The deer hunting season is always so brief yet so intense that it calls for any deer hunter to be thoroughly prepared for it so as to take advantage of each situation that will present itself. The aim is to become a deer hunter that has all the tricks and skills that are necessary to […]
Every hunter out there who hunts regularly must have heard of or is familiar with Crossbows. Crossbows date back to medieval times, about two thousand years and still thrive well in today’s market, among hunters, artifact, relic and weapon collectors alike. A crossbow is a type of bow that consists of horizontal bow-like assembly mounted […]
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$3 DIY Bamboo Longbow The long bow! One of the earliest weapons made by man. You can make your own from Bamboo for around 3 bucks! This is pretty powerful and will be plenty adequate to hunt small game and maybe even mid size animals. I found a great tutorial that shows you how to …
How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon I am no expert what so ever on archery or hunting with bows… That being said I did a little research and learned that you can have a steadier aim and hold the bow drawn longer than most people who do not …
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6 Solid Reasons to Invest in a Survival Bow and Arrow
Modern day survival enthusiasts are never without a trusty rifle or handgun. These weapons are often used for hunting game and for self-defense, which may become a very real necessity when you’re trying to survive in the wild. Of course, guns are easy, convenient, and powerful. But if you’re a survival specialist that’s looking for a real challenge, it’s probably better that you invest in a survival bow and arrow instead. In fact, a survival bow and arrow isn’t really something you should ever be without.
If you’re thinking you can get by without a bow and arrow, and you’re questioning whether you should really get one or not, this list of solid reasons should swing you towards the right decision.
- Lightweight and Portable – It’s any survivalist’s priority to maintain the lightest possible weight when in the wild. That’s because a heavy pack will make you feel more tired much faster, and can restrict the movements you can comfortably make. With too many guns and ammo in your bag, you might find yourself panting heavily before midday.
A survival bow and arrow can be very lightweight, collapsing into just three pieces or less, depending on the model you choose. This means you can easily fit it into a standard backpack or carry it around without working up a sweat.
- Versatile – The different parts of a survival bow and arrow can be easily adapted to perform several other functions. For instance, the bow can be used as a makeshift fishing rod, arrows themselves can be used as part of your shelter, and you can even utilize your bow to start a fire much easier. All that said, it’s easy to see that when you take a survival bow and arrow with you, you’ve got more than just a weapon.
- Silent – The best way to hunt down as much game as possible would be to take each one down without scaring off the others. When you shoot a rifle or a handgun, the reverberating noise can startle any other game in the area, meaning you’d have to go through the entire luring and calling process all over again. With a bow and arrow, you can take down your game without causing too much of a commotion, so you’d have more chances to hunt more down in the same proximity. Throw in the shooting rest you can find, and you can spend hours in the same spot, shooting down game without getting noticed.
- Endless Ammunition – When your rifle or handgun runs out of ammo, you become nothing more than a sitting duck. That’s why it’s any shooter’s priority to make sure they make the most of each bullet they have. With a survival bow and arrow however, you can have access to an endless supply of ammunition. Even so, if you don’t bother to retrieve your arrows, you can make your own from twigs, sticks, and wood you find around you. So you can be sure there’s always something you can use to make the most of your bow.
- Less Limited – Depending on where you live, there could be a plethora of different gun rules that you’d have to follow unless you want the cops at your doorstep. What’s more, buying a gun isn’t all that simple. There are lots of paperwork, documents, and requirements you need to submit just to register a gun to your name, and it could take weeks before you get your hands on your purchase.
With survival bow and arrows however, you won’t have to worry about the same issue. You can literally walk into a store and purchase one without any questions, and you can even have it shipped straight to your home when you buy it online.
- Adaptable – When using a gun for your hunt, you’d have to consider the size of your chosen game and select a corresponding gun caliber. If you’ve only got a few firearms in your possession, you may not be able to hunt down other sizes of animals because of the inappropriate caliber of your available gun.
With a survival bow and arrow however, you can screw on different arrow heads to allow you to take down literally any size animal you want to. Simply interchange the attachments to adapt your arrow to your chosen target and you’re good to go.
Another plus when it comes to adaptability is the endless number of attachments you can purchase for your bow. For instance, if you feel that your bow isn’t accurate enough or if you struggle to aim with a bow, you can purchase other attachments to make it easier to use. Often, the best bow sight can be bought for a very reasonable price, making the bow itself an economic choice compared to guns.
A survival bow and arrow can be a major investment, especially if you take your time to learn the ropes and master this uncommon survival weapon.
So, what are you waiting for? Up your hunting game and become a true blue survival expert by purchasing your own survival bow and arrow today.
About the author :
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting …
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5 Techniques To Preserve Meat In The Wild You Should Practice There are several methods to preserve meat in the wild and before we look at them below. I’d like to remind you that while a preservation method or technique you use to keep your meat safe for days, or even weeks, it’s ultimately pretty …
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Bow and Arrow vs. Guns: What is the Best Weapon when SHTF? For thousands of years, humans relied heavily on archery as their means of survival for both hunting and combat. After civilization kicked in and we no longer had to rely on game for our survival, archery fell terribly. Well, it was the introduction …
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While rare, it does happen, hikers, hunters, and others out enjoying the day do stumble upon recent and not so recent human remains. What would you do in this case, what is the law, and what should you do as a practical matter.
In some states, like Utah, for example, it is a felony in the third degree for anyone besides an archaeologist, a Medical Examiner, law enforcement or a licensed mortician to disturb, remove, or conceal human remains. Many states have similar laws regarding this, in particular when it comes to ancient grave sites and sacred sites of Native Americans.
What are you required to do by law? In Washington State, for example, you are required by law to notify the County Coroner and local law enforcement, and you must do it in the most expeditious manner possible if you find suspected human remains. Of course expeditious can be subjective. You may not have cell service in that area, so you have to wait until you get back to notify anyone, and this could take hours, so your best judgment would have to be sufficient.
The law in Washington State goes on to state, “Any person engaging in ground disturbance activities that resulted in the exposure of human remains must cease all activity which may cause further disturbance to the remains” (Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, 2017).
Documenting the scene, without disturbing the scene, with pictures or sketching a map of the area may make sense in some cases, as well as, noting GPS coordinates. You may have to lead law enforcement back to the scene. Some people simply would not, or could not wait for police and others to arrive if they called the authorities from the scene. If you call and identify yourself, and then leave, it is likely the police would want to talk to you in person about the discovery and/or ask for you help in locating the remains.
States have various laws so it is a good idea to know what they are. Of course, if you are alone and do stumble upon a body or bones you have a decision to make. Discoveries of this nature are traumatic and it takes some time for the fact to register. A body or bones on the ground in a place you do not expect them is incomprehensible for the first few minutes. It is shocking, and some may actually run from the area. Some may want to avoid any involvement altogether, and others may even decide it’s an inconvenience and simply do not want to waste time dealing with it and leave without notifying anyone. It is decision time, if you find remains, and what you decide is up to you.
As a practical matter, however, you need to keep your wits about you from this point on. Is this a crime scene, how recent is it if that is the case, and are you in any danger. Hikers, hunters and others do die in the woods from natural causes, and from accidents, and their remains may lay there for months or even years, or they may have passed on just minutes before you arrived.
On the other hand, remote areas are ideal dumping grounds for those wishing to get rid of a body. People that commit murder may drive for miles to dispose of the body, or two or more people out hiking or hunting may have gotten into a fight resulting in the death of one, so you want to ensure you are safe first and foremost. The person or persons responsible for the dead body may still be in the area.
Remains that have been in the woods for months or years are someone’s loved one. Someone disappears and the body is not found, so perhaps, you finding remains in the woods would solve a cold case file that could bring closure to a family. It doesn’t mean there was a crime committed. The person may have gotten lost and fell victim to the elements, a heart attack, or a bee sting and so on.
Coming upon human remains will leave you with a feeling of horror in some cases, unease at the very least, and with other feelings, you cannot quite describe. It also reminds you of your own mortality. For some, the feelings will remain for weeks, months or even years. They will diminish over time, however. You are human and there are things such as this in which you may have to deal with as you go through life.
Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. (2017). Retrieved 2017, from http://www.dahp.wa.gov/programs/human-remains-program/what-do-i-do
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The shotgun is perhaps the most versatile firearms on the face of the planet. From big game to small game to game birds, a shotgun will do the job. For home defense, the shotgun is more than capable and intimidating. Need a survival gun? The shotgun can cover it all in the most adverse conditions.
The choices of action types, gauges, barrel lengths and stock configurations are also an added incentive for owning a shotgun. Pump action, semi-auto, single or double barrel and even lever actions. The most commonly used gauge today is the 12 gauge, with the 20 gauge being a close second. There are others, but the old 16 gauge seems to have lost its popularity. Another, the 28 gauge, is primarily used by upland game bird hunters. The 10 gauge is a rarity in today’s times.
Let’s take a look at some specific uses for the shotgun today and my top choice for an overall shotgun.
No surprise here. The shotgun has been used in this realm for more than 150 years. I personally have taken everything, including small game, varmints and big game. While the hunting of game birds is probably the most thought-of use for a shotgun when hunting, there are numerous other hunting uses. Use buckshot and you now have a viable option for critters such as coyotes, foxes, hogs and even big game at close distances. Deer hunters have long used a shotgun coupled with rifled slugs. Slugs are completely capable of taking larger game to include bear and elk. Distance is the only limitation for the shotgun and slugs, but the 100-yard mark is certainly within its capabilities.
It has been in use for decades by police and military and the everyday citizen to protect and defend. The fact that the shotgun comes in so many configurations and offers such a wide range of ammunition choices makes it hard to beat.
Consider adding an ammo carrier, sling and a light to your home defense shotgun. These add-ons will greatly enhance the defensive use of your smoothbore, but in the end these items are not absolutely critical for the home defender. It would benefit the defensive-minded citizen to obtain some credible training and recommendations in this category before proceeding too far down the road.
It should be apparent that the shotgun has to be a top contender for an all-around survival gun; there is one in my vehicle at all times.
Consider the following. With the right selection of ammo, I can take winged game, small game, big game, defend myself and home from all manner of unwelcome visitors out to a distance of at least 100 yards, breech a door, launch tear gas (within legalities, of course) and create a high level of anxiety in anyone determined to do harm to me or my family. Another viable attribute is the durability of a good shotgun. It is generally very weather and harsh condition resistant — a good quality for any survival gun.
Other attributes include switching out barrels, chokes and the addition or deletion of any tactical option with ease. Areas of concern surrounding the shotgun for some folks could be weight, recoil and length. But in today’s world there are enough variations to fit most any person’s needs and abilities.
My personal pick for one shotgun to do it all: a Remington 870 pump action, 18-inch barrel, 3-inch chamber, extended magazine tube, interchangeable chokes with a ghost ring-style iron sight system. I prefer a butt stock ammo carrier and a two-point sling. A side rail or comparable attachment point for a light would be a nice option. I can live without a red dot or other optic system.
In today’s world of short-barreled rifles and high capacity magazines, the shotgun is often overlooked. Even many police agencies have eliminated it from their armory – which is a mistake, in my opinion.
Don’t have a shotgun? Get one!
Do you believe the shotgun is the ultimate survival gun? Share your thoughts in the section below:
In order to be a great bow hunter, you’ll have to go through years of training and experience. It’s just like playing a musical instrument; at first, you don’t know what you’re doing, but with a lot of practice and determination, you’ll find yourself playing sonatas. It’s just the same with archery and bow hunting, but sometimes, you can’t improve by yourself. Thus, I’ve put together this article on bow hunting tips for all beginner hunters. Enjoy!
Weigh between speed and accuracy
Sometimes, you have to choose between the two. And as a beginner bow hunter, you’re bound to have trouble accomplishing a shot with both. Personally, I recommend practicing accuracy first. You’ll need to be more experienced with hitting a target dead on that hitting it at a fast rate.
On the other hand, speed is something that comes naturally (at least for me). I’d say speed will come when accuracy is improved. In other words, once you start hitting those bulls-eyes dead on, your speed is bound to improve as your confidence increases as well. Vice versa, speed will help your accuracy, as faster arrows bound to fly straight at the target.
For beginners, it’s important to master both. But not necessarily at the same time. When you’re out hunting, however, accuracy is more important, but speed weighs in a good amount, as well.
Pick a bow and stick with it
When it comes to archery and bow hunting, mastering your weapon is the best way towards experience. Choosing the right bow is a little bit of trial and error, so I don’t blame you for switching between bows. However, keep this in mind: the right bow will just feel right in your hands, and you’ll know when you have it. Under this, we consider weight of the bow, style, design, length, and these factors relative to your own dimensions and preferences.
If you do, however, find a bow that you can stick with, I highly suggest that you do so. Mastering your weapon will make your bow more of an invaluable friend than a hunting tool, and shooting an arrow will feel like a second instinct.
Generally, the more you master your bow and practice with it, I’d say that your accuracy and precision will improve as well. This is especially important if your target is to go bow hunting soon.
Work tirelessly on your form
The better the form, the higher the accuracy, speed, and precision of your shots. Find and practice the right form, with the proper stance, torso position, and grip relative to the target.
On this matter, I recommend asking an experienced bow hunter or bow hunting expert to assess your form. Ask for an evaluation afterward, which you can use to point out the things you need to do right/better. It also helps to watch Youtube videos wherein you can see bow hunters demonstrating a proper form.
Tip: practice in front of a mirror and compare your stance, torso position, and grip to a standard.
Practice in different settings
Actual bow hunting entails practice shooting in different situations and settings. For instance, you need to know how to keep your bow straight on a windy day, as much as you need to know how to shoot in low light.
It’s best if you practice when the weather is not that good, maybe a little windy. That way, you get to practice your aim in the wind. Another example is practicing near sunset, which will allow you to train with your bow sight in low light settings.
The trick here is to set yourself in a little diversity. After all, you never know what you’re going to expect in the wilderness.
Study, study, study
Reading goes a long way. When you’re a beginner bow hunter, it immensely helps if you read on your niche. Deer hunting tips, bow sight usage, accuracy and precision tips—all of these stored in your mind can help you apply them on the field and in practice.
Also, I emphasize the importance on reading about survival tips. These are the bits of information that you need stored at the back of your head at all times, especially in risky hunting situations and seasons.
Invest in high-quality equipment
When I was a beginner hunter, I wore all the wrong things and hated myself while freezing on the field. So, take it from me and choose the right equipment and clothing to take with you on your hunting trips.
My major recommendation is to splurge a bit—on your first pair of hunting boots or hunting knife, for example, because these are practical investments. When you choose the right products, you will get the quality that you paid for.
Choosing the right equipment also goes for hunting backpacks, kits, knives, clothes, and other gear that you take on a hunting trip. As a beginner, you tend to be not used to the wilderness and discomfort can come creeping up on you unexpectedly. So, choosing the right type of equipment can get you a long way.
Practice being stealthy
When you’re a bow hunter, you have the advantage of silence unlike gun users. When hunting skittish animals like deer, most especially, it helps a great deal if you know how to carry yourself, stalk, and shoot the target in a stealthy mode altogether.
For beginners, it may be a little hard controlling your footsteps and movement in order to make the noise as minimal as possible. It’s also a bit challenging to master the way on how to carry yourself and stalk your prey effectively. However, this skill can be learned just like any other.
The key is to practice in the field. You may not succeed on the first tries, but experience is the best teacher when it comes to stealth. Just make sure to take note of your mistakes and think of ways on how you can improve them afterward.
Under stealth, you also need to learn how to be unseen. This includes masking your scent against the sensitive noses of deer and bears, as well as wearing the right color of clothing. On this matter, you can read up on tips on how to do that and apply it the next time you go buck or bear hunting.
We all start somewhere, and in bow hunting, it takes more than just a little bit of practice to master your weapon and shred in the field. This article is meant to open you up to the basics of bow hunting, which are useful if you want to learn fast in this area. To conclude, I give you this quick rundown of our tips to remember:
- Practice both your accuracy and your speed, with accuracy as your priority. Speed will follow soon after
- Stick with one weapon if it feels right, then master it
- Work on your form tirelessly
- Practice shooting in different situations and settings (e.g. low light, windy, high up on a tree stand)
- Study on the field of bow hunting to find all the best tips and basic information you need to know
- Invest in high-quality weapons and equipment
- Acquire and practice the skill of stealth
That’s all for this article, and I hope you learned a lot of tips. If you liked this piece, don’t forget to share it with your hunter friends. Leave a comment below, too, if you have questions or anything to add to this post. Thanks for reading!
Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. We provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims.
Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.
Using A Slingshot As A Survivalist Hunting Weapon
Is a slingshot right for your preps? Learn why and see how to use a slingshot for survival, hunting (small and large game!), fishing, and as a weapon.
When you think of survival weapons you probably don’t immediately think of slingshots.
In fact, when you think of slingshots, you probably imagine Bart Simpson causing havoc in his neighborhood. The story of David and Goliath also probably comes to mind.
However, a slingshot could be a great survival weapon for hunting game and for a little self defense.
When we say slingshot, we mean the rubber band type. Various types of slingshots can be bought or even bushscrafted out of vines, but for the purpose of this article we mean the classic “Y” shaped or over-arm type of slingshot that uses a rubber band.
In a survival scenario, you never know what you’ll face or how long it’ll be before you get home. In this situation, it is essential that you have an easy to carry weapon on your person at all times.
If you need some convincing, we have great reasons you should add a slingshot to your bug out bag.
Ammo Is Everywhere
Unlike pretty much every other weapon, you don’t need to bring any ammo when you plan to use your slingshot. Slingshot ammo is literally everywhere, every little rock you see can be ammo.
In comparison, if you bring a gun, you’ll eventually run out of bullets and you’ll have to scavenge for more. With a slingshot, all you have to do is find a pile of rocks and you’ve got a hundred pieces of ammo that will work.
While nearly any rock will work as slingshot ammo, ball bearing slingshot ammo works much better. They are smooth and aerodynamic, making them much more predictable to aim with. And boy do they penetrate!
If you want smooth rocks that are guaranteed to fly well, you should look near riverbeds.
They Are Lightweight And Small
Slingshots don’t take up much room in your bug out bag and they’re easy to use, even for a beginner, and they are also lightweight.
You can always fit a slingshot and a few extra rubber bands into any bag.
Slingshots are Self-Defense Weapons
While everyone thinks of slingshots as a kids toy, a shot to the head can crack a skull or knock someone out quite easily.
Slingshots can also be used as self-defense weapons. David, Goliath, and Bart Simpson all showed us how powerful a slingshot can be during a conflict. So can the many youtube videos of backyard slingshot shenanigans on watermelons and cinder blocks.
In fact, slingshots are a great way to defend yourself against aggressive humans and animals alike, if you can trust your aim.
Other Advantages To Using A Slingshot
Slingshots are easy to conceal because of their small size. You don’t have to worry about it getting wet, it will work just as well. And for the most part they are completely silent when fired, making stealth hunting easier.
How to Use a Slingshot in Real Life Survival Scenarios
In a real life survival scenario, you can use a slingshot for self-defense and hunting. A slingshot may not seem like the perfect hunting weapon, but they work well.
It gives you an active, stalking approach to hunting small game. With the right pellets, you can kill small game like a bird, rabbit, or squirrel at distances as far as 30 feet away.
Obviously you won’t have your scope with you, so you’ll have to aim the slingshot based on your best guess from experience. This is why practice is so important.
You could use other weapons you may have brought with you, but every weapon has its own issues. For instance, you could set a snare, but not use the right bait or just be unlucky (you’ll need a dozen of them and a lot of luck actually).
Can You Take Down Larger Game?
You can feed a couple of mouths hunting small game with a slingshot, but if you have a large group, you’re going to have to knock down a bunch of squirrels to feed them.
So what about larger game?
If you can snag a buck or a wild hog, you’ll be able to feed more people and fill up their bellies better. But will a slingshot take out larger game?
Find out more about using cold weapons for survival on Bulletproof Home.
Yes, you can. It’s a bit harder, obviously, and requires good aim, but a slingshot can take down large animals (and people). You can do it with ball bearings or rocks, but it’s a lot easier with arrows.
With some simple modifications your slingshot can also fire arrows, typically called a slingbow mod. You can also buy pre-made slingbows, but the DIY mods are easy and it is significantly cheaper.
All in all it’s a whole lot easier to stick with small game and craft a bow or bring something like a crossbow if you really expect to hunt large game on a regular basis, but if the opportunity presents itself and all you have is a slingshot you should know that it can be done.
It just takes a bit of patience, practice, and the right opportunity. You’ll have to get closer than a bow, but that’s a small (but dangerous) sacrifice for a slingshots portability.
Usually you will stun the animal if you’re only firing rocks, so aim for the head and be ready to finish it off with a spear or knife while it’s down.
You can also take your slingshot fishing in shallow water. Remember that, just like bow fishing, the water will refract the light and the fish will actually be in a slightly different position than it looks.
Since the water will slow down the velocity of your ammo, the fish will likely only be stunned. After you stun the fish, you can grab it with your hands.
You can adapt your slingshot to shoot arrows as discussed above, and adding a fishing reel to make hauling in the fish easier is just as easy.
Build Your Own Slingshot
If you don’t have a slingshot in your arsenal when the manure hits the fan, you can always make one.
Here’s a great DIY video that shows you how to build a slingshot from scratch.
All you need to create a slingshot is a Y shaped base, small forked hardwood saplings are great for this, so are split and melted PVC pipes. You’ll also need some sort of rubber or latex band (rubber first air tourniquets are perfect), and some rocks.
if you don’t have the luxury of going to a store for these supplies, most of these items can be found in abandoned buildings, lying on the ground, or put together from other items in your bug out bag.
Disadvantages of Using a Slingshot
To be fair, there are disadvantages to using a slingshot as a survival weapon and tool.
A slingshot is not very predictable, especially if you’re using rocks of various weights and aerodynamics instead of ball bearing slingshot ammo. With practice and repetition you can guesstimate where to aim with excellent accuracy, but it’s always a little bit of a guess.
Another disadvantage revolves around the band used in most slingshots, usually made of latex. Over time, latex will harden and wear out all by itself. The more you pull and shoot the slingshot, the faster the band will wear out. It will also wear out quickly if left in the sun all the time.
However, if you’re lost in the woods for a few days/weeks this obviously isn’t a concern, but the band could break. Similarly, if the SHTF, looking for alternatives while you scavenge for other items won’t take much effort. Having a few backup bands stored up will allow you to be proactive in case your band snaps unexpectedly.
The other disadvantage to using a slingshot as a survival tool is eye, teeth, and facial injuries. They do happen, hundreds every year actually. As the band is pulled back, it is very near the shooter’s face. If you’re unlucky enough to have one break it’s going to come back at your face and hands.
Slingshots can be used by anyone – male, female, young, and old preppers. The weapon is a formidable weapon after you’ve trained with it and can hit a target reliably.
Slingshots are not a kids toy, a shot to the head can crack a skull or knock an animal or someone out, and they can easily kill small game. They are an extremely good choice for anyone that isn’t comfortable using firearms.
However, using a slingshot isn’t easy, you will have to practice…. a lot!
Practice makes perfect after all.
Source : besurvival.com
About the author :
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How To Butcher a Rabbit Whether you’re homesteading or prepping for when SHTF, you are undoubtedly sharpening your hunting., trapping, and foraging skills. Rabbit traps are fairly easy to set up, and these creatures provide an excellent source of protein that will see you through all of your chores. While you may be able to …
Definition of Paleolithic. Of or relating to the earliest period of the Stone Age characterized by rough or chipped stone implements. Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Pick any post-SHTF scenario. Maybe from your favorite novel or maybe from your imagination… One of the major points of post-SHTF survival is staying off the radar, staying of the ‘X’, laying low, being the gray man, blending in, keeping silent. While many or most of you reading this may have an adequate (or more) […]
If you have ever spent any time at all on a survival or firearm forum, you are bound to come across the phrase “Buy it cheap, and stack it deep”. This phrase is, of course, referring to the amount of ammunition one should have if disaster strikes. After years in the shooting community, I have heard many reasons people stockpile ammunition for emergencies. There are really only a few loons out there who prepare for impossible and downright foolish reasons. One guy, I met really believed in an alien invasion followed by an Illuminati takeover.
Sure, there are always a few crazies, but there are many normal people who do have a fear of what could happen in our increasingly volatile world. Like it or not, we have to admit that this is not the 1990s anymore and we are seeing an increase in danger daily. The economy can be compared to a savage ocean. ISIS is rampaging through the Middle East and their sympathizers are attacking innocent people in the USA, Europe, and Canada. Iran’s nuclear program. The riots following Trump’s election. I could go on.
In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the question, “how many rounds should I have on hand in case something happens?” If you read the forums and even some articles, a lot of armchair generals and self-described “experts” say you need to amass 100,000 rounds per caliber, minimal. And while 100,000 rounds is an impressive amount of ammunition, enough to fight a small war, it is completely insane to think you will ever need that much ammunition. Well, if you are going to invade a small Caribbean nation, go ahead and pursue your 100,000 rounds. With the price of ammunition today, you’ll go broke.
Related: Surviving Alone
In all truth, it is impossible to see the future and know how much ammunition you will need. My crystal ball stopped working a long time ago. But I doubt you will be engaging in a firefight after firefight with gangsters or looters every day in a survival situation. Even if you did, what are the odds of you surviving dozens of gunfights? I have done my best to put together a realistic minimal goal for ammunition needs during a survival situation. The focus here is of course hunting and defense.
A .22 is about the most versatile firearm when it comes to food procurement you can own. From squirrel to a feral cat, a .22 can put meat on the table for you and your loved ones during hard times. I strongly suggest everyone have at least one reliable .22 for emergencies. The bare minimal I believe you should have is around 1000 rounds of .22 ammunition. Ideally, 2-5,000 rounds are best. Buy .22 in bulk, in tubs of at least 500 rounds to purchase cheaply.
A .12 gauge or .20 gauge should be something every gun owner owns in addition to a .22 long rifle. A shotgun can be used to kill waterfowl, turkey, game birds, and with a slug or 00 buck loads can be used to kill the larger game and be used in home or self-defense. I strongly recommend pump action guns as they are by far some of the most reliable. To be wise, I would say one should have 2 barrels for each shotgun unless the shotgun is a dedicated home defense weapon. If it is a hunting shotgun, you should have a longer “bird barrel” for shooting bird shot, and a smoothbore “slug barrel” for shooting slugs and 00 buck loads. I suggest at least 300 rounds of game loads such as number 6s or 7s, 50 turkey loads, 200 slugs and 200 rounds of 00 Buck.
The Big Game Rifle
If in addition to a shotgun and .22, you are blessed to own a game rifle, this can be a real tool in keeping your family fed. If it all goes downhill, a game rifle can, of course, be used to hunt game, and it can also be used to hunt feral cattle, pigs and other such domesticated animals that tend to go feral in dark times. For every game rifle I own, I like to have at least 100-200 rounds of game loads. More if you can afford it. If your rifle is properly sighted in, 100 rounds can last you years of procuring larger animals for food.
The Semi Auto Sporting Rifle
In the USA, this includes AR-15s, AK-47s, AK-74s, and so much more. These are not the true assault weapon. In Canada, these usually mean the SKS, M1A/M-14, M1 Garand, and maybe an AR-15 kept for target and competition shooting. A true assault weapon by the true definition is a rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge that has the ability to switch between semi-automatic and full automatic gunfire. In truth, the inner-workings of these firearms are no different than a semi-automatic hunting rifle.
Read Also: Quick Buyer’s Guide to Imported AK Market
These rifles are highly versatile and can fill the role of both home defense firearm, personal defense weapon, game rifle and varmint rifle. If you only have 1 gun, one of these are your best options. If you have a rifle with a detachable magazine, be sure you have at least 12 magazines. That is my minimum. If the firearm you have is an SKS, M1a, Garand, or any other semi auto that uses at least a 5 round magazine, you probably have noticed they are bullet eaters. In fact, a semi auto can eat more ammunition than a college kid eats pizza.
Photos Courtesy of:
Homesteading originally referred to the federal government granting land to families who were willing to work it. In modern times, it does not happen that way anymore and homesteading is about families who have decided to live off the grid and grow their own food. Modern-day homesteading involves cooking, farming and fixing things around the house on your own.
Most homestead parents understand the importance of passing on these vital skills to their children.
Why Should Your Children Know How to Homestead?
Children of this current generation have become over-reliant on the system. They get their food ready-made, their clothes already sewn and their water already piped to their homes with no knowledge of how to get these things for themselves. If the system was to crash then they would be left helpless with no idea of how to survive on their own.
Homesteading instills in them an attitude of self-sufficiency. It gives them the information and experience that they would need to fend for themselves in any situation. With such an attitude, they are well-prepared to cope should the world change in an unexpected manner.
As a parent, it is your duty to ensure that your child has all of the skills required to make it in a world whose future is uncertain. Most parents opt to give them regular schooling, but that education is sorely lacking in survival skills.
What Skills Will They Need to Learn?
Sewing and knitting were skills traditionally left to women, but there is no room for gender bias in the 21st century. Your sons need to know how sew, knit and do their laundry and your daughters should know how to change a tire or learn which way to turn a screw to open it.
Fixing things around the house is another job that both boys and girls need to know how to do. The time may come when your daughter is the only one on the homestead and she can’t afford to wait around for someone else to come and fix the leaky faucet. All it takes is the right tools and the right mindset and she can get it fixed on her own.
Hunting is a tough job and not just as simple as chasing down rabbits. Children in the homestead must be taught how to track animals through the forest and bait them so that they can become efficient hunters. Along with hunting they also must know how to butcher the kill, clean and salt it if necessary so that it can be preserved.
Hunting is good if the animal stocks are low but animal husbandry is there to provide a more convenient source of animal produce. Teach your kids how to milk cows, water them and muck out their stables. These are simple jobs that even a young child can learn to perfect.
Naturally, they will love some chores more than others. Your outdoorsy children will prefer working on the farm, while some will be more comfortable with household chores. This is great opportunity to teach them how to work together. As long as you have taught them how to do each job individually, then you can let them share out the responsibilities among themselves.
How to Get Them Motivated
Children who are born on homesteads adjust easily to the rural way of life. If your family has just moved to the homestead from the suburbs or the city, then your kids will have a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle.
If your children grew up in the city before they moved to live on a homestead then you can expect a fair amount of resistance to the hard, physical chores. They are used to how their lives were before and probably don’t understand the values of what you are trying to teach them.
Cash allowances will get them motivated at first. However, personal responsibility is one of the forgotten traits that you are trying to teach them so try not to make their learning how to homestead too reliant on rewards. You want them to know why they have to learn those skills so always take the time to talk to them and explain to them why it is important to learn how to homestead.
Hold them accountable for all of their responsibilities and stick to strict ‘no excuses’ policy. If a job needs to get done then it has to be done. That’s the reality of how hard life can be and the sooner they learn it the better adapted they will be to handle whatever crisis comes their way.
10 Turkey Hunting Tips And Tactics Wild Turkey numbers today are at an all-time high; hunters across America have a great opportunity to enjoy this highly assessable, wonderful renewable resource. High turkeys densities mean more hens to compete for gobblers, Turkey hunter numbers are at all-time highs, yes, additional competition for gobblers. Turkey hunting has …
Wildlife in the city, well yes, and Merriam-Webster defines wildlife as living things and especially mammals, birds, and fishes that are neither human nor domesticated. That definition covers a lot of ground.
How many of you have spotted or been harassed by geese in a city park, have had to yield to geese and ducks in roadways around city water features, have seen squirrels begging for food near park benches, and who has not been tempted to feed the pigeons some of their sandwich whiling lunching in a city square. Wildlife indeed abounds.
Dr. Merritt, the Mayor of Oakland, declared Lake Merritt a National Wildlife Refuge in 1869, the first in North America. There are wildlife sanctuaries close to or actually inside some city limits. Places where people go to feed the ducks, and to view wildlife in its natural habitat. In 1925, the first bird island was constructed and four additional islands were erected in 1956. These are the largest of the artificial islands that house hundreds of egrets, herons, Canada goose, and many other species of birds (City of Oakland, n.d.).
Lakes of course in city parks or near a city’s borders may very well be home to fish and other marine life that can be a food source, and water attracts mammals that are a food source as well. Some less appetizing, and yet a food source would be rats and mice.
All mammals in North America are edible, but keep in mind for example, that the Polar Bear and Bearded Seal while both are edible as far as the meat goes, the livers can be toxic to humans, because of their diet the livers may contain toxic amounts of Vitamin A.
Yes, Polar Bears and Seals do invade urban areas, but Polar Bears are dangerous to humans so use extreme caution and always have a firearm up to the job of bringing one down if it comes to that.
If you live in an urban environment you can hunt, not in the traditional sense maybe, but hunt you can for food.
A quality air rifle, a longbow or crossbow, as well as a hunting slingshot, would be ideal weapons inside the city limits if ducks, geese, rabbits, squirrels, rats, and mice are your food sources. Keep fishing in mind, as well, when packing your survival kit for urban hunting, a survival fishing kit needs to go in the kit.
You have to consider the safety of other humans as you hunt and the stealth factor as well. In most cases, you will not want others to know you are out hunting for food, so noise discipline is important. Avoid firearms if possible, but this is a judgment call that will have to be made at the time.
Rats and mice can be trapped in the traditional way using traps designed for rodents or you can use your slingshot, stones or throwing sticks. The same would apply to ducks and geese, rabbits and squirrels.
Certain birds can be netted, but keep in mind ducks and geese and even squirrels that are used to being fed by humans may present themselves as a meal without much effort on your part.
You should not consume any animal that you did not kill by your own hand. Finding a dead animal or a washed up fish may seem like an easy meal, but you don’t know if the animal or fish died of a disease.
Nocturnal animals like raccoons, typically come out to forage at night, so if they are found wandering during the day there may be a problem. Rabies can be transmitted to humans if you are exposed to the saliva or brain tissue. Of course, getting bit by a rabid animal can transmit the virus to you.
Handling a dead animal that has rabies may mean you become exposed if you have an abrasion or broken skin. Rabies does not transmit through unbroken skin, however, and the virus does not survive long in the saliva, once exposed to air, but can remain in the brain tissue after an animal has died. Reptiles and marine life do not carry the rabies virus.
Rabies travels from the brain to the salivary glands during the final stage of the disease—this is when an animal can spread the disease, most commonly through a bite (The Humane Society of the United States, n.d.).
Less than 3 people a year die from rabies, but be careful regardless, so you do not become number 4. Only 28 people have died in the last ten years in the United States from rabies (The Humane Society of the United States, n.d.).
Keep in mind that cats and dogs are edible, but just the thought of this is enough for most people to lose their appetites, but remember dogs and cats are raised in some countries as a food source. During a survival situation, all options should be on the table, and then you can eliminate some as the situation unfolds. To avoid moral dilemmas such as this, you should be as prepared as possible.
What Do You Need As Far As Tools and Gear?
Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, in some cases doubling in number every 20 minutes (PennState Extension, 2016).
During a crisis, refrigeration may be a quickly fading memory so it is important that you understand that your way of thinking and the way you do things must change just as quickly.
If you kill any animal for food and you do not have refrigeration the animal must be processed literally on the spot. Eviscerate the animal as soon possible, and in most cases discard the organs and do so in such a way as to keep larger predators away, and to prevent the spread of bacteria and reduce odor. Burying is the best method.
Field dressing your kill immediate allows for rapid cooling because the body cavity is opened up. This also discourages the growth of surface bacteria, and of course, improves the overall quality of the meat.
What You Need
- Several Sharp Knives ( Skinning Knives Are Ideal) For Skinning, One For Small Game And One For Larger Game
- Whetstone, Honing Steel or Some Other Device or Method For Sharpening Your Knives
- Hatchet For Larger Game
- Cheesecloth, String or Rope
- Cooler Or Some Other Storage Container
- Disposable Medical Gloves For Handling Raw Meat
- Alcohol Swabs and/or Clean Cloth and Alcohol To Clean Your Blade After Field Dressing To Prevent Carrying Surface Bacteria Into The Meat As You Process It
- Water, soap, and/or Alcohol Swabs For Your Hands
If you are lucky, enough to have snow on the ground, then you pack the meat in snow, or fill up jugs of cold water from a lake or pond to help absorb the heat from the fresh kill. Remember heat always conducts to cold.
Wrap the meat in cheesecloth and pack around the cold jugs in a cooler or even a box if that is all you have available to pack the meat home. You can, of course, process, cook, and eat the meat on the spot if it is safe to do so.
Minutes count when handling fresh meat, therefore, it is recommended that you kill and eat, unless there is snow or ice available from frozen lakes or ponds to chill the meat below 40 ° F.
You simply cannot kill game today and expect to be able to consume it in a few days unless it has been chilled and stored at or below 40 degrees. You can get sick or worse.
If the game is more than you can consume in one meal then smoke the remaining meat to preserve. This is not a foolproof method and the smoking process will take hours to ensure the meat is cooked and smoked sufficiently enough to slow or to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The things you have to consider when hunting in an urban area include your safety and the safety of others. You may spot game but is it safe to kill it, process it, and then cook it on the spot or do you need to transport the game to a safe location. You have to make decisions based on what is happening in real time.
We cannot sit here and tell you what you should do because we don’t know if the people in the area would be a threat. Most likely, anyone in the area that sees you cooking a meal would want in on the feast, and if you are unwilling to share, you may have to wait for a more opportune time.
Carry a firearm whether you plan to kill game with it or not. It is for your personal protection more so than for killing game in most cases. You do not want to advertise you are out hunting a meal.
PennState Extension. (2016). Retrieved 2016, from http://extension.psu.edu/food/safety/educators/fact-sheets-brochures-books/game-meats/proper-field-dressing-and-handling-of-wild-game-and-fish
City of Oakland . (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/opr/s/Parks/OAK032395
The Humane Society of the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/facts/rabies.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
Why should I spend my time learning a traditional skill – bow hunting – while we’re living in an era where we have powerful tools for survival such as firearms and the like?
This is a question that goes in the mind of preppers every time the idea of bow-hunting crosses their mind. If you also tend to undervalue the use of bow hunting for survival due to its antediluvian nature, pause and think again.
Acquiring bow hunting skills is as important as I was centuries ago. You never know when you’ll be left with no choice but to use what nature provides a method of hunting. When you’re stuck in the wilderness survival situation, you can bet on a bow and a set of arrows to save you.
Indeed, there are many more benefits that come with learning archery skills for hunting.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Top reasons why should start learning this valuable skill today…
SIX Reasons Why You Should Start Learning Bow Hunting For Survival Today
- Bows Operate Quietly
In most hunting for survival situations, silent weapons are always the best. For instance, you don’t want to shout your location to fellow survivalists as they might follow run with your catch you get on it. For this reason, we highly recommend you to consider using bows which guarantee you of 100% noiseless operation. What’s more, they’re as deadly as the modern day, high-tech hunting tools and will take down your target with a single blow.
- Bows Are Economical
You can acquire a simple takedown bow at a reasonable price of several hundred bucks. One interesting thing about bows is that if you get a high-quality, well-made bow, it will serve you for a lifetime – making your investment worthwhile. Other than the bow, the arrows are also cost-effective; when you’ve polished your archery skills, you’ll find it easy to retrieve and reuse your arrows again and again. Besides, you can also learn to craft your arrows using natural wood or wooden dowels-another quite affordable option.
- Enjoy High Degree of Versatility
The modern day bow has undergone tremendous changes over the past years, centuries, to give you the best regarding performance. You’ll find the modern-day carbon-fiber arrow is incredibly lightweight and features a versatile tip that can accommodate different hunting tips. In other terms, you can use an extensive collection of different tips (including the small game stunner tips, standard practice tips, and so on) on the same arrow for various hunting games.
- Bows Are Incredibly Portable
Look at a simple take-down bow – it only weighs several pounds which make it extremely lightweight for transporting to your hunting spot. The tale gets better when you learn that you only to turn some lug screws to take down your bow. A typical bow comes with three main parts: two limbs and a middle grip section. This further enhances the portability of your bow – you can easily pack it in your survival backpack alongside several arrows (say 5-6).
- Multi-Purpose Weapon
Yes! A bow is highly versatile in the sense that you can use it for various things other than hunting. Simply disassemble the bowstring and use it different situations such as bow drill (for making a fire), make traps and snares, trot line fishing, and so much more.
- Extremely Careless Weapon Laws
And given that the rules and regulation of using these weapons are pretty lenient, you’re freed from the ordeal of the cumbersome paperwork and permits required for other hunting weapons such as guns and pellets.
Expert Tips on How To Get The Most Out of Bow Hunting For Survival
Now, allow me to share with you some great bow hunting tips and strategies that will help you hunt with your bow successfully…
– Strive to be an efficient hunter (that is, know where and when to hunt, and where to keep off). They might sound simple, but if you follow these things, you’ll experience significant changes in your hunting exercises. If possible, use trail cameras to help you determine the hot zones for hunting. This will magically increase your hunting success rates
– Develop patient skills; Bow-hunting is simply a waiting game. Preparation and constant practice will make a huge difference, but if you can’t develop this simple attitude, you might not be one of the best bow-hunters.
– Practice like you’ve never done before. Practicing shooting arrows at a fixed target in your backyard as you sip some beer or smoke a cigar isn’t enough. You need to get real-life shooting experience that will adequately prepare you for a real-life situation. Try to practice out of your comfort zone at all times – instead of shooting 30 yards, do 60. While still at it, it’s important to make ever shot count by being as much accurate as possible. Using a single pin bow sight is one of the coolest ways of dramatically increasing your accuracy!
– Learn to make target acquisition a few seconds exercise. Don’t take more than 4-5 seconds to settle your pin and shoot the target. This is all that matters in real-life hunting situations. Practice holding your bow at full draw as long as you can to prepare yourself to confront that deer the moment it shows up!
– Never wait for the deer to come to your stand. Go where they are. Always be versatile, even if it means putting extra effort. You might even need to climb trees or hide behind logs but know that you’ll be handsomely rewarded at the end of it all.
– One more tip: when hunting try to find hidden food sources of food of the game you’re chasing. If you locate carrots, you’re guaranteed of finding the rabbit there as well. Remember that using lures to draw in the game always work like a charm, so try to be as much imaginative as possible while in the wilderness.
Bow-hunting for survival is a vital skill every survivalist should have at their fingertips. Your guns and rifles might fail, but if you’ve got these skills, they will save you in any survival scenario. Although bow-hunting requires perseverance, lots of practice for you to master it, it’s worth doing all this. It will make you the most skilled prepper who can easily survive in almost any wilderness out there.
Assuming you’ve got the right choice of the bow with you, follow the above bow hunting tips and strategies, and you’ll have a successful hunt!
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!
With Deer season in full swing, the forested areas are loaded with anxious hunters, observing and waiting for the ideal chance to take a shot at deer. In case you’re one of the fortunate hunters Read More …
I’ll admit it readily; I’m a gun snob of the highest accord. I like my guns classy, old, and made of walnut and blued steel, forged and carved by craftsmen from a different era. I’m not saying that I don’t have and use ARs and polymer-framed pistols – I do; they are my “oh shit” guns, and I use and abuse them properly. What I am saying is that if I don’t need to be using that high-capacity new-age gun at a given time, I’m not gonna. Though the AR platform is great for a small-to-medium-game hunting platform, I’d rather ditch the “Rambo” vibe and carry something with a “soul” when I decide to head into the woods for an afternoon of scouting, hiking, or snowshoeing. A well-used and -loved decades-old rifle on my shoulder feels to me like it’s bringing company; call it corny, but I like to think that a small part of every man, woman, and child who ever had that gun in their hands comes with me when I carry these old firearms around. It’s comforting and warming to me – and modern milled-and-molded aluminum and plastic guns just don’t give me the same warm and fuzzy feeling.
To that end, I get picky on the guns that I buy; I’m not an accumulator like many other self-proclaimed gun snobs I know. I buy quality items sparingly, and use every gun that I buy. If a firearm doesn’t perform, just isn’t quite what I had in mind, or falls by the usage wayside, it gets sold or traded off. Too many guns is wonderful, but it’s a maintenance and security liability I don’t want to deal with. So I only buy firearms that I connect with – both literally and figuratively.
The “Walking Around Rifle”
Like the infamous “Scout Rifle” concept idea put to words by the immortal Jeff Cooper, the idea that came to be dubbed my “Walking Around Rifle” probably needs some explanation. While my conceptualization wasn’t quite as specific as Mr. Cooper’s to-the-letter explanation, the idea in my head had to fulfill certain requirements. The idea was kick-started by my sighting of a rifle at a local gun shop – a rifle I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. It was a Savage 23D, a featherweight middle-sized sporter in the elusive and under-appreciated .22 Hornet caliber, manufactured somewhere between 1923 and 1942. The smooth, warm oil-dark walnut with the worn checkering called to me, as did the detachable magazine and slightly worn bluing. The rifle sported an inexpensive Simmons 3-9x scope, probably weighed all of six pounds, and wore a price tag of $350.00. It was lust at first sight. Soon, visions of popping deer-chasing nuisance winter coyotes with the quick-handling rifle were dancing in my head.
I then committed a major gun-buyer faux pas: I didn’t put money down on the rifle. Heating season was coming up, the baby needed winter clothes, and I just couldn’t justify putting bill money down to nab the rifle. (being an adult sometimes isn’t all it’s wrapped up to be). So I put it back in the rack and justified my actions by thinking “surely nobody will want an old .22 Hornet”.
I was wrong. I went back a couple weeks later to find that surely someone did indeed want an old .22 Hornet, and they had wanted it the day before I walked in the door with money. So I was back to the drawing board to come up with a snazzy, lightweight firearm to fill the new hunting/hiking void I’d created in my head.
I sat down and listed my criteria. The needed requirements were few, but relatively specific.
- Caliber – centerfire, flat-shooting, capable of downing small and medium-sized game. I hand-load, so ammunition availability wasn’t too much of an issue as long as I could find brass and it was in a common bullet caliber.
- Bolt-action or break-open, for less moving parts and lower potential for breakage/wear. Likely higher potential accuracy as well over lever actions, pumps, and semi-autos.
- Provision to mount optics, namely a high-quality fixed low-power scope.
- Provision for backup fixed sights – because optics can fail, even good ones.
- Light(er) weight – I didn’t want to pack around a 9 pound rifle – so I was looking for a scaled-down action and lightweight makeup
- Unique if possible, made up of blued steel and walnut – I had to assuage the inner gun snob, after all. I could have sourced a new Remington Model Seven Synthetic in .223 and it would have fit this bill to a T – but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I wanted something less than commonplace.
Why Did I Want a Walking Around Rifle?
I realize some may not see the need for this rifle, and I can understand that. Why carry around a rifle that really is somewhat limited in purpose and versatility, especially when the bug-out AR-15 fits the bill? Why not a bigger rifle/caliber combination, like a .308, that is more capable over a wider array of situations?
Related: The Katrina Rifle
This rifle requirement all stems from what I like to do. My woods time is usually comprised of keeping up to date with bug-out locations, exploring, hunting coyotes, or – most frequently – scouting deer patterns for an upcoming whitetail deer season. A rifle is handy to eliminate pests, use as a signalling device, or even provide security. The rifle has range and accuracy capabilities that far surpass even the most precise handgun, at the price of added bulk. However, when snowshoeing and scaling mountainous countryside with a pack, the added bulk can be a burden – so I needed to be picky about the size and contours of the rifle. Semi-auto firepower wasn’t a requirement – in all likelihood, the rifle won’t even be fired on most excursions – so precision and unobtrusive carrying qualities take precedence over lots of fast follow-up shots.
To sum things up: My rifle’s mission was to be portable,and have more punch and range than a .22 Long Rifle or similar rimfire caliber. The .22 LR works well as a small-game foraging rifle, but just doesn’t possess the additional horsepower I wanted to have available.
So Why These Requirements?
Caliber – Here in Maine, the need for a large caliber to pull anti-animal duty only runs a couple of months – usually September, October, and November, when black bear and whitetail deer season are open, to the delight of local and imported sportsmen. The remainder of the year, most traditionally edible game animals are not legal quarry. Porcupines, woodchucks, coyotes, and red squirrels are the only critters that Maine allows sportsmen to pursue year-round. For these animals, a large caliber rifle just isn’t needed for clean kills. Certainly, a .22 Long Rifle can be considered viable for vermin dispatching duties at appropriate ranges. However, once the ranges open up past 50 yards, the stalwart .22 LR’s and even the .22 Magnum’s meager ballistics start becoming a hindrance, and clean kills are not certain. So we need to start looking at the centerfire family of cartridges to carry the fight to undesirable fur bearing creatures (or even emergency anti-deer use) at longer distances. The .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, and .223 Remington/ 5.56x45mm are all cartridges that were squarely in my sights. Surely, the .22-250, .220 Swift, .204 Ruger, and .17 Remington would have all been good, even excellent, at what I wanted – but since I reload, I wanted smaller, efficient calibers that didn’t burn a ton of powder (eliminating the .22-250 and .220 Swift), and were in bullet diameters that I had on hand – namely the common .224” bullet (there goes the .17 Remington and .204 Ruger.). I briefly considered older-though-still-cool-and-sort-of-useful calibers such as the .218 Bee, .25-20 Winchester, and .32-20 WCF, but the difficulty and expense of finding brass cases to reload, plus their lackluster long-range performance, put them out of the running once my brain overrode the romanticism of using the old calibers. So .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, and .223 Remington/5.56mm were the main focus. Rifles chambered in these smaller cased-cartridges also have the benefit of sometimes of having the action scaled down to the caliber – so you’re not lugging around a full-sized rifle that’s just a modified version of a full-sized short-action rifle meant for the .308 class of calibers.
Action Type – Again, though I had an AR-15 that would fill this made-up mission quite nicely, I just didn’t want an AR over my shoulder while hoofin’ it. I’ve shot deer with a Windham Weaponry AR-10, and while it worked very well on a certain 5-point buck, it just didn’t feel right to a guy who grew up carrying leverguns and bolt actions in the woods. Also, once I shot said deer, carrying the AR became a whole bunch of not-fun: the brass deflector and charging handle kept digging into my body, the Picatinny rails caught clothing and abraded it, and the tall profile just made sure there was more surface area to get in the way. Purpose-designed traditional hunting rifles are generally lower-profile, smoother, sleeker – easier to carry once you don’t need them anymore and you’re dragging 170 pounds of dead ungulate weight behind you.
Also – a reasoning that has somewhat more validity – bolt-action and single-actions are USUALLY more accurate than their semi-auto, lever, or pump counterparts. Yes, I know that there are hideously accurate semi-autos, and I’ve shot running deer at 150 yards with a lever action – but the bolt gun will be a bit more effective on little target critters at further distances due to its higher level of intrinsic accuracy. There are always exceptions to rules, but this is a statement I decided to bank on, based on personal experience and expected usage for the rifle.
Optics/Sights– This is a no-brainer. I need to be able to scope the rifle for longer-ranged shots. However, I like redundancy in my firearm sighting methods, so I’d like to be able to have the provision for iron sights. Scopes fog up, batteries run out, slips and falls leave firearms crashing to the ground (probably onto the largest, harshest, most abrasive rock in three counties) and optics get jarred out of alignment or damaged. A backup set of iron sights – no matter how rudimentary – is just a nice piece of security to have.
Lighter Weight– Again, another no-brainer. The less your rifle weighs, the more likely you will have it with you, and the more convenient it will be. The scaled-down action size of the smaller calibers I was looking at help a lot in this department. I almost bought or sought several different firearms that neatly fit the bill; they were all quite capable and fully met my needs…I just never seemed to pull the trigger (pun intended).
I was drawn to the CZ 527. A nifty little scaled-down carbine with a detachable box magazine, it comes in .22 Hornet and .223 (and interestingly, 7.62x39mm Russian…interesting…). But they are difficult to find ‘round these parts due to their popularity and immense handiness, and I ended up finding my solution before I found one of these.
The H&R Handi-Rifle was a great option, too – and I almost ordered one up. They are rugged, dependable, no-nonsense, inexpensive break-open single-shot rifles that feature interchangeable calibers by swapping out the barrels. I’ve had a lot of fun with these rifles over the years, and they certainly hold a special place in my heart. They come in .22 Hornet and .223, (and lots of other calibers and gauges) with black synthetic stocks that lend themselves well to a beat-around rifle. I know it wasn’t walnut or terribly unique, so I kept looking despite the utility.
The Remington 799 is a scaled-down version of the fabled Mauser 98 action, and if I had seen one in .22 Hornet, .222, or .223 (all standard calibers for the rifle), I might have scoffed one up in a heartbeat if it was of decent quality – I had never actually seen one, but the specs look good. Of course, another Savage 23 or a Winchester 43 would have been lovely – but alas, not for sale in my neck of the woods.
The Solution Presents Itself
After the mildly devastating loss of the vintage Savage .22 Hornet, I was on the hunt. No gun shop in the locale was safe from my perusal. There were lots of options that would have fit the bill, but Captain Gun Snob was being fussy. I wanted something a bit different….
Read Also: Sig Suaer MPX-C Review
One day, my wife and I were skimming through the local Cabelas, and somehow she actually followed me into the gun library (it hasn’t happened again since, I’ve noticed…). She was present at my side when I sucked in a deep gasp and quickly opened one of the upper glass cases to reach for the gloriousness of a rifle that had caught my eye.
A 1950’s-manufactured Sako L-46 “Riihimäki” in .222 Remington, complete with graceful full-length “Mannlicher” style stock, detachable 3-round magazine, and vintage steel-tube El Paso Weaver K4 fixed 4x scope in Redfield Jr. rings had my complete and undivided attention. I fell in such instant and complete lust with the trim, beautiful little rifle that I didn’t even care if my wife saw the $1,199.00 price tag (which she did). I put the rifle on layaway, and a few too-slow weeks later, the rifle came home with me. My wishes had come true and the fun began.
I stocked up on factory ammo and empty brass where I could find it, and I’ve spent a very joyful past few months developing a handload that shoots well. I also replaced the charming (but prone to fogging) Weaver K4 with a vintage Leupold M8 fixed 4x scope that is a perfect match for the rifle. A canvas sling was added, and the rifle has reached “perfection” status in my eyes. It propels a 50-grain Hornady soft-point varmint bullet at 3200 feet per second out of the 23-inch barrel, and can group 5 of them into a neat 1-inch cluster at 100 yards. The rifle has a hooded front sight, and I found an ultra-rare Redfield scope mount with an integral flip-up aperture rear sight. It rides delightfully next to a pack on my shoulder or in my hand,and fulfills every one of my requirements. I’m a happy camper, mission accomplished!
Yeah, But Does This Have Anything to do With Survival?
Some of you may just view this as bombastic gun bragging, and maybe it is to a small degree. But more than that, I’m trying to portray that there are other options – quality, graceful options – out there to fulfill the needs of the forager/scout/pest control mission. I know that for many individuals, the AR-15 or other military-type platforms are distasteful, impractical, unneeded, or unwanted, and commercial hunting rifle offerings punch the ticket nicely. The AR and other platforms are truly versatile and may be a better way to go if you’re on a one-gun budget for SHTF-type needs, but if you have other plans for scouting, small-to-medium game hunting, or pest eradication post-SHTF, why not have another rifle that doesn’t use your stockpile of “oh no” ammo? Why not have a rifle that says “Hunter” or “Rancher” instead of “Prepper” or “Survivalist” or “Military”? And truth be told, the day may come when your AR-15 or similar rifle may not be able to see the light of day due to legislation; you’ll still want to be able to have a quality, accurate rifle on your shoulder that is capable of pulling off multi-mission duty and not set off alarms. A rifle that shares a common caliber as your SHTF rifle may be a great idea too (like the CZ527 carbine in .223 to compliment your AR). Just food for thought.
What do you think? Do you have a secondary/scouting type rifle in your plans? Or does your situation and prepping make a rifle such as this unnecessary? Sound off in the comments!
Photos Courtesy of:
Lauren Nicole Photography
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Learning how to hunt with a bow and arrow, especially with a focus on stealth hunting and tracking, is one of the most valuable skills a prepper can have.
Not everyone plans to become a survivor someday, so learning survival skills isn’t something most people worry about.
Many would rather roll over when the lights go out. Chances are, if you’re reading this, that isn’t you.
What if the unthinkable happens and you have to figure out how to hunt for your own food? Bullets eventually disappear, and sometimes you need stealth instead.
Times like this a bow is your best option. Learning archery, especially with a focus on stealth hunting and tracking, is one of the most valuable skills a prepper can learn.
Here are 5 good reasons to learn bow hunting for survival situations.
You’ll Never Starve
First and foremost, if you have a bow and know how to hunt, you’ll never starve. The best part is you can kill just about any animal with a bow, so you won’t face a life of spam in a can and Twinkies.
Large animals like whitetail deer can feed large amounts of people and are easy to cook and clean in the wild.
If you get sick of wild game, the best bow hunters can use their weapon to catch fish as well. If they’re not good at shooting fish in the water, they can use an arrow as a spear.
You Have Protection
If the world changes in a heartbeat, first responders such as police and fire will be extremely busy. In these types of situations even ordinarily honest people will loot, steal, and misbehave, if they think it will help them and theirs survive.
A bow and arrows probably wouldn’t be someone’s first line of defense in normal society, but when your only goal is trying to survive a bow and arrow can be a good line of defense.
It’s A DIY Project
One of the greatest things about a bow and arrow is you don’t even have to own one to use one in a survival situation.
They are easy to make, and if you’re smart enough to learn how to shoot a bow, you can learn how to make one. Basically, you only need a few materials to make a bow and arrows that will help you protect yourself and hunt for food.
To make a bow in a survival situation, you just need some hardwood to make the bow itself. Items like cattails and small (straight) sticks can be used to make arrows, and broadheads can be made out of stone chips.
Another great source for broadheads is glass. You can break a glass bottle, look for shattered windows, or just look at debris laying near the edges of roadways. Wherever there is rocks, there’s usually glass. Just chip it away to that it’s even on both sides. Keys, computer parts, and many more things can be broken and shaped into arrow heads.
Finding string for the bow can be a bit more challenging. Examples of places to look for string material include vines, strong plants or the thread of clothes you or someone else in your group is wearing.
Bow Strings Are Multi-Purpose
Whether you have a traditional bow string or you’re improvising with items you find in the wild, you can use the bow string to do many other things as well. For instance, you can use bow string to make a snare, use in traps, or even start a fire via a bow drill.
Also, if you find a good source of materials to make bow strings you can create many things. And nothing is stopping you from using the string you are using for a bow to build something else with as long as you don’t damage it.
If you are planning on using string like substances for your survival needs or gear, you should make sure you know how much is available to you and use it accordingly.
Long Range Damage
Not many weapons are as accurate as a bow and arrow when you’re in a long-range situation. With practice, you can accurately use a bow and arrow from 50 to 100 yards away, and good luck trying that with a spear.
Without stating the obvious too much, what this means is you don’t have to get close to something or somebody to either scare it away or kill it, if necessary.
Now you know why you should consider a bow and arrow for survival situations. With a bow, you’ll have a way to hunt prey, you can defend yourself in intense situations, the weapon can be made out of supplies and materials you’d likely find in the outdoors, the bow string can be multi-purpose, and most of all it can be used from long distances, so you don’t have to get to close to something to be able to wound or kill it. So next time you and the family are going over your survival plan, consider learning archery and how to make a bow and arrow from scratch too.
Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE .
Source : besurvival.com
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Getting lost or stranded in the middle of the wilderness is a real case scenario for which every outdoor enthusiast should be prepared. Such an event could happen to you when you’re hiking through a new path, mountain biking over a trail, or out camping with your family. And no matter the amount of food you take with you, eventually it is bound to run out. When that happens, living off the land can make the difference between surviving or starving in the woods.
Hunting is one of your best options if you are lost in the wilderness, which is why you should always carry a Slingshot when you go outdoors. Slingshots are small and easy to carry, but they are also powerful hunting weapons that you can use to kill small game like squirrel, rabbits, pheasants, geese, ducks, or even fish (provided that they are near the surface). Carrying a slingshot in your pocket or backpack will give you a reliable hunting weapon that you can use to feed yourself, provided that you know how to use it.
SLINGSHOTS, THE PERFECT SURVIVALIST HUNTING WEAPON
To most civilians, and casual survivalists, a Slingshot is nothing more than a kids’ toy. It takes a real survivalist to recognize the qualities that make Slingshots such a formidable hunting tool. Sure, firearms are superior in range and accuracy, but when it comes to convenience it is much easier for you to take a Slingshot in your pocket, while you’re hiking, rather than carrying a heavy rifle on your shoulder.
Slingshots are also stealthier than even the quietest airgun, which means that you can shoot at an animal without scaring away other potential preys lying nearby. Slingshot hunting rabbit is particularly easy because rabbits tend to have bigger heads than other small game, are easier to spot, and are an easy target everytime they sit quietly and raise their ears to scout the area. Always go for headshots, but even if you miss rabbits are easier to track than smaller animals and being wounded they are unlikely to go too far.
Getting ammunition for your slingshot is really easy and cheap, so much that you can buy it in almost any convenience or hardware store. A lot of people like to use marbles because they are cheap and do the job. Even a cheap slingshot can throw a projectile faster than 150 feet per second, which is enough to fracture a small animal’s skull and kill it instantly. You could even use regular stones, though their highly unpredictable trajectory makes them almost useless as a hunting ammunition. Steel balls make the best ammo and are the most efficient in killing small animals.
A Slingshot’s effective range is small, but this is unlikely to be a problem for you since many small game animals that live on trees, like birds or squirrels, are unlikely to feel threatened by a human standing below their tree. But even at short distances it takes skill to hit a target, so if you don’t want to starve to death in the forest you might want to start practicing now.
HOW TO SHOOT A SLINGSHOT FOR SURVIVAL
The average slingshot that you can find at Walmart can throw a projectile at a speed that is anywhere between 150-300 feet per second. Speed varies widely from one slingshot to other, and even with the ammo you use, but at this speed even small aiming mistakes can throw off your projectile by several meters and with it your chance to get a meal. As with everything else, practice makes perfect.
The targets you’ll be hitting won’t be moving, but they are so small that you should take your time to practice your skills. You should always hold the slingshot’s pouch lightly and hold it lower in the grip. Many beginners hold it too high, or too tightly and end up shooting their ammo everywhere but unto the target.
Accuracy is key when using a slingshot to hunt in a survival situation. Getting a headshot isn’t only a humanitarian concern, if your ammunition actually hits your prey’s body you will cause internal bleeding, and the meat will most probably be ruined. Some animals, like rabbits or squirrels, will even be able to get away, even though the body shot you scored was a deadly one. Stranded in the wilderness without a dog is not the best scenario to be tracking animals
HOW TO HUNT WITH A SLINGSHOT
Small animals are fast and agile, so getting them while they’re on the run is highly unlikely. So don’t waste your ammo. Wait until they stopped to rest or scout the area and have your slingshot at hand. Opportunities can disappear just as quickly as they present themselves. Your best chance to get some food is if you manage to find the hole or nest where your prey lives. Underground burrows, like those used by rabbits, can be hard to find, but birds and squirrels are easier to spot on the trees. Most bird species use some type of call to communicate with each other which makes it easier to know where they’re at.
Rabbits are some of the biggest animals you can kill with a slingshot. If you can catch them while they’re lying still and scouting the noises in the area, then you have a good chance to hit one. Make sure to use steel ammo because this will increase your chances of successfully hitting and killing a rabbit. A well placed headshot will kill the animal instantly and give you plenty of much needed protein and energy for several days.
Squirrels are easy to find in many forests, and sometimes you might catch them descending from a tree, which is the perfect opportunity to kill one. Even if you miss its head you might be able to hit it in the spine, and if not kill it at least stop it from running. But beware of hitting the body. Squirrels have tough skin so even if your ammo wont tear it, it will waste the meat inside.
Birds are also a great target, and if you are near a lake or a quiet river you can probably find ducks. A single one of these animals can easily feed you for 5 days, so if you are lucky enough to find a flock of ducks don’t waste the opportunity. Take your slingshot, aim and fire away.
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at www.deerhuntingfield.com
Bow Hunting! Josh “7 P’s of survival” This show in player below! All things bow hunting with Signal 11 and Muddy Outdoors Pro Staffer Scott Koedam. I have known Scott since he was in grade school hanging out at the fire department with his father. Scott has been successfully hunting in each season ever since before … Continue reading Bow Hunting!
The topic of children and guns has been a hot one, over the last few years. With accidents claiming the lives of children across the world, it’s easy to see why. But, most people’s reaction to this, is to never expose their kids to guns at all. This doesn’t work very well, though, if you’re a gun owner. Or, even if you just want your kids to be as safe as possible.
It’s important to be aware of the dangers of having guns around your little ones, so this post will go through some of the things to think about. Obviously, it’s ultimately your choice as a parent, as to how you treat your children. So, just use this for reference.
Safety In The Home
If you keep guns at home, there are certain measures you need to take. Keeping a gun in a draw or under a bed doesn’t really cut it. If you want to keep guns at home, ideally you should have a gun safe. Obviously, these are expensive and mainly to deter theft. If you want a more affordable alternative, you can look into other lockable containers.
Any guns that you carry, keep in the car or have to leave out, should all be unloaded with ammo far away. A young child will find it very hard to load a gun; but older children, with some experience, can be a much bigger danger. Keeping ammo and the weapon separate limits the risk dramatically.
Starting from a young age, you should educate your children surrounding gun safety. Teaching your children that guns are dangerous, and should only be used in emergencies, will give them a good respect for the risks involved. You should also teach them that the guns in your home are off limits. Let them know where the guns are kept, under lock and key, but assert that they are never to be played with.
As your child gets older, you’ll want to give them some hands-on education. It is better to start with a BB gun or Airgun, before moving on to a real one. This will give you an opportunity to teach your children to handle guns correctly, without the danger of a real gun. You won’t struggle to find airsoft guns for sale, and they’re very affordable.
Teaching your children early on and throughout their lives will build their confidence. Confidence is key in avoiding accidents. Someone with more confidence will handle a weapon with greater precision and purpose.
Once you have taught your children, you need to watch them. Study how they operate and handle the weapons they use. This will give you a good insight into how you should proceed with further education.
Never leave your children alone with a weapon. Most accidents involving children and guns are as a result of no supervision. Children rarely want to hurt themselves or others; you just need to watch that they don’t make a mistake.
Hopefully, this will give you somewhere to start. Make sure that you research the laws and regulations that apply to your home. You can seek advice from your government and professionals if you’re still concerned.
This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: Keep Those Whipper Snappers Safe: Gun Saftey And Kids
21 Situations Where Paracord Can Save Your Life There are simply hundreds of little things that can go awry on any given day. This is especially true following a SHTF event when resources are scarce and things are chaotic. When you begin to understand this, you realize that you cannot possibly carry every piece of … Continue reading 21 Situations Where Paracord Can Save Your Life!
When calamity strikes and grocery stores become barren, it will be imperative for people to produce their own food. Many individuals who have never hunted will be forced to learn quickly. In my own experience, I’ve found field dressing, not shooting, to be the most challenging part of the hunt. Among those who have never hunted, the prospect of cleaning a bird is probably intimidating.
By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
Thankfully a YouTube user, Shawn Woods, has an informative video on how to clean a pheasant in under two minutes. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a novice, this video is impressive. Novice hunters will learn how to expertly field dress and more seasoned hunters can appreciate a speed run.
A Breakdown of the Process
To begin, it is important to understand you are working with six components for removal: head, tail, two wings, and two feet. First, let’s take a look at the legs of your pheasant. The lower, scaled half of pheasant legs connects to the feathered top at a joint. In a circular motion, cut just below this joint and snap the leg of the pheasant back. At this point, the leg should be hanging on by a few tendons. Cut any excess tendons and remove the lower portion of the leg.
Next, you’ll want to focus on the wings. Pheasant wings are separated by a joint dividing primary and secondary feathers. Grab the primary section of the wing and bend back sharply breaking the joint. Once the joint is broken, pull back to reveal any connecting tendons. In a similar fashion to the legs, cut these connections to remove the primary section from the secondary. With the primary section off, you can leave the secondary section to wait for later. This will addressed during the skinning process.
Now for the good part. Grab the base of the pheasants neck and cut. Without too much effort, this will come right off. Remove the pheasant head and use this opening to peel back skin and feathers. With the exception of the remaining secondary feathers, removing this skin should not be too difficult. For the most part, this should be a quick process.
To conclude, cut the pheasant tail at the base and remove. Next, make a small cut along the lower breast portion; this will create a hole underneath the breast to allow for access to intestines, heart, gizzard, liver, and other organs. Insert two fingers into this hole, get dirty, and pull out the pheasant guts. In a couple of tries, you should have a pheasant largely removed of all organs.
At the end of this process, Shawn Woods produced a cleaned Pheasant in 1:44 seconds. Perhaps the most impressive part of his process is meat retained. Very little was wasted in this process. Although he did not mention it, pheasant liver and gizzard can be consumed as well. In a survival scenario, you will want to hold on to these for consumption.
What the Video Missed
While I was impressed with this video, I must throw in a few caveats. You should not emulate the haphazard process of organ removal used in this video. Take a bit of time to carefully remove intestines and other internal organs. Rupturing these inside the pheasant is messy, unhygienic, and smells god-awful. Nobody wants to clean pheasant meat that has been covered in bird feces.
Also Read: Survival Shotgun Selection
A less important note: when removing the legs, don’t sever the tendons outright. Take a bit more time to pull them out of the bird. While this process will make the cleaning more time consuming, it will expedite your cooking process. Speaking of which, the skinning process used in this video could have been a bit more thorough. Rather than frantically pulling at feathers, a slower approach on skinning yields a cleaner, more hygienic bird.
It’s also important to mention that a thorough cleaning process involves looking for shot embedded in the meat. You don’t want to start digging into your pheasant meat to chew down on a mouth full of metal. The bird in this video seemed to be killed in a pretty clean fashion. This isn’t always the case. From time to time, you will kill a pheasant that is, at points, too mangled by shot to be consumed. In these instances, you will be forced to toss ruined meat.
Wrapping It All Up
As this video demonstrates, cleaning a pheasant isn’t an overly difficult or time consuming practice. If you remember to cut your six components and take time to skin, you will produce a cleaned pheasant ready to cook. Also, if you’ve never been hunting, I recommend you go. Bird hunting is a great deal of fun and a valuable skill in survival scenarios. If you need an excuse to take a few days off and shoot a shotgun, bird hunting is the perfect activity. I challenge you to find an unhappy hunter after a trip out to the woods. The old adage ‘a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work’, is also applicable to hunting.
For the seasoned hunters out there, what is your process? While I think a two minute clean is a little hasty, I was still impressed with the speed clean. Let me know what you think in the comments. Also, feel free to share your hunting experiences.
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I’ll say from the outset that I’m less familiar with air guns than “traditional” guns. Air rifles, to me, have always fallen into the category of a BB gun, the “Red Rider” type that Ralphie wished for in the classic movie, A Christmas Story. A “rifle” that kids use as a precursor to getting a rimfire rifle, something they can use to understand the principles of gun safety while knocking soda cans over with an air-powered BB. This book, along with some independent research, shattered my preconceptions of the air rifle. As it turns out, the air rifle has a rich history and a variety of applications. As much as it hurts to admit, the air rifle may be a valuable tool in skirting gun control laws. As bleak as it may sound, plinking around with an air rifle may be the only option in the future.
In any event, let’s dispense with the gloom and doom and get into the world of air rifles. Exploring the details of miscellaneous weapons types is always fun. It’s even more fun when it brings you back to the days of plinking around the backyard as a kid.
The modern air rifle, in case you’re unaware, is vastly different from its predecessor. The first air rifle, it seems, dates back to around 1580 and now sits in a museum in Stockholm. After a bit of cursory research, I learned early, advanced air rifles were used for hunting wild boar and deer. Of course, these rifles were a bit more hardcore than your traditional BB Gun. In fact, old air rifles were used in military applications as well. Today’s more modern air rifle can do just that in a survival situation. And with what seems like ever-increasing risks of additional gun control measures and expensive ammunition, the air rifle makes sense to add to anyone’s collection of survival firearms. The book covers air rifles from start to finish. All types are covered: CO2 powered guns, spring guns, multi-pump pneumatics, single-stroke pneumatics, and pre-charged pneumatics. The book then moves into the many types of projectiles (more than a novice might think). For preppers, there’s even an entire chapter devoted to “The Survival Springer”. These include models of all types and price ranges. The book also covers sights, scopes, velocity, accuracy, range, targets, training tips, and accessories. Truly, this book seems to cover everything on air rifles.
Related: Back to Basics – Rifle Accuracy
After reading “Air Rifles: A Buyers and Shooter’s Guide” by Steve Markwith, I’m much more familiar with the versatility of the air rifle and have a newfound respect for them. I’m even itching to buy one (or two) now. The modern air rifle could serve as an excellent, low-cost training tool for people that live in more suburban environments where shooting bullets off your back deck is less of a… neighborly thing to do.
Likes & Dislikes
Rich in photos and description, Markwith’s conversational yet informative writing style from his Survival Guns – A Beginner’s Guide holds true here, too. This should be a go-to book for, as the title suggests, anyone thinking about buying an air rifle or anyone that shoots one. I don’t care if you’re a beginner or an expert air rifleman, there’s something in this book that will help.
Also Read: The Evolution of the Black Rifle
My biggest complaint is that, like Survival Guns, the images are informative but are presented in black and white. The book would be richer if they were in color. The writing is better than the image presentation. $12.95 seems fair for the paperback, but $7.95 for a Kindle version feels a bit high. I generally prefer paperback anyway, particularly where this one is in 8×10” size, but Kindle buyers should be able to get this book for something more like $5.95.
If you’re new to air rifles, or are even a moderate user, there’s something of use for you here, I’m certain of it. This book would, however, best serve the individual that’s thinking about getting an air rifle, because the money spent on the book up front would save you money many times over by both helping you choose the right air rifle to suit your needs from the outset, and also help you get the most out of it.
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How to Squirrel Hunt with a Bow
Learn how to squirrel hunt with a bow today with this guest post.
A good way to practice your skill or get ready for an upcoming season is to spend some time in the woods hunting squirrel. Like much small and big game, you have lots of weapon options.
Using a bow to hunt squirrel is a popular choice that requires skill and patience in order to be successful. A compound or recurve bow is a wise choice for squirrel hunting, but a compound bow could be used if you really wanted. Believe, we’ll go over tips on how to squirrel hunt with a bow.
Reasons to Kill a Squirrel with a Bow
There’s always going to be hunters and anti-hunters that think using a bow to kill squirrel is overkill. But, those that love it know there are several reasons to do it. Here’s just a few.
– Arrows can be reused
– Virtually silent (allows you to hunt more squirrel at a time)
– Great way to train for upcoming seasons
Know the Regulations
Nobody wants to risk getting in trouble because they don’t know the regulations regarding squirrel hunting. Make sure you get a small game license. When you purchase the license, you’ll get a hunting regulation booklet. It’s important to read the pamphlet, even if you’ve read it before. Regulations, bag limits, season dates, time limitations, and more can change from one season to another, so it’s important to always read the information and make note of changes.
Choose Your Choice of Bow
Now that you’ve got your duck, er squirrels, in a row, it’s time to decide what type of bow you should use while deer hunting. Obviously, the bow of choice would be a recurve or compound bow. But, as hunting technology keeps getting better and more hunters keep pushing for better ways to hunt, the compound bow has become a good choice as well.
When you choose the type of bow you want to use bow hunting, it’s important to think about what your purpose is. Are you just trying to pass time, or are you training for the upcoming season. If you’re training opt for the bow you’re going to hunt with in the spring or fall. If you’re introducing a young or new hunter to squirrel hunting with a bow, consider a compound or recurve bow.
What You Need to Know About Bows and Squirrel Hunting
You don’t need a ton of power to kill a squirrel with an arrow. If using a compound bow, you probably don’t need much more than a 25-lb draw. If you’re using a crossbow, think about the shots you’re going to take. A squirrel has a tiny kill zone and a small body. Missing the mark could guarantee you end up with a mangled arrow. Just think smart and shoot straight no matter what type of bow you use, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
As you would imagine, squirrels have teeny tiny attention spans. What this means for hunters is that you can be doing everything right and come home from a morning of squirrel hunting empty-handed. Strong winds, nasty weather, and the threat of a nearby predator can cause squirrels to hole up in a tree for hours, which means you won’t see a thing unless you have tons of time and patience. In fact, having time and patience is one of the best hunting skills you can take into the woods with you when hunting small game. Another bonus is having a bit of skill with the bow.
Bow Hunting Squirrel Tips
Squirrel hunting isn’t all about perfect aim and instinct. Sometimes, it’s just about being in the right spot at the right time. In most areas, squirrel is the most active in the early morning and late afternoon. If you schedule your squirrel hunting endeavors during those times, you’ll likely have better luck than any other part of the day.
Another tip to help you provide the meat for your stew later in the day is choosing the right spot to stalk or move through. It’s good to know that squirrels go crazy for acorns, beechnuts, and hickory nuts. So, for the best chance to hit the bag limit for the day is to choose a location near hickory, beech, or acorn trees.
Next, you need to know when a squirrel is close. Falling leaves, changing colors, and camo help hide you from squirrels but it also helps squirrels hide from hunters. What this means is you can’t just count on your eyes to let you know where the squirrels are hiding. Instead, you need to locate squirrels with your ears just as often as you see them with your eyes. Specifically, you need to listen for “cutting.” Cutting is a term to describe the sound squirrels make when they are eating.
If you can hear squirrels eating nuts nearby, you know you’re in a good spot to get some squirrels. It’s a good idea to keep some leaves to rustle in your hunting day pack to try and cover any sounds you may make in the woods to cover your tracks.
Know Your Kill Zone
It’s hunter’s responsibility to take out their prey as humanely as possible. In terms of hunting squirrels, there is one way to do this – a kill shot to the head. There’re several reasons to aim for the head and not everyone is going to agree on how and why you should do this.
First, a kill shot to the head ensures the squirrel doesn’t have time to scurry away. If you hit the squirrel in the body, it may have a few seconds to scurry around, which means they could find a hole and bury themselves in. At this point, it could be nearly impossible to retrieve the squirrel and means it would take the animal longer to die as well.
Another reason to always aim for a squirrel’s head during hunting is to preserve the meat. If you hit a squirrel in the largest mass area, it might not die right away. You may even have to fire a second shot to knock it down. With one or more shots to the body, eatable meat could be destroyed. When aiming for the head, you can preserve as much meat as possible.
Know you have tips to make you a better squirrel hunter with a bow. Get out there and start knocking them down.
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.
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When was the last time you cooked a raccoon? For most people that would be never. Yet for many years, raccoons were on the menu for the Native Americans and the pioneers. In parts of the south, raccoon hunting is still popular.
Raccoons have a wide range, living all over North America. They are easy to trap; my neighbor has caught quite a few when trapping to cut down the skunk population. He uses live traps and most of the time just releases the raccoons. These traps are humane and quite inexpensive.
But raccoons are edible, and if cooked right, they’re quite tasty. Most of us aren’t used to eating many wild animals with deer and elk being the major 2 exceptions. This book explains not only how to cook many different types of wild game but how to butcher them as well. It would be a good addition to your collection of survival related books.
When you dress the raccoon, be sure and remove the brown bean shaped glands under each front leg and on both sides of the spine. Then remove as much visible fat as possible. Then go ahead and roast it or make a stew. Here is a recipe for roast raccoon.
- 1 raccoon cleaned and cut up
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 medium onions peeled and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
Set several boney pieces aside and bread the rest in the flour seasoned with the salt and pepper. Then brown the pieces in the cooking oil in a good frying pan. Drain off the excess oil. Put the meat in a roasting pan; add the onions and bay leaves. Cover and bake for two hours at 350 f or until tender.
Take the boney pieces that you set aside and cover them with water. Simmer the pieces until the attached meat is tender. Use this broth to make gravy.
As with any animal, if it looks sick or in poor condition do not eat it or skin it. Raccoons do carry rabies.
Bowfishing with a Recurve Bow The 5 Best Techniques You Need to Know Bowfishing has become a popular off-season sport for hunters and fishermen alike. When fishermen started bagging fish with arrows tied to bows, the most common weapon choice was a compound bow. Mostly because that’s what serious hunters had on hand, and it’s …
The post Bowfishing with a Recurve Bow – The 5 Best Techniques You Need to Know appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
3 Deadfall Traps That You Should Know How To Make
Trapping is a tradition way to catch game and should be part of your survival strategy. They are all pretty simple to set up but each have their little quirks, advantages, and disadvantages.
You should set up several traps in different locations that you check regularly. Look for locations that show signs of animals, like some tracks that indicate that animals pass by regularly.
You should also try to set the traps away from your camp or shelter so as not to exhaust the game near your camp. The idea is to catch things further out while you can so that if you become weaker you can still obtain food near your camp. (Be flexible and pragmatic about it – don’t hike out 5 miles just to set your traps if it makes you too tired!)
NOTE: Trapping is strictly regulated in most places. So research your local laws and only use these traps in a survival situation or when they are expressly allowed by law.
How to Make a Split Stick Deadfall
The idea is that a stick is cut in two pieces and a bait stick, usually smaller is in between them. The two sides of the stick are balanced vertically.
When the bait stick is moved, the structure falls quickly and the prey is injured or killed.
How to Make a Paiute Deadfall
The Paiute Deadfall trap has a very quick trigger mechanism. It was made famous by the Paiute tribe, out of the Western U.S. It is simple and made with natural materials that will almost always be available.
How to Make a Figure 4 Deadfall Trap
The trap looks like the number “4” and that is where the name comes from. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between this trap and the others.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
None of the traps are particularly difficult but when you’re tired and hungry, you will get frustrated fast. So practice this stuff now when you have the time and resources to learn.
The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive a crisis using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse.
Source : prepperzine.com
About the author : Billy is a Outdoor and Survival enthusiast. He loves camping and hiking, and he has a garage full of gear to prove it! Billy hasn’t been prepping for very long so he’s far from an expert in the prepping area. You can follow along as he earns his stripes here at PrepperZine. Billy’s Fun Facts: – Lives in the southeast, Georgia to be specific. – Been to 49 of the 50 states. Idaho is the only one left and the target date is June 2015. – Drives a beat up Ford F150 – Enjoys the shooting range way too much Catch up with Billy on the PrepperZine Facebook page.
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As I’ve talked to various people about their survival plans, the same themes keep cropping up over and over again. That makes sense, as we all need the same things to survive. On the other hand, some of these common themes contains some really bad ideas.
The bad idea I’m referring to here is those who think that they can just go hunting to feed their families. If what they mean as “hunting” is what they do every fall, then their families are going to starve. But the fact is that while you can’t feed your family by hunting, you can augment your food supplies with it.
The biggest problem is that what most people think of as hunting is sport hunting, not survival hunting. While it’s always nice to get some game while sport hunting, it’s not necessary. If you miss your shot, that’s OK, you can always pick up some steaks at the supermarket. But when you’re hunting for survival – or “living off the land” for meat — a missed shot might very well mean that your whole family goes hungry.
Today’s sport hunting really isn’t all that fair, either. When I was growing up, we weren’t allowed to use feed corn as bait. In fact, we weren’t allowed to use anything as bait. But now, most of the people I know use corn all the time. Without it, I doubt they could get anything.
So, what’s so different about survival hunting? What do you have to do that you wouldn’t normally do?
Hunt for Whatever
In sport hunting, the idea is to go hunting for a particular type of game. In deer season, you hunt deer. In duck season, you hunt duck. But when you’re hunting for survival, you hunt for whatever you can find; even if what you can find is not something you’d normally hunt for. You’re after food and if it can be eaten, then it’s fair game. This could include domesticated animals.
Actually, this points out a huge moral dilemma that few of us have thought about. There are many things you and I can do to survive which may not be strictly legal. The question is, where do we draw the line? That’s not an easy question to answer, especially when you consider that there will be an “after” to the crisis, in which people will be charged with crimes they committed during the crisis. You sure don’t want to put yourself in the position of having to go to jail for feeding your family.
While you will need to be hunting for whatever you can get, you want to avoid hunting for small game. That doesn’t mean that you want to cross small game off the menu, though. Rather, you want to try and trap small game, so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. You’ve got to get enough for your time to make it worthwhile.
I recently went dove hunting with a couple of buddies. While we did fairly well, I couldn’t help but think that we couldn’t have fed our three families one meal with the meat that we’d harvested on that hunt. Dove aren’t very big and you don’t get much meat off of them — maybe a taco or two worth out of each dove. If we had been hunting for survival, that day would have been a net loss.
Few hunters actually practice shooting with their guns. Most of them dig their hunting rifle or shotgun out when it’s time to go hunting, and then put it away for next year. How do any of them expect to be able to shoot accurately, without at least some practice?
I’m an avid shooter who goes to the range about once per week. As such, my shooting skills are fairly descent. This showed in that dove hunt I just mentioned, as I got the first three doves before either of my buddies bagged one. It wasn’t that they didn’t see any birds or didn’t take any shots, but it was that I had been practicing.
Every bullet has to count in a survival situation. Back in the pioneering days, the standard was one shot, one kill. It didn’t matter if dad was out hunting or one of the kids were. Each bullet needed to bag something for the pot. Bullets were too precious to waste.
Knowing the Game and Their Habits
In survival hunting, you can forget about baiting the game with feed corn; you won’t have any. Nor will you be able to spend days on end hunting for one deer. Hunting will mean going out in the morning or evening and returning with game after a couple of hours. Anything else would be an inefficient use of your time.
Survival is too demanding to spend the entire day on one task. Many different things need to be done each and every day. Finding food is one of those things. But it can’t take over the day. So, you’ll need to learn how to hunt efficiently, bagging what you’re after in just a little time.
That means knowing the animals and their habits. Where do they sleep? Where do they eat? What watering holes do they use? When can you expect to find them at those watering holes? Those are important things to know so that you’ll know where to find the game that you so desperately need. The easiest of those to know is when they water. Most animals will water near daybreak and dusk, so those are the best times of day to hunt.
Fortunately for us, most animals are creatures of habit. They will often have a daily circuit where they water and feed in certain areas at certain times. So once you know their habits, you’ll know where to find them.
Don’t Waste a Thing
The Native Americans were great hunters. They were great at making use of what they had hunted, as well. There was no waste, as everything was used in one way or another. The meat they didn’t eat was dried, the skin tanned and even some of the internal organs that weren’t eaten were put to use.
You and I are going to have to learn that, as well. More than anything, we’ll need to be ready to preserve any meat that we bring home if it isn’t eaten immediately. That generally means smoking or drying it, although it is possible to can meat. We’ll also need to know how to tan the hide, as we’ll need that leather for shoes and clothing.
A Final Thought
Mankind domesticated animals because it was more efficient than hunting. And that was back when there was much more game available. In today’s world, finding game is nowhere near as easy. That’s going to be especially true in a time when everyone is out there hunting, because the grocery store shelves are empty.
If you expect to live off of hunting alone, you might have a very unpleasant surprise waiting for you. Unless you live in a very remote area, where there aren’t many others hunting the game, you might very well have trouble finding enough meat for the pot.
What advice would you add about survival hunting? Share it in the section below:
Frogs are considered a delicacy or as a routine food in many parts of the world. Remember that fact when forced to survive in the wilderness and the idea of hunting frogs for eating gives you chills.
Even though many frogs are on the verge of extinction, there are others with so many members that they can serve as a food source in time of need. Read the following article to learn which frogs are safe for eating, and how to catch and turn them into a tasty meal.
Frogs to Avoid
As a rule, most of the frogs in the United States are safe to eat. That being said, as global weather patterns shift, it is entirely possible that poisonous frogs will move into areas where they don’t normally live.
Here are some frog characteristics that may indicate they have poisonous skin or other body parts that make them unsuitable for eating:
- Blue, red, yellow, orange, or other brightly colored frogs. As with many other animals in nature, one that is brightly colored tends to signal danger. They are not trying to hide or camouflage themselves because anything that may try to eat them will see the colors and leave them alone.
- They tend to be active during day hours. Most frogs that are safe to eat will be out during dark hours when their predators are more likely to be asleep or would have a harder time seeing them.
- They are observed eating prey that consume plants with high alkaline content. For example, if there are poison ants in the area, and you see frogs consuming them, these particular frogs may be able to take the poison and store it in their skin. With the exception of one species of frog in South America, known poisonous frogs do not make their own poison. Instead, they consume plants with high alkaline content and then store the poison in their skin. It should be noted that the muscle meat from these frogs may still be safe to eat as long as you know how to get the skin and poison sacs off without contaminating the meat.
- You should also be aware of the differences between frogs and toads, since toads can be poisonous without showing indicators that you would see in frogs. In order to tell the difference between frogs and toads, remember that frogs have smooth skin, while toads will have bumps on them. Frogs also have longer, narrower faces while toads have shorter, wider ones. If you watch a frog capturing its prey, you will notice that it has a sticky tongue that extends easily. By contrast, a toad will actually have to capture its prey in its mouth. Finally, if you watch their motions, frogs will only hop (they also have longer legs than toads) while toads can run and jump as well as hop.
Parts You Can Eat and Parts to Avoid
Typically, most people only eat the back legs of the frog because that is where you will find the most meat. If the frog is especially large, you might also try for the front legs. Even though frogs have a good bit of skin, it is best not to eat it for the following reasons:
- If the frog is poisonous or going to cause you to get sick, the greatest concentration of poison will be in the skin.
- Since frog skin is always moist, it is also a prime breeding ground for bacteria. You can easily come into contact with salmonella and several other diseases. If you must eat frog skins and know that the species is safe, be sure to cook the skins at a high enough temperature.
- Many people feel that frog skin is a bit strong tasting and a bit hard to swallow. Needless to say, if you are very hungry and very little food is available, you can find ways around these issues.
Insofar as the frog’s internal organs, remember that they consume all kinds of insects. You can be exposed to all kinds of poisons and diseases if you ingest the digestive and related organs. In addition, you will also find that frog organs aren’t very large. You are likely to be wasting more time and effort trying to consume the organs than it’s worth.
Testing to See if the Frog is Edible
Consider a situation where you are an experienced camper, have seen the world, and feel that you know just about all there is to know about living off the land. Perhaps you have eaten frog meat as a delicacy, and have even captured and eaten them on your outdoor adventures. To you, it may make perfect sense to consume frogs in the post crisis world, and it is likely that you will look to them as a valuable source of nutrition. Now, let’s add one more point in your favor and even say that you know the local species of frogs quite well in many areas of the United States and feel confident that you know which ones are safe to eat and which ones aren’t.
Under these circumstances, you may feel that you don’t need to perform a modified Universal Edibility Test in order to determine if the meat is safe. You, and anyone that you are traveling with that trusts your judgment on these matters can become very sick or even wind up dead for the following reasons:
- As with any other species on this Earth, offspring can be produced between species that may or may not produce offspring. In this case, as poisonous frogs move from one region to another, they may just produce poisonous offspring that aren’t as colorful or have traits that cause you to mistake them for safe frogs. If you do not run some kind of Universal Edibility Test, you will have no chance to find out the truth before consuming too much of the meat.
- Nuclear attacks aside, there are many other sources of man made nuclear contamination in the environment. Aside from causing all kinds of mutations, the nuclear material may also have a large impact on insects and other food sources for the frogs you are planning to eat. Even if the frog is from a non-poisonous species, that does not mean it isn’t harboring increased levels of radiation that will pose a risk to your health.
- Heavy metals, pesticide runoff, fertilizer runoff, and many other industrial poisons find their way into the water where frogs spend most of their lives. As a result, if you don’t pay careful attention to the area where the frogs are living, and the quality of the water, you may wind up consuming all kinds of hazardous materials that have nothing to do with the species of frog you are trying to consume.
When evaluating the safety of frogs (and many other kinds of game) it is best to do a modified form of the Universal Edibility Test that accounts for modern hazards. Bear in mind that there may still be other factors that you will need to consider and account for in adaptions to this basic method:
- Start off by making sure that you know what region you are in. Find out if there are nuclear facilities, industrial dumping grounds, old factories, or factory farms within 100 miles of the area where you plan to catch frogs. If any of these factors apply, then be extra careful when evaluating each animal that you are planning to consume.
- Next, study look at the soil, water, grass, trees, insects, and animals in the area where the frogs are living. Does the water or soil have an unusual odor to it? Dig into the soil and see if there is an unnatural or chemical smell to it. Is the vegetation healthy, or does it show signs of plant tumors, unusual growth patterns, or sickly development? Are there a lot of dead birds, animals, or other insects around? Do you see signs of unusual growth, deformed limbs, erratic behavior, or anything else that might indicate chemical or nuclear poisoning? If you see sick animals, insects, or plants in the area, you can rest assured the frogs are also contaminated.
- Now study the frogs. Are they healthy and active during their normal hours of being awake? If so, then you may have a safe, viable source of frogs to hunt.
- After capturing one frog that you believe safe to eat, study the bones, skin, flesh, and organs for signs of abnormal growth or poisoning. Make sure that you know enough about frog anatomy and diseases so that you can spot the kinds of illness that might indicate the animal and those in the surrounding area may have been exposed to heavy metals or other toxins that might be harmful to you and other survivors. If you see signs of these illnesses, do not capture any more frogs unless you intend to use them as bait.
- Once you have determined the frog is safe from an environmental perspective, it does not hurt to make sure you haven’t captured a frog that is a poisonous hybrid. For this, you can follow the more conventional points of the Universal Edibility Test. Carefully skin the frog and separate it into hind legs, front legs, organs, and skin.
If you only intend to eat the hind legs, then just use them fully cooked for the test. Just remember if you decide to try and eat frog organs or skins later on, you will need to the Universal Edibility Test all over again.
Where to Find Frogs
Almost all edible frogs will be found in or near a pond or other shallow bodies of fresh water. If the body of water has a muddy bank, reeds, or logs dipping into the water, look in these spots first for frog hiding places.
If you are scouting an area at night, listen for the sound of something jumping into the water, as this is likely to be frogs. To draw frogs to your area, you can try making waves in the water to mimic insects or other prey that would be of interest to frogs.
3 Ways to Catch Frogs
With the exception of making a trap for frogs, the other two methods for capturing them usually have to be done at night when the animals are out and searching for prey of their own.
Method 1: Catch Frogs By Hand
As surprising as it may sound, catching frogs by hand is actually the easiest of the three methods. Once you have spotted a frog, start moving towards it. As you approach the frog, move one hand in circles.
Keep moving your hand with a circular motion, and then simply grab the frog with the other hand when you are close enough. It is best for your catching hand to come from behind the frog since it won’t be able to see your hand that way. You can also aim a flashlight at the frog to stun it temporarily.
Just make sure that you act quickly to grab the frog or it will get away on you. Once you have hold of the frog, be sure to hold it by the hips and let the rest of your hand support under its armpits. The frog will be unable to get out of your hands.
Method 2: Catch Frogs in a Net
After locating a frog of interest, you can use a flashlight or the circular hand motion to slow down the frog’s attempt to escape. Instead of putting your hands around the frog’s body, use the net to capture it instead.
As with catching frogs by hand, the net should come from behind the frog and swish under it. If the frog is on land, the hoop of the net should fully surround the frog. Try to get your hands onto the frog’s body as quickly as possible.
Do not forget that frogs are strong jumpers. If you have one captured in a net, it can jump around quite a bit and make its escape before you know what is happening.
When choosing a net for catching frogs, make sure that the holes in the net are small enough to prevent the frog from through it. It is also better to choose a net with a shorter handle because you will be less tempted to rely on the mesh of the net to hold the frog until you can a better hold of it.
Method 3: Make a Frog Trap
Since you may need several frogs to make a good meal, it is likely that you will want to use traps as well as hunt for them. There are many different ways to make frog traps.
One of the most common ways is to simply get them to fall into a pit or waiting tin that they cannot jump out of easily. In this case, you may set a bucket or something else into the mud bank of a pond, and then cover it over with twigs and leaves. When the frogs land on the twigs, they will fall through and be unable to get out of the pail.
You can also try making a frog trap similar to the way you would make a mosquito catcher. Simply take a plastic bottle, cut the top off, and then invert it into the bottle. Set a cricket or some other suitable bait inside the bottle. Even though the frog will be able to squeeze into the bottle opening, it will not be able to get back out.
Video first seen on Amber Haines.
How to Prepare Frogs for Cooking
Unlike a fish out of water, a frog won’t simply suffocate and die in a matter of minutes. No matter whether you capture a frog by hand, in a net, or in a trap, you will have to kill the frog and then do a bit of work to make what little meat there is ready for eating.
Dispatching the Frog
As fragile as frogs may seem, they can actually be difficult to kill. The fastest and most humane method is to behead the frog. Some people prefer to pith the frog (basically stick something sharp through the brain case so that the brain is destroyed). Other people crush the frog’s skull by bashing it into something hard or using a hammer.
Skinning the Frog
Skinning a frog is actually much easier than it looks. Follow these steps:
- Start off by taking a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the feet at the ankles.
- Next, cut across the lower part of the frog’s belly. Continue cutting until you have made a line all the way around the frog. If you want, at this stage, you can also sever the spine and remove the legs. It is easiest to take them off in pairs so that you do not lose any of the valuable muscle meat. Set the legs aside so that you can check the internal organs for signs of disease.
- Cut from the bottom of the abdomen up to the throat, and then across the shoulders. Open the flaps and observe the organs. Do you see signs of tumors, abnormal swelling, or anything else that might indicate the frog had some kind of disease or exposure to hazardous chemicals?
- If it seems that the frog was healthy, go back and look at the skin from the belly area on the part that is still attached to the legs. You should be able to see a clear color difference between the skin and the flesh beneath it. Take the sharp point of a knife, or even a scissor and gently pry between the flesh and the skin. It will loosen fairly easily. Keep prying until you find something like threads that hold the flesh and the skin together. They will pull apart easily, or snip them with the scissors.
- Once you have enough of the skin pulled away from the flesh, just go ahead and pull the skin straight down over the frog’s legs. Even though frogs skin can be slimy and moist, you should be able to pull the skin with your bare hands. If you are having problems, go ahead and use a pair of pliers.
- Before cooking the legs, you can cut between them. If there are any organs or other material besides bone and muscle, remove it before cooking.
- Do not forget to wash the frog legs in clean water to remove bits of the organs or other unwanted residue that may have come from the skin or other parts of the frog.
Video first seen on Crawdaddy Kings.
Basic Ways to Cook Frogs
You can cook frogs just as you would any other kind of meat. They can be fried in oil, boiled as for soup and stew, roasted, or baked. Do not forget that frogs also carry bacteria just like any other animal. Make sure that the flesh cooks thoroughly, especially in areas near the bone.
Does it Pay to Grow Edible Frogs?
If you have a homestead or are planning to raise smaller animals for meat, you may be very tempted to try raising frogs instead of fish. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:
- Even though frogs are fairly easy to care for, it can take several years for them to grow large enough to eat.
- Since frogs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, you can purchase frogs that are specifically bred for human consumption. Depending on your needs, you may want to start off with about 6 or 7 pairs of frogs and then calculate how many you will need for routine nutritional needs.
- If you have a homestead and outdoor ponds, you can keep edible frogs around to control the insect population. In fact, if you also have larger animals that tend to draw flies and other insects, a few frogs may be quite useful.
- There are few, if any municipal codes that would prevent you from keeping frogs as pets. As such, you can more than likely keep several dozen of them indoors without may problems. Just remember that you will have to keep a fairly large number of if you expect to have a steady diet of frog legs.
- When it comes to alternative meats, frogs taste like chicken. Once they are skinned and cooked, they also don’t look all that different from conventional meat. As a result, adapting to frog meat may be easier and more palatable than trying to adjust to insects. You use them as a “gateway” alternative food if you already know that you will need to make the jump to indoor insect farming.
Right now, there are many species of frog that are plentiful to the point of being a nuisance in some areas. This, in turn, leads more than a few people to believe they will make a viable source of food in a crisis situation.
Even if you are an experienced hunter or camper, and have consumed frogs before, it is important to exercise caution. In these times, our society is not the only thing that is changing. There are subtle, and not so subtle changes happening to the climate and temperatures on this planet. Animals, including frogs, will adapt as quickly as they can. These adaptions may include mating with neighboring poisonous species that will make it harder to determine which frogs are safe to eat.
When consumed with care and awareness, frogs can make a valuable and nutritious meal that should not be overlooked. You may also want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of raising frogs so that you do not have to hunt them or be as concerned about consuming poisonous or diseased specimens by accident.
If I missed something in this post or you’ve tried this wild delicacy, leave a comment in the section bellow and share your experiences and tips with all the readers.
Our ancestors’ experiences serve as a great lesson for those planning to survive any hard times to come. Click on the banner bellow to discover more lost pioneer survival skills!
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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Do you know what skill sets you have accumulated within your survival family? Think about it for a minute. What does each person bring to the survival group that is beneficial and needed in some way or another?
These are thoughts that have been in my mind for a few weeks now. So I sat down and did some research and put together a list of skill sets that are almost a must have for any group. One of the great things about this list is you can mark off what you have mastered and pick something else to work on. In doing this you become multi-beneficial to the group which is fantastic. Not only would you have the skill sets but you can teach the children.
Below are a few things to consider adding to your group or personal skills:
- Perimeter Security
- Plant Identification
- Gardening Skills (includes winter gardening, herbs)
- Butchering Skills (includes salting, smoking and curing meat)
- Food Preservation (canning, drying, dehydrating, smoking, grains)
- Raising Livestock (Chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs)
- Medical Skills/Dental Skills
- Electrical Knowledge
- Sign Language
- Mechanical Skills (cars, appliances, lawn equipment etc.)
- HAM Radio Skills
- Bee Keeping
- Candle Making
- Sewing Skills (Clothes & Blankets)
- Soap Making
- Shoe Making
- Baking Bread
- Churning Butter
- Charcoal Making
- Martial Arts
- Brick Making
- Tool Making
These are the things I can think of and some I found doing research. I hope this helps you out and please feel free to comment on what you would add.
All hunters complain, at least one, about having to buy a hunting license. For that matter, they’ve probably complained that they were limited to hunting only during a few short weeks a year. But in fact, there is a very good reason why we need hunting licenses and we need a hunting season. That is, that without the restrictions that hunting season and hunting laws place on “We the People,” there wouldn’t be any game.
When this country was first settled, it teemed with game. Early explorers were unanimous in their praises for both the quantity and the quality of wild game, ready for harvest by European long guns. Who hasn’t heard the reports of buffalo covering the Great Plains? The herds were so vast that they went on for miles.
Yet where are those vast herds of buffalo today? What has happened to the deer? The truth is that there have been times in our nation’s history where the game were all but extinct due to overhunting. Without proper controls, it could easily happen again.
In the early days of our country, wildlife flourished, especially deer. Reports dating from the early 1800s indicate that there were more deer in Illinois than there were when the nation was founded. Wolves and other predators had been hunted ruthlessly by farmers in order to protect their livestock. This allowed deer populations to grow, as the predators which killed them were nearly hunted to extinction.
But by the late 1800s, the deer population in Illinois had dropped to the point where they were virtually eliminated. Hunters, who were allowed to hunt year-round, without a bag limit, had killed off the deer. 
It took a major conservation effort on the part of the state of Illinois to repopulate the deer in their state, including importing white tail deer from other parts of the country. Now, deer are plentiful once again and hunters are once again harvesting deer in the fall. But restrictions are in place to ensure that overhunting doesn’t happen again.
Illinois isn’t the only state where this happened. As settlers moved westwards, they cleared out much of the wild game population in state after state. This was the result of not only hunters harvesting the game, but also of farmers taking much of the game’s natural habitat. Time and time again, animals were killed nearly to extinction, before conservation efforts were put in place.
The Problem Today
Many survivalists and preppers talk about living off the land, following a societal collapse. But the population of the United States is much higher than it was in the 1800s. In 1800, the entire U.S. population was only 5.3 million people. A century later, it had grown to 76.2 million people. But today, we have about 319 million people.
Less than two percent of our population has a stockpile of food in their home. So, it’s reasonable to assume that most people will be looking for whatever food they can find. Without their normal food sources to depend on, people will be looking for everything from stray cats to edible house plants. Many, having heard of our ancestors hunting for food, will naturally assume that they can, too.
To even think that the current game population could support the current population of people is somewhere on the far side of foolish. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, we have more than 13.7 million hunters in the United States (as of the 2013 hunting season). With that number of hunters, it wouldn’t take long at all to lower game levels to a near-extinction point once again; and that’s without everyone else out there trying to hunt for food as well. (This is why it is so important to grow and raise your own food.)
But we have to remember: Not all gun owners are hunters. With somewhere over 300 million privately owned guns in the United States, there are many more people who will be out there trying to hunt, than the “real” hunters in our society. Even if those people are ineffective hunters, their mere presence will make the game go deeper into the woods.
Let me throw one more monkey wrench in the works here. The vast majority of our population is concentrated on the East and West Coasts, especially the Northeast and Southern California. Yet those aren’t the areas of highest game density. In fact, the areas of highest game density are where the population is lowest. So, the people with the greatest need will find that they will have the least possibility of hunting for their food.
This means that if anyone in the country would have a chance of living off the land, it’s the people who live in the lowest density areas of the country, especially Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Perhaps those people can depend on game to help them survive, but the rest of us are going to need other sources for our food.
What is your reaction? Do you think there is enough wild game to support America, post-collapse? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Firearms Safety for Newbies I put up an article a few days ago about 9 Dangerous Mistakes That New Gun Owners Make, basically what NOT to do when it comes to guns. Now it’s time to learn about gun safety, for those of you who are new to the subject. It seems guns are always in the …
How To Disappear In The Wilderness: A Natural Camouflage Tutorial Knowing how to disappear in the woods is a vital bit of survival knowledge we all think we can do until it’s time to actually do it. When I was in the army many years ago, they issue you camouflage paint to cover your face, …
The post How To Disappear In The Wilderness: A Natural Camouflage Tutorial appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
How To Make A Powerful Slingshot Crossbow I want to share this amazing tutorial with you today because I just love this slingshot crossbow. It is very powerful and can even crush bone. This would be a very handy tool to have for a back up protection weapon or for silent (or as close as …
All You Ever Need To Know About Eating Roadkill This is a touchy subject for some people but for preppers, survivalists and homesteaders this is a great source of meat for their diets. Roadkill has been here ever since the horse and cart and probably been around longer than that, I wonder if the Romans …
Your success when hunting game depends largely on your ability to use your bow. Unlike hunting with a crossbow, every aspect – aiming, drawing and firing – requires a complete commitment from both your body and mind. Whether you are hunting deer with a recurve bow or a compound bow, you need a sight you can rely on.
Which sight is the best? That depends on how and where you like to bow hunt. We will jump into some of the aspects you should consider before purchasing, as well as Five of our favorites in more detail below.
Selecting a Bow Sight – The Basics:
First, let’s cover some of the basics. You’ll likely be using either a recurve or compound bow.
A recurve bow is a “traditional” bow. While the materials may have changed a bit over the years, these are the same types of bows you’d find centuries ago.
A compound bow is a modern bow. This type uses levers and pulleys to bend the limbs. This is an energy efficient method which allows the archer to deliver a lot of force.
Both types of bows require skill to use and require that you select the appropriate draw weight for your strength level and type of prey. You can see compound bow draw weights here, and recurve bow draw weights here. Tuning your bow regularly is also something else to consider as different types of bows have different tuning requirements.
While not every sight fits onto every type of bow, there are some characteristics which apply to every type of sight. Here are some things to look for:
Bow Sight Ease of Use:
Sights are going to need adjustments in the field. You’ll adjust both vertical and horizontal settings. This includes individual pins which will need to be adjusted. If the pins aren’t easy to re-tighten after adjustment, your string won’t stay taunt and your aim can be off.
Lock settings need to have two characteristics. They need to be easy to access, even outdoors under wet and dark conditions. They also need to be large enough to withstand repeated vibrations. Taking a set of wrenches along with you is usually a good idea so you can tighten bolts and screws as necessary.
Many hunters like a level. This helps steady your bow vertically. While looking at a level might not be very practical when out in the woods, it’s great to have when practicing. You can get a feel for how a level bow feels which, in turn, can help develop good habits you’ll then take with you into the outdoors.
You’ll also need to consider the number of pins. Pins are small metal pieces which hold fiber optics within the sight aperture. This is how you line up the target. Pins can be either vertical or horizontal. Sizes vary but can be changed in single models. Thick pins usually have a tendency to obscure small targets, so most archers and hunters prefer thinner pins.
Some sights have also have a Glo-ring around the pin housing perimeter. This illumination increases clarity and helps define the field of vision. Many sights also include an optional light which can also be installed in order to use the sight in darkness.
Archer Optics Light Enhancement:
Whether you’re in the deep woods on a sunny day, hunting deer in poor weather or hunting coyotes at night, light levels are bound to change. There are a few ways you use add illumination to your sight.
The earliest, simplest innovation is basically a miniature flashlight. This illuminates the pins. This is a relatively low-tech, inexpensive method but there are some downsides. First, it requires battery power, which isn’t very dependable. Also, the light is very visible which could make camouflage difficult.
Fiber optics are another option, and many prefer this more high-tech method as they are incorporated in more modern optics like rangefinders and compact hunting binoculars. Fiber optics create light without batteries. They work in both dark and daylight conditions.
Finally, the third popular lighting option is Tritium. This is a radioactive element added to the paint. It gathers light similar to the luminous dial you’d find on a glow-in-the-dark watch. Some sights use a combination of Tritium and fiber optics. (And don’t worry, even though the phrase “radioactive element” doesn’t sound great, Tritium in a bow sight is perfectly safe.)
The Optic Peep:
A peep sight is a small aperture which sits on your bowstring. You align your signs pins to determine the correct distance (elevation can impact your aim as well, so make sure you use an altimeter watch to measure how thin the air is where you are). This is your anchor point.
Peeps come in various sizes. Smaller peeps are hard to use in low light. However, large peeps increase the margin of error. No peep is also an option. This is especially useful if you wear glasses. There’s no 100% correct answer when it comes to peeps. You simply have to go with what works best for your needs.
Cost and Budgetary Constraints:
There’s usually no need to buy the most expensive, deluxe sight available. At the same time, the low-end product lines on the market tend to be too flimsy for heavy use in the woods. Most mid-range bows are going to be suitable for hunting and recreational archery.
If you’re a competitive archer, you’ll likely want a top-of-the-line model.
If you are a deer hunter setting up at your base camp nearby where you’ve got your game cameras stashed out, you’ll probably be safe with something in the mid-range, price-wise. Just make sure the sight is strong enough for your needs. You’ll want a sight made from solid, machine-manufactured aluminum or aluminum composite. This type of material will be lightweight, durable and resistant to long-term exposure to harsh weather.
The Five Best Bow Sites for Recurve and Compound Bows For The Money:
Trophy Ridge React 5 Pin Bow Sight:
Zero in on game with the Trophy Ridge React 5 pin bow sight. This sight includes a built in sight level with .019 Fiber Optic Pins.
Trophy Ridge is one of the top bow hunting scope manufacturers on the market and the Ridge React 5 is no different. It has a reversible site mount and a Rheostat light, making it a great choice for any hunter.
While having an illuminated spirit level can be something that some hunters may want, the most important thing to remember is that you need to have a level shot before you have anything else and the included sight leveler helps make that happen.
Note that bow sights for bows aren’t legal in every state or county. Be sure and check your local laws.
TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight with Light:
Looking for a great value? You should consider this sight. This ultra lightweight carbon sight is durable without being cumbersome. The Tru Touch technical coating provides a soft feel.
You’ll be able to sight with accuracy from long distances with 1.8 inch inner diameter aperture. The sight is also adjustable for both left and right handed shooters.
Vertical adjustability is enhanced by a reversible bracket. A glow-in-the-dark ring helps align the peep sight in all conditions, even darkness.
This sight doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles but it’s easy to set-up and adjust. The light works well, too. And all at a price which won’t break the bank.
Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight:
This sight makes some bold claims: You’ll shoot longer distances and tighter groups or they’ll refund your money. While we’re not sure about their marketing style, the sight itself is pretty interesting. Simply put, this sight is a little different.
The main feature here is the Retina Lock instant feedback technology. This helps control muscle memory, form and consistency. You don’t stare directly at the Retina Lock.
Rather, the placement and brightness mean you see the Retina Lock peripherally. This basically forces you to use the proper grip.
Retina Lock sounds like a gimmick but it’s actually a useful, quality addition. If you’re struggling with proper form, the Field Logic IQ sight is worth consideration.
TruGlo Archers Chocie Range Rover Pro:
Reliable and accurate, the Range Rover Pro is a great choice for any budget. Suitable for both recurve and compound bows, this sight has a tracking design not found on other sights.
You’ll have hunting-level accuracy with the constant vertical movement.
The slider has an adjustable yardage stop and an elevation adjustment. The scope housing has an illuminated green dot to make acquiring your prey easier. Don’t let the low price fool you – this is a well-made sight with unique aiming capabilities.
It’s also adjustable for both left and right handed shooters.
Great Deals LLC 3 Pin Bow Sight – Fiber, Brass Pin, Aluminum Machined:
Strong, steady and easy to adjust, there’s a lot to like about this sight from Great Deals. Made from 6061-T6 machined CNC aluminum, this sight can handle rain, mud and snow.
It’s still lightweight enough to carry with you all day. A bubble level with two vertical bars helps keep your aim true.
The sight has clear markings for elevation and windages. The fiber optic diameter is .029. The sight is also adjustable for both left and right-handed shooters.
The pins are a bit on a thick side. Also, this sight isn’t the best in low-light condition. Still, this is a reliable, accurate bow with a reasonable price.
Bowhunting takes patience, tact and practicality. It’s just as important to know your own limitations versus the limitations of your prey.
Setting yourself up for success means giving yourself an edge. Starting off with the right bow sight can be a welcome addition to any bow hunter’s arsenal.
After you’ve carefully considered your budget, use and brand – you should be well on your way to filling up your tag limit on your next outdoor expedition.
The post Best Bow Sights for Compound & Recurve Bow Hunting in 2016: Optics Reviews appeared first on Wilderness Today.
How to Make a Fishing Spear The Primitive Way This fishing spear is not only a proven way to spear fish, it could help you out as a pretty mean weapon in a pinch! This primitive spear is fantastic to use when catching fish. The 4 spears in one help secure the fish and aids …
It looks like Under Armour has turned on the people who have spent millions of dollars on their products and sided with anti-hunters and the demented PETA idiots.. […]
Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week we will discuss my favorite budget friendly items to build your own outdoor sportsmen’s kit. This kit is similar to my long-term self-reliance kit. I spoke about it a few months ago but it’s much more budget friendly, adaptable, basic and generally a good … Continue reading Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival
The post Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.
An old saying goes, “There is not very much that a man can’t fix, with 500 bucks and a .30-06!”
For more than a century, the caliber .30, year of 1906, has been America’s cartridge. From the trenches of World War I, to the battlefields of World War II, to the Korean War, the deer stand, and the rifle competitions at Camp Perry — the ’06 has been there.
The story of the versatile .30-06 actually goes back to the 1890s, a decade before its introduction. The US military was desperate to get away from black powder and the trap door, single shot Springfields that fired the massive .45-70 cartridge. At the time, nations all over the world were adopting smokeless powder and bolt-action rifles for their respective militaries, and there was no reason for the US to be left behind.
After a few years of trials and much political haggling, the US Army adopted the .30-40 chambered Krag-Jorgensen rifle, a Norwegian design. The rifle was obsolete from the get-go. It had to be loaded one round at a time, and it had a magazine cut-off. These two features encouraged the rifle to be employed as a single shot, with the magazine held in reserve if needed. This was utterly foolish, and proved just as stupid as it sounded on the battlefield during the Spanish-American War.
Another weakness was the ammunition. It was a short-ranged round and did not have the power equal to the ammunition used by the Spanish and their fine Mauser rifles. The US suffered enormous casualties at the Battle of San Juan due to the superior Spanish rifles and ammo.
After the war, the US copied the Mauser, in the form of the M1903 Springfield. It was a beautiful rifle and was originally chambered with a .30-03 cartridge. This was updated in 1906, much to the credit of then President Theodore Roosevelt. The new cartridge was based on the 8mm Mauser round used by the German army and was just as powerful. Thus, the .30-06.
The cartridge saw its first action in the Philippines, Mexico and France during WWI. After the war, soldiers brought back their Springfield and US Enfield rifles (also chambered in .30-06). Many were sporterized by hunters and taken afield, where the .30-06 proved a very capable hunting cartridge. The ’06 could handle any game animal in the US, and most other game around the world.
Another World War came, and afterward millions of rifles and billions of rounds of surplus ammunition flooded the civilian markets. By now, civilian hunting rifles chambered in .30-06 became more and more common. Deer, elk and moose hunters especially carted .30-06-chambered firearms into the woods to bash their hoofed quarry into submission and fill the freezers back at home. In fact, the .30-06 was the most popular sporting cartridge after the venerable .30-03 in the post-war years in America.
The .30-06 also has served as the parent cartridge for many equally successful loads, especially the .270. In fact, between the .270 and .30-06, more elk have fallen to these two cartridges in the past 70 years than any other chamberings, other than perhaps the .30-30.
In the 1960s, Remington introduced the model 700 hunting rifle, millions of which are chambered in the ’06. The age of mass-produced, relatively cheap hunting rifles had arrived and has not stopped. Today, the .30-06 maintains its place as the king of American hunting cartridges, long after its military service has ended.
The .30-06 can be found in many different bullet weights and powder loads. There are loads tailor-built for whitetail or mule deer hunting. There are loads for elk and larger game. There are even loads for sportsmen to take to Alaska and Africa to take dangerous game such as the coastal brown bear. Just about every gun shop or sporting goods center carries .30-06 cartridges. While more expensive than it has been in years past, it is still affordable. Cheap import ammunition still is available and makes the price much more affordable for the budget-minded shooter.
More than 100 years after its introduction, it’s clear why the .30-06 remains one of America’s favorite calibers.
What advice would you add about the .30-06? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Regardless of whether or not we like to admit it, we humans are creatures of comfort. After all, we build nice, cozy, houses to keep us warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and dry when it rains. We like to sleep on nice, comfortable mattresses or sleeping bags. Also, we have pantries, refrigerators, ranges, and microwaves in our kitchens so that our favorite foods are readily available any time we want them. We bring sleeping bags, camping stoves and large family tents on our hunting or outdoor trips in order to keep ourselves in the highest levels of comfort.
Whitetail deer have no such luxuries. Instead, they live outdoors where it’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and wet when it rains. Also, unlike we humans, deer have neither pantries nor refrigerators, so they have to eat what is available in their area at any given time of year. Deer are quite accustomed to a level of hardship that most humans avoid like a stranger that wants to borrow money!
Whitetail deer are also far better adapted to a life outdoors than humans are. They not only have metabolisms that enable them to withstand cold temperatures that would freeze most humans to death, they also have their own fur coats whereas, we humans have to appropriate ours from other animals or make them from synthetic fibers.
Because we humans tend to studiously avoid hunting in bad weather, we are amazingly adept at convincing ourselves that whitetail deer feel the same way that we do about it! But because deer live outdoors twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and have warm, waterproof, fur coats, as well as a need to feed daily – the fact is that they have far less aversion to traveling and feeding in bad than we humans do.
Many an experienced hunter has also observed that deer seem to have some innate sixth sense that warns them when a storm is approaching about as far ahead as our modern weather forecasters can predict and thus, they do tend to feed more actively during the couple of days prior to the storm’s arrival just in case the weather does turn out to be severe enough that it prevents them from moving beyond their bedding areas.
This can make for an exciting crossbow hunting trip in the most daunting conditions. When hunting deer, you have to keep in mind that adverse weather will impact your hunting tactics more if you are compound bow hunting versus if you are hunting with a 308 or a 30-06. Hunting Binoculars will come in handy as will rangefinders to ensure that you are measuring the most accurate distances while taking wind into calculation of your shooting trajectories.
Let’s look at how deer move around during adverse weather conditions.
Deer Movement During Windy Conditions:
Deer seldom seem to mind a light breeze that simply rustles the tips of ground level foliage a bit, they do tend to avoid moving during periods of high winds because this type of wind makes it very difficult to detect and identify predators since it shreds their scent and makes it difficult for them to determine which direction it’s coming from.
This makes it very difficult for them to hear a predator approaching over the rustling of the brush. This makes spotting predators difficult because of all of the moving foliage also hides the predator’s movement. On days when the wind is light and, especially when it’s steady from a single direction rather than swirling first from one direction and then another, they tend to move and feed very actively.
They are not only able to use the steady breeze to approach their favored food sources from downwind while detecting any predators waiting in ambush, but the slight rustling of the bushes helps to cover the sound of their steps as they travel; thus increasing their level of stealth.
Keep in mind that if you are bowhunting, you absolutely must make the right judgment call on accounting for the wind in your aiming trajectories. Not doing so will likely cost you a clean kill.
Deer Movement During Rainy Conditions:
The same can be said for light rains versus torrential downpours. In fact, during periods of heavy rain, deer also have difficulty smelling, seeing, or hearing predators approach and thus, they also avoid moving during these periods until the rain either slackens or quits. The same can be said for light rains since a light rains tends to soften the leaf litter under hoof. This silences their footsteps and it helps to prevent their scent from traveling and alerting predators to their movements as well.
Rather than pass away the hours dreaming about deer hunting while remaining warm by the fire during periods of inclement weather, experienced hunters have instead learned to use bad weather to their advantage. In fact, simply by watching your local weather report, you can actually predict when the best time to go hunting for whitetail & red deer is!
Deer have an incredible, innate, ability to sense approaching storms (probably by noting the smell of the air combined with subtle differences in barometric pressure) and thus, they are forewarned that the weather will soon turn. While deer don’t seem to be bothered much by light winds and/or light rains, they do tend to bed down in both heavy winds and heavy rains. A good altimeter watch can help you notice differences in air pressure as well, so you can pickup on incoming storms in the same fashion as the deer you hunt.
Because deer are forewarned of approaching storms, they tend to feed lightly both prior to and after minor storms and to feed heavily prior to and after major storms. Deer are fully aware that minor storms are little hindrance to them but, major storms may very well force them into their beds for an undetermined period of time.
Below is a great video HamBrosOutdoors put together of hunting out in the rain:
Deer Movement During Snowy Conditions:
Similar to heavy rain and other hard weather conditions, deer act similarly in both light and heavy snowfall and most especially for blizzards. This behavior has been seen and documented well on different trail and game cameras. Deer will often feed lightly prior to and after the first few snows of early winter.
Just as soon as they sense a major snowstorm arriving, they will drastically increase their feeding activities. Deer can often be seen feeding throughout the day prior to a storm so that they can consume and store as much food as possible before the storm arrives and drives them to their deep woods havens.
Deer have a high metabolic rate and use up energy at a much faster rate than humans. They have no way to gather and store for food for convenient consumption at will like humans do. So when deer are forced to stay in their beds for extended periods of time by extremely harsh weather, they are often ravenously hungry when the weather finally passes. As a result, they also tend to feed heavily after the passing of a major storm.
Both prior to and after the arrival of a major storm are both excellent times to go deer hunting because the deer will be not only be feeding actively, they will also be single-mindedly focused on their task making them less wary than usual.
Deer Movement During Periods of Severe Cold:
While we have so far discussed how whitetail deer react to wind, rain, and snow, we have not yet discussed their reaction to extreme cold. The fact is that human hunters use excessively cold temperatures as an excuse not to go hunting just as often as wind, rain, and snow!
Deer live outdoors twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and, because they have a thick fur coat made from course, hollow, hairs combined with relatively thick skin and a thick layer of subcutaneous fat. They are not bothered by the extremes in weather that so discomfit humans with our thin skins and lack of fur. But, that is not to say that deer are altogether unaffected by cold weather.
In fact, their reaction to cold is very similar to their reaction to both wind and rain in that as long the cold is relatively mild, they tend to be significantly more active. They are more active in feeding than earlier in the year because their bodies require more calories to generate heat in cold weather. Just like days when the wind is howling at gale force and/or the monsoon rains have arrived and the whole forest sounds like the Amazon Jungle in a downpour, during periods when the overnight lows dip down to single digits and below due to an arctic blast from the north, deer then tend to stay in their beds until mid or late morning.
They do this in order to conserve valuable body heat and then rise and move out to feed once the Sun has been up for a while and the ambient air temperature has risen a bit. They also tend to feed most heavily just prior to the arrival of such air masses so that they can store enough energy to allow them to be able to lounge in their beds until the air warms a bit.
As you can see, while many whitetail & red deer hunters find inclement weather to be both inconvenient and uncomfortable with good reason, the fact of the matter is that the couple days just prior to the arrival of a major storm or cold air mass as well as the first couple of days after its passing can actually provide hunters with the best possible opportunity to fill their tags for the season.
Rather than disparage bad weather, deer hunters should instead learn to embrace it since both its coming and going herald some of the best days of the year to go hunting!
The post Do Deer Move In The Rain and Wind? Whitetail & Red Deer Bad Weather Hunting Tips appeared first on Wilderness Today.
How To Make A Survival Bow Knowing how to make a survival bow is a great skill set to have. Making one is so easy even your kids should learn this. Having a bow and arrow in an emergency will increase your chances of survival significantly. In fact it could mean the difference between no …
Water purification tablets are a great back up form of water treatment. They are excellent Bug Out Bags and survival kits because they are light weight and inexpensive. Water purification tablets are also great to store in your vehicle or your bug out location to disinfect water on demand. If the water supply I am drawing from is extremely shady I combine both a filter and the tablets to ensure my safety. Also, be aware that water purification tablets have a shelf life. Check the expiration dates on your tablets and replace any that are expired.
Water purification can come in tablet or droplet form. The tablet form is better because it is a lighter weight that droplets and easy to use when in a stressful situation.
Two water born pathogens that commonly found in untreated water- Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea in humans. According to the CDC it is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. In a disaster situation where government maintained services are effected, it is highly likely that this protozoa parasite will find its way into our water supply.
Giardia attached to the wall of the small intestines. Giardia is also an infectious protozoa and it is a big deal in emergency preparedness because it can have such a dramatic effect on your health. The symptoms of Giardia, may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea.
The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment in about 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and sometimes the infection is more severe requiring immediate medical attention.
There are three main types of water purification tablets on the market (Chlorine (NaDCC), Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide) . Not all are equal as each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Choose the purification tablet that works the best with your situation and location.
Chlorine Dioxide Tablets (Potable Aqua, Katadyn and Aquamira Brands). Even though the word “chlorine” is in the name, chlorine dioxide is neither iodine nor chlorine. It uses a highly active form of oxygen to purify water so it leaves absolutely zero taste. As a nice bonus the action of chlorine dioxide causes a lot of sediment to drop out of suspension (fall to the bottom) leaving the container of water more clear and further improving flavor. Chlorine dioxide tablets are a good choice for those allergic to iodine, with thyroid problems, or on lithium. Always follow product usage instructions.
Chlorine NaDCC Tablets (Potable Aqua, Oasis Plus, Aquatabsand Rothco’s Military “Chlor-Floc“ Brands). NaDCC, also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or sodium troclosene, is a form of chlorine used for disinfection. NaDCC tablets are different and improved over the older chlorine based (halazone) tablets. When added to water, NaDCC releases hydrochloric acid which reacts through oxidization with microorganisms and kills them. Many tablets advertise no chlorine after taste. Unopened NaDCC tablets have a shelf life of 3-5 years, if opened they should be discarded after 3 months. Always follow product usage instructions.
Iodine Tablets (Potable Aqua,Coleman, and Coghlans brands). Iodine Tablets use iodine to purify contaminated water. Most iodine purification tablets tend to leave a funny taste to the water and some discoloration, however vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be added after the treatment time to improve the taste and remove the color. This often comes in the form of two bottles with two separate tablets. Iodine water treatment has been proven to be somewhat effective against Giardia and not effective against Crytosporidium. Always follow product usage instructions.
How To Make And Hunt with a Paracord Sling This how to make and hunt with a paracord sling is just pure genius, David killed Goliath with a sling so why wouldn’t we be able to kill some rabbits or squirrels with one. I personally have never tried hunting this way, I have seen others …
Fishing Without Fishing Gear See how to catch fish without fishing gear in this pretty cool article from thereadystore.com. Fish have all you need to survive, caloric wise. They are full to the brim with omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients your body needs and probably the best of all, fish can be eaten raw …
For most of us, finding out the day’s weather is as easy as turning on our television or checking the forecast on our smartphones, but the native people of North America had to rely on what they were taught.
They simply read the signs of nature – a skill we should practice more.
Learning to read the signs of nature, which are often right in front of us, can help us track animals for food, find safe sources of food and water, and even predict the weather.
In fact, most indigenous children were able to survive on their own at a very young age because they were taught the signs to look for almost as soon as they could talk.
Unfortunately, many of these skills have become forgotten by most in our society over the last few centuries, but you can still pick up these important survival skills and learn directly from nature.
1. Following the Weather
No matter what part of the country you are living in, bad weather can sneak up on you. Indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings, knowing that dangerous animals, enemies or storms could be just around the corner.
By paying attention to nature’s signs, native people knew that one can almost feel bad weather before it starts. Before a big storm, the wind generally picks up, making the leaves on trees twist and showing you their lighter-colored underside. Look into the distance and see if you can see rain further out. Take a deep breath. Native people find that you can smell rain in the distance, even if mountains prevent you from seeing it. Birds will fly lower to the ground and begin to gather in the trees, even though it is still mid-day. Crickets will stop chirping. Fish sometimes come to the surface and even leap out of the water. If wildlife around you suddenly disappear or if you spot seagulls farther inland than normal, a storm is surely on its way.
Over the centuries, native people relied on the same water sources year after year. But for non-nomadic tribes, or when traveling, finding water was a skill no one could afford not to learn! To find water, native people learned to look for green-leafed trees, such as aspens or cottonwoods. The presence of birds, dragonflies or other animals usually means that there is water somewhere nearby. Native people learned to watch for animal trails, such as deer paths, and to follow them downhill. Since animals need water as well, you can bet that a trail will eventually lead to a watering hole. Also, if animals were drinking it, the water was most likely safe to drink. Canyons that face north are more likely to have watering holes, even in the summer, as the sun does not penetrate that far inside the canyon. Natives knew that a dry river bed might still have water. They would look for green plants clinging to the edges and dig right next to them. Chances are that water was just a few inches below the surface.
3. Knowing Which Wild Plants Were Safe for Eating
This is another skill that native people passed down to one another, and it varies greatly depending on where you are. While indigenous people knew that cattails were quite edible, there were not many in the deserts or dry valley areas. Non-nomadic tribes, such as the Ojibwa, raised crops on family plots, but nomadic tribes learned over the centuries which plants were safe to eat and when to harvest them. Native people learned to watch the animals for reliable food sources. Squirrels, blue jays, crows and other animals sometimes hide food — such as acorns — for later consumption. If food was scarce, these were dug up and eaten. Many tribes knew that when birds, deer or other animals were eating berries, these were generally safe for humans as well. Many wild berries, such as blackberries, grow near the forest edges. Plantain is found almost everywhere in the U.S. and can be eaten raw or cooked. Dandelions are another edible plant. (But don’t ever consume mushrooms unless you are 100 percent certain you know what you are choosing, as many are poisonous.) The indigenous people looked to the trees to find nuts or fruit. Native people learned to avoid plants that smelled like almonds, or any plant that has thorns.
4. Finding their Way Home
Ever wonder how the native people of this land never seemed to get lost? Even when a single young man would walk out into the woods to hunt, they never seemed to have trouble finding their way back. How did they do this? Again, indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings. They knew a marker (such as a mountain or a particular growth of trees) that would help to guide them back. Also, without a compass, they still knew the four directions.
Even without sunlight, they would know that the north end of a gorse bush, for example, had the thickest tufts of “flowers.” They also knew that trees tend to grow longer or grow more branches on the side that faces south. Before they even left camp, indigenous people knew what direction their camp lay in relation to their journey, so finding their way back was pretty easy.
5. Finding Meat
Native people ate quite a bit of meat when they could find it. Since animals tend to migrate or move about to find their own food, meat choices for indigenous people varied, depending on the season. Fishing was always a good source of food. Nets, not poles, were the preferred method of fishing, although spears were also sometimes used in deeper water.
Many women made traps near water sources or along known animal trails. Birds, such as ducks and geese, were often caught using traps, bolas or slings. Even small children learned to use slings or slingshots to kill rabbits, raccoons and squirrels.
For most of us, skills such as these would take a lifetime of learning, or at least several years of classes, plus practice. However, for the native people of North America, reading the signs of nature was as normal as putting on moccasins in the morning.
What skills would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:
How to Skin Deer, Elk, Antelope, Goat, or Sheep I want to start off by saying I have never tried to skin anything. I know I need to learn so that’s why I went hunting for some good information on how to skin animals that I may most likely come across in a SHTF situation. They …
After numerous fishing, hunting and backpacking trips, I’ve found myself lost more times than I’d like to admit. Over time I learned the hard way and spent a good amount of effort learning some basic techniques for those occasions when I simply assumed I wouldn’t need a compass.
We all know a compass points north. At least to magnetic north, which is close enough to true north to help you get where you want to go. But if you don’t have a compass, there are a few other ways to make sure you stay on course:
1. Know that the sun rises in the east. Or at least very close to true east. Figure out where the sun is rising and the opposite is west. If the sun is rising to your right then straight ahead is north. You should be able to figure out south and west from there. The same rules apply as the sun sets in the west, but if you’re still lost you’ll probably want to make camp rather than wondering around after sunset.
2. Know that the North Star is in the north. It’s actually true north. If it’s not cloudy, then you’ll find it at the tail end of the Little Dipper. Lay a stick on the ground with a couple of small sticks to make an arrow so you can wake up in the morning and remember the direction. The sun rising to your right in the east also will confirm that your arrow is correct.
3. Drive a stick into the ground about 12 inches high. Assuming it’s sunny, it will cast a shadow. Put a small pebble at the end of the shadow. Wait about 15 to 30 minutes and the shadow will have moved. Put another pebble at the end of the shadow. Now draw a line through the two pebbles. You now have an east/west line. Look at which side the shadow is pointing over that east/west line. It will be pointing in a northerly direction given the sun favors the south side of the sky. Draw a line through the east/west line at a 90-degree angle and you’ve got your coordinates: north, south, east and west.
4. Make your own compass. You’ll need a needle, a piece of wool or silk, a leaf and a puddle of water. Rub the needle with the wool or silk about 100 times and the needle will actually acquire a magnetic charge. You also can (carefully) rub the needle through your hair. Place the leaf delicately on the pool of water and place the needle on top. If there is no wind, the needle should align with magnetic north. The thicker end of the needle (the side with the eye) will favor the northern direction. You also can use shadows (shadows tend to favor north) to determine which way your needle is pointing. From there, you can figure out your coordinates.
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5. Look for moss on (certain) trees. There are a lot of skeptics about this technique, but it can work if you find the right tree. Look for a solitary tree that is openly exposed to the sun. Moss likes shade, and the northern side of a tree is typically in shade most of the day. If the tree is deep in a forest, it will be a far less reliable source to base direction on, as shade is more common there and the appearance of any green or moldy growth could surround the trunk.
One Last Thing
Knowing which way is north, south, east or west has little value if you have no idea what lies in any direction. Before you depart for that casual walk in the wilderness, take some time to understand the general location of key landmarks like a road, river, lake or highway. If you know there’s a road to the north and a river to the south, you’ll at least have a chance of finding your way back when you arrive at that landmark.
What survival advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
Ethical Hunting during shtf Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” The subject of food storage is a big thing with preppers and those that want to start prepping. But we often forget to look at the need for a backup plan to get our number one resource and that is sustenance. Hunting is one of the … Continue reading Ethical Hunting during shtf
DIY Beer Bottle Cap Fishing Lures Being able to catch your own food in an emergency situation is vital. Make fishing lures out of beer caps and have fish for dinner 🙂 We may laugh about this article, but this may just mean the difference between starving and surviving. The basics of this project are …
Air rifles have been around for quite some time. The Austrian army equipped some of its units with air rifles in the early 1800s, and the Lewis and Clark expedition carried one on its westward journey. Back then, a huge flaw of the air rifle’s design was that it was delicate and had to be pumped over 100 times to fill its air reservoir.
I fondly remember my 10th birthday. It was the day I opened up that beautifully wrapped box to find a Crossman pump action air rifle. The rifle was capable of not just firing your standard BB, but also .177 pellets in single shot mode. I was given a carton of BBs, and a box of wad cutter pellets.
For that glorious summer I was Wyatt Earp, or a big game hunter in the Yukon. Many mourning doves fell to my deadly aim, as did a great many tin cans and hornet’s nests. The rifle was joined that winter by a pellet pistol and now I was armed for whatever situation boyhood could throw at me.
Today, the pellet rifle is starting to come into its own among survivalists and hunters, and is seen as more than just a child’s tool before they own a real firearm – for a host of reasons.
The pellet rifle has proven itself to be a fine small game implement, and can feed a man lost in the woods on squirrel, grouse and rabbit. The pellet rifle is compact, and can allow the carrying of more ammunition than even a .22 long rifle, especially if it is pump-operated and does not employ C02 cartridges. And a pneumatic air rifle can deliver velocities within a range equal to that of many big game rifles.
It is not uncommon to see Internet photographs of hunters who use air rifles posing with their big game kills such as a wild boar or deer. No, I don’t recommend you take even the most powerful air rifle with you on your next Alaskan brown bear hunt. But a proper air rifle is suited to most game found in the lower 48 states and much of Canada.
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As a survival tool, an air rifle equipped with a pump rather than a CO2 cartridge is a fine choice to provide food in a desperate situation. In fact, as long as you have pellets, your air rifle can keep supplying you with needed protein. Pellets, being as small and light as they are, can be easily carried in large amounts in a pocket or backpack. The amount of pellets carried can easily be in access of several hundred, and an equal amount of standard ammunition would be a weight too great for most wilderness travel. In fact, just 100 rounds of ammunition can weigh several pounds.
An air rifle, while not being as long ranged as many rifles, can certainly provide you with more range than a sling shot. An air gun is also silent, a trait that you will not find with your .30-06 or even a .22. Often, an air gun will allow for a follow-up shot if you miss a game animal, since they won’t be spooked by noise.
The Right Air Rifle
Picking the right air rifle is just as important as picking the correct hunting rifle or your home defense weapon. It should come from a reputable manufacturer, and should work every time you need it. I strongly recommend that you pick a rifle that utilizes an air pump system rather than CO2, simply for the fact that if you run out of CO2, you are carrying a giant paperweight. You will not be running out of air to pump into your rifle anytime soon.
There are two manufacturers I really count on for a quality air rifle – Gamo and Benjamin. Both have been in the market for a long time, and both build quality products. They offer rifles in .22 or larger calibers, and their prices are affordable. It will not cost much more for one of their air rifles than if you were to go out and buy a new .22LR rifle.
Depending on your needs, you may even want to put an optic on your air gun. I have done so before, and I use a decent .22 scope. I get around the same results as when I mount one on a rimfire.
So before your next wilderness trip or trip to the firearm store, consider an air gun.
What advice would you add on air rifles? Share your tips in the section below:
About the only tangible aspect we have for a real bug out is the bug out bag. Sure you might have a BOVehicle or BOLocation, but BOBag is often the beginning and the end for most lightweight survivalists and preppers. The problem is that unlike taking a cruise to Alaska, or a family trip to Disney World, pretty much nobody you know has bugged out in the pure sense of the verb. Now while I would actually like to keep it that way, the point of this blog, and your reading of it no less, is to cover the bug out contingency the best you can. Unfortunately, most of the words about bugging out and bug out bags in particular are recycled from questionable sources or where someone played connect-the-dots using military-grade playbooks.
By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Over the years I’ve read many of the same recycled advice columns about setting up a bug out bag. And I’ve listened to podcasts from information purveyors whose bug out plans were gleaned from a Boy Scout camp out in fifth grade. As I consumed the advice I’d pick and choose what I wanted to believe based on my past experiences, and what made logical and practical sense. But I could only take so much non-information or bad ideas before I stopped listening or reading. Not that I have anything against recycling because I’m actually greener than most (many of us who dabble in off-grid solutions are), but that it seems nobody else will step up and risk being labeled as a heretic only to be chained to the proverbial internet post and flamed by the those who own recycled advice has just been challenged.
Above the Belt
Before reading further, here are my ground rules: First, this is about bug out bags or BOBs, not Get Home bags, not 72-hour bags, and not any of the other short-term carryovers or disaster-specific bag variations. Second, obviously rules can be broken, but you need logical reasons to break them. Skill and experience will make up for some lack of equipment, but so too can good equipment make up for lack of skill. To a degree anyway.
And third, this article was written with the intent to shake some popular beliefs that are repeated ad nauseum across the internet whether or not the parrot has ever tested their own advice. Everything I address here is based upon my real-world experience. Of course you are free to do and say what you want, but when the fat lady sings you better have chosen wisely.
1. Do have a very big bug out bag
So-called bug out experts seem to fixate on backpack size because of noble but misguided intentions. The inaccurate but common belief is that a big bug out bag will be overpacked and impossible to carry. In reality, that logic just enforces my belief that the one giving the “smallest possible bag” advice has never done anything big outdoors. There are five main reasons you want a big bug out bag.
1) You can pack more (but see topic #2 below for more on this).
2) Big packs carry heavy loads much better than smaller packs. They hug the body and distribute weight so a 30 pound small pack is a pain, but a 30 pound large pack is almost invisible (but see topic #4 below to get it right).
3) You can use a large pack as a sleeping bag or bivy sack.
4) You can always carry air. Nobody is going to make you fill all available space in your pack.
And 5) If you leave home with a stuffed small pack, you cannot add to your load as you go. So unless you are bugging out on a commercial airline flight, you can forget about carry-on size limitations and do this right.
2. Do pack everything you think you might need
For some reason many bug out bags are packed with more good ideas than real-world supplies. There is a prevalent fear that “too much” is bad. Well, I like to say that you cannot dump out what you don’t have. Imagine an EMP caused you to hit the “go button” on your bug out plan. A month before, however, you cut down the size of your bug out bag assuming that the 30 mile jaunt to your bug out location (BOL) would be easier with a minimalist carry.
Related: The Best Food for your Bug Out Bag
But just as you head out the door, your neighbor fires up his EMP-proof truck and offers you a ride in the right direction. No time to pack more, so guess what, you just made a colossal mistake in packing and you haven’t even left yet! If you neighbor happens to drive a Chevy Luv packed to the gills, then you can dump out that case of Dinty Moore Beef Stew in order to wedge your bug out bag onto your lap. Or better yet, keep it loaded and duct tape it to the hood of the truck.
3. Ignore the weight of your bug out bag
Similar to #2 above, weight can be a false prophet. Consider why you are concerned with weight. Is it to make your pack lighter just because? Well, does it really need to be lighter? Or what will you be able to do with a lighter pack that you cannot do with a heavier pack? And how light is light? Or how heavy is heavy? I hear supposedly informed preppers toss around numbers like 25-35 pounds. Well unless you are running to your BOL, the weight of your bug out bag is just one of many variables that can be adjusted on the fly. How you ask? By dumping out what you don’t need or can no longer carry.
But if you are constantly mumbling something about pounds being pain, then you will have to make big decisions without waiting for all the information you could gather. Instead of cutting corners ahead of time, prepare to ditch weight as needed. Water is a great ballast choice and can easily be substituted with air (see point #1 above). By the way, that old adage about three days without water and three weeks without food is nonsense in a bug out. You might survive those numbers adrift in a raft then rushed to a hospital, but certainly not walking around and doing survival work.
4. Do buy the very best you can of everything
Any internet list of “best” equipment that often further qualified by being under a certain price. And that has failure built-in from the start. Buy your tools and equipment based on need, quality and performance instead of price. I’ve read lists of the best xyz under $50 or $99 with full knowledge that a massively better option is just a couple bucks more than the artificial cost ceiling that was chosen by the author for little more than dramatic effect. If you really need to pinch pennies, go with used equipment.
Since a real bug out has little margin for error, the fewer points of failure you you bring with you the better. The problem is that most folks have not pushed equipment to the point of failure so they don’t know just how dangerous a cascade of failures can be in a survival situation. Every year people die in the backcountry as one failure or injury multiplies into many.
Related: Jarhead’s Bug Out Bag
Someone gets disoriented snowshoeing. They take a tumble in the powder filling their coat with snow that melts dampening their cotton clothes just as sun begins to set. Numb hands cannot start a fire so they continue on. A turn left at the big tree and they would have found their previous tracks and the way home. But instead they went right and tomorrow morning their frozen corpse will be discovered by the rescue dogs on scene. Then the spokesman for the S&R folks will again share the news cycle in an impromptu press conference highlighting the list of user errors for the umpteenth time.
5. Do skip all the military/tactical/police advice
Well, maybe not skip the advice, but certainly put it in perspective. Some of the big differences between the bug out and M/T/P perspective is that a bug out is a deliberate run and hide while the M/T/P response is to engage or start the fight. Consider what M/T/P life is like compared to the reality of a bug out. Sure a select fire weapon is effective, but unlike M/T/P you won’t have a supply chain feeding your machine gun, or an ambulance parked just behind the yellow tape. Instead, take the advice of those whose activities are closer to the bug out.
My models are mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoneering, deep mountain four-wheeling, extended backpacking and camping, winter camping, backcountry skiing, adventure racing, long-distance bicycling,mountain biking, sailing, river rafting, ultra-marathon trail running, big game hunting, forest fire fighting, and off-grid life in general. To transfer the knowledge to the bug out bag, you can first start with the equipment. If you want quality outdoor equipment, then you have to pony-up for the tools that the serious outdoors folks count on for serious outdoor adventures. So perhaps a trip to the local REI will be more helpful bug out-wise than wandering the aisles of the big box gun store yet again.
5.5 Don’t skip all the military/tactical/police advice
In fact, embrace all the tactical aspects you can even if you look like a mall ninja’s mall ninja. Just like the overstuffed bug out bag, the tactical look can come and go as needed, but will never be available unless with you at the start. A common mistake that is batted back and forth by students of the bug out is whether or not to look tactical, especially in the departments of clothing, pack and loadout. But the funny thing is that most discussions end there.
Also Read: 10 Must Haves For Your Bug Out Bag
In reality, you have plenty of options that straddle the lines of both worlds. I have a highly tactical-looking bug out bag in the form of a Eberlestock G4 Operator. It’s a bohethomith in any language, and plays an operator in real life and on TV. Nobody would mistake the G4 for a family camping rig especially with a rifle sticking out of the top like a high frequency whip antenna on a Humvee. But in less than a minute, I can completely house the pack within a rain cover of my color choice whether light green, olive green, tan, or FDE. And the smooth fabric hides all the MOLLE, webbing ladders, 5.11 side pockets and ammo pouches. The rain cover does nothing for the size, or the rifle antenna, but it does totally neutralize the overtly aggressiveness of a tactical backpack.
For smaller daypacks, the same game can be played by simply tying or pinning fabric onto the pack, or even making the pack wear a sweatshirt. Since the daypack is much like a human’s upper torso (which it’s designed to hug), you can dress it up in human clothes to your heart’s content. The same is true for your tactical clothing. Wear your operator threads under loose-fitting street clothes, and when needed just jump into the nearest phone booth and morph back into Superman.
6. One is plenty
The funny thing about redundancy is that it is usually practiced on the easiest and funnest targets like knives, fire starter, and guns. While I don’t discount the importance of those three areas for backup, I think some future bug outers are hiding low quality behind claims of redundancy. I’ll take one good knife, one good flashlight, and one good gun over two or more lesser of any of the above. If you are worried about losing your tool and needing another one, then I suggest being more careful. Save the redundancy for those things that likely will break and create a catastrophic disadvantage. If you want to start a list of redundancies, begin with footwear. Yea, I know. Where’s the fun in that?
7. Don’t plan on bartering
I often read recycled “intel” that stresses the inclusion of barter items in the bug out bag. The problem with this type of thinking is that it wastes valuable space and weight on something for someone you haven’t yet met and who will likely not need it. Focus on you and your plan, not that of some imaginary future person . And worse, many of the commonly suggested barter items are purely superficial. Gold? Silver? Ammo?
Related: A Real Emergency Fund
Would you trade your food for a box of .303 British cartridges? How about some pre-1964 quarters for your fish antibiotics? Or some small yellow fragments that may or may not be gold for your extra warm clothes? Not this guy. I’ll engage in barter as needed with what I have at that time. Most likely it will be for skills over objects, and especially not for those things that require intrinsic and agreed upon value like gold dust.
8. Carry cash in large denominations.
Everywhere I’ve traveled around the world, good old American greenbacks have value. The exchange rate might not be in my favor, but bills with dead US presidents are always accepted. Traditional prepper lore is to carry small bills such as fives, tens and twenties. But the flaw in this wisdom is three-fold. First, it assumes that reasonable prices will remain active during the bug out. I sincerely doubt that bottled water will be a buck a pint or a box of 9mm for a single Hamilton will be the norm.
Related: How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag
Instead I’m betting that everything will be $100, or if not my $100 bill will beat your pair of twenties when fighting over that last case of canned soup at the gas station. Expect price gouging by packing enough financial firepower to overcome the competition and also the hesitation of the sellers. Let the zeros do the talking.
9. Don’t rely on Paracord for much of anything
Handy yes. But only one solution of many you will need. Paracord is by far the most popular prepper noun that doesn’t involve nitrocellulose or carbon steel. But as far as cordage goes, it’s main benefits are that it’s cheap and colorful. Paracord was pretty much an afterthought on my outdoor adventure checklist during the first three-fourths of my life. Instead I chose specialized cordage for particular duties. Thread, string, twine, fishing line, kevlar cord, dynamic rope, static line, one-inch tubular webbing, and so on. In fact about the only thing I use paracord for is to attach tents to anchors, and hanging food bags in trees. Paracord is the duct tape of rope. A catch-all solution with no specific job. But today it seems that paracord is the prepper’s dream material and is used with reckless abandon as if its presence alone will ensure survival. Learn your cordage and knots. Then use the proper rope for the job.
10. Do eat jerky
The bug out is an endurance sport so why would you take advice from someone who rarely pushes themselves to any physical limit. One piece of faux-wisdom I hear often is to skip certain foods during the bug out, and beef jerky seems to be singled out more often than not. The folksy wisdom seems to have your best interest at heart, but in reality it misses the point. Yes, jerky is salty so you will need to drink water. But you need to drink water anyway and at a level commensurate with the endurance sport you are now playing. If you avoid jerky because you are delinquent in your hydration needs, the problem is with you, not the jerky.
Also Read: Have You Tested Your Bug Out Bag?
The only way to learn about the demands stressful endurance activity will place on your body is to play around with endurance. So take your nutrition advice from those folks who routinely push themselves in directions that parallel the bug out and pack your bug out bag with those nutritionally dense foods that power our super athletes whether world class bowhunter or marathon runner, Tour de France rider or ocean swimmer. Coffee and donuts might be the preferred pre-mission breakfast of SWAT teams, but don’t count on lasting long in the real world on that diet.
11. Do rely on technology
Of course technology can fail. I’m not stupid. But technology can also give you a massive strategic advantage in terms of speed and precision. A compass and a GPS are two completely different items that have a slight bit of overlap. Yet I know plenty of folks who swear the GPS is a disaster waiting to happen while the compass they carry but don’t know how to use will save their life. All a compass does is point north. The rest is knowledge, skill, and geometry. Cell phones are magical when they work and I fully intend on using mine until it stops just as I plan on extracting all possible benefits out of every other electronic device, cable and charger I own. Half of all bug outs will happen at night, and using a compass in the dark is hardly forward thinking.
It might keep you walking in a straight line, but navigationally speaking, you’re screwed unless you have the terrain memorized in which case you don’t really need the compass. Bic lighters are technology as are gas stoves, binoculars, red dot sights, laser rangefinders, night vision, and semi-automatic pistols. And I intend to use all of them to their fullest potential. Sure a failure of my lighter and gun could have me rubbing two sticks together and whittling an atlatl, but, as I like to say, I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.
So there you have it, my eleven and a half bug out mistakes that are not mistakes. I’m not sure this list will make a dent in the information recycling efforts of the average prepper, but it is my survivalist intent to provide a place you can point to when you want to question the popular advice, experience or even motives of the classic prepper. So steer them towards this article and they can blame me, not you.
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When an Arizona mother walked into her bedroom and saw her two year old playing with her husband’s gun, it was the Project ChildSafe lock she’d put on it the day before that she credited with preventing a tragedy.
As a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (the trade association of the firearms industry), Project ChildSafe was launched in 1999 as a nationwide program to promote education about safe firearm handling and storage. It has been developed to educate gun owners on what they can do to safely store their firearms when not in use, and provide them with tools to do so.
The cornerstone of the program is the Project ChildSafe firearm safety kit, which includes a cable-style gun lock and a brochure that discusses safe handling and storage. Since its launch, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 37 million of these free safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies.
Project ChildSafe is a real solution to making our communities safer, and something everyone committed to preserving the hunting and shooting sports can support. For the past several years, the number of fatal firearms accidents has been declining, even while firearm sales have been increasing. Today, these accidents make up only 0.5 percent of all accidental fatalities. That’s a trend that’s going in the right direction—and not because of new laws or regulations that do nothing to further public safety– but instead from gun owners themselves committing to make safety and responsibility a priority.
Earlier this year, Wilderness Today joined leading conservation organizations that support Project ChildSafe in promoting firearm safety and ensuring firearm owners have the tools and information they need to store their firearms responsibly. Proper storage is the number one way to help prevent firearm accidents, theft and misuse, and as an organization committed to preserving the hunting heritage, Wilderness Today understands how important safety education is to that mission.
In joining with Project ChildSafe, we stand alongside other leaders in the hunting and shooting sports fields, including the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants/Quail Forever, the Wild Sheep Foundation, and 4-H Shooting Sports, along with more than a thousand individual retailers, gun ranges and hunter safety instructors. This collective outreach has reminded millions of gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms when not in use.
When it comes to our children and people in our homes, we want to prevent a loaded firearm from being found and played with, stolen, or misused. That’s a tragedy waiting to happen, and it’s so easily prevented. That’s something all responsible gun owners know, but it continually bears repeating. It’s only when we get complacent about firearm safety that accidents happen. As the Project ChildSafe slogan says, “Own it? Respect It. Secure It.”
Visit Project ChildSafe at www.projectchildsafe.org to access their free library of safety information, including tips for safe firearm storage at home, a hunting safety checklist, videos on how to talk to your kids about gun safety and other resources. And please show your support by liking Project ChildSafe on Facebook and signing the Project ChildSafe Pledge yourself. You can also find a local law enforcement partner in your area that provides free Project ChildSafe safety kits. (And if there’s not one in your area, call your local police or sheriff’s department and urge them to sign up – it’s free.)
You can donate to the program from the website as well. Every $2 helps put a gun lock in someone’s hands. PCS is also 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization, so all donations are tax deductible.
The importance of firearm safety is something upon which everyone can agree. Better education and continued voluntary action by firearm owners is a pragmatic solution we can embrace now. The more often responsible gun owners take steps to secure their firearms when not in use, the more accidents we can help prevent, and the fewer rifles and handguns will end up in the wrong hands.
The post Wilderness Today Proudly Supports Project ChildSafe, and Why You Should Too appeared first on Wilderness Today.
8 Snares And Traps You Need To Know How To Make Snares and traps are an essential skill to learn. They can save your life in an emergency situation and provide you and your family with the much needed protein and calories you will need to survive. Disclaimer: Traps are presented for information purposes only, …
1. Brass shot shells (size for weapon system being used, 12 gauge, etc.)
3. Pyrodex Rifle and shotgun powder (or preferred brand)
4. 209 shotgun primers
5. Large pistol primers
6. Wadding material
7. Over shot card material
8. Lighter and glue stick
9. Primer crimp tool or “C” clamp setup with deep well socket
10. Primer removal tool
11. Powder tamper tool
12. Powder and shot measuring tool
13. Container for brass shells
14. Container to store kit
15. 15/64 inch drill bit
16. 23/64 inch drill bit
17. Wad and over shot cutter tool
19. Flat piece metal stock
20. Rubber hammer or similar
21. Flat piece of wood stock
Converting brass shell to accept the 209 primer:
1. First use the 15/64 drill bit and drill out the primer hole.
2. Using a 23/64 drill bit, drill a slight recess in the primer hole deep enough to allow the primer rim to seat flush with the bottom of the shell. See photo above.
3. Seat the 209 primer like you would a regular 12 gauge shell when reloading.
Note: Shotgun firing these types of reloads need to be cleaned more often than factory loaded ammo.
First let me put in the disclaimer, I believe bird hunting with a fishing line and hooks is probably illegal in all 50 states. The only conditions under which I would ever recommend that you do this would be if you are in a life and death situation.
But if the situation is desperate, here is a way to catch ducks, geese, swans, seagulls and many other birds. If you are hunting ducks first determine what kind you have. Diving ducks and sea ducks dive deep underwater to get food. Dabbling ducks feed on land or on the surface of the water. First of all, watch the ducks and see if they are diving ducks or dabbling ducks.
Most common waterfowl feed on a diet of grasses, aquatic plants, small fish, insects, worms, small amphibians (frogs and toads) and small mollusks. Dabbling ducks or waterfowl that feed on land or the surface of the water are the easiest to catch. All you need is a good fishing, strong line (10 Lbs test) and a small treble hook. A treble hook works the best, but others will do. Bait the hook (bread works well) cast out near the ducks and wait. When the duck bits give him time to swallow the hook and pull him in.
This can also work with seagulls and other shorebirds; if they are used to being fed, you can often just cast the line into the air. I have had both seagulls and pelicans grab my bait when fishing.
Using corn, bread or bugs, you can catch many different types of birds including doves, pheasant and quail. This technique will sometimes even work for getting a squirrel or two. You want to have a large cloth or something to wrap the birds in when you drag them to you. This makes them easier to control until you can dispatch them.
Whenever I mention eating seagulls, someone always says I heard they taste horrible. Now to be truthful I have never eaten a seagull. However many cultures in different parts of the world have consumed them during periods of need. Some have even learned to cook them into what became popular dishes. My only advice about cooking birds would be if the birds are meat eaters or scavengers, cook them well.
Again I repeat this type of bird hunting is only something you should ever consider doing if your life depends on it.
I love military gear. Some people hate it for various reasons, but to me this gear has proven itself on the battlefield. It’s constantly evolving and being updated as technology changes, but it’s always being put to the test. Another good reason is that you can usually get it relatively cheap after it’s been used at Army/Nave stores or other discount stores.
Today we’re going to talk about sleeping bags. There are thousands of sleeping bags on the market and it can be a tough decision to try and figure out which one you should use if you have to bug-out. Sleeping bags tend to be expensive as well and who wants to spend $300 on a new sleeping bag that’s going to live in a bug-out bag and see the light of day once a year when you go in to check the gear? Leaving a newer sleeping bag compressed will eventually cause it to lose it’s loft ending the usefulness of the bag.
There are a couple of types of military sleeping bags I’d like to compare and contrast today.
First, let’s go back to the ’80s when I was in the Marine Corps as a fresh faced youth. The bags we used back then were much heavier than the ones used today. I usually rolled mine up and tied it to the outside of my ALICE pack and carried it around that way if we were going to be marching. I spent a lot of time in artillery, so luckily we could just throw our bags on the back of the 5 ton trucks when we were moving around.
The standard bag back then was the Bag, Sleeping, Intermediate Cold Weather (ICW) and its Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) cousin. I spent hundreds of nights in both of these bags and never got cold. The ICW bag weighed about 7 1/2 pounds and surprisingly, so did the Extreme Cold Weather; however, the ECW bag also came with a liner for really cold temps and that added some to the weight. I slept many nights at -40 degrees Fahrenheit and never felt unduly cold in the ECW bag. Most of my nights in the ICW bag never really fell below freezing and I never felt cold in it either.
Related: M1951 Fishtail Parka Review
These are mummy type bags with drawstrings that you can use to pull the hood of the sleeping bag tight around your head in cold weather. One of the things they told us to avoid was sleeping with your head down inside the bag. This puts a lot of moisture inside, which can cause you to get cold. However, I did this many times without getting cold, so I leave it up to you try it for yourself. When the temperature is below zero your natural tendency is curl into a ball and try and get your head as far from the biting cold as you can. Some people wore a balaclava and others, like me, wore the wool watch cap to bed. They also advise sleeping with the parka mits over your feet to help keep them warm. Although I never did this it makes sense if your feet get cold.
One night I was camping with my dad just off a frozen lake here in Maine. The wind was howling and the ambient air temp stood at -20. He couldn’t believe it when I stripped down to my undershorts, t-shirt, and wool socks and climbed into my ECW bag. I was shocked to see that he had brought a kids Charley Brown – type sleeping bag and froze his ass off all night. I gave him my field jacket and some other stuff, but I could still hear his teeth chattering all night long. It didn’t take him long to get himself a good warm bag after that night!
The New Gear
Now let’s talk about the more modern military gear. The new Modular Sleep System (MSS) bags are made by Tennier Industries and come in four or five parts depending on the model you get and is rated between 50 and -50 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s a lightweight patrol bag rated for between 30 and 50 degrees. The Intermediate bag is rated for 30 degrees to -10. There’s a compression bag you can get that’s a good modern day addition that will compress the MSS down to one cubic foot. The one piece I really like is the bivy, which is basically a personal tent. It’s water resistant and has a cover over the face I found useful in cold weather.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can separate these bags and use them independently or together. I slept in the lightweight patrol bag in 40 degree weather and found I was a little cold though it’s rated between 30 and 50 degrees. I’ve slept in the intermediate bag in 30 degree weather and was reasonably warm in it, but I wouldn’t want to try it in -10 degree weather by itself.
Also Read: SHTF Sleep Deprivation
If you combine all three components and you’re sleeping in your polypro underwear they say it’s good to about -50. The coldest I’ve slept in the combined sleep system was around -10 and I was comfortable, although I wouldn’t want to attempt -50 in one of them.
One thing I had to learn was how to ventilate properly. When I first got in the bag I zipped up all three components and was too warm. So I unzipped the inside sleeping bag down to my belly button and cooled off until I was comfortable. As it got colder I zipped the inner bag up a couple of inches at a time until I was in full mummy mode with the bivy closed and covering my face. I liked this feature as it meant I could breathe outside the main bags without getting moisture down inside them.
Also Read: Mil Surplus Sleeping Bag Review
Over all this bag is much closer to the civilian bags on the market today. They are far lighter than the older bags and more versatile; however, they are a little more expensive. They also compress down nicely and can fit in your pack a little better, although I found that most quality civilian bags rated for the same temps will compress more and be a little lighter.
As mentioned earlier I like the bivy. One thing I’ve done is take the bivy from one of my Tennier sleeping bags and put it in my Get Home Bag (GHB.) By itself it doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation for warmth, but during the non-winter months it would be ideal for get home purposes. Open it up, climb inside with your clothes on, and you basically have your own personal tent. Put it on top of some pine or fir boughs, or a pile of leaves, and you’d even be comfortable while you grabbed a couple hours of tactical shut-eye.
When to Use These Sleeping Bags
So when is the best time to use these bags? The older bags would be good:
– When you’re on a budget
– When you don’t expect to be carrying your bag anywhere
– When you want to be sure you’ll be very warm
– If you are dragging it on a sled
The newer sleep systems would be good:
– When you expect to be hiking and need a lighter bag
– If you have a little more money to throw at them
– When compression is important to you (pack space)
– When you need a bag you can split up for different purposes and climates
Overall they are all pretty good sleeping bags. I bought a pile of the newer ones at once and still have a few kicking around. There’s a link on their site for a Retail Outlet and you can pick up individual gear there as opposed to bidding at Government Liquidation. One thing you might try though: if you have a few like-minded friends looking for pretty good sleeping bags or other military gear pool your funds and bid on a lot of sleeping bags. Split the shipping costs and you might be able to pick up twelve to twenty sleeping bags for a few hundred bucks like I did. I sold some of them, but kept four or five for family and friends and have loaned them out to friends several times when we went camping and our friends didn’t have any gear during a bug-out. You might also need to loan to family during a bug-out. Ya never know, folks.
If you have questions about bidding at Government Liquidation let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them. I spent a good deal of time on this site a couple of years ago and got a pretty good feel for it.
Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
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|Tools used for field expedient reloading|
|Items needed to reload 209 primer|
|Removing 209 primer components|
|209 primer assembly|
“Urban Man” My survival buddy sent me another post in a series of reloading shotgun ammo. This video shows how to reload the primer as well when you have no primer replacements.”
Suggested tools used:
1. Antique hand primer crimp tool
2. Wood dowel for powder, wad and shot compressing
3. Primer removal tool with socket base (5/8 inch socket)
4. Rubber hammer
5. Wad cutter tool (for what ever size shell you are loading)
6. Flat punch that fits inside primer cup to flatten out dimple
7. Flat piece of metal stock
8. Flat piece of wood
9. Strike anywhere matches
10. Powder and shot measuring cups
11. Wad material (paper, plastic, wool, etc)
12. Over shot card material (cardboard, playing cards, etc)
13. 5.5 mm socket (used to remove primer cup)
14. Pin or finishing nail used to pound out primer cup.
15. Lighter or similar flame source
16. Glue stick
17. Rifle and shotgun powder with container (I used Pyrodex RS)
18. Bird shot with container (I used #7 1/2 in the video)
Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.
One drawback from reloading spent primers is the chance that the match head powder or what ever other ignition source was used may not ignite and you get a dude fire.
In the event the primer does not ignite, wait about 60 seconds with the end of the barrel pointed on target in the event there is a cook off. A cook off is when the powder could be smoldering but has not yet ignited. If it ignites and the end of the barrel is pointed toward someone, there may be a chance of an accidental shooting.
Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder.
Many call it a hybrid-hunting weapon, which can generate more speed and power than a traditional crossbow while at the same time being safer and easier to operate.
An AirBow, of course, uses compressed air to fire bolts, or arrows if you prefer to call them that. At 3,000 PSI an AirBow can fire, eight full sized arrows before refilling, at 450 FPS. It only requires two pounds of pressure to cock an AirBow, so essentially anyone can cock it even those with disabilities that might have rendered a traditional longbow or crossbow useless.
What makes an airbow ideal for grid down situations and other disasters is that you can buy a recharging system which consists of a “High-Pressure Hand Pump” and a 4500 PSI Charging System. As stated earlier once fully charged, you can fire up to eight full sized arrows at 450 FPS. You can bring down any North American big game with an AirBow. With a good supply of arrows and a charging system, you are always assured of having what you need to hunt with or even use for defensive purposes.
You can retrieve your arrows and reuse of course if they are not damaged, so this is another plus to using an AirBow, crossbow, or longbow.
You can hunt and target practice in relative silence so as not to give away your position to others, or scare away game.
An AirBow can easily be fitted with a scope, sling, and certain models come standard with a Picatinny rail system for adding more accessories. The silhouette is similar to that of a long gun, so it can be easily maneuvered through heavy brush, whereas a longbow or crossbow can be difficult to bring to bear in some instances in heavy brush or when in a prone position.
Once cocked it can be decocked easily so it is safe for tree stand use or in other areas, in which a crossbow or longbow could not be used safely or effectively.
An AirBow broadens your opportunities, and of course, those who for whatever reason cannot use a traditional crossbow or longbow can use an AirBow because it really is as simple as pulling the trigger to fire.
As with anything, you need to practice to hone your skills, and you have to choose your arrows carefully because skill and materials do make a difference.
An AirBow is another tool for the toolbox that you should consider for when the SHTF. You need a variety of options available to you during a crisis and if you can, then you should include as many as possible to ensure you can hunt and protect yourself under all conditions, and that always have access to ammunition.
- Silent Hunting
- Can Be Cocked and Fired By Virtually Anyone
- Can Be Decocked For Climbing Into a Tree Stand
- Arrows Can Be Reused
- Can Be used To Hunt Any Game
- Highly Accurate
- No Bow Strings to Break
- Can Only Fire Up To Eight Arrows Before Recharging
- Must Carry Recharging Gear With You When Hunting
This article is not a review of an AirBow, but is rather an article about choices. An AirBow will not necessarily replace a firearm and you should not assume it would. It may have a place in your preps, however, and it is an ideal hunting weapon regardless of the situation.
Prepping is about options, and being able to adapt to the situation so you can overcome the problem, and to do so, you do need as many options as possible.
Turn Any Stick Into an Axe With This Multi-Tool Chopping Blade I have to say this multi-tool chopping blade could come in very handy in an emergency situation. I think any item, big or small is worth way more to me if it has more than one use! Imagine you are camping or hiking maybe …
The post Turn Any Stick Into an Axe With This Multi-Tool Chopping Blade appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
“Urban Man~ Here is an interesting lesson from a survival buddy of mine.”
Caution: This lesson is for educational purposes only. Gun powder is dangerous. Firing damaged or incorrectly loaded ammo is dangerous as well.
There may be a time in ones life when it may become necessary to have to reload ammo in the field, especially in a wilderness survival situation or the collapse of society.
We are comfortable in knowing that at the moment we have access to ready made store bought ammo. But, what if that luxury was some how taken away? What if there were no stores left or available to purchase our ammo?
In such as situation, ammo can still be available if one knew how to obtain what was needed to reload their own. Spent ammo shells, especially shotgun shells can be found laying around all over the desert. Primers can be reconditioned and reloaded. Black powder can be homemade. Lead shot can be made from scrape lead.
You really do not need fancy reloading equipment in order to reload ammo in an emergency or self reliant situation.
Learn now to start saving your spent ammo hulls and shells. Set them aside to be reloaded at a later date when the time is needed.
Here are the steps that were covered in the video to reload a 12 gauge shell: (if this is the first time a plastic shotgun shell is being used, cut the top crimp fingers off the shell where the crimp line meets the star crimp.)
1. Remove primer
2. Install a new primer
3. Measure powder and add to shell
4. Using dowel rod, gently compress the powder in the shell
5. Add correct amount of wading (plastic, paper, animal hair, leather, etc.)
6. Using dowel rod again, gently compress the wad into the shell
7. Add correct amount of shot. (insure that there is enough room at the opening of the shell to add the over-shot card)
8. Add over-shot card and compress gently with dowel rod
9. Add glue over top of shot card ensuring that the inside walls of the shell receive glue as well
10. Immediately add another shot card over the top of the first one and apply gentle pressure to allow glue to spread out
Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.
Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder.
Some serious firearms are merely taken as fun guns. Why not allow them to play the role of both? Lucky for me, at a recent NRA Friends banquet, a friend bought be a raffle ticket to which it produced a winning selection of a firearm. My choice? It was a no-brainer for me when I saw the Ruger Charger, .22 pistol sitting among the group of choices that was left. To discover it was the takedown version with the green/brown laminate stock sealed the deal.
If you have not seen one yet, the Ruger Charger is classified as a pistol, but it is more than that. Its overall length is 19.25 inches and weighs about 50 ounces. They come in a fixed stock version and now a neat takedown model just like its big brother the regular Ruger 10-22 rifle. They are available in both synthetic and wood stocks.
The metal is a sort of blued, matte black. The barrel is 10-inches thus the pistol ranking. The grip is a standard hard plastic A-2 AR-15 style. There are no open sights on this rig, but it comes equipped with an add-on Picatinny rail on top of the receiver to mount a red dot optic or other type scope depending on what the user wants. Also included is a short front mounted folding bipod that attaches to the forward sling mount with the supplied adaptor.
The Ruger Charger uses a BX-15 ®, 15-round capacity “banana” type magazine that slips into the action just like a 10-22 rifle. In fact, the Charger’s action is really just the exact same one as the common 10-22 rifle action. Therefore, it only shoots long rifle rimfire ammo, so don’t try to feed this one shorts or longs.
The barrel comes threaded featuring a ½-inch-28-thread pattern to accept most suppressors, or flash hiders. These threads are capped with a factory installed thread protector. The takedown process is easy. A small lever under the action is pushed forward and the front barrel unit is simply rotated into its unlocked position. Reassembly is just as simple and the barrel/forearm unit snaps positively in place. There is a round knurled adjustment ring that is tightened upon attaching the barrel unit initially to the action. This properly spaces the barrel to the action.
The Charger comes packed in a plastic slide lock case, that frankly could be a better, more sturdy unit. The lid on mine did not fit very well. Once you assemble the pistol and attach the bipod, you are not going to use this case anyway. I suggest getting a good, padded range bag to tote and store the unit. The Charger retails for about $380, but shop around.
What Is It For?
Ruger suggests the Charger pistol is great for target shooting and small game. Their info does not specifically use the term “hunting”, but one assumes that is what they mean by small game. The .22 rimfire being what it is, this pistol could indeed be used for hunting and bug out pot food such as squirrels and rabbits.
Related: Ruger 10-22 Takedown Upgrades
If you were so inclined, the Charger could just as easily take down raccoon, opossum, and in western locales birds such as grouse, or even pheasant with some luck and patience. The point is with some practice, this .22 pistol is just as capable of dispatching any game the rimfire can put down. The attached bipod could be used to steady the pistol off the hood of a vehicle or the fender or seat of an ATV or SUV. The bipod could also be removed to shoot the Charger off of a standing bipod or tripod or unit such as a Primos Trigger Stick.
In the Field
Some may be thinking that the Ruger Charger is not a very practical firearm. I think if preppers looked at one, held one, then got to shoot it, they would be inclined to think otherwise. I mounted an AIM electronic red/green dot optic on mine. This was something I had already and thought to put it to good use to try it out. This optic has four switchable dot configurations that can be alternatively displayed in/on the glass optic screen. There is the standard dot, a crosshair, a circle, and a sort of circle with a crosshair in it. A rheostat on the side functions to change out the light intensity but also to go from red to green depending on the shooter preference.
It attached easily to the Charger’s Picatinny rail on top via a cross bolt hex screw mount. I did find that in cycling the action of the Charger to load it that my knuckle would bump into the sharp knurled optic control dial on the side of the unit. That was a mild distraction, so I had to play with moving the optic forward and back until I achieved the clearance I needed to leave skin on my knuckle.
Also Read: Ruger 10-22 Takedown Review
One other modification I made was to immediately swap out the factory A2 hard, slick plastic pistol grip with a nice, soft, Hogue AR-15 grip. I have these grips on all my ARs and find them easier to grip and hold onto. They are also not slick when wet. The change out was quick and easy.
Anyway, first, off the bench using the bipod, this little devil can slap tin cans all over the place once I got it punching small holes in target paper from 25, then 50 yards. It can gong a 10-inch metal plate all day long. And I was using rather cheap rimfire ammo, if there really is such a thing these days.
I’m not one to press ranges with a rimfire, but I sure think this rig can take down small game out to 50 yards with a steady rest of some kind. I plan to further test the pistol off a Trigger Stick once small game season opens. The Ruger Charger could definitely be a field walk around gun, but I have got to ponder on a way to rig up a sling of some sort. The jury is still out on the usefulness of the bipod except off a bench or flat rest.
Also Read: Project Squirrel Gun
When at my bug out camp, I have this theory about any gun being better than no gun, so even a .22 rimfire ought to scare away a poacher or trespasser with a few rounds in the vicinity. But if not, then my AR is on the ATV and the 1911 is in my Diamond D chest rig.
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How To Make A PVC Crisis Bow Imagine waking up one morning and all hell broke lose… SHTF and you had no ammo or you had no gun. You would need something with enough power to stop intruders and kill animals for food! Materials Needed One 5′ section of schedule 40 PVC pipe, 3/4″ thick …
9 Hunting Tips Every Hunter Should Know
Hunting is a very popular sport that requires attention to detail, a great amount of patience, and a love for the outdoors. Many individuals spend their lives hunting to provide game for consumption, while others may do it as more of a leisurely activity.
Whatever your desire is for hunting, there are a lot of key components to hunting successfully. While it may take a lot of practice, anyone can learn how to become a sharp shooter with time. To help you experience a successful hunt, we’ve put together 15 of the top hunting tips to help you find your target with ease and land the shot you’ve been waiting for.
- Be patient.
There is nothing worse than having a hunting partner who is in a rush to get trigger-happy. Hunting has a lot to do with being patient and waiting for the precise moment when you can land a good shot, and that can take hours, if you’re willing.
Patience is a virtue, especially for those who are still-hunting. If this is your plan of attack, then you should be ready to stay put for long periods.
- Bring a watch.
A watch is a great guide to keep you aware of how long you’ve been in one position, or to set a time for how long you want to stay. Still-hunters will especially benefit from this, as it’s easy to lose track of time if you aren’t paying attention.
Bring a wristwatch that’s easily visible from your position, and decide on intervals in which you want to refrain from moving. This is also a great way to keep track of how long you’ve been out and when you plan to shut down for the day.
- Travel with purpose.
Even if you’re still looking for a trail or lead, there is a good chance that you’ve already caught the attention of nearby game. In saying this, only move when absolutely necessary, and move with purpose.
If you’re simply trudging through leaves and snapping twigs, then you’re already losing your chances of finding a target. They will have already recognized you and be long gone. Try making staggered movements, and stay light on your feet. Some animals will mistake these sounds for squirrels or small mammals traveling through the terrain.
- Practice shooting positions.
For hunters in tree stands, it’s a great piece of advice to establish your shooting positions. Depending on which direction the animals appear from, you’ll want to be able to maneuver through the tree without bringing attention to yourself.
The best way to do this is to locate your best positions ahead of time, and clear any twigs or brush that will make noise when you move. Decide on a clear position for each area the animal could appear from so that you can get a good look or move swiftly without startling them.
- Clear your area.
Similar to individuals in tree stands, hunters on the ground should clear their area once they’ve established a spot for still-hunting. Depending on the weather, you’ll need to clear snow, dead leaves, twigs, and other debris from the area so that you can maneuver to a clear shooting position without letting the animal become aware of your position.
As soon as you find a good location, sweep the area as best you can so that you can be a little more forgiving with your movements.
- Travel with a waterproof bag.
You might have all of the skills and equipment you need for a successful go at hunting, but if you don’t protect them properly, then you’ll have some problems. Weather can be unforgiving, and, even if you plan ahead, Mother Nature can still change her mind.
Be ready for unforeseen weather problems by packing your gear and possessions in waterproof packs that will protect everything from water, moisture, dirt, and more. Try to double-bag everything, as well, especially things like your rifle scopes and lenses.
- Travel on foot before you settle.
If you want to start your hunt off on the right foot, then you better get walking. If you’re driving to a remote location, animals may recognize and steer clear of car sounds and people. If you want to up your chances of catching them off guard, then it’s best to park your car outside of the area and hike your way into your planned location.
This way, animals may have a harder time tracking you or even recognizing that you’ve entered the area.
- Invest in a high-quality rifle scope.
Aside from your prized rifles, investing in a high-quality rifle scope is going to do wonders for your accuracy and precision. There are a lot of different kinds available, and they each have their own advantages to help you become more successful with your targets.
You’ll be able to make a better decision about the type of rifle scope you want when you know what kind of hunting you’re doing. Generally, each design will perform best at a specific distance, certain lighting, size of target, etc., so try to recognize what sort of aiming you’ll be doing to find the one that’s best for you.
Image Source from www.edgewood-outfitter.com
- Try a one-man drive.
If you’re hunting alone, you have the opportunity to do a one-man drive to bring animals out of the woodwork. The key to making this work is to walk into a specific location with the wind at your back; this will bring out your unfamiliar smells and get their attention. After you’ve entered the area, circle around and walk into the same area.
You might notice that your smell and the unfamiliar treading confuse the animals, and they won’t be able to locate where you are. This will either bring them out or have them on guard. If you haven’t seen any movement, try to remain still for a while and see if they return when they believe the threat is gone.
Every hunter will have their own theories and practices about the best way to hunt. If you’re hunting alone, the most important thing you can do is to let someone know where you’re going and what area you’ll be focusing on. This way, if anything happens, you’ll be much easier to locate in case you need help.
If you’re new to hunting, consider these 9 tips to help make the experience easier and more successful! With time, you’ll recognize what kinds of tools and practices work best for you.
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Thinking about using a trail camera to amp up your hunting game? The great news is that finding the best game camera is a lot easier now than it used to be. Newer technology has helped almost every industry imaginable in recent years, especially digital cameras. Manufacturers are now stepping up their game to match the demand of more technologically advanced hunters. While getting the best trail camera for the types of game you hunt can depend a lot on “what” you hunt, there’s still some universal criteria that you should consider when making the plunge. Check out our favorites and read on to educate yourself to a whole new world of hunting.
Top 10 Trail Camera Comparison Grid:
|User Reviews:||Megapixel Rating:||Rating:||Price:|
|Browning Strike Force Sub Micro||10MP HD||$$|
|Amcrest ATC 1201||12MP with LCD Screen||$|
|Stealth Cam STC-P12||6MP||$|
|Stealth Cam No Glo STC G42||10MP||$$|
|Primos Truth Cam 35||3.1MP||$|
|Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD||8MP||$$$$|
|Moultrie No Glow M-990i||10MP||$$|
|Bestguarder HD 12MP Trail Cam||12MP||$$|
|Kodiak Game Camera||12MP||$$$|
|Moultrie Game Spy 2.0||5MP||$|
Table of Contents:
A Brief Introduction to Trail Cameras:
Hunting always needs patience. It doesn’t matter if you hunt with a rifle or a crossbow. If you’re not good at waiting, often with nothing to show for it, you’re never going to be a good hunter. There are no guarantees when it comes to game animals. They might walk into your sights or they might not. If you expect to go out and have animals obligingly present themselves to you, stand by for some major disappointments. They have lives to be getting on with and they’re likely not going to cooperate with your plans.
The good news is that it’s possible to find game more reliably, though. When it comes to hunting, there’s no substitute for knowledge. You need to know the area you’re hunting in – where the food is, where animals go to drink, what places give some shelter from the weather. You need to know how to spot the trails animals use, the range and distances that they travel. You also need to understand their behavior. If you’re not fully in tune with the alert and elusive creatures you’re looking for, you won’t find them.
Once you have that knowledge, however, technology can help you out. Trail cameras are a perfect example – if you don’t know what you’re doing they’re not going to do much for you, but used properly they can eliminate a lot of frustration and vastly improve your hunt.
The concept behind a trail camera is simple. It’s a camera and control unit that can be set up to cover an area, then left behind. The control unit automatically takes photos depending on how it’s set up, and the hunter can return at intervals to find out what’s been snapped. They’ve actually been around for a long time – since the late 19th century. For a variety of reasons never really caught on until technology started to advance over the last couple of decades.
Early cameras had to be loaded with plates and could only take a single shot. They also needed a flash to take pictures at night, and these – either using a pan of explosive flash powder or a high-intensity lamp – would instantly panic any animals for hundreds of yards in every direction. Because of the response time of the cameras you’d be lucky to get a snap of the animal’s rear as it raced away. Trigger mechanisms – usually a tripwire – were also unreliable, and if an animal got tangled in the wire it could even wreck the equipment. While these cameras could take useful pictures there was a real risk that they’d frighten the wildlife away for weeks – or for good. That’s not the case any more and there are many great uses for trail cameras in wildlife management.
Modern camera technology changes all that:
- Digital cameras can store thousands of photos, so you can build up an accurate record of what’s happening on your trails.
- Electronics let you control exactly how you want the camera to operate – you can set it up for time-lapse shots at regular intervals, or have it wait until an animal approaches. Many let you do both.
- Digital photography is silent, so there’s no shutter click to spook your quarry.
- Infrared LEDs allow for an invisible flash, so your camera can take perfect shots in complete darkness.
- They are often camouflaged. Get the right one and the game won’t even know it’s there, never mind be frightened by it.
- Modern trail cameras are weatherproof and rugged, so they’ll keep working reliably after weeks or months outdoors.
Trail cameras with this technology built in are a real game changer. By setting two or three of them up around likely game trails, grazing spots or watering holes you can build up a picture of how the local wildlife spends its time, when animals are likely to come to the pond to drink, what’s the best time to set up near a trail and much more vital information. The advantages are huge.
Yes, you’ll still spend time waiting – animals don’t work to a precise timetable. Sometimes they just won’t show. But, overall, your hunting will be a lot more productive. If you know the deer move along a particular trail near dawn, you can set up a little while before and be there waiting when they approach – you’re not working from spoor, knowing that they come this way but having to guess when.
Of course trail cameras are like any other piece of hunting gear – it’s not going to be much help unless you pick the right product and learn to use it properly. It’s easy to get lost among all the new features that are appearing right now and end up with an unsuitable camera, so here are a few things to look for when you buy.
A Buyer’s Guide – What to Consider:
Storage capacity: The higher the capacity, the more shots your camera can take. This doesn’t matter much if you plan to check it daily but if it’s going to go a few days, or even weeks, between visits you’ll want as much storage as you can get. One that takes memory cards is a good idea – you can swap out cards and leave the camera in place.
Battery life: Again this will affect how long you can leave your camera set up. Most trail cameras run on AA batteries but some have the option of an external power source. Hook up a 12V battery and you can get weeks of use.
Image quality: This is a hard thing to judge. It’s not easy to get an idea of image quality from raw numbers like megapixel count; factors like the quality of lenses will also have a big influence. You’ll need to read reviews, and test cameras yourself if possible, to decide which ones suit your needs. With most trail cameras you need to either connect it to a computer to view the images, or take out the memory card and put it in a reader. Some have the extra option of a built-in screen that lets you view images directly. This can save a lot of time. The ultimate is a camera with its own cellular connection, so you can view images remotely – but this comes at a much higher price.
Flash technology: All modern trail cameras use LED flash units, but there are different kinds. The cheapest and simplest is a white flash, but that will probably to spook the wildlife and can even change the movement patterns you’re trying to learn. Better units only emit a red glow, which is less likely to upset most animals. Invisible infrared flash uses less battery power and few animals will notice it, but it gives lower image quality. Infrared flashes also respond much quicker because of their lower power requirements – white flashes can take up to a second to go off after being triggered.
Viewing options: With most trail cameras you need to either connect it to a computer to view the images, or take out the memory card and put it in a reader. Some have the extra option of a built-in screen that lets you view images directly. This can save a lot of time. The ultimate is a camera with its own cellular connection, so you can view images remotely – but this comes at a much higher price.
Other features: Trail cameras now come with a huge range of options. Being digital, most of them are capable of video as well as still photography. It’s simple to add extra data to the images – temperature and air pressure are common options, as well as time and date stamps. This gives you even more options for analyzing wildlife behavior in your area. Figuring out exactly what you want is one of the important components to finding the best trail camera for your next rifle or bow hunting expedition.
How many Trail/Game Cameras should you get?
Once you’ve chosen the camera that suits you, the next decision is how many to get. One is a huge asset; it lets you check out a potential hide location to see what activity goes on around it. With one camera, though, you have what analysts call a single data point. Add a second or third and you can really start to learn patterns. That’s what will eventually let you predict where the game will be when you’re ready to go hunting.
Before you start buying cameras be aware that they don’t suit every kind of hunting – but they have some uses for most. Predators aren’t as ruled by habit as herbivores; they’re usually territorial, or follow their prey animals, but they aren’t as predictable in their movements. Trail cameras won’t be as much use in working out when they’re likely to be at a particular spot – but they can confirm if they’re there or not. Obviously setting up cameras won’t tell you a lot about transitory or migratory species that pass through your land. They can be useful for confirming what varmints are around, but like predators these are opportunists and often don’t set behavior patterns.
So just what kind of hunting are Trail/Game Cameras Best Suited For?
Where trail cameras really shine is for deer hunting.
Deer are territorial and they’re creatures of habit. A few well set up cameras around your favorite hunting area can quickly tell you a lot about the deer that inhabit it and how they behave – just the information you’re looking for.
How to Use Your Trail & Game Camera:
It’s vital that you know how to use your cameras properly. First, choose the right locations for them. Start by looking at the local game trails; you won’t see much if you set them up randomly in the woods. Once you’ve located the trails find spots where the ground sign suggests animals feed, or look for water sources. Any points on the trail that give good visibility from a hide location are good, too.
When you’re picking spots for your cameras try to find ones you can approach from behind; that will let you swap out batteries or memory cards without disturbing the trail. Make sure the camera has a clear line of sight. It’s easy to miss twigs or foliage that get in the way of the lens. Try not to aim your cameras directly across the trail. Even a digital camera delays a fraction of a second between being triggered and actually taking the shot, so you can find yourself with a lot of photos of deer butts. Angle them at about 45 degrees, in the direction you expect the animals to come from. That way you should get good snaps of them.
Before deploying your cameras get some experience of how they work. Set them up in your yard and walk around in front of them, then check how the photos turned out. That will tell you the best angles to set them up at to ensure good shots, as well as what height they work best at. A common error is to mount trail cameras too high – usually they work best at around waist height.
Cameras are small and usually well enough camouflaged that most animals won’t notice them, but humans might. If the area is popular with other hunters there’s a good chance they could find your cameras, and sadly that brings a risk of theft – not all hunters respect others’ gear. If you use bungee cords or quick release straps to mount your cameras they can be easily stolen. If a lot of people use the land you hunt on, consider using cable locks instead. It’s not likely that anyone who finds the camera will have bolt cutters handy, so they won’t be able to take the camera without damaging it. Cable locks start at under $10, which is a small price to pay for protecting an expensive camera. Concealing the camera will also help – just be careful not to obscure the lens and flash.
Some hunters recommend testing the camera by walking the trail after it’s set up, then checking the photos. That’s always an option, but it does disturb the trail and might spook some game. It’s better to test it under similar conditions somewhere else, then leave as little sign as possible at the actual site.
Deerlab.com also does a great job of outlining 8 camera trips for better results which we think is a must read for anyone getting into the trail camera game. The Deerlab app is also a new innovation in technology and we’d recommend testing out the free trial they currently offer.
While the video below is not ours, it does give a great walk through of how to properly setup a game camera. We’d recommend you take a look at it just to recap what we’ve already covered.
So that’s an introduction to the basics of using a trail camera. Your own experience and knowledge of the ground should give you the rest of what you need to know. The next thing Is choosing the cameras that are right for you. Here are ten of the best.
Choosing the Best Game Camera: Reviews
Below are the 10 picks above that you saw in our comparison grid, broken down into a lot more detail. If we’ve left out your favorite model, please feel free to drop us a line in the comments section and let us know.
Browning Strike Force Sub Micro:
Browning needs no recommendation as a gunmaker, but they produce a range of other high quality hunting gear, too – including some fantastic trail cameras. The Strike Force is one of their most highly recommended models, a compact 10MP device with loads of options and great performance.
The Strike Force is good in most areas, but it really stands out for its exceptional daylight clarity and amazing battery life. The images this game camera can capture put most 12MP cameras to shame. It also uses power very efficiently, even with heavy use of video – especially if you install a set of lithium batteries. You can expect several months’ use out of them which is even more impressive when you consider that it runs on six AAs, instead of the more common eight.
On the down side there’s no way to quickly preview or download your snaps – you’ll have to take out the SD card and check it on another device. But overall it’s a sturdy and reliable product that will give you excellent, sharp images round the clock. This one is highly recommended.
The ATC-102 from Amcrest is a relatively inexpensive game camera, but it’s packed with features. One of the nicest is a built-in 2 inch LCD screen, so you can view your images directly from the camera. It doesn’t feel cheaply built and the case is IP54 rated, meaning it’s dust and water resistant but not completely proofed. Very heavy rain might cause problems but it should shrug off an average shower.
In most ways this is a fairly standard camera. It comes with a strap for easy mounting on a tree or post, it saves images and video to an SD card (up to 32Gb) and it’s powered by four AA batteries. There’s also space for a backup set, which will kick in when the first set run flat.
This camera has a nice selection of modes to choose from – three different sensitivity levels on the passive IR trigger, multi-shot modes, video recording lengths and many more. It has a decent 65-foot night vision range, too. Picture quality is very good in daylight and acceptable at night. If you want a workable trail camera at a good price the ATC-1201 is definitely worth a look.
Stealth Cam STC-P12:
Another budget camera, Stealth Cam’s STC-P12 retails for less than some of the others on our list. There are some compromises – it has a 6MP resolution, for example – but it still has a lot of performance and plenty features aimed at making your hunting easier.
The main selling point of the STC-P12 is that it’s easy to set up. It comes with three quick setup modes, and it has a mini USB port so you can quickly download images without disturbing it. The images themselves, if you use the high setting, are reasonable quality – and for taking video this camera outperforms a lot of more expensive ones. On the down side the trigger time is 0.7 seconds, which is very slow. Unless you set it up carefully you’ll get a lot of pics of tails.
The Stealth Cam can overprint images and video with date, time and phase of the moon. The case is molded with irregular raised patterns; the shadows these cast help break up its shape, adding a camouflage effect.
Stealth Cam No-Glo STC-G42NG:
The G42 is a higher-spec model from Stealth Cam, and with the extra price brings you a lot more features and performance. The camera itself is a 10MP unit, giving much higher image quality, and it also has a completely covert flash system. The STC-P12 gives off a red glow when the flash operates but the G42 has full-spec “black” infrared LEDs, so there’s nothing at all to spook even the most nervous game.
With 42 LEDs this camera also has a respectable 100-foot night vision range. You can set it to take shots at intervals or on the PIR trigger only, or combine both with an override mode. It’s powered by eight AA batteries, for long life, and takes SD cards up to 32Gb. It also has a password protection feature, so if someone does steal it they won’t be able to use it.
This is a very good mid-range camera that gives high quality still and video images with good audio. It also has pretty much all the options you could want, including the ability to be run from an external 12V supply. It’s particularly good a night photography, which is going to be an important point for many hunters.
Primos Truth Cam 35:
Another inexpensive camera, the Truth Cam 35 has some features that make it extremely interesting. The flash range is quite short at 40 feet, and resolution is just 3.1MP, but it’s a tough little unit and has plenty of options. For example you can reduce the number of LEDs used by the flash, which reduces range but extends battery life – although, with four D cells, battery life is awesome anyway.
Inside the hinged front cover is an easy to read backlit LCD screen and a row of switches that let you quickly change the camera settings. There are even instructions printed inside the cover.
The Truth Cam is slow to trigger out of sleep mode – it takes 1.5 seconds – but once it’s awake trigger time falls to just 0.3 seconds. That’s better than some much more expensive models, so if you place this well it should give you some great shots. It’s ideal for placing on trails where its shorter range is less of an issue.
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD:
Anyone who knows optics knows Bushnell, and their trail cameras uphold the same high standards. The Trophy Cam HD is a feature-packed high performance unit that’s particularly good at video capture – but its still images won’t disappoint you either. One nice touch is that it can capture stills, in bursts of up to three shots, while it’s recording video. The PIR trigger is also adjustable, with selectable ranges to let you focus in on the area of interest.
Bushnell have put a lot of effort into the case, which is very effectively weather sealed but allows easy access for setup and changing cards. This model is powered by four or eight AA cells with lithium ones giving the best results – a single set should last at least a year.
One nice touch is that Bushnell has added GPS geotagging to the Trophy Cam HD, so it can automatically add coordinates to your images as well as date, time, temperature and moon state. This is a very effective trail cam at a moderate price.
Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera:
Moultrie’s M-990i is a mid-range camera with no-glow LEDs for completely covert night operation. The flash works entirely in the infrared range, so there’s nothing visible to spook game. It also uses motion freeze technology to reduce the blur that plagues a lot of trail cameras after sunset, so if you expect a lot of action at night this is an excellent choice.
It’s just as capable at daylight photography though, with an array of video and burst options, and the 10MP sensor gives bright, crisp shots. It’s capable of taking up to four images a second and overprinting them with temperature, moon state and barometric pressure as well as time and date.
The M-990i has a built-in 2-inch LCD screen for viewing images direct from the camera, and can also be set up to run from an external power supply. This is a very capable camera that should suit most hunters perfectly. We also like their support forum and FAQ’s section that supports all of their cameras.
Bestguarder HD Waterproof Infared Night Vision Trail Camera:
The Bestguarder is a newer model to the trail camera market, but has gotten many favorable reviews by numerous hunters. The best feature about this game camera is the fact that it can take 12MP images and also take full 1080P videos if you choose to do so, up to a full 75 feet.
It can record both digital photos and videos and also has Time Lapse and Motion detection features that make it a contender in our top 10.
The Bestguarder also carries a bunch of other features which include Barometric Pressure readings, GPS Geotags (like the Browning) and it also captures the time/date of the images it retrieves, so you that way you know what time it is that you see the deer or elk crossing your camera’s field of vision. Mapping the times of day and dates are both extremely important when tracking in today’s digital age, and this trail camera does both.
Kodiak Trail Camera:
This model from Kodiak is one of the more expensive trail cameras, but it’s worth every penny. It comes with a built-in Bluetooth and WiFi modem, so you don’t need to swap out cards or connect a cable to retrieve your images; you don’t even have to go anywhere near the camera. You can simply download to your smartphone or tablet from up to 200 feet away (depending on conditions – in broken ground or thick woods it could be cut to 100 feet). You just have to install an app on your phone to let you access the camera; once that’s done you can remotely adjust settings, too.
The camera itself is high quality and gives you a wide range of options. It’s built around a 12MP sensor, so image quality is sharp and vivid. It also has high definition audio capture and a no-glow LED flash, so it’s covert at night. IR pictures are remarkably bright, and the flash range is up to 70 feet.
Overall the Kodiak Trail Camera is solidly built in a tough weatherproof case, with a nice camouflage finish. It doesn’t just let you capture high quality images; it’s easy to recover them as well.
Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2:
Finally another budget model, and with the quality that Moultrie typically delivers. Moultrie’s update of the Game Spy A-5 is a modest 5MP camera but for this price it has an amazing array of features. The big one is low glow IR flash, so you can rely on it operating discreetly even at night.
For this update practically everything about the A-5 has been changed. There’s a new case, matching the style of the company’s other new cams. It doesn’t have any real camouflage, but it’s molded from coyote plastic and isn’t too conspicuous. It also seems tough and weather resistant. Trigger speed is quite slow at 1.5 seconds, but there’s a respectable detection range of up to 40 feet and the flash will illuminate out to 50. Delay times have been improved and there’s a useful multishot mode. It also runs on AA batteries in place of the Gen 1’s C cells, so you can use lithium power, and there’s a power port for external batteries or a solar panel.
For the money this gives very acceptable images, and it has features you normally have to pay a lot more for. If you want a budget camera with some great extras consider this one.
So what’s the best trail camera for the money?
While we think this is subject to the needs of each hunter, if we had to pick one it would probably be the Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10 Megapixel Game Camera. Browning does so many things the right way – from Gun Safes to firearm accessories, it’s hard to find a product that’s not outstanding that they manufacture. We could have easily picked any of the of the Moultries or a higher end model like the Kodiak. But honestly, if you are on a budget like most people are when shopping for a hunting luxury like this, we’d find it hard to say that the Browning wouldn’t end up being the best trail camera for the money in the price range that it’s in.
Wrap Up & Final Thoughts:
It doesn’t matter if you are heading out on your first compound bow hunting expedition or if you are a seasoned recurve bow archer that has their draw weights memorized, technology can be your biggest hunting ally if you properly do your research. We are confident that any of the game cameras we’ve talked about will do the job you need it to. Whatever it is you hunt, whether that’s deer, elk, or even smaller game, we are confident that any one of these options will end up being the best trail camera for your next outdoor adventure. If you feel like there’s a model we missed, or one that you are particularly fond of, please feel free do drop us a line in the comments below!
The post The Best Trail and Game Cameras For Hunting in 2016: Ratings & Reviews appeared first on Wilderness Today.
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Spring Gobbler Season
James Walton “I Am Liberty”
The days are getting longer and the weather getting warmer. There are many of the telltale signs that spring is upon us. You’ll see sprouting kale and hear chirping chickens on the Liberty Homestead. For many of us though that familiar gobble of the horny spring long-beard is another sign that the evil winter has finally come to an end.
In celebration of Spring Gobbler season starting Friday we are going to have Andy Gagliano of the Turkey Hunter Podcast (http://iamturkeyhunting.com/) Love the site name by the way. There are people you run into who have just hit the highest level of their passion. Never get to far from these people. They are the most interesting and the most enjoyable people to be around. This is Andy Gagliano and his passion for Turkey Hunting.
We are going to talk about the spring woods. We are going to talk about scouting. We are also going to talk about turkey hunting. What you will have is a person who is completely ate up with his passion and to me that is the best guest you can find. This was on a very short notice as most of my guests are. That being said I implore you to come on under the I AM Liberty tent and enjoy the show.
Visit I Am Liberty website HERE!
Join us for I Am Liberty “LIVE SHOW” every Friday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Spring Gobbler Season” in player below!
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If you want to succeed at hunting you need to use all your senses to their utmost. Hearing, smell, touch, even taste sometimes – but most of all your eyesight. Keen vision is what’s going to show you the signs of a good place to set your hide, or spot the first glimpse of approaching prey so you can use your walkie-talkie to radio in to your hunting partners. Sometimes your natural eyesight can use a helping hand, though.
It’s useful to be able to focus on details without having to move in and check them out, watch interesting areas from a discreet distance or extend your visibility when the light starts to fade. How can you quickly and easily improve your vision? It’s simple: Get a good pair of binoculars to accompany your laser rangefinder and other outdoor gear.
You won’t go wrong with any of the 10 we have in our comparison chart below. For a detailed breakdown of each model, use the quick jump menu after our comparison grid.
Our Comparison Grid:
|Bushnell Legend Ultra HD||10×42-mm||$$|
|Leupold Mojave Roof Prism||10×42-mm||$$$|
|Vortex Optics Viper HD||10×42-mm||$$$$|
|Carson 3D Series High Definition with ED Glass||10×42-mm||$$|
|Bushnell PowerView Roof Prism Binocular||10×42-mm||$|
|Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder||10×42-mm||$$$$$|
|Carson® Mossy Oak Caribou Mossy Oak Waterproof||10×42-mm||$|
|Bushnell Trophy XLT Bone Collector Edition||10×42-mm||$|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42||10×42-mm||$|
|Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S||8×42-mm||$$|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback 8×42||8×42-mm||$|
|Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular||8×42-mm||$|
|Nikon 8218 Trailblazer 10X25 Hunting Binoculars||10×25-mm||$$|
|Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular||8×25-mm||$|
|Bushnell Powerview 8×21 Compact Folding Binocular||8×21-mm||$|
Table of Contents:
Hunting Binocular Basics:
After your bow or rifle, binoculars are one of the most vital items in your hunting arsenal. They open up a whole range of possibilities. Want to examine sign on a trail without getting close enough to contaminate it with sign of your own?
Binoculars can let you focus in on something a few yards away and see it as if you were sitting beside it. A dim flicker of movement in the distance suddenly appears in sharp close-up when you aim the lenses at it.
Not sure if that was a deer, or just a branch moving in the wind? Binoculars let you check. If you choose the right pair you can even extend your hunting day, using their light gathering capability to let you see clearly at lower light levels.
Of course you do need to get the right pair, and with binoculars it’s easy to get it spectacularly wrong. There’s a huge range available with models designed for everything from astronomy to getting a better view at the theater, so not all of them are much use for hunting.
You also need to take into account what type of hunting you will be doing as someone who hunts in closer quarters with a crossbow will have different needs than someone hunting with a longer range recurve bow or rifle.
The smallest compacts will work well in a floodlit football stadium but won’t help you much in the woods at twilight, while large astronomy glasses will give stunning magnification and light gathering, but are far too heavy to hold steady without a tripod.
Luckily there are plenty of good models designed for hunting and other outdoor sports. These can be split into compact and full-size designs, and both have their advantages. Binoculars are described by two numbers – their magnification and the size of the objective (front) lenses, so an 8×35 pair will have 7-power magnification and objective lenses 35mm in diameter.
Generally anything with lenses smaller than 30mm can be called compact, and anything larger than that is full sized. While there are a few older designs around whose weight and bulk make them full size but have lenses around 28mm, but there’s no reason to buy these for hunting and we won’t be looking at them here.
What to buy: A Buyer’s Guide
There are great binoculars in all three categories, so the question is which type should you opt for?
We’ve split this into two primary questions below.
1.Do I buy full size or compact?
Let’s start off by covering whether a compact model is the right choice for you. Compact binoculars have several drawbacks compared to full size ones. They often have fewer features, simply because they’re smaller. Optically they tend to have a narrower field of view and the small lenses mean they collect less light.
That reduces the brightness of the image and makes them less useful either side of sunrise and sunset. They also usually have a longer minimum focus distance, so you can’t get a magnified view of something five or six yards away.
At the same time they have one major advantage – they’re compact. Unlike their larger relatives they slip easily into a pocket, and they don’t weigh much. If you’re looking to reduce your load, a pair of compacts give you a lot of the performance of larger binoculars at a fraction of the weight and bulk. These can serve as dual purpose binoculars since they weigh less, making them the perfect addition to your next kayak fishing or fly fishing trip.
It all depends on how much performance you’re willing to trade off in exchange for portability. If you mostly hunt in full daylight it could be a worthwhile compromise. Compacts are great for checking out a distant object or confirming you’ve got the right target.
2.What magnification is best and what’s the difference between 8×42 or 10×42?
The key difference between 8×42 and 10×42 binoculars is the amount they magnify by. Magnification power tells you how much the binoculars reduce apparent distance by. If you’re looking at something 400 yards away then through an 8×42 pair you’ll be able to see as much detail as if it were 50 yards away – the real distance divided by eight.
Switch to 10×42 and it will look like it’s 40 yards away. On the face of it higher magnification seems to be better, but it’s not quite that simple. The extra performance comes with several trade-offs, and these could easily affect your decision.
The Impacts of Power Choice:
Brightness: The brightness of the image you see through your binoculars is mostly determined by what’s called the exit pupil.
This is the diameter of the beam of light that comes out of the eyepiece, and you can find that by dividing the lens diameter by the magnification.
So 8×42 binoculars have an exit pupil 5.25mm wide, 10×42 drops to 4.2mm and a set of 10×25 compacts only manage 2.5mm.
A narrower exit pupil means the image that reaches your eyes is falling on a smaller area of your retinas, and that makes the picture seem dimmer.
If the objective lenses stay the same size then increasing magnification will make the image less bright.
If you’re under 25 then your eyes can expand their pupils to around 7 or 8mm (it slowly decreases with age) so there’s no point having an exit pupil larger than that, but within that limit larger is better.
Of course unless you’re willing to drop to 4x or 5x magnification that means large lenses and heavy binoculars, and 42mm is a good compromise between bulk and light gathering.
Field of view: Higher power with the same lens size means a narrower field of view. There are other design factors that can affect it as well but, other things being equal, this is a rule you can’t get away from.
At 8x magnification the cone you can see into will usually be about 20% wider than you’d get at 10x, and that translates to about a 50% wider field of view.
High magnification is perfect for getting a close look at something you saw with the naked eye, but if you’re scanning the landscape you’ll find it’s a much slower process.
High magnification also increases tunnel vision – your awareness will be cut down to a narrower area.
Stability: Image shake is always a problem with magnified optics; unless you mount your binoculars on a tripod – which isn’t always practical when hunting – every slight vibration of your hands will be magnified in the image.
With astronomical telescopes it’s not rare for a tiny shake while you’re adjusting the focus to move the telescope far enough that the object you’re looking at has jumped right out the field of view.
The difference between 8x and 10x isn’t enough to do that, but you’ll find it harder to study something when it’s jittering around in front of your eyes.
So if you do a lot of hunting in low light conditions 8×42 is a clear winner. The brighter image will let you start observing earlier in the morning and maintain a visible image for longer after dusk.
Good 8x42s will give a brighter picture than the naked eye when the light is poor, and 10×42 just can’t do that.
On the other hand, if you prefer to hunt in full daylight, the 10×42 is the most popular and definitely has advantages. This is probably where most hunters, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts fall into. Whether you are hunting in the woods or hanging out at the Grand Canyon, most of us are out in the open during the day, so that’s when the 10×42 makes more sense.
The extra power cuts apparent distance by 20%, which can make the difference between seeing a vital detail and missing it.
As outlined above, the most popular options for hunters are full size binoculars in the 8×42 and 10×42 formats, and compacts. Your choices will come down to personal use and preference.
Check out this video resource below for more information on choosing the right binocular. While the video wasn’t created by us, there’s some true value points in the video that are worth watching.
What are the Best Binoculars Specifically for Deer Hunting?
Apart from varmints deer are the most popular quarry for American hunters, so that’s probably the biggest market for hunting binoculars. All the same factors apply here but there are a few things about deer hunting to take into consideration.
Deer are woodland animals, so you’re usually going to be bow hunting or rifle hunting in and around cover. That makes magnification less important because the ranges you’ll be working at aren’t that great, so a steadier image is likely to beat a slightly more magnified one.
Deer hunters spend a lot of time scanning the undergrowth for the slightest hint of a moving antler or twitching ear, and an unstable image makes those details easier to miss. Brightness and excellent color reproduction are important too.
A lot of deer hunting goes on around sunrise and sunset, and that also has a big influence. When you’re looking for signs of an elusive animal in dim light every advantage is vital. A brighter image will let you look a little deeper into shadows, and break out slightly smaller details from their surroundings.
In these conditions it’s well worth trading off a bit of magnification for some more exit pupil. Compacts are pretty much out of the running here; they’re handy to carry in the woods, but just don’t have the low-light performance most deer hunters need.
Looking at all those points, the best choice for deer hunters is a good pair of 8×42 binoculars unless you are planning on hunting in larger open/expansive regions. The magnification is plenty for what you need, and their superior light gathering power tips the balance in their favor, especially if you hunt from dawn to dusk.
10×42 Binocular Favorites:
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD:
These roof-prism binoculars from Bushnell are completely up to date and ideal for hunting.
They’re built on a magnesium alloy chassis coated with soft-touch rubber armor, and are pretty compact for the 42mm lens format. They’re also fogproof and water resistant, and the lenses are low-dispersion ED glass.
Optically these are great binoculars. The lens coatings are ultra-wide spectrum, so the image is clear and bright right out to the edge. Field of view is wide – 340 feet at 1,000 yards.
The eyecups can be adjusted for eye relief and there’s a diopter ring on the right eyepiece. Overall a good, solid piece of equipment with great performance.
The Mojave is another roof prism design, with an open bridge design that gives them a distinctive appearance and reasonably light weight for their size – just over 2.5 pounds.
They have a light rubber armor coating that also gives excellent grip, and all the features you’d expect – twist adjustable eyecups, a diopter ring and folding lens covers.
The real strength of the Mojave is in the optics. Leupold have a proprietary nitrogen purging process, and along with the mirror coated lenses the result is image quality that’s very hard to match.
This is a huge advantage around dusk and dawn; when other 10×42 binos struggle the Leupolds still deliver a bright, sharp picture.
Vortex Optics Viper HD:
The Vortex Viper binoculars are large but exceptionally lightweight, and also seem very robust.
They’re well sealed against moisture and come with a decent selection of accessories – a rainguard, padded case and strap are all included. There’s also a very nice lifetime repair or replace warranty.
Optically these binoculars are incredible. Vortex use the same lenses as some of the top Japanese manufacturers, and it shows. T
he Viper is easily the equal of the Leupold Mojave, in a lighter (but slightly less rugged) package. The ED low-dispersion glass has an excellent coating that does wonders for brightness and clarity at any distance.
Carson 3D Series HD:
This is a fairly compact set by the standards of full-size binoculars, and combined with light weight they’re easy to carry and use all day.
They do lack a couple of features, like adjustable eyecups, but as compensation you get optics that not many other sub-$300 binoculars can match.
The 3D series use BAK 4 roof prisms in a sealed, waterproof alloy chassis.
All lenses are ED glass and feature multiple coatings, so light transmission is above average and the image is crisp and bright. Field of view is good, 314 feet at 1,000 yards.
These are one of Bushnell’s budget lines, but don’t write them off – if you want a decent, affordable set of binoculars these will serve very well at a list price of under $140.
They’re compact, lightweight and ruggedly built, and feature twist-up eyecups and a diopter ring. One thing they don’t have is a tripod adapter.
The only disadvantage of these is their fixed focus system. It allows rapid use at longer distances, but you won’t be able to use them to view small objects a few yards away.
Field of view is relatively narrow at 293 feet. They’re also not water or fog proof. The optics are clear and reasonably bright though, so if you’re after budget binoculars these are definitely worth a look.
Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Rangefinding Binoculars:
This pair is at the other end of the range from Bushnell’s PermaFocus. A dedicated hunting system, they combine binoculars and a laser rangefinder with a range bracket running from 10 to 1,760 yards.
It offers bow and rifle modes, with an integrated bullet drop calculator, so should suit any hunter. Range data is displayed in the optical path via a small 96×48 pixel screen.
The 1-Mile’s optics have a narrow field of view at just 252 feet, but within those limits the image quality is excellent – it’s bright and clear right out to the edges.
Combine them with the advanced rangefinder and this is a real winner.
Carson Caribou MO-042:
Another budget pair that’s worth checking out if you’re after an affordable setup. They’re quite compact and lightweight, and have a nice rubber armored finish.
For the price they feel very solid, but while they’re nitrogen purged we noticed some slight fogging a couple of times. We don’t think they’d stand up to hard use as well as a more expensive pair, which isn’t really a surprise.
On the bright side the optics are a pleasant surprise. Field of view is a respectable 315 feet and the image is clear and bright.
Dawn and dusk challenge them more than the Carson 3Ds, but overall they’re pretty good.
Bushnell Trophy XLT:
A mid-range Bushnell model, these are specifically designed for hunting and include some very nice features. The lightweight body has thick rubber armor with chunky ribs, giving an excellent grip.
There are thumb grips just in front of the eyepieces for a more secure hold.
The multicoated optics are o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, too, so the XLT is thoroughly proof against water and fogging. The fast focus system knob is bug and heavily ribbed for good grip and there’s an easy diopter adjustment.
The picture through the XLT is extremely good, with a crystal clear image that stays bright well into dusk and becomes usable again before dawn. Any hunter will get good results with these binoculars.
Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42:
Like all Vortex products these give you an affordable and pretty robust set of binoculars with glass that belongs in a much more expensive pair. Listed at $230 and usually available for around $200, the Diamondback is outstanding value for money.
These are among the most solid Vortex binoculars and optically you won’t get better for much under $400. Focus is smooth and precise, and once you’ve set the diopter ring it won’t budge until you want to adjust it again.
The roof prisms in the Diamondback are phase-corrected to give you an extremely clear picture with almost no aberrations, and the lens coating is exceptional in low light.
You also get the fantastic Vortex lifetime guarantee.
8×42 Binocular Favorites:
Vortex Optics Diamondback 8×42:
The 8×42 Diamondback comes with the same features as their more powerful cousin, so the main difference is in optical performance.
If you spend a lot of time scanning you’re going to notice a big speed increase with these; field of view at 1,000 yards is 420 feet, compared to the 10×42’s 345 feet, which makes a difference when you’re going for the first sight of your quarry.
In full daylight you won’t see much more brightness from the lower power model but around dawn and dusk they have a definite performance edge, as you’d expect.
As usual a generous set of accessories is in the box, including rainguard and molded carry case.
Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S:
The quality of Nikon optics is legendary and even though the PROSTAFF 7S is towards the budget end of their range you’ll still get fantastic performance for a touch under $200.
Low profile rubber armor gives a good grip on the solid body and the optics are well sealed. For the price they feel incredibly tough.
You won’t be disappointed with the image quality either. Field of view is a respectable if not outstanding 390 feet, and the picture is very bright.
You won’t have any trouble picking out prey at dawn or dusk. At this sort of money the PROSTAFF is a very good deal.
The H2O uses the older-style Porro prism, so they have a more classic and less streamlined shape, but they’re still very good performers at a budget price (expect to pay under $100 for these).
The body is rubbed and coated in heavily textured rubber armor, which makes them feel very secure in your hands. You get twist-up eyecups, and the focus knob is in the center of the bridge and easily operated from below with a thumb.
The Porro design makes these very short without compromising the optics – in fact it’s a technically superior design compared to the less efficient, but more compact, roof prism – so for this price they give a great image.
Field of view is 410 feet, excellent for a budget 8×42.
Our Favorite Compact Models For Hunting:
Nikon 8218 Trailblazer 10×25:
The Trailblazer 10×25 is a truly tiny item, just over four inches long and not much wider. Despite that they have impressive performance and a good selection of features.
For around $125 you get a solid rubber-armored body with Eco-Glass optics, a diopter ring on the right eyepiece and smooth bridge-mounted focus wheel. They’re lightweight, waterproof and fogproof.
They also give a startlingly good image in decent light. The combination of high power and small lenses means they don’t cope well at dawn or dusk, but in full daylight the picture is vivid and clear.
Field of view is a very impressive 342 feet at 1,000 yards. The Trailblazer packs a lot of power into your pocket.
Bushnell H2O Compact 8×25:
Like the rest of Bushnell’s H2O range these compacts put a lot of emphasis on waterproofing and ruggedness; they’re heavily rubber armored, with excellent gripping surfaces, and the optics are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for fog resistance.
They can focus down to 15 feet with an easy to use ribbed knob, and also have diopter adjustment and twist-up eyecups.
Optically these are good for sub-$75 binos, while not up to the standards of a more expensive model. That shows up most in field of view which is just 341 feet – fractionally less than the 10x Nikons.
There’s also some chromatic aberration around the edges, which isn’t intrusive but is there. On the other hand the image is generally sharp, and for compacts their dusk and dawn performance is very acceptable.
Bushnell Powerview 10×21:
This is a budget compact model, retailing for below $30, so as you’d expect some compromises have been made. The objective lenses are the small 21mm size and that makes a big difference – they have 40% less surface area, and light gathering power, than 25mm lenses.
You’re not going to get much use out of these around dawn and dusk. They also lack diopter adjustment, but do have twist-up eyecups. The body is solid and rubber armored, but we wouldn’t rely on them to be water or fogproof.
The good news is that the optics are reasonable. Field of view is 378 feet, not great but better than the more expensive H2O, and image quality is surprisingly good as long as you have enough light to work with. If you’re on a tight budget these are a lot better than nothing and definitely worth considering.
Finding the right pair of binoculars is no different than choosing the right pocket knife or fixed blade survival knife for your outdoor excursions. You need to understand what it is that will best fit your needs and pick the model that you will get the most use from.
While we can provide you with all the guidance in the world, only you can narrow down the Binoculars that are best for your unique hunting situation.
Our parting thoughts are that if you are spending most of your time hunting in the daylight and not at dawn or dusk, go with the 10×42 magnification and spend a little more than you had originally planned on. The quality will be worth the investment.
If you intend on hunting at a wide variety of times, and need something that’s easier on the wallet, the 8×42 options are great.
Compact Binoculars should only really be purchased if you are needing something very portable or are really tight on cash. These will work in a pinch but not as good as the other models that were made for a better field of view.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of them in our list and we welcome comments below if you feel like we need to add your favorite set that may not have made the cut.
The post Best Binoculars for Hunting in 2016: Reviews Including Compact Models appeared first on Wilderness Today.
The Honey Badger Wheel – The Prepper Wheelbarrow on Steroids When SHTF, how are you going to travel long distances on foot? Think you can hunker down, hide, and never leave a location? And do you think your perfect plan to get everything to your bugout location is going to work or that you’ll never …
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March 28th, 2016
Video courtesy of Wranglerstar
5 tips that will get your axe up and running in tip top condition.