Hunting and Fishing Post SHTF – Part I

Posted: September 28, 2014 by gamegetterII in fishing, hunting, prepping, survival
Tags: , , ,

I have read tons of articles over the years where people believe that they are going to survive simply by hunting and fishing post SHTF.

There are many things wrong with such a plan,number one being that most people simply do not have the skills needed to harvest enough fish and game to sustain themselves,much less feed a family.

The only scenario where this is a viable plan is when you live so far away from major cities that your location is not going to be overrun by those who have the same plans. Plus you have to have enough actual experience fishing and hunting to be able to catch enough fish,and harvest enough game.

Every area near major cites will have no game left in a matter of weeks,months at best. Fishing is a bit harder to guess,all it would take is a few small groups of people with nets to harvest all fish big enough to eat from a creek,stream,river,or small lake. Once that happens,it will be several years before enough fish big enough to eat return.

Many of those who plan to hunt and fish to survive are in for a rude awakening,they seem to feel that surviving a post SHTF event will be like an extended fishing,hunting and camping trip.

I’ll look at hunting first,starting with big game.It’s not like those who have spent their lives in the city are experienced hunters,of the few who are,the majority of their recent hunting experience is going on guided hunting trips. They are missing a very,very important part of hunting-the scouting,finding travel patterns,trails,knowing what food sources the game uses at what times of year,along with where those food sources are located. Another important thing to know is water sources,along with bedding areas. All north American big game animals,with the exception of bears, are ungulates,they eat mainly grasses and grains. Because of this,they must,no mater what,drink water at least twice a day-that’s why knowing the locations of the water sources for the game you are hunting is so important.

There are simply not all that many people who are going to be able to walk into a new area,whether in the state they live in or another state,and find currently used game trails,food sources,water sources,bedding areas,and know where to set up a blind,stand,or use natural cover to be able to harvest a deer,elk,antelope,bighorn sheep,moose,caribou,etc.

This is a good thing for those of us who do know how to find the right areas to hunt.

The problem is that all the starving people leaving the cites are going to scatter the game,making all the animals skittish. Some will actually shoot and kill some big game animals,most will just scatter the game,those who do take a deer or an elk are most likely going to have no idea how to butcher the animal. It’s not really something you can learn from a book.

Eventually,the city people are going to figure out how to do a deer drive,and will start having some success,that’s when the number of deer,or elk,or moose will drop dramatically.

The problem is that once too many people kill too many big game animals-the population of the animals is going to crash,there will not be enough fawns or calves born to sustain the population.

That will likely occur within 3-6 months. Then that’s the end of being able to hunt big game for food-with the exception of the truly rural areas of the country.

Small game will probably  last a little longer,as there’s more of it,and it’s harder for inexperienced hunters to kill. The inexperience of most of the city people will help the small game to last a while longer than big game. After they shoot a few squirrels and/or rabbits with their A-R’s,they will figure out that they need to be using a .22 rimfire,or shotgun with game loads-shooting a few rabbits with 00 buckshot will have the same effect as shooting them with a .223/5.56.

As with big game,small game populations will crash before long due to over hunting. Same with waterfowl. The waterfowl probably has a better chance-except for the Canada geese hanging around every city park east of the Mississippi-just because they migrate,follow rivers or coastlines,and are hard to hit when flying.

Those who live far enough away from big cities will be able to survive by hunting for much longer for several reasons. There’s more game,there’s more experienced hunters,and there’s fewer people hunting the same herds of game.

This is the only group of people who can survive by hunting both big and small game.

Fishing is a different situation,as long as you have some fishing line,and fishooks,you can catch fish from about any body of water,creek,stream,river,lake,bay,or ocean.

Those in or near big cities,unless on the coasts will have the same problem as with hunting-too many people fishing for what will quickly become too few fish.

Those farther from the cities will have fewer people trying to catch fish,so the populations should remain sustainable for quite a while.

Until people start using gill nets and fish traps extensively,a lot of people can survive on fish,it’s when too many are harvested that the fish will become scarce,and will take several years to recover.

That’s it for part I-in part II, I’ll get into techniques and tactics,along with preserving your harvest.

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