How do you learn the simple survival abilities of marksmanship, stalking, concealment and skinning and processing game animals?
Take up squirrel hunting.
by Leon Pantenburg
Lots of persons do not know how to get began hunting. But they may perhaps be considering it is time to understand.
There could be a assortment of causes – to supplement your diet plan, to harvest clean, organic, non-GMO meat, to practice wilderness survival abilities to get outdoors much more and so on. The causes are as varied as the participants. (A great point-of-view comes from Lily Raff McCaulou, a city lady who took up hunting when she moved to rural Oregon. Her book “Call of the Mild” is a reasoned appear at hunting.)
But there are added rewards. You can understand survival abilities that may come in seriously handy if The Shinola Hits the Fan.
Commence by taking a hunter security class, and understanding firearms security.
Then take up squirrel hunting.
Squirrels are the second-most harvested tiny game in the US, immediately after rabbits. They are in practically each and every state, and most locations have liberal limits.
A 10-year-old kid with a .410, an old guy with his equally ancient Winchester 97 or the modern day longhunter with a flintlock can all be thriving and get a lot of enjoyment out of the exact same activity.
Right here are some of the survival abilities that go along with squirrel hunting.
Marksmanship: The typical adult tree squirrel will weight about a single pound. The target size is tiny. They move rapidly, and are masters of concealment. If a single spots you, you almost certainly will not get a shot.
Making use of a shotgun does not assure achievement. A squirrel operating by way of the trees tops, supplying only fleeting glimpses of its bushy tail is a difficult target.
A rifleman has much more challenge. If you restrict oneself to heads shots only, your target is the size of a walnut. If you can regularly make a head shot, at a variety of amongst 10 to 30 yards, you will have no dilemma taking a deer at equivalent ranges.
If you want to get seriously great with your centerfire rifle, function up some lowered loads and hunt tiny game with it. (Just about each and every reloading manual has some recommended low velocity loadings. DO NOT make up your personal!)
Up the ante and go hunting with a blackpowder rifle. The epitome of squirrel hunting challenge, to me, is making use of a flintlock rifle, like the colonial frontiersmen.
Speak about trophy hunting – your achievement price will almost certainly go down. But when you do drop a single, there is a actual feeling of accomplishment.
I gave up bowhunting squirrels immediately after a couple of unsuccessful tries. Not only could I not hit a single, but I also normally lost the arrow. If you are a hardcore bowhunter, although, use tiny game blunts and have at it.
Stalking: We’ve all observed city parks with the fat, complacent squirrels. (Right here, the ideal and undoubtedly illegal hunting tool may be a slingshot.) But go to a public hunting location, and the squirrels have been educated. You may not even see a single. This is exactly where you understand to stroll quietly on dry leaves, blend in with trees and brush and stalk close adequate for a shot.
This talent transfers to large game hunting. And, God forbid, if you ever get involved in some sort of guerrilla war scenario, you will know much more than numerous of your opponents.
Use camouflage: Some difficult core hunters put on head nets or camouflage paint to hide their faces. There practically nothing like a vibrant, shiny face, peering up into the tree, to spook a squirrel.
I have a tendency to put on a broad brimmed hat, and reduce my head to hide my face. If it hot and buggy out, a head net is welcomed and hides my face.
Camo patterns are seasonal, and you will understand what functions ideal at unique instances of the year. You will rapidly figure out what keeps you warm or cool, and how comfy the clothes is. Needless to say, this could be invaluable if you ever have to bug out someplace.
Firearms: Use a firearm hunting and you will inevitably get far better making use of it and turn out to be much more familiar with the operation. And do not discount squirrel hunting firearms for self defense.
Shotguns loaded with slugs or buckshot may perhaps be the ideal quick-variety self defense weapon ever devised. And a .22 rifle, in the hands of a cool marksman/survival mom with the will to use it and survive is a formidable weapon.
Do not underestimate the killing energy of a .22 rifle. As an Iowa farmboy, I’ve humanely dispatched injured pigs and other massive farm animals with a single, nicely-placed .22 slug. (Here’s how to choose the ideal firearm for your requirements.)
Patience: A great hunter is a patient a single. There is usually no immediate gratification in hunting, and the thriving hunter invests time in researching the animal, understanding its habits and habitat and practicing marksmanship. Patience is not discovered rapidly. 🙂
Verify out all your gear: You will use your firearm, cam0, hunting knife, boots and clothes, but other gear goes in the mix. That GPS, map and compass will get utilized heavily, so your navigation abilities keep present. You will understand exactly where to locate water, and study wild animal sign. Terrible climate will teach you how to take shelter.
Put on your hiking boots and socks hunting, and it is straightforward to make a decision if they will function out. Use that new daypack and take along some of the freeze dried meals to attempt out. Experiment with trail mixes.
You will not just be making use of the hunting gear.
Discover how to approach game animals: Rabbits and squirrels are straightforward to skin, gut and quarter, and this encounter can be applied to bigger animals.
On his 1st hunt to Idaho, I was attempting to clarify to my cousin Marion how to gut a deer. As little ones in Iowa, Marion and I had hunted tiny game with each other a lot, but this was his 1st encounter with large animals. My explanation was not going as well nicely, judging from the puzzled appear on Marion’s face.
“OK – consider of it as a deer is just a large rabbit,” I stated. “Just gut it like you would a rabbit or squirrel.”
Marion understood quickly, and had no difficulty later on. (Here’s how to field dress a squirrel. There are quite a few approaches to get this performed, but this is a single of the quickest.)
Cooking: Survival meals has to be tasty, and cooking more than a campfire is yet another talent that has to be discovered. Cook an older squirrel on a spit more than a campfire, like you can see on Youtube videos and survival shows, and the outcome will be a meal that is as challenging as a boot and tastes like a single.
Discover some great, simple tiny game recipes and get a Dutch oven. Make cooking the animal component of the outside encounter. (Here’s a go-to squirrel recipe.)
I’ve hunted all more than the nation for deer, elk, waterfowl and tiny game.
But give me a option of any day hunt, and I’ll almost certainly take a deciduous forest complete of oak and beech trees at dawn. The squirrels will be moving in the trees and I’m there to harvest a handful of with my flintlock rifle.
Studying survival abilities ought to be entertaining, and squirrel hunting is a single of the ideal teaching environments about!
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