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I have been wanting to put together an article on hunting for some time now. So on this lazy sunday morning, I decided to throw something together.

During the great depression of the 1930s, whitetail deer and wild turkey were almost hunted to extinction in certain areas around the USA. From what I understand, the East Texas wild turkey was hunted to extinction levels, and birds had to be imported from other parts of the nation to restore the population. The same thing happened to the whitetail deer population in East Texas. The one animal that does not seem to be affected from hunting is the wild hog. Even though the majority of the 50 states has an open season on wild hogs, their population is still thriving.

One of the big differences between wild turkeys, whitetail deer and wild hogs – is the amount of off spring that can be produced. Deer and turkeys reproduce once a year. Wild hogs are like rats, they reproduce all the time.


Wild Turkeys – If you harvest 3 wild turkeys out of a flock, they will not be replaced until the following year. Female wild turkeys can lay about 12 eggs at a time. Survival rate of the turkey poults (chicks) is determined by a lot of factors – such as, if there are fire ants close to the nest, and the raccoon population. Fire ants will attack, kill and eat the turkey chicks. Studies have shown that the higher the raccoon the population in a given area, the lower the survival rate of egg laying animals. Whether its ducks or turkeys, raccoons will raid the nest and steal the eggs.

Whitetail Deer – Whitetail deer reproduce once a year, and the doe may only drop 2 fawns at a time. Out of those 2 fawns, only 1 may survive into adulthood. Several factors help determine yawn survival rate – fire ants (yet again), wild hog population, coyote population, wolf population, bears,,,,,,. If a wild hog finds a newborn fawn, they may kill and eat the fawn. Hogs are omnivores, meaning they eat just about anything and that includes yawns. Does will not start reproducing until they are 1.5 – 2.5 years of age


Feral Hogs – Wild hogs (Feral hogs) can be bred when they reach six months old, with 10 months of age being the norm. Gestation for a wild hog is around 115 days, with an average litter size of four to six. Under good conditions, a sow (female hog) may have ten to twelve young – who can then start reproducing at 6 – 10 months of age.



Texas parks and wildlife page on wild hogs

Just by numbers alone, feral hogs will be able to out breed and out produce any other wild game food supply (except fish). And unlike a lot of animals, wild hogs are able to defend their offspring from predators. While a whitetail deer doe may weigh 125 pounds and has no real defensive ability except to run away, a feral hog boar may weigh a couple of hundred pounds and has tusk to dish out some lethal wounds.

On top of being able to out produce other game animals, and being able to defend their off spring, wild feral hogs are also very smart. One popular way to catch wild hogs is to trap them. But once hogs are trapped – and their released or get out on their own, hogs learn what traps are and they will stay away from them. I have seen hogs eat the bait corn right up to the mouth of a trap, but not go inside.

Where a lot of game animals move during the day light hours, wild hogs move mostly at night. One of the exceptions is if the day is overcast and there is not very much sunlight getting through the clouds. On cool days with misting rain, hogs will probably be moving looking for food.
 

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Neighbors say they have seen a few around but I have yet to see one. Feral hogs are really big in southern states but there not here in big numbers yet.

That's a good point about their population trends kev, I've never considered this possibilty. The only wild game that I even have consider has been doves.

Do you see feral hogs in your part of Texas on a regular basis??
 

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Outdoorsman and Hunter
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I still make the argument that hunting pressure was so intense during the Great Depression because hunting was a HUGE tradition in our country and many families hunted regularly. Today our numbers have severely declined and are continuing to do so more each year. As hunters I am beginning to think we are the ones that are on the verge of extinction!

Hunting simply isn't the past time it used to be to most Americans. That being said a bunch of unskilled people stumbling around the woods trying to kill a deer are probably going to be largely unsuccessful. I have been hunting for years and I find these animals tough to get. I can only imagine the situation with a bunch of unskilled people trying to do the same.

I think it will be very dangerous out there with a bunch of desperate people looking for anything with firearms, but I wonder how much the population will really be affected. I think your biggest danger is if you get something and you are cleaning it or taking it back to your camp and some desperate idiot shoots you for the deer!

I don't think people will be able to support themselves on hunting alone, but I do think it could be a supplement by truly skilled hunters in areas that will be relatively lightly hunted given the circumstances. Just watch your back.
 

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I'm a dork
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I live right up to a few hundred acres of woods in southeast Wisconsin. There's a lot of deer and turkey around here. If they become a food course after TSHTF they won't last long. Everybody and their brother will be out there hunting these animals and any animal they see. Unless you live near a national forest or thousands of acres and have great hunting skills, I wouldn't count on hunting for a food source.
 

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We own 1800 acre in Foard county. The state of Texas just bought a huge tract of land adjacent to us and are turning it into a hunting area. We have a river that borders our property and a state park on the opposite bank. We let this guy run his cattle on our property and he pays the taxes, good for him, good for us. Whatever this stuff he plants for his cattle is, I think rye grass, but I'm not sure, the deer seem to love it. It can't really be called hunting,lol! We have three flocks of wild turkeys. We have to go out and thin the coyote population since they kill a lot of rios. Hogs, now THERE is a food source ! Those cockers are very destructive. We have set traps, and just as Kev said, they figure them out. We caught a few early on, but we ended up removing them since we haven't trapped a hog in years. Its easier to shoot them. I'm w/ Mic when it comes to post SHTF hunting. We have had to run "friends" our renter allowed to hunt on our property off. He keeps it up he'll lose his lease. I don't hold much hope for the average urban gun owner or target shooter when it comes to their ability to hunt on an empty stomach. A good portion of the urban gun owners have no training beyond watching "Lethal Weapon" and seem to think owning a gun is like a talisman to ward off evil. Pure target shooters will have a real reality check when it comes to hunting. Here in Texas we had some people who would walk into other folks hunting camps a few years ago and murder the hunters. It happened a few times...but then this is Texas,and it was fixed in true Texas style. The same will happen to outsiders killing hunters for their kill. In Texas, if you murder someone, we'll kill you back ! TP
 

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Almost all wildlife in the Lower 48 States (except within the few large unroaded areas) would be killed and eaten within months of the onset of a sudden, extreme emergency.

There's now 2.5 times as many Americans as there was during the Great Depression when like my father said many times deer and turkeys were scarce almost unheard of and he lived in a remote area.
 

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Almost all wildlife in the Lower 48 States (except within the few large unroaded areas) would be killed and eaten within months of the onset of a sudden, extreme emergency.

There's now 2.5 times as many Americans as there was during the Great Depression when like my father said many times deer and turkeys were scarce almost unheard of and he lived in a remote area.
But on a per capita basis there are so many fewer hunters and especially fewer gun owners as there were in the 30s. Sure some areas may become depleted, like Texas due to it's large number of hunters and gun owners. Other regions won't be hit as hard. I also think the die off will be more so than during the 30s. More people today are dependent upon others for their survival.
 

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But on a per capita basis there are so many fewer hunters and especially fewer gun owners as there were in the 30s. Sure some areas may become depleted, like Texas due to it's large number of hunters and gun owners. Other regions won't be hit as hard. I also think the die off will be more so than during the 30s. More people today are dependent upon others for their survival.

I also believe there would be a big die off initally. Most people assume the government will take care of them and there is nothing to worrie about.

Initially I think the diaries and feed lots will be chaotic to say the least, more like the "wild west." In my area the livestock out number the people.
 

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My Temperature is Right
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I also believe there would be a big die off initally. Most people assume the government will take care of them and there is nothing to worrie about.

Initially I think the diaries and feed lots will be chaotic to say the least, more like the "wild west." In my area the livestock out number the people.
I think there are a ton of people out there who just don't hunt anymore because it's more of a pain than it's worth and there are too many cowboys in the woods now, but if they hafta eat they're gonna start hunting and fishing again. And paper co lease bs be damned they need game they're gonna take game.
 

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We hunt deer and turkey now on the same rural farm my grandfather grew up on in the 30's. He said growing up the never saw deer or turkey ever. Only food was foraging ans small game. I have learned a lot from him about what he and his mother would go out and pick for them to eat every day.
 

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Vitesse et Puissance
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Im orig from Lubbock TX, we have alot of hogs. Whats crazy is I know a couple of boys that hunt them with dogs and a knife!!!
 

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Im orig from Lubbock TX, we have alot of hogs. Whats crazy is I know a couple of boys that hunt them with dogs and a knife!!!
I use to hunt all the time, deer, turkey, rabbits & squirels etc..but I have never killed a hog, I would love to get one
 

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Vitesse et Puissance
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I use to hunt all the time, deer, turkey, rabbits & squirels etc..but I have never killed a hog, I would love to get one
Farmers use to let you hunt for free, just to get them off their land. Then some health nut said wild pork is better for you that domestic hog(WHich is true because of grazing habits) so farmers started building traps and now they sell them by the pound!!
 
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It is my contention that wild game will quickly disappear because of over hunting. The only reason we have the number of animals that we do now is because of restricted seasons and bag limits. If no one needs a license or stops at shooting 1, there wont me much left.

Do not count on harvesting game too long after the SHTF unless you live in Canada, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho, N and S Dakota or Montana.
 

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Kevin, we are seeing this in third world countries with tribal people; they have to resort to gardening because of the encroachment of the modern world onto their hunting and gathering grounds.

In North America we certainly have less hunting land than we did in the 1930s. I've seen areas of my city that had nothing but forest in between become one big paved land mass in only the past 10 years. We had a very nice wilderness park that when you were walking in it you saw nothing of the outside world, now you can see a huge Home Depot sign among others from almost anywhere in the park.
 
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