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Hunting solely for food

NMSbowhunter

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I have a friend who sort of hunts solely for food. He has taken some fine bucks but really just hunts to put the kids on deer these days. He has a wife who hunts and 4 kids, all who hunt. They eat a lot of deer meat. In MS we get 2 bucks and 5 does per year so between the 6 of them they can get as much as they need. I don't think they have ever maxed it out, though. They have a pretty good idea of how much they need and hunt accordingly. When they get enough meat, they get really picky and look for good bucks.

As for a post-apocalyptic situation, all bets would be off.
 

TooheyBirdie

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Screw hunting, I’d be fishing. More reliable and consistent source of protein. I’d still hunt but it would be opportunity, not necessity.


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Even if life depended on it, I'd starve cuz I am way too impatient with a line and reel.... I'd have to go back to FL and spearfishing if I was going to live on fish. I can get lost in fly fishing but I am not great at it.
 

PancreasBroke

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This may be a fun one... How would your hunting practices or strategy change if your harvests were the only source of meat for your family?
Id eat a lot more fish - easier and more reliable food source than wild game. I may target squirrels though as also easier plentiful. Aim for a big game animal to feed family over winter. Id be hunting nuts and berries when not hunting for meat.
 

Red Beard

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I love where this thread has gone!

Guess I was thinking more along the lines of what @Exhumis came back with though. Lets do it this way... if the sole source of your family's proteins came from what you were able to harvest during a lawful game season (big or small), how would your hunting tactics for said game change? Would you change your scent reduction strategies? Maybe would you make it a priority to take off on Tuesdays to hit the woods because you know less hunters will be out? Would you still hang in trees waiting for game to walk by or would you be more aggressive on the ground?

Also, please don't stop the apocalyptic talk because it's fun to see that element of thought process in this as well! :D
 

Horn

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I'd be really glad I learned canning, drying and gardening before hunting! So much work though, but if it's all you had to do and had to do it it'd be a different story.

I'd probably look at rabbits, squirrels and a lot more fishing. Maybe trying to raise rabbits. Potentially look into actually doing aquaculture if we're allowed to get fancy
 

josh9284

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Nov 24, 2021
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A lot more small game. Still use archery tackle that way when and if I find game someone else doesn't find my source. And definitely agree with the use of yo yo reels for passive fishing and throw in the mix a couple of cage spring traps so the animal can be kept alive if don't need to eat it right away. Probably try to beat the deer and bears to all the berries, and tubers that are edible. And lastly listen for all you folk that gun hunt so I can maybe poach there kill!
 

Horn

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Normal times hunting, nothing deer wise I'm already on the "kill the first 20 legal deer" plan lol. I would step up small game and wish I read that meateater stuff about racoons
 

Red Beard

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Think I would stop taking my stickbow into the woods and only leave the house with my crossbow during early archery. I'd also stop taking my bow into the woods after the opening of firearms.
 

josh9284

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Edit to what I said...maybe during apocalypse! Real life ...no other choices I'll be taking my boom boom stick with a mixed bag of loads for whatever crosses my path.
 

thedutchtouch

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I probably wouldn't change much, other than trying to get out more, likely take more vacation days from work instead of pretty much only hunting Saturdays.
(This is assuming we still have access to purchase nonmeat foods). I already fish a decent amount, would probably get a pellet gun and do more squirrel hunting as well.

Hard to imagine this scenario as a white collar office job worker though, I guess if it somehow became illegal to sell meat would be the only way, I can't imagine apocalyptic or supply chain issues so large there's no more meat in grocery stores, butcher shops etc. where the rest of life is normal and I'm still working my day job.
 

NMSbowhunter

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The post-apocalyptic stuff would be pretty bleak. Even in a "clean" apocalypse like a solar flare that knocked the global power grid out for several years would get bad really fast. Anyone in a big city would be in deep dookie in a matter of days if not hours. Food would be gone from grocery stores in a matter of hours, clean water would be gone in days. Sanitation would be non-existent and looting and rioting would be the norm. Think hurricane Katrina but everywhere at once. Billions could perish within the first few months.

A dirty apocalypse like a nuclear war would be infinitely worse. You would eat anything you could get your hands on an be very happy to have it.
 

thedutchtouch

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The post-apocalyptic stuff would be pretty bleak. Even in a "clean" apocalypse like a solar flare that knocked the global power grid out for several years would get bad really fast. Anyone in a big city would be in deep dookie in a matter of days if not hours. Food would be gone from grocery stores in a matter of hours, clean water would be gone in days. Sanitation would be non-existent and looting and rioting would be the norm. Think hurricane Katrina but everywhere at once. Billions could perish within the first few months.

A dirty apocalypse like a nuclear war would be infinitely worse. You would eat anything you could get your hands on an be very happy to have it.
Agreed. I'd probably be dead living this close to DC, but assuming I'm not, we would try to get to my family's remote place in PA and probably be killed by marauders on the way. And then I'd have to figure out some slightly different deer woods. Thankfully the rivers there I know.
 

woodsdog2

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Think I would stop taking my stickbow into the woods and only leave the house with my crossbow during early archery. I'd also stop taking my bow into the woods after the opening of firearms.
See now we all immediately go to firearms and crossbows thinking the weapon is more efficient. Are we also thinking about the impact? Crossbow I get but honestly, unless its a vertical crossbow like the mini, I find the "typical" crossbows unwieldly in the woods and on the stand but I haven't hunted with the new super narrow offerings from Raven et al, as they're illegal in my state. But my point is hunting impact to keep your perceived pressure down. Wouldn't selective harvest with quiet equipment equate to more long term success over the season?
 

hokiehunter373

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I think the only thing that would change for me is the amount of time I would hunt. My wife doesn't eat deer meat, or really much meat at all. My kids are small so they don't eat much of it but they eat it when I cook it. I usually give away deer each year to friends/family/neighbors/homeless. If my family relied on me to bring home meat that would mean I wouldn't get pushback from the wife for the time I spent in the woods lol. I think my hours would increase and my kills would increase because of it.
 

thedutchtouch

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See now we all immediately go to firearms and crossbows thinking the weapon is more efficient. Are we also thinking about the impact? Crossbow I get but honestly, unless its a vertical crossbow like the mini, I find the "typical" crossbows unwieldly in the woods and on the stand but I haven't hunted with the new super narrow offerings from Raven et al, as they're illegal in my state. But my point is hunting impact to keep your perceived pressure down. Wouldn't selective harvest with quiet equipment equate to more long term success over the season?
If you're the only one hunting that area, sure. I think the assumption is there's lots of pressure because everyone is in the same boat, so getting out early and efficiently is key. Easier to kill in a 250 yard rifle radius than a 25 yard stickbow radius.
 

NMSbowhunter

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If I were going to make the switch to game meat only (not going to since I love steak too much, lol) I would just archery hunt with my bows as usual, but no legal deer would be safe, lol. I'm a bit more selective these days and a lot of deer get a pass.
 
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