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There is only so much you can learn from reading about it in books or on websites. There are some things you just have to have someone show you how to do.

For example, I could catch a fish or shoot an animal if I had to, but I've never been hunting and haven't been fishing since I was a boy, so I honestly wouldn't have any idea what to do with a dead animal once I had it, how to skin it, what parts to eat, etc. I've read how to do these things, and I could probably participate intelligently in a discussion about hunting or fishing, but it's not something I can grasp, not having ever seen it. I don't know anyone who hunts or fishes, and I don't know of any schools or classes around here that teach how to do those things. How would I learn this stuff?

Another example, the first time I bought one of those magnesium fire bars, I read and re-read the instructions and tried for the better part of an hour to get it to work without success. I had given up and had actually thrown it out in frustration and disgust when I got the idea to check youtube. Once I saw someone else doing it, I was able to do it myself with no trouble.

Yet another example, I broke two tents before someone showed me the proper way to set one up.

How do you get the hands-on experience you need to master some of these skills if you don't know anyone to show you?
 

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Well, like you said yourself, youtube is great place to learn THE ABSOLUTE BASICS. I've seen and used a few videos to great success from there, ie, knife sharpening, improvised shelter building, etc. However, if you really wanna learn hands on, you wanna go and join survival courses and the like. There should be, somewhere in the yellow pages or even online, advertisements of survival tutoring (rare in my area, but available) or public, albeit not free courses. That, or you could join the army :)
In the video sections on these forums, I've seen some good videos that have come to good use for me. Your right about one thing; reading gives you the knowledge, but without actual application, it would be useless knowledge. I have always wanted to survive in the wild for a full month, but alas, my parents won't allow it, nor do I have practical experience. Hope that this helped.
 

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Dorsai;
Yes, it is rough if you don't have a childhood full of hunting and fishing trips with Dad or camping trips with the family!
You can sometimes find videos that show how to butcher *dress out* wild game for cooking on you tube, or buy some--look at sportsman sites or amazon. A good video can help, that's for sure!
I skinned and butchered my first deer all by myself, using a book, lmao!

Now, some of these suggestions may sound horrible to you, but they can help:
Buy a rabbit. Yes, a cute fuzzy, wuzzy bunny. Don't name it, unless you name it something like *Dinner* or *Deadmeat*. Fatten it up. Rabbits are good to butcher at about 3 to 4 months. Get a good book on rabbit raising that has a butchering section. Look on Amazon.
Kill the rabbit. I suggest just snapping it's neck, it is clean, fast and the bunny won't be unduly stressed. (Stress causes all animals to release adrenaline, one cause of that *gamey* taste some complain of)
Dress out dead bunny, carefully following the instructions in your book. Save the skin and the brain and look up brain tanning on internet, lots of sites that have good instructions.
Have a good rabbit recipe on hand and prepare the now dead critter for the table. Invite a friend over, have a good bottle of wine on hand and raise a toast to yourself!
Eat da bunny!

There are other small animals you can do this with as well. In Peru they eat a lot of guinea pig. I've had guinea pig and it's pretty good. Excellent for just roasting on a spit, although you need a couple-three for a hearty appetite.

You might try checking out local gun shops and seeing if you can post an ad on a bulletin board there to find an experienced hunter/woodsman that does hunt and fish that would be willing to let you tag along on their next fishing trip. If you offer to help with gas or other expenses, you might find someone that will show you how to properly gut a fish, scale it, etc.
 

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Freedom Is Not Free
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Look your state Dept of natural resources they are a great resource. They often offer classes on hunting and fishing.
 

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Reading and research to understand the basic fundamentals followed by hands on experience to master it. The founder of Honda, Sōichirō Honda, once stated, “Success is 99% failure.”
 

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LOL...old people
I count among some of my best friends in the world our sixty-something
year old neighbors. Granted not all of them will be an asset but many
grew up living just like we want to...home grown foods, home made
clothes and full of "down earth" information that some books and videos
just won't give you.
 

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Dog bites - Owner shoots
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The Army really dosent teach you much as far as hunting, fishing, shelter building for the most part. They have GREAT books on it but the average Joe dont see much of it. Do what I do. To help teach my kids I'm taking my son into the woods with a backpack and some small survival gear. Not too far out ... and in a place I know very well. We will take a survival manual for refrence and set snares, build a shelter and start a fire. For the weekend we must fend for ourselves and practice skills he's tried in the back yard only in an extended fashion. If he mess' up the butchering of a squirrel or rabbit ... I guess we wont eat so he will be more inclined to do it right. (I will help him as I like to eat) :D: but im not going to tell him I am

http://www.equipped.com/fm21-76.htm

Theres the manual I am taking. I have the hard copy.

Take a weekend and fend for yourself. It will be enlightening, you will learn from your mistakes and you will begin to be more confident to take longer outings. Do it in a safe place in the wilderness that you may be familiar with. If you go to a place you dont know ... stay close to the edge.
Putting yourself there and depending on yourself is the best way to learn. :thumb:
 

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Happiness is 2 at low 8
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There is only so much you can learn from reading about it in books or on websites. There are some things you just have to have someone show you how to do.
...How do you get the hands-on experience you need to master some of these skills if you don't know anyone to show you?
Not to suggest you give away your home address or anything, but there are lots of people in here who do hunt, do fish and do know what it is you want to learn. If you give us a hint as to your geopgraphy, perhaps, just perhaps someone will step up to the plate and invite you along OR offer show you how to do what it is you want to learn...

Allan -- in SW Florida
 

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How's it with stains?
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Not to suggest you give away your home address or anything, but there are lots of people in here who do hunt, do fish and do know what it is you want to learn. If you give us a hint as to your geopgraphy, perhaps, just perhaps someone will step up to the plate and invite you along OR offer show you how to do what it is you want to learn...

Allan -- in SW Florida
I agree. I think this is a big part of why we're on here together. Check to see who on here is near you. Put these avatars and screen-names to a real person and get your hands dirty. If there's anyone on here who won't put the energy into live practice with you then I vote they get booted from the site. :thumb:
 

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eibweN
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I try new things out to at home before I go out in the woods alone. knowing theory is a good start, but at least practice a little in a controlled environment before venturing into the uncontrolled. carry a survival book with you and practice different skills from it so that you know how to make fire more than one way, and build different shelters. experiment with different tools, and how to make them. and lastly just ask.
 

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Most outdoor skills aren't that difficult it just takes patience and practice. Take an afternoon and make yourself a bow drill and try to start a fire. Take your time and see how long it takes you, now try it again and again. I'm willing to guarantee that your time will decrease as you practice. Now if you live in an area that has a large squirrel population go out with your .22 and bag yourself a half dozen. Watch a few videos on skinning and now apply them to the squirrels. Again, take your time and then repeat until all 6 have been skinned. By the time you've skinned the 6th one you'll have a pretty good concept on how skinning works. The same principles apply to larger game. BTW, squirrel stew is pretty darn good so feel free to practice your cooking skills while you're at it.

Use this method to every skill you decide to learn, it just takes the 2 P's, patience and practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not to suggest you give away your home address or anything, but there are lots of people in here who do hunt, do fish and do know what it is you want to learn. If you give us a hint as to your geopgraphy, perhaps, just perhaps someone will step up to the plate and invite you along OR offer show you how to do what it is you want to learn...

Allan -- in SW Florida
Oops, I thought I had already done that. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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veldskoen no socks
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Tell me, I will forget
Show me, I may remember
Involve me, I will learn.
 

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With no one to show you it becomes trial and error. Study what it is you want to do, books videos etc. Take it slow and be prepared to make mistakes or start over. A sense of humor and a positive attitude helps...
Peter
 
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