Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Hunting

Hunting

Extinction of the Passenger Pigeons

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.

Farming Gardening and Hunting After SHTF

Barred Rock chicken

Let’s 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.

Trip to the hunting lease October 4 2012

Tri-pod deer stand First Stand – the stand and feeder we took care of first was my dads stand. This is a simple tri-pod stand wrapped in a camo tarp and burlap.

About 100 yards from the stand is a deer feeder. The feeder is 55 gallon drum on three legs, a lid to keep the rain out, and a spinner on the bottom of the drum.

Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, I stood on the bed, took the lid off, checked the corn level, then put 6 bags of deer corn in the feeder.

The 6 volt battery was a little low on its charge, so we put a new battery on the motor. Feeders have a test setting, you push the test button for a few seconds, then there is a 10 second count-down. The motor spins just like it would during its time to go off.

Dads stand was in rather bad shape. The tarp was tearing in places, the boards holding the roof up had rotted through and some vines had grown up through the stand.

I climbed into the tri-pod, then used some cable ties to hold the tarp up. Some of the rotten boards were removed. From the looks of things, the framework will have to be reworked after this hunting season.

After we finished the stand and feeder, Dad and I drove to the top of the hill to the next feeder and stand.

Trip to the hunting lease September 14 2012

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.

Deer feeer on logging roadFirst 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.

Spreading oats and beans at the hunting lease

Hunting season is only 2 months away, and that is for rifle season. In some areas of the nation, bow season starts the first weekend of October. The recent droughts have drove up the price of deer corn. What used to cost $4 – $5 for a 50 pound bag, now cost around $10 – $11 for a 50 pound bag.

A lot of people object to the use of wildlife feeders, or even hunting over a food plot. If you object to those kinds of hunting tactics, that is fine. I have no objection to your objection. Just realize that your objection gives you no special privileges or rights.

My family and I hunt on what is called a pine plantation. The timber companies cut down oak trees, strip the land, and replant only fast growing hybrid pine trees. During the stripping process, natural food sources are displaced or even destroyed. Its sad how our forest are turning into nothing more then pine tree gardens. A few years ago the local timber company cut down oaks trees that were at least 75 years old, bulldozed the oak trees into a pile and burned them.

Deer are foragers, kinda like goats. Deer walk around eating weeds, twigs, just about anything they can find. But there are certain food sources that deer like, such as acorns. When the timber companies cut, bulldoze and burn oak trees, what are the hunters supposed to hunt over? We can scout for deer trails, but there is no promise the deer are taking those trails during daylight hours.

In order to replace those lost food sources, hunters will sometimes set up feeders, or plant a food plot.

Another Stockpiling Ammunition For SHTF TEOTWAWKI Article

Remington core-lokt, Federal 223 Remington and Monarch 7.62x39

Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens tonight, how ready is your ammunition stockpile? Whether its nuclear war, plague, disease outbreak, collapse of the dollar,,,, something happens to disrupt society. What kind of ammunition do you have stockpiled to hunt and protect your property? Have you taken any wild game with the ammunition you have stockpiled? Have you sighted in your rifle with the various types you have stockpiled?

My wife and I made a trip to the Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin Texas just to buy some ammunition. It seems that the walmart in Jasper Texas can not keep certain types of ammunition in stock. Its either buy online, or drive almost an hour just to buy some ammo.

Todays Haul Includes:

  • 100 rounds Federal 223 Remington
  • 20 rounds 30-30 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
  • 20 rounds 308 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
  • 20 rounds 30-06 Springfield in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
  • 120 rounds 7.62×39 in Monarch 123 grain full metal jacket

You may be asking, “Why so much Remington core-lokt?”

Survivalism as an Experience and Not a Theory

camping hiking backpacking

Knowledge + experience = skill

It is only through experience that we further our knowledge.

Knowledge and experience are stepping stones that build upon each other.

One problem that survivalist face, is the lack of hands on experience. You may “think” you know how to do something, but until you actually do it, you do not know if your theory works.

Some people learn the theories of survivalism, but never take the time to test those theories. How do you test your theories? With experience. How do you get experience? Buy doing something.

Through knowledge we develop a theory of how we can survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. How do we know the theory is going to work? By testing the theory.

Related Article3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

Hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI theory

Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.

The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?

Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land? Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?

Stockpiling 22 Long Rifle For SHTF

Stockpiling ammunition for SHTF

When stockpiling 22 long rifle for SHTF, what other ammo can you buy 500 rounds of for less then $20? Just a few years ago a brick of 550 rounds cost in the $10 – $11 price range. I wish I would have bought several cases 5 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money.

No other type of ammunition is more practical to stockpile then the good ole 22 long rifle. One reason why the 22 long rifle is so popular today, is that during the great depression, 22 long rifle is all people could afford to buy.

  • 22 long rifle is cheap
  • It stores well
  • Low report
  • Low recoil
  • Anyone in the family can shoot it
  • Rifles do not cost a fortune
  • Works in rifles and pistols
  • Effective on small game
  • Does not cause excessive damage to the animals
  • Report does not scare livestock

What more could someone want?

How much 22 Long Rifle To Stockpile

Best Well Rounded Rifle Calibers for Survivalist

Hunting after SHTF teotwawki

What are some of the best rifle calibers for survivalist? These calibers should be able to fit a range of needs, including hunting wild game in a given area.

There is an old saying I sometimes like to quote, “Always use enough gun.” Because of that, smaller calibers such as the 223/5.56mm, 6mm, and the 243 Winchester should be excluded from the list.

Can small calibers take deer sized game? Sure they can. The question is how humane are they to use?

For my area here in Southeast Texas, the most common calibers are:

  1. 30-30 Winchester
  2. 308 Winchester
  3. 270 Winchester
  4. 30-06 Springfield

Available game are hogs and whitetail deer. Longest shot is going to be around 125 yards. If you are on a pipeline or highline, shots might get out to the 200 yard mark. The rolling hills and thick timber stop the shots from being too long.

Question To The Community

Deer Season Daypack Loadout

Wilderness survival kit

Deer season is here, instead of grabbing a pack, throwing some random gear in and heading out to the woods, lets take a look at some items that should be considered. The way I look at it, your pack needs to contain everything you need to track a wounded deer, find your way back back to the truck after dark or spend an unexpected night in the woods.

Basic Daypack

This could be anything from a school book bag, to a good quality pack like a Maxpedition Sitka or Maxpedition Noatak. You need something that is not going to tear apart when your tracking a deer as the last bit of the sunlight fades away. For my current load out I am using the Maxpedition Noatak.

TOPO Map

When possible, I like to have a TOPO map of the area. A GPS is nice, but electronics can fail, batteries can go dead,,,, a physical map is difficult to beat.

But, in order for everything to come together, you have to know how to use a map, GPS and compass. Having a TOPO map in one hand and a compass in the other hand does not do any good if you do not know how to use them.

Stockpiling Firearms For SHTF

Whitetail deer taken with a bolt action 270 Winchester

How many people have more then firearm per caliber? What is the point of stockpiling ammo, and then have one rifle that could break? Sure people have spare parts, but spare parts do not help your buddies hunt with you.

Part of my plans call for a worse case situation, meaning I have friends or family members show up at my front door with nothing but clothes. The food starts to run out, so we head to the camp to plant a garden and do some hunting.

What firearms do you have that you can hand to a friend or family member and say “here ya go”? Its easy to pick up a spare 22 rifle from time to time, but its another thing to have 2 or 3 rifles in 308 or 30-30.

In my opinion, a well rounded plan should include the ability to provide assistance to other members of your group. Shooting ability, size of the game, shooting experience,,,, should all be considered.

Hunting after SHTF

In my eyes, hunting after some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event will be divided into 2 categories – large/medium and small game.

Depending on where you live, that will define what caliber and types of ammo you need. Someone living in Alaska will probably need a different caliber then someone in the south hunting thin skinned whitetail deer. But regardless of where you live, small game is small game. The difference between a Georgia squirrel and a Colorado squirrel is not going to be very much.

Misconceptions in deer hunting

One of the comments posted to my video about setting up a deer blind kinda struck me. The comment went something like setting up a deer blind was along the lines of deer camping and that I might as well be shooting deer on a deer farm.

I am going to guess that the person posting the comments has never had the opportunity to watch deer in its natural state?

It seems to me that people think deer hunting is easy, that you can sneak up on a deer, and you will have meat on the table. That is about as far from the truth as you can get.

If deer can stay away from natural predators, how does a city slicker think they can walk into the woods and find a deer?

Ground blind for deer hunting

Ground blind for deer huntingA few weeks ago I bought a bone collector dog house blind from the local china-mart. This past saturday 2 of my sons and I went out to the lease, did some scouting and setup the blind. Rifle season here in Texas starts in 2 weeks. I am getting a late start on the season, but oh well, you do what you have to do.

We followed a creek until we found an oak tree that had a bunch of acorns on the ground and some rubs.

From the oak tree we moved to the north maybe 35 yards and setup the blind on the edge of some underbrush. There is a thicket with a lot of underbrush that opens up to the creek bottom and a pine tree clearing. The blind is setup on the edge.

Related forum section – Hunting Forum

The spot for the blind was picked for 3 reasons:

Water – Texas has been under a terrible drought, probably the worst drought in 50 years. Due to the drought a lot of creeks have dried up, that is why I paid special attention to water.

Food – Due to the drought, a lot of oak trees are stressed and seem to be dropping immature acorns. I was looking for an oak tree close to the creek that was dropping mature acorns. The acorns should attract squirrels, hogs and deer.

Deer sign – with several rubs in the area, I know there is a buck moving around. I did not find any scraps, so rubs will have to do.

Picking a SHTF Survival Rifle Caliber

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

There is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle. When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign. If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction. The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy. With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat. When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs. If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Hunting season check list

Deer hunting DS Arms SA58 FN/FALRifle season here in Southeast Texas starts in about 2 1/2 months. As opening day inches ever closer, its time to start thinking about getting ready for the big day.

Check out the deer camp and make sure no vandals have tore anything up during the off season. Sometimes people will go to the camp and mess with stuff. One year a couple of sets of antlers were stolen, another year a shed was broke into and a chainsaw was stolen.

Scout the area where you want to hunt. With the drought this year, any place there is a waterhole will probably be a good location. There is a creek on the lease that almost always has water in it. I am thinking about setting up a ground blind on a hill that overlooks part of that creek. With the drought in its current state, I suspect anything that lives in the woods will be gathering around creeks that have water.

Oak trees – I am wondering how the drought is going to affect this years acorn crop. The oak tree in my front yard is loaded with small acorns, but they are dropping before they are mature. Its like the oak tree is stressed under the current drought.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018