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Old 12-28-2009, 09:43 AM
GardenSERF GardenSERF is offline
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Default Limits to Living Off the Land



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Some excerpts from this much longer post:

Quote:
As you have read in my previous essay, Iím an avid hunter. This will not be a post against hunting, but I would hope some of the issues I raise on conservation give my fellow hunters something to chew on and digest for a while. Likewise, considering the main (and often only) plan of many survivalists from both the older generations and the current crop of young adults who are about to hit difficult economic times is to ďlive off the landĒ, this topic continues to require serious consideration.

Rather than birds, Iíve decided to take aim at a single animal in American which has been my favorite prey: whitetail deer. Due to time constraints, I canít collect and collate data on every game animal in every state. I would encourage people to gather more information in their own areas and advise that learning how to interpret statistics is just as important a skill as learning to hit a target and skinning wild game.

I would caution people everywhere, especially my fellow hunters, to not rely on the anecdotal evidence of ďI see plenty of deer when Iím outside.Ē The reasons for this Iíve already stated in The Good Life. My additional warning to survivalists I pose only as a simple question: What happens to the population of game animals in your area when those animals are the only source of food and every human living in your area is also hunting them?
<snip>

There are 1.2 million deer and over 5 million people in that state. Do the math.

Also, unusually harsh weather has been known to kill off many animals in a single season. Small game animals like rabbits and pheasants are even more affected. Now factor in an unforeseen situation (extreme weather, disease, starvation due to crop loss, dehydration due to long drought, etc.) which reduces the deer population by 25% and do the math for over 5 million people.
<snip>

The advances in optics alone are of prime importance. Likewise, large caliber ammunition for practice both in 1986 and in 2009 was and still is relatively more affordable than it would have been in decades past. This has allowed for more shooters to hone their skills than past generations could have afforded. As a result more people are able to effectively hit more targets at longer ranges. Combine this with advances in computer simulations and practice effect on skill is also increased. This has only been the case for the last 10 years on a mass scale and its effects are only now beginning to be gauged in the field (both for the sport of hunting and human warfare).
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:58 AM
72shane 72shane is offline
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Not hard to figure out that game wont last too long. I would bet that more will be wasted than consumed though.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:00 AM
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IMO, grow your own and survive.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:03 AM
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It depends on what you call "living off the land", sure hunting an fishing can be part of living off the land but Farming and ranching is also living off the land. I think most people could run a subsistance farm or even a small farm for subsistance and profit. If you own the land you can live off of it easily in all but the most harsh environments (where you will need a LOT more land to make it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:13 AM
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Agreed, if the SHTF scenario does not include most of humans dying, the remainder could decimate wild game very rapidly.

People will garden or starve. Game will be 'targets of opportunity', and mostly small game, in the more populated areas.

At the moment NJ is totally infested with deer. But with 8 million people and 2 million deer, they won't last long when people get hungry.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:37 AM
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The closer you are to a population center, the quicker the animals will be hunted pretty thin. However, just because someone is hungry and has a gun, doesn't mean they have the ability to stalk, track, and accurately fire a gun. I think the country oriented folks will clean out the game pretty quick. Hunting is not as easy as some make it sound. It depends where you are as well. My state has a very high deer population and a low human population. I pass up tons of shots every year. Throw in the difficulty of hunting and access to good land and it evens out the odds better than just thinking that every hungry person will have success hunting. With that said, knowledge of edible plants, a garden, and raising animals is your ticket to survival. Hunting in a disaster scenario would be very dangerous and unreliable, not something to depend on, but if you do happen to down a large deer or something, you just took care of several months worth of meat. Ya need more than protein though, so thats where the gardens come in.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:25 PM
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Default Isnt a garden just baiting for meat?????

One thing I put away every 2 years is 5 pounds of heirloom beet seeds. Our deer love em and they are so easy to grow. I feel alot of game will be taken out but there is a time when things level off. Most people dont have any idea how to survive in the woods knowmatter what they think. They went out to a park and now there experts. We see this is our leaders now. You can be voted to an office and still be clueless. (Im hoping for clueless otherwise its intentional and thats just treasonous) But the beet seads are good for 4 to 8 years already but I have them packed away in the freezer. When I put out the old ones and they come up I cant keep the deep/elk out of my field plus the beets last for 6 months in my cellar.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:31 PM
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Just think of how many people will get shot dead by all those inexperienced hunters. That will lower the human population pretty fast. Just a thought....
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:49 PM
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The real problem at this point isn't the number of people, but the close proximity everyone lives in. If everyone in your town went out hunting... yea your going to severely lower the deer population in your area.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryboy View Post
The closer you are to a population center, the quicker the animals will be hunted pretty thin. However, just because someone is hungry and has a gun, doesn't mean they have the ability to stalk, track, and accurately fire a gun. I think the country oriented folks will clean out the game pretty quick. Hunting is not as easy as some make it sound. It depends where you are as well. My state has a very high deer population and a low human population.
Northern Maine and NW Montana are not close to population centers and
they're already seeing problems. I'm in the Midwest and have decided to
pass of shots the last 2 years because the deer I've seen in my area both in
number and size have been pathetic. Granted I'm closer to larger population
centers than the states I cited.

As you mentioned, not everyone w/ a gun can hunt well, but it's certainly
easier to hunt large game with modern guns and people are more "practiced"
than what they would've been 50 years ago. Marksmanship does not supplant
fieldcraft, but it doesn't take much skill for 12 guys to push deer into an
open field where 12 more are waiting. Statistically someone will hit the deer;
now multiply something like that every day post SHTF.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123Testing View Post
Just think of how many people will get shot dead by all those inexperienced hunters. That will lower the human population pretty fast. Just a thought....
One year I chose to hunt by myself rather than join a deer push. I was glad I
did since someone doing the same thing in the next field was shot in the head.
I think after that happens 1-3x's in the scenario I mentioned in my previous
post, the human population reduction really only comes into play after human
groups encroach upon each others hunting range.

I'll save my stories of confrontations w/ poachers for another time. Let's just
say it has been rampant at times....
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:22 PM
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I agree with all the above and would like to add: traps/snares and gill nets/trotlines.I am by no means daniel boone but have had good sucsess gettin game and fish.you have a statistically better chance to land game than hunting,its quiet and the equiptment can last for years! also it's a great timesaver,you have multiple traps,, snares whatever working for you while you spend the day doing something else;repairing the roof,harvesting ,delivering a baby etc. I use conibear type kill traps and steel wire snares.
ps. I also grow at least half my food[crops,berries,fruit,chickens,pigs] on 2 1/2 acres.I love to hunt and fish but I would rely on trapping etc to eat and stay low key.also if you own your own land [a half acre would do] you have to bait them year round,salt blocks,grow corn,beets watermelon,whatever they like in your area. in a shtf why walk,stalk and hunt? its about the max payoff with the minimum energy/time expenditure and exposure to others.so if deer/hogs are what you want BAIT THEM UP!

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Old 12-28-2009, 02:33 PM
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Budog, and how do poacher fit in w/ your trap plan?
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:03 PM
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On my way home from work this evening I passed about 40 white-tail deer.
There's half a dozen that sleep in my backyard.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:19 PM
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id say poachers will be hunted down even more in SHTF scenarios
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:54 AM
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There are a lot of hunters around here, I have no doubt that in that scenario most of them would be flooding the woods all at once. I certainly don't want to be out there when they do, knowing how territorial and desperate people get.

Fortunately dad and I do raise our own rabbits and chickens, and soon we'll have turkey's again. Rabbits are one of the more sufficient things we've grown because they have so many babies so quickly.

We accidentally started farming crayfish last year. We damed up a portion of the stream out back just enough for a 6 foot diameter pool, and the crayfish grew to at least 100 in a matter of a month. I could see them being a source of protein as well, though I have never eaten one before, I've only ever fished with them.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffy View Post
On my way home from work this evening I passed about 40 white-tail deer.
There's half a dozen that sleep in my backyard.
Some things to consider: how far do you drive --is it in the next county?
What is the total population of your county (and any additional one(s) you
drive through)?
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenSERF View Post
Some things to consider: how far do you drive --is it in the next county?
What is the total population of your county (and any additional one(s) you
drive through)?
16 miles. Fredericksburg, Va.
There is a herd near Motts Run Reservoir. Has a buck with a rack that makes him look like a elk. I've seen about 10 at a time standing on the side of the dam.
The road to my house is suburban, but near several of the battlefields, two herds along the road, up to twenty in the largest herd, five in a smaller herd, and then there are the ones that ate most of my tomatoes this year, usually five to seven. they will lie under the apple tree without batting an eye when I drive the lawnmower past them. When the SHTF I will pick them off from the rear deck. Not as good as I used to be, but I think I can hit them at 20 feet.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:30 PM
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Default I'd be and have been planning for..

Winter.....if you live where it snows (which it has been everywhere lately) be planning for this above all else. The refugee's leaving the cities are not gonna be around very long stripping the land of critters as soon as the passes close, and snow gets deep. As long as you move your BOL to snow country I think you have a better chance than going South with the rest of the sheeple. You will also have a better chance at wild game to kill because with no vehicles you just aren't going to find a lot of city folk driving deep into the forests to get deer or elk. I would move to mountain country period. Even if you live in a city now prep yourself to move to snow and be prepared to live in it. You'll have a much better chance then living in nicer climates where is exactly where all the city folk will be headed. Cattle and other livestock will have to be hidden and they will also have to have stores set aside to get them through the winter. I figure the best bet for summer months is go "old school" and move your herds to the high country deep into the wilderness, then bring them down as the snow starts to get deep. Grow hay and grain and store it for the winter. Decrease the herd sizes down to just a few so they are easier to manage but especially to keep them hidden. There are rustlers stealing cattle right now, I can't imagine what it would be like with people starving. Having livestock with no place to hid them is gonna be a huge target.-WW
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:22 PM
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True that not everyone has the skills to track, stalk, and kill game regular, including me, but i can sure shine a spotlight or snare a deer. If it get to the point where you are worried that the game wont last then im sure folks have given up lawfull and ethical hunting methods and are in "anything that works" mode includeing spotlighting, baited hooks, dogs, drives, FILLING the woods with snares and traps.
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