Armchair commandos may believe anything sharp will make a good skinning knife, this is simply not true. Certain types of knives are much better at skinning wild game than others. Let’s take a few minutes and talk about types of knives to stay away from and types to consider.
For most applications the smaller and thinner the blade the better.
The easier the knife is to clean, the better. This should exclude multi-tools and knives with accessories, such as the Swiss Army knife.
High carbon steel blade that holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.
Examples that come to mind so far are the Gerber Big Rock, Gerber Profile, and Case pocket knives. I have seen more deer skinned with a Case pocket knife than any other brand of knife. Old guys do not mess around with fancy or expensive knives. Experience says go with what works. For most applications, a Case pocket knife will do just fine.
Over the past couple of years coyotes have been stealing my chickens. I thought losses have not been “that” bad, but the time has come to take action. A few days ago I was looking through pictures of when I bought the chicks, that is when I realized just how many of my chickens are missing. Looking at how many chickens I currently have, and then looking at the number of chicks I had, the losses are not sustainable.
I do not count my chickens every day, or even every week. Living in a rural area with free range chickens it is normal to lose one here and there. Hawks, bobcats, coyotes, foxes,,, all love chicken. However, my flock is not a buffet bar. Something has to give or I will never be able to develop a self-sustainable chicken flock for shtf. In other words, the predators are killing the chickens faster than they can reproduce.
Deer rifle instead of AR-15
At first glance why not use a deer rifle for predator control? Any of the popular deer hunting calibers will make short work of a coyote or bobcat – 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 308 Winchester, 30-06, 243, 6mm, 257 Roberts or even the 7.62X39 in the Ruger Mini-30, SKS and AK-47 will make short work of a coyote.
In the past 6 – 8 months I have easily lost close to a dozen and a half chickens to a Coyote. Lets say that each chicken lays 200 eggs a year. By losing just 18 chickens the coyote has cost me around 3,600 eggs over the course of a year.
It would be easy to put out some foothold traps, but what about my dogs getting into them? I could not forgive myself if someones pet got into a foothold trap. To take care of the coyote problem and prevent the accidental trapping of pets I ordered an Extreme Dimension EDMR302 remote control call and a Mojo Outdoors Critter Decoy.
I bought both of them off Amazon, total price on December 26, 2015 was $169.80, including shipping.
Here in southeast Texas hunting season starts in just a few weeks. Archery season starts the first Saturday in October, while regular rifle season starts the first Saturday in November. In order to get ready for deer season my dad and I went to the hunting lease to check on things.
While dad used the tractor and brush hog to clear the ATV trails I used a 4-wheeler to get from one stand and wildlife feeder to the other.
The first feeder had been knocked over sometime during the off season. The first feeder is not included in the video. The top of the drum was bent so that the lid would not go back on. but the damage was nothing that could not be fixed with a nice sized hammer.
I knew this day would arrive, and here it is. The hunting lease my family and I have been a part of for the past 15 years has gotten so expensive I can no longer afford to be a member.
1970s – To be on a hunting lease in the 1970s you had to know someone who was a member of the lease. Then that member had to put in a good word for you. A lot of leases had a waiting list of people who wanted to be a member.
2000s – Hunting leases are begging for members.
In the past 30 years we have seen a shift of people who live in rural areas, timber companies have gobbled up land, parents are not introducing their children to hunting, and most importantly, timber companies are being bought up by invest firms.
The great depression of the 1930s saw a shift of people living in rural areas to living in urban areas. The reason for this shift was simple, and that was to find a job.
As the people who were left in rural areas started to die, their property was left to the children who had moved to rural areas. The children who had moved away had no use for the land, so they did not pay the property taxes. Various counties across the nation seized the land for overdue taxes. As the land was auctioned off guess who bought it, the timber companies.
In essence, we allowed timber companies to buy up unwanted land, then charge us for access.
There used to be a time when leasing land was cheap, or at least affordable.
There used to be a time when hunters were left at their own discretion with size limits. Coyotes, wolves and mountain lions are not held to size limits, so why are human hunters held to a size limit?
Which one harms the deer population more, timber companies stripping the land, or shooting a small deer?
While at the deer camp this evening I was told a story of a lady who shot a deer with a 12.5 inch inside spread. She was not sure about the law, so she called the game warden. When the game warden arrived, he wrote her a $750 ticket, and the lady was charged a $750 replacement surcharge. Since when is a 1/2 inch worth $1,500? I guess when the state of Texas says so.
Take your pick:
Option A – shoot a deer that is not quit the legal limit, and risk getting a $1,500 ticket if you take it to the butcher.
Option B – shoot a deer that is not quit the legal limit, and leave it in the woods for the buzzards, maggots, other scavengers and get to keep your money.
To me, no deer is worth $1,500. But the state of Texas seems to think they are worth that much.
What it boils down to is the states want to milk as much money as they can from sportsmen.
With the cost of hunting leases and the cost of public hunting permits going up, I do not know if hunting is worth it anymore. The hunting lease I am on cost around $1,000 a year. That $1k could be better spent elsewhere, such as property taxes. I think I will keep that $1,000 and the cost of a hunting license and raise my own pigs.
Why should we teach our children how to hunt, when the state wants to milk sportsmen for every penny they can get?
A few weeks ago a buddy of mine and I got a call saying my son-in-law and his friends needed some help getting a hog out of the woods. The dogs had chased the hogs a long ways from the boat, so far that the hunting party needed help packing the hogs out of the woods.
My buddy and I hook up with the hunting party, we then spend the next 30 minutes or so wondering through the woods to where the hogs were at. The two hogs were separated by maybe 200 yards or so.
When we arrived at one of the hogs, something had killed it, and ate part of it. The wild hog had been tied up for only around 4an hour or so.
The next week I called a local wildlife biologist and told him what happened. The wildlife biologist said with multiple bite marks on the neck, the attacker was probably either a coyote or a feral dog.
While we were packing the hog out, I kept wondering how well the 223 Remington would do on wild hogs? I know the 223 Remington is effective, but how effective is it on hogs? Hogs have a thick fat layer, how would that fat layer affect bullet performance?
Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens, you and a couple of your buddies go on a hog hunt, what rifles would you pick? Would you pick a semi-auto in 223 Remington or 7.62X39, lever action or bolt action?
Need a good source of renewable food after SHTF, look no further then the wild hog. Wild hogs have invaded all of the lower 48 states, Texas alone has an estimated 1.5 million feral hogs.
The problem is, the hogs are mean, can be difficult to trap, can injure or kill hunting dogs, and can be difficult to transport.
Trapping Wild Hogs
Hog traps are only limited by your imagination. They can include anything from a box trap to a pen trap.
The usual hog trap is made out of welded angle iron, and is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. The door is spring loaded so that when a hog enters the trap, the door closes behind them. Some traps are rigged so that the door opens while the hog is rooting around the edge. The hog pushes the door open, the hog goes into the trap, and the door closes behind the hog.
Hog traps are not that difficult to build, all you really need is the materials, wire cutters, maybe some boards, hammer, nails,,,,.
Most people use corn to bait the traps.
In some cases hogs will not enter the trap. When that happens, wire the door open for a couple of weeks so the hogs can go in and out of the trap.
Its post SHTF, you and your family need something to eat, so the yall head out to a local river. The dogs are let loose, a few minutes later the dogs corner up a 200 pound boar hog.
The boar hog is loaded in the boat and brought back home.
A pen is hastily assembled out of whatever materials you can find.
The boar hog is put in the hen, and the leg ties taken off. Since the pen is made out of fence, the boar hog rams the fence, breaks the wire loose, then the hog runs off.
Sounds unlikely? Well, that is what happened when my son-in-law bought a boar hog home.
In this case the dogs were waiting outside the pen in case the hog got out.
Keep in mind this is not a friendly domesticated hog, this is a wild boar hog that will use its tusk to tear flesh off the bone.
The dogs caught the hog, and the hog was put into a stronger pen.
Lessons learned, wild hogs are less likely to run into the side of the pen if there is something blocking the hogs view. In other words, if the hog can not see what is on the other side, chances are the hog will not ram the side of the pen.
Hogs are stronger then they look. All it took was one hit to the fence for the wire to tear loose.
So what happens next
The wild boar hog will have its nuts removed. This will improve the taste of the meat. Commercial pork processors remove the nuts from male piglets. Most people who eat pork do not know it.
From time to time I pick a topic, then do research on the given topic.
Tonights topic was the Passenger Pigeon.
How could mankind take a species that numbers in the billions and hunt them into extinction? Were the people blind, or they just did not care?
As long as people were making money harvesting Passenger Pigeons, did they give any thought about what would happen if an entire species was wiped out?
Sometimes I am ashamed of humanity. While reading about how the passenger pigeon was slaughtered, I was very, very ashamed. Are humans so narrow minded and short sighted that we can not see what is happening in front of our faces?
Past the Passenger Pigeon
In the early 1900s millions of long leaf pine trees were clear cut. This deforestation contributed to the decimation of the wild turkey flocks and white tail deer in places like southeast Texas. It was a combination of deforestation and overhunting from the great depression that wiped out wildlife stocks.
If people could not see the Passenger Pigeon disappearing in front of their eyes, what makes us think people care about what is happening today?
We are still having to pay for the crimes of our forefathers.
Buffalo stocks will take thousands of years to recover. Here we are 100+ years after the north American buffalo herds were hunted to the edge of extinction, and the herds still have not recovered.
Passenger Pigeon – gone.
Turkey populations across the south – still recovering after 70 years of conservation. In places like southeast Texas the wild turkey were hunted to extinction. Stocks had to be brought in from other parts of the nation to restore the species.
The southeast Texas turkey and whitetail deer were killed off between the early 1900s and the 1930s. Here we are somewhere between 70 – 100 years later and the stocks “still” have not recovered.
Dodo bird – gone.
Tasmanian tiger – gone.
If those who came before us ignored what was in front of their face, are we doing to same?
How are our descendants going to deal with the billions of tons of trash our society is producing?
How are our descendants going to deal with nuclear waste?
How are our descendants going to deal with mercury in their fish?
Will the following generations be able to build a society on our trash piles?
Do we really think our actions today will not have long reaching effects in the future?
Lets say some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens tomorrow, what would your long term farming, gardening and hunting plans be?
Do you plan on hunting for most of your food from livestock, gardening, hunting or a combination of food sources?
Long term survival plans after SHTF
One of the common theories in the various survivalist communities is that a family will grab their bug out bags, head to the hills where they will live off the land.
In theory this may sound fine and dandy.
In reality, chances are the family is going to starve to death.
If various humanoids have gone extinct over the past 100,000 years, what makes a family think they can survive with very few primitive survival skills?
The long term survivability of humans is directly related to much much food we can produce, and not how much food we can hunt or gather. There is a physical limitation to how many miles a person can walk in a day. There is a physical limitation to how much weight a person can carry.
Primitive tribes were able to overcome some of those obstacles by being in great physical shape and living a hunter-gather lifestyle their entire lives. How can some couch potato expect to kill a 300 pound hog, then pack that hog 3 or 4 miles back to the camp.
Our sedentary lifestyle in no way compares to the lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer.
Long story short, my dad and I went to the hunting lease, filled up the feeders, bush-hogged the 4 wheeler trails then went home.
Now for the rest of the story, The day started off nice and cool. Here in southeast Texas its takes a little while for the summer heat to wear off. It is not unusual for the first part of November to have highs in the 80s. There have been times when I have been sitting in a deer stand on opening weekend sweating.
On October 4th fall was in the air. A cool front had pushed through a couple of days earlier, which helped bring the temps down to a bearable level.
Dad went to the camp on October 3rd, were he spent the night. The plans were for dad to pick me up in Jasper, then we were going to the hunting lease.
Kristy and I woke up Thursday morning, did our typical morning routine, which includes a shower, brush our teeth, then eat breakfast. While I was eating breakfast, I called dad, he said he was running a little late. I asked dad if he wanted Kristy to fix him some breakfast, he said sure.
Dad showed up about 45 minutes later; Kristy fixed him some sunny side up eggs the hens had laid.
After dad finished his breakfast we went to walmart in Jasper to pick up some deer corn. I tell you what, the price of deer corn has gotten outrageous. A few years ago corn was somewhere around $4.75 a bag, now its almost $10 a bag.
Dad bought 16 bags of deer corn. He had 4 bags in the back of the truck, so there was a total of 20 bags to put in the deer feeders.
Here in southeast Texas we have about 2 weeks until bow season starts, and about 7 weeks until rifle season starts.
Over the past few weeks my wife and I have been going to the lease to spread beans and oats, and to check on the feeders. My family and I have 4 feeders and 5 stands setup. One of the stands is a portable ground blind. The other four stands are on legs and overlook at feeder.
Out of 4 feeders, 3 of them had been knocked over. We suspect wild hogs knocked the feeders over; I hope vandals did not knock the feeders over during the summer.
Today (September 14 2012) my dad and I made a trip to the lease. The purpose of this trip was to check the feeder motors, put fresh batteries in the feeders and put 3 bags of corn in each feeder.
First feeder – is what the family calls the “hog pen stand”. The stand is called “hog pen stand” is because there used to be a hog trap close to the stand. This is one of the feeders that was knocked over during the off season. My wife and I stood the feeder up a couple of weeks ago.
Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, the lid was removed and the inside inspected. As usual there was a good bit of rotten corn inside the feeder. It was leaned over, turned upside down and the spoiled corn was was dumped out on the ground.
Hogs will find the spoiled corn.
The feeder was stood up; the motor was locked up, so we installed a new motor. When the feeder fell over during the summer, the motor housing fell in such a way that it caught water, filled up, and the motor was sitting in water for several months. As a result of the water and the rust, the motor was ruined.