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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hunting Skills: A Necessity for Emergency Preparedness

Original Article


Hunting is not for everyone, but everyone should know how to hunt to some extent. If you end up in a survival situation without food, knowing how to find and catch prey will mean the difference between life and death. Learning several different hunting techniques using only items that you would find in nature or have in your survival gear will give you one more advantage when it comes to emergency preparedness.
The most important aspect of hunting is knowing what animals are in your survival area and how to find them. Look for signs that would indicate which animals are moving through and where. Search for trails that they have formed, evidence of bedding down, dens or burrows, markings on the vegetation and scat. Once the types of animals have been determined, think about how and when they eat, drink, sleep, and move. Knowing your prey’s behaviors will greatly increase your odds of capturing them.

Several hunting methods will be mentioned here. Some require more skill and technique than others. Pick the ones that seem feasible to you and research them. There are vast resources online that cover these methods extensively, including videos that demonstrate how to construct and use them.
  • Gun: You may carry a firearm in your survival kit. If so, you have undoubtedly been trained in the safe operation of the weapon and have practiced its use by shooting at a target. This is clearly the most effective method of hunting in a survival situation.
  • Rocks and Sticks: A heavy object that can be thrown at prey is a very simple method of hunting. It does require getting relatively close to the animal, good aim and the ability to throw quick and hard.
  • Spear: One of the oldest forms of hunting with weapons, spears are versatile and readily available. Spears can be used for thrusting, stabbing, or throwing and can be used to hunt birds, mammals, and fish. They can be as simple as a sharpened stick, or a spearhead can be attached that was fashioned from stone, bone, wood or steel.
  • Throwing stick: Resembling a boomerang, this hard stick has a bend of about 45 degrees in it and is carved on opposite sides of the legs to enable lift. This method requires a great deal of skill and practice and may not be the most practical in a survival situation.
  • Bow and Arrow: Also an effective choice for hunting, this weapon can be fashioned from hardwood saplings, such as oak, maple or ash, and paracord that should be in your survival kit. Boot strings would work in a pinch. Again, this method requires some practice before your survival is dependent on it.
  • Snare: There are many styles of snares with varying degrees of difficulty. They require some research, but can be well suited to hunting in most situations for a variety of animals. Snares need to be set in natural trails and funnels built on both sides so that the prey is forced to walk into the trap.

Emergency preparedness is about thinking through possible scenarios you may find yourself in and planning accordingly. Take time to consider how you would capture prey if your life depended on it. Add a few items to your survival kit that would make hunting by way of these methods easier. Practice some of them beforehand so that you aren’t trying to figure them out when your survival depends on it.
-Gary Jenkins-