Ponder the Unthinkable (pt26) Chow Down


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Thread: Ponder the Unthinkable (pt26) Chow Down

  1. #1

    Ponder the Unthinkable (pt26) Chow Down

    The cliche' goes that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". My co-worker Jeff is a man of danger. And an object lesson in thinking past simple solutions.

    I mentioned Jeff a few segments back. He was a proponent of taking over our local Costco Superstore after a Stuff Hits The Fan (SHTF) scenario. I already addressed that insanity. Now, Jeff's solution after food stops flowing is he will just hunt to put food on the table.

    It doesn't sound as crazy as occupying a bulk food store, and there are critters out there to be had. Once again, the problem is that this isn't some original idea. Every quasi-prepper will be gunning for Bambi. Even in areas that have a large game animal population, the demand will quickly overwhelm the supply. And, I hope you have thought out some means of preserving the excess meat. Next, the only critters left will be Rocky and Thumper. They are mid-level on the food chain. After a few weeks, maybe a month or two, you're down to Chip and Dale.

    The bad news is that, in no time, all that's left is Willard and the gang. If you're OK with eating rats, you'll be just fine. Months into a SHTF scenario, there'll be plenty of vermin scurrying about. No deer. No chipmunks or squirrels. You'd be lucky to bag an occasional opossum. And no, it does not taste just like chicken.

    All your eggs in any basket is a bad idea. It's deadly insanity if you plan to live through a medium term SHTF scenario. Rats, mice and the like will provide protein and calories, but you'll need an awful lot of them. That's a large part of your day. But the real problem is that vermin are vectors for disease. You can safely eat them, but it really is a game of Russian Roulette.

    Now, Jeff already KNOWS what he will do. You can't tell a guy like that a thing. If he was to stop, think and listen, there are more and better solutions.

    For most of us, hunting will be only a supplement to our needed caloric intake. First off, if you are near a body of water, plan on fishing too. Over-harvesting will occur on the water as well, but give yourself options. Clams, crab, anything that is available may keep you alive. 80% of the world's population lives near the coast. Use what's nearby.

    And don't forget to look-up. Most birds aren't a healthy meal, but they're out there. While a duck or goose are preferable, a few robins will do in a pinch. Just remember that many birds are essentially "flying rats", despite how cute they look. Our instructor at Mountain Warfare School had a simple axiom: "If it hops around, boil the s**t out of it". Scavengers can be a nice meal, just cook them thoroughly. But that goes for everything in a SHTF scenario. If you get sick, you won't be getting help.

    As far as harvesting small game, most "prepper" types swear by the .22 caliber rifle. I'm not going to advise against a good rimfire, but I would also strongly advise a quality air rifle. A .177 pellet rifle will harvest squirrel, birds and small rabbits. You can purchase thousands of pellets for a few dollars, and they never go bad. Just oil the action of your air rifle every now and then, and you're golden.

    Shifting gears to the Zucchini in the room. Plan to garden. If a SHTF situation degrades into a complete Without Rule Of Law (WROL), things nay take years to "get better". If you don't know how now, learn to grow stuff. Forget tomatoes, peppers and that trendy stuff for salsa. Think about potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, beans, peas... the list is long. You'll need filling starchy food plus green veggies with vitamins. I'm not any kind of fan of eggplant or zucchini. But I'm damn sure not eating rat and crow all the time.

    Gardening takes land. But there will be more land than you think available after a few months. All the "preppers" with their 72 hour "bug-out bags" will be on their Exodus, spending 40 years in the wilderness. (Note: I'm not a fan of "bugging-out") Most of those folks won't be coming back, ever. Some may find the land of milk and honey. Most will die from natural, and unnatural causes whilst wandering. The point is, your neighbor's yard probably can grow potatoes just as well as yours. IF he comes back, you share.
    Live in the city? Look-up "p-patch". Container gardening. Brush up on your social skills, because you will be planting and harvesting in your local park. And Sharing. It's the only way that you, and your neighbors, will survive.

    I've used some year or two old seeds with moderate results. But buy and store some "survival seeds". Keep them in a cool, dark place. They should be good for many years.
    Own a shovel, pick and a hoe. Breaking ground is hard work. It's impossible without basic tools.

    Secure a water source. Water may or may not run for a limited amount of time after an event. Regardless, don't count on it. Install rain barrels. Know where local catch basins, ponds and lakes are. You may have to spend hours a day just getting water. There's no substitute. If you have a well, you'll need to set-up a manual system for pulling up water. Power won't be flowing, and you don't have and endless supply of gas (if you have a generator). Remember, you're not growing anything if you can't water it.

    There will be that gap between when you plant and when you harvest. THIS is why you have a stockpile of some food now. Not to eat all of it three days after a SHTF starts. Augment your grown food with some saved food, and visa versa. When your grown / harvested food is plentiful, stash the survival rations. And learn to salt, dry and can excess harvested food. Because, in reality, there is no "excess" food. Most of the world knows that now. After a SHTF event, some of us will learn that lesson.

    Well, time for some left-over pizza. Before I go, I'd admonish all of you to just remember to think a few steps ahead. I named this series "Ponder the Unthinkable" for a reason. Starving to death sucks. And there's no reason you should ever have to. Unless you have a magic .270 rifle and an endless supply of deer, just a little work now can mean much less pain later.

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"



  2. #2
    The only thing I would have mentioned was the pros of either a cross bow or good compound bow. Ammo is re-usable, it is quiet, a bow set up for fishing with the right gear makes a good way to get fish that does not rely on bait.


    Good read I did not see anything that caught my eye...Bob
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  3. #3
    Thanks, Bob. I can always count on you for a clear eye and a thoughtful word.

    Good point on the bow for a food-getter. A compound bow does take some practice (I kinda stink at it), but the crossbow is almost idiot-proof I am pretty good with a slingshot, which is another handy small game harvester.
    There's a ton of things people should at least be familiar with, like fish traps in rivers, or net tossing. Snares are hard but worth a look.

    It just troubles me that in an extended emergency, so many would starve when it's mostly preventable. But that's why I write these things. Life is worth saving. Folks just have to try.

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"



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