Hunting for survival is totally different. Not only is game considerably more scarce in these situations, but your resources are considerably less. As a result, you need to approach hunting in a more selective and skillful way.
Fortunately, there are foundational principles you can apply to any game hunting when looking for valuable meat. These will enable you to be successful no matter what you are hunting, and what you are hunting with.
Principle 1: Scout Your Target
Most modern hunters skip this step. Big mistake. Scouting an animal (either in groups or one in particular) is a crucial element in understanding their personality, travel patterns, daily routine and vulnerabilities. Getting to know an animal before you hunt it is paramount, especially if you are going to have to strike at close range.
Most scouting can be done from a distance, especially if you have tools like binoculars. If you have to get closer, working on your skills of natural camouflage and scent-dampening are equally important. You will know you are done with this stage when you know which animal you will kill and also how and where you will kill it.
Principle 2: Pick Your Weapon
If you have a firearm, good on you. This is obviously the ideal weapon for hunting. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is the only one. Hunters were successful for millenia before the invention of the gun, and you can too. Deer can be killed with a spear or bow and arrow. Rabbits can be killed with well-sprung trap. And birds can be killed with a stick or a rock.
The best weapon is the one that fits your situation and skills the best. You also need to practice with your weapon and ensure it is in good working order. There is nothing more frustrating than to be derailed by a mechanical failure alone, and you want to make sure that this is not what is holding you back. Sharpen your knife, in other words, and make sure your rifle does not jam.
Principle 3: Clean and Prepare Your Meat
We’ll assume you were successful. It’s natural to skip the step of actually killing your target in this article, because if you have trouble understanding that as a principle of hunting, you have problems beyond repair. The most important thing to do after the kill is to clean your animal and prepare the meat for storage. Hunting should never be done just for sport.
Learning how to field dress an animal is relatively simple, but you must learn the skill before you need it. Not only could meat spoil if you do not clean your animal correctly, but the taste could also diminish significantly. Guides for field dressing specific animals can be found in numerous books and locations on the Web. Memorize or print one of these out to bring with you.
A successful hunt can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. If the other articles on this blog are any indication, it may also become a crucial survival skill in the not-so-distant future. Follow the principles in this article, as well as the advice of any local hunters you can find.