Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: December 2010

December 30 2010 evening hunting trip

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deer hunting 2010This evening my wife and I decided to go out to the lease and get in a stead – but before we did, we had to go get the pit from the deer camp. The Friday before opening weekend, my son and made a trip to the deer camp and brought my pit out there for everyone to use. Its a home made pit, made out of a 250 gallon butane tank and a 150 air tank. The cooking surface is 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across.

My son-in-laws birthday is towards the end of December. So we made a trip to the deer camp, got the pit out before deer season is over, and now we can cook for my son-in-laws birthday.

One of the reasons “why” we wanted to get the pit out of the deer camp, is that after the season is over, some undesirable people like to go in there and steal stuff. So far we have had a saw, and a set of antlers stolen. What kind of scum bag goes into a deer camp and steals antlers,,,,,.

Video from a cookout a few years ago

After getting the pit home, my wife and I headed out to the lease a couple of hours later.

We parked the truck, and walked close to 1/2 a mile to the stand.  At first the walk was downhill to a creek bottom, and then things turned uphill for close to 1/4 mile.  Maybe I need to spend a few more hours on the treadmill, but by the time we reached the top of the hill my wife and I both were out of wind.

We arrived at the stand at around 4:10pm, the feeder went off around 4:30.  From 4:30 – 5:30, we did not see a single thing – except a couple of birds.

Part of the problem – at least in my opinion – is the wind has turned out of the south and is gusting off the of Gulf of Mexico.  As the wind speed increases, the deer movement goes down.

Friday we are supposed to get a cold front, so maybe the wind will shift so its out of the north for the next few days.  Its also supposed to rain tomorrow, so I added a light weight rain poncho to my Maxpedition Noatak.

Its 10:56pm here right now, and I have to get up at 4:30am to head back out.   Hopefully I will see something tomorrow morning.

Stockpiling too many types of survival ammunition

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survivalist riflesA couple of days ago my kids and I made a trip to the camp to drop off some Remington 30-30 Core-Lokt 150 grain and Remington 308 Core-Lokt 150 grain. While I was in the closet, I thought, “lets just stack all of the calibers together to see what we have.”

30-30 – 4 boxes
280/7mm Express – 3 boxes
30-06 – 4 boxes
308 – 3 boxes
270 – 2 boxes
22 long rifle – 4 bricks
223 – between 750 – 1,000 rounds
7.62X39 – around 500 – 750 rounds

*Each “box” holds 20 rounds.

The 30-30, and 22 long rifle was probably the worst. The 30-30 had 3 different brand names and 2 different bullet weights, and the 22 long rifle had 3 different brand names.

This may not seem like a big deal, but its starting a disturbing trend. When a shooter switches brand names or bullet weights, its recommended that a few rounds are fired off to see if the rifle needs to be re-zeroed. If the Remington 150 grain has a different zero then the Federal 150 grain, then the shooter may fire off several rounds of ammo to re-zero the rifle. In a long term SHTF situation, the idea is to conserve ammo. The more ammunition that is fired sighting in the rifle, that is less food on the table.

The ideal situation would be to find out what brand / weight of hunting ammunition shoots best in your rifle, and stockpile just that one type of ammo.

The problem with stockpiling 1 type of hunting ammo – it can get a little “expensive”. A buddy of mine likes to shoot a certain brand name through his Remington 308 bolt action rifle. A box of 20 cost somewhere around $35 – $40. Going to the range for an hour or 2 could cost $120 – $160 + gas + targets,,,,. By this time, its probably going to cost close to $200 just to go to the range and fire off 80 rounds.

To offset the cost of shooting expensive hunting ammo, a lot of people stockpile cheap military surplus ball ammunition. Ball ammo might be cheaper then hunting grade ammo, but ball ammo is less effective for harvesting wild meat.

Instead of stockpiling military ball or expensive hunting grade ammo, some people stockpile imported ammunition that is sold as sporting / hunting ammo. As long as its not steel cased, this cheaper imported ammunition might be a viable option – but only if performance is up to par.

For defensive ammo such as 223 or 7.62X39, stockpiling hunting ammo or ball should not be a big deal. Just buy what gives the best performance and go from there.

For 22 long rifle, stockpiling survival ammo might be a little tricky. One type of 22 long rifle might work well in one rifle but jam in another. If your bug out location has 2 or 3 different brands of 22 rifles, it might be a little difficult finding the 1 or 2 brands of ammo that will reliably function in all of your rifles.

As for stockpiling ammo for a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I don’t have a perfect solution. Some people will stockpile cheap ball ammo for target shooting and hunting, some people will stockpile only expensive top of the line hunting grade ammo, while other will stockpile a combination of all of them.

Personally, I like to stockpile stuff like Remington Core-Lokt for my hunting rifles and whatever I can get for the AR15 and AK47. While the Core-Lokt might not be considered “top of the line” by some – it definitely gets the job done.

Life in a Medieval village by Frances and Joseph Gies

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Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies is an outstanding read for any survivalist who wants a better understanding of how people survived the medieval ages. The book covers peasant life from around the 1100s to what happens after the Black Death of 1348 and 1350.

Just about every detail of daily life is described; such as what crops were raised, what farm animals were raised, what uses the animals served, what services the animals preformed, which animals were best for butchering, which ones were not butchered, what people ate, and the difficulties that people ran into.

One example is that crop fields slowly turned into sheep fields. Sheep served several purposes – meat, milk, wool and skin for writing. People could make more money by raising sheep and exporting their wool, then could be made from growing food crops.


DS Arms SA58 First Range Report

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DS Arms SA58 FAL range reportBefore we start on the range report of the DS Arms SA58, here is a little history on how we arrived at this point in time.

October 21st 2010 I started a thread in the forum asking what is the best 308 rifle for the money.  There were lots of suggestions thrown around, such as the Springfield M1A, FAL, CETME, PTR-91, Remington model 750 and the DS Arms SA58.  After much debate in the forum, the choice was between the DSA SA58 and the Springfield M1A.

Between the Springfield M1A and the DS Arms SA58, I picked the SA58 FAL.  The Springfield M1A is a outstanding rifle, but a little bit out of my price range.

My first impressions of the SA58 were very good.  The rifle handled very well, shot well, was well balanced, and had very little recoil.  The first couple of times I shot the FAL, it was just to make sure the rifle shot ok – “yep, it shoots” kind of thing.  But now it was time to take the SA58 FAL to a gun range and see how well it shot.  Now its time to take the rifle to a range, use a bench rest and see how well it can shoot.  Not to mention, I needed to sight the rifle in for deer hunting.

Luckily for me, a buddy of mine has a 100 yard range setup behind his house.  When he heard that I needed to sigh my rifle in, he invited me over to use his bench rest and range.  He was also nice enough to give me a box of Hornady 308 Winchester 168 grain BHTP (Boat Tail Hollow Point).

We set the targets up, went back to the bench and set the rifle up.

Air Temperature – around 65 degrees
Wind speed – gusting around 15 – 25 miles per hour

Hornady 168 grain BTHP
Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point (PSP)


3 types of seeds to stockpile for shtf

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Home grown radishes

Lets talk about food production during some kind of long term SHTF situation.  Whether its nuclear war, some kind of new disease, climate change,,,,, combination of several things, there might come a point in time when you have to grow your own food.  So what kind of seeds should you stockpile for some kind of long term SHTF situation?  Lets break it down to 3 categories – short term storage, mid term storage, long term storage.

Short term storage foods – these are the foods that need to be eaten within a few days to a couple of weeks of being harvested.  This is going to include most of your leafy greens, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, summer squash and zucchini.

Beans and peas are a good example of short term and long term foods.  We will get into storing peas and beans later in the article.  For snap beans, they can be picked, boiled and eaten right after their harvested.

One of the benefits of beans – they do not require extra nitrogen to be added to the spoil.  Throw some manure and pot ash down, and the beans will supply their own nitrogen.

Leafy greens do not make good warm – hot weather crops, bugs love them.  I have seen bugs wipe out several rows of greens in a matter of 1 or 2 days.

Turnips and radishes are easy to grow, but will need to be eaten within a few days of being harvested.

Cucumbers can stay good for several days, to maybe a week or so after being harvested.  Cucumbers have certain “issues” that may not make them good for a long term post SHTF situation – they like lots of water and they require lots of nitrogen.  So unless you have some kind of organic high nitrogen fertilizer available, and lots of water, cucumbers may not be a good choice.

Okra is a good quality high producing plant, but you have to cook or boil the okra pods before their edible.  One of the problems with okra, their a hot weather plant that likes lots of water.  If you live in a cool region, okra may not be a good plant for you.


Trail camera takes picture of something strange

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A couple of hunters that do not want to be identified claim their trail camera took pictures of something strange. The pictures are supposed to have been taken near Morgan City, Louisiana.

Watch the video and make up your own mind.

With technology what it is today, people are quick to say “photoshop” – but what if its not an edited picture, what then?

2011 garden plans

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snap beans survivalist gardenIt looks like the drought of 2010 killed off some of my young peach trees, so those will have to be replaced. Currently I have 1 nice sized plum tree, and 3 or 4 peach trees. At least 2 of the peach trees will have to be replaced. Instead of replanting both peach trees, I’am probably going to plant 1 more plum tree. That will give my 2 plum trees and maybe 4 peach trees.

One of the peach trees that I planted last year looks good, so its going to be pruned to make room for more branch development.

2 of the pear trees need to be pruned – the limbs are a little long and almost hang to the ground when loaded with pears.

All of the trees need to be fertilized.

As for the home garden – I think I’am going to plant some cucumbers, tomatoes, peas,,, and I really want to plant some okra this year. Okra is a warm weather crop. Here in east Texas, Okra can no be planted until around May.

We will probably plant a community garden this year,,,, but just where the garden will be planted I do not know. Where we planted the garden last year, the guy who lives next to the garden let his dogs run through it.

Here is a video from 2010 about planting a community garden.


Stockpiling ammo for a long term survival situation

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survivalist riflesLast week my buddy and I were talking about stockpiling ammo for a survival situation – this is when something happens to cause society to break down.  Examples are civil unrest, some new disease, climate change,,,,,, something that causes the fabric of mankind to unravel.  In general we talked about stockpiling 308, 223, 7.62×39, 22 long rifle and shotgun shells.

My buddy stockpiles 2 different types of  ammo for his 308 rifle – ball and hunting ammo.

Ball ammo – is your target round and urban defense round.  When my buddy goes to the shooting range, he will shoot ball and most of his magazines are loaded with ball ammo.  The plus side of ball ammo, its cheap when compared to the more expensive hunting ammo.

Hunting ammo – this is the ammo your going to be using to hunt deer, moose, elk, wild hogs,,,,, whatever goes in your neck of the woods.  Currently my buddy stocks some kind of expensive Hornady ammo that cost something like $35 – $40 for a box of 20.

Instead of stockpiling 2 different types of ammo for my DS Arms FAL, I’am thinking of stockpiling 1 type.  This would be something good for hunting, but does not cost a small fortune.  My current deer hunting round is a Remington Core-Lokt in either 30-30 or 7mm express / 280 Remington.  Over the years I dont know how many deer I have taken with the Remington Core-Lokt.  On thin skinned game like the whitetail deer, its very effective.

east texas whitetail 8 point buckThis deer season my son took a nice East Texas Whitetail 8 point that weighed in at 156 pounds.

Last year my dad took a nice 6 pound that weighed around 125 – 130 pounds.

2 years ago my son harvested a doe.  She dropped where she stood when that 15 grain 30-30 Remington Core-Lokt hit her.

3 years ago my son harvested a 6 point.  He ran about 20 feet after that Remington Core-Lokt hit him.

4 and 5 years ago I harvested 2 – 8 points.

3 years ago I got a nice 9 point East Texas Whitetail.

The list goes on and on.


3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

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Camping on the Angelina RiverIt all started several months ago when I was telling my buddy about the undeveloped / primitive camping spots on the Angelina River here in Jasper Texas.  Years ago we used to go camping along the bayous and marshes around Bridge City and Orangefield, Texas.  But we have not done that in several years.  So after talking for a little bit, we decided to take a camping trip on the Angelina River.

Back in early November, a date of November 29 – December 1 was picked.  The permit was submitted and the site was reserved.

November 26, 2010 – my daughter and I took the boat out – to make sure that it would run ok for the camping trip, and to check on the site my buddy and I were going to be using.  The site we had reserved was occupied on November 26th so my daughter and I could not stop and take a look at it.  So we just turned around, and headed back home.  The boat ran fine, so there were no worries there.

November 28, 2010 – my wife and I drop my kids off at my moms house where my ex-wife will pick them up.  From there, my wife and I head over to my buddies house, visit for a little while, then he rides back to my house with my wife and I.  Instead of him making the drive to my house Monday, we just picked him up on the way back home.

I spent the evening of Sunday, November 28 going through my gear, getting my large MOLLE pack together, rounding up some MREs and Mountain House Meals, charging AA batteries for the camera and flashlight, charging D batteries from my Maglight, dug the tent out,,,,,,,,,,,.

At 9:00 pm central time, The Walking Dead comes in AMC.  So I take a break from getting my gear ready to watch a little TV.

After watching The Walking Dead, I played a little Left 4 Dead 2 and went to bed around 10:30pm.


DS Arms SA58 FAL First Impressions

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DS Arms SA-58 FALLong story short – I’am impressed with this rifle.  Now for the rest of the story.

Back on October 21 I started a thread in the forum asking what was the best 308 semi-auto for the money.  There were lots of suggestions thrown around; like the PTR-91, CETME, Springfield M1A, FAL,,,,,.  In the end I decided to spend the money for a quality product, and purchased a DS Arms SA58 FAL.

Factory, right of the box – I would compare the recoil to a 30-30. But this is a full sized 308 Winchester.

Is like having the best of 2 worlds:

1 – full powered rifle cartridge.

2 – light recoil

Unlike the Remington model 750 that has a small box magazine, the DS Arms FAL has a 20 round magazine.

When my FAL arrived at the firearms dealer I made the purchase through, I just happened to be on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River.

Tuesday I called my wife to check in, and she tells me my rifle has arrived, but the dealer is closed for the rest of the day and will be out of town tomorrow. At this point and time I feel like throwing the cell phone in the river.

Wednesday I can not stop thinking about my rifle, and its just outside my reach. Just on be more day and its mine.

Thursday, I get home, take a shower, drive to the gun store, and he is closed for lunch. Ok, at this point I feel like screaming at the door. But I doubt cursing and yelling at the closed sign will do any good.

Drive to the camp, check on things, use the rest room, and drive back to the dealer. This time he is open,,,, and he has my rifle.

From there my buddy and I drive over to his house, he gives me a few rounds of 308, and we fire off a few rounds.  After firing just the first round I said “wow, this is one smooth shooting rifle.”

The next weekend, on December 4th I brought my new SA58 to the camp for my brother, dad and nephew to shoot.  My brother did not shoot, but my nephew and dad did.  Both liked the light recoil and how well the rifle handled.

In the next couple of weeks I’am going to take my new SA58 FAL to the range and sight it in.  Hopefully I will be able to post a more in depth review and range report then.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the DS Arms SA-58 FAL.

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