunting will always help you out in the long run. Rememeber, you aren't out for the "Trophy" when you are starving.... this is for survival. Also don't forget that you will have to dress whatever you kill and bring it home. Don't waste anything, but make sure you are able to take as much as possible as it may not be there when you come back.
Have a good week.
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