Before we get started I would like to say that we do not endorse hunting for sport. This site’s purpose is to teach you how to fend for yourself in the event you are alone in the wilderness. However Hunting animals will be a pivotal part of your survival, animal fats and proteins will be essential to survive the extreme conditions that you may face which will certainly be a detriment to your mental and physical energy. Cold weather in particular will force your body into metabolising more calories than it usually would just to keep your body at it’s normal temperature. Luckily with a bit of information you will find that there are a multitude of options for you to hunt.
Any mammal can be eaten as well as any bird, if you can hunt it then you can eat it. Even small mammals provide enough meat for a day or two. Mammals and birds however can be hard to hunt due to their abilities to get away from us at the first sign of trouble. Trapping is the most effective way to get mammals and birds but not just anyone can do it. You need knowledge of your preys size, speed, diet, and it’s movement habits both on a day by day basis and a seasonal one. Throwing weapons are also effective after some target practice, even a small rock can be used to stun an animal long enough for you to catch it. You could also consider investing in a “bow” (The PSE Prophecy for example is a great bow) or creating your own but this will take materials to make the item and some knowledge and preparation. We would not advise hunting for animals to eat without any weapons or tools as you could get hurt and you are more likely to waste your own energy and tire yourself out which could have potentially fatal consequences when you are hunting to survive. Also everything you catch MUST be cooked properly to kill all of the bacteria and microorganisms that could be residing on or inside the meat.
Fish are another great option for protein and Vitamin D. Fish are quite fleshy and have a high proportion of meat on them in comparison to other animals due to them not having a structure as large as land based animals. Fish can be caught in many different ways, you can even catch them with your bare hands if you are quick enough. Spear’s can be used (check out our article about Spear Fishing here) to hunt fish as long as the water is clear and the water isn’t too deep. You can also angle for fish using a just a hook and a line, you can either purchase one or fashion your own which isn’t as hard as it sounds! Traps can also be made for fish and they range from a simple basket in the water to an elaborate funneling system, we will be doing an article about the different types of traps soon. Nets can also be used to trap fish, there are also a couple different types of nets you can purchase/make.
Amphibians and Reptiles are a good hunting choice although you will need to do your research on which ones are safe to eat and which one’s are not. Always skin amphibians because many of them could have toxins inside their skin that could be potentially fatal. Amphibians are relatively easy to hunt as well due to them not being as agile as some other animals. You could just use a stick to hit them with or use a spear to impale them. If you prefer not to get up close and personal a bow is also a viable option. It is much easier to get closer to them at night time when their vision is more impaired, obviously you’rs will be too but if you plan it right it will not be hard to catch. Depending on where you are in the world reptiles could be a prominent part of the ecosystem and they are also a good hunting choice. Lots of reptiles can be hunted, even venomous snakes offer good meat on them. Reptiles can be caught with traps and bait or just hit with a stick/spear, although be careful if you are applying that tactic when facing a venomous snake. Turtles are easy to catch and easy prey, once the mud has been cleaned off of them and they have been skinned they can be eaten.
Many Invertebrates are a good source of the protein you will need as well and this food source is usually abundant and if you can get yourself to eat them you will find them a lot easier to find and perhaps a more sustainable food source than some of the other categories. Worms, grasshoppers, mollusks, locust, snails, insects, crabs and many more can be eaten. Many can be catched with your bare hands (but make sure you know your not grabbing something venomous) or you could make a net and catch them that way. Invertebrates must be cooked thoroughly as they can contain deadly parasites and bacteria.
There we have it! A brief introduction to some of the options you would have if stranded in the wild and hungry. There are edible animals in most food groups and with a little knowledge and makeshift tools you can keep your functioning with more energy.
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