Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Better Start Hunting Now

For the record, I've been hunting since I could first form lasting memories. I'm not bragging, but just stating a fact that has caused me some surprise recently. I was out walking the woods with some survivalist friends and was shocked...shocked I tell you! The supposed informed prepping friends were totally clueless about how to move, stalk and hunt in general.

It was obvious that their muscle memory and tactics were honed on video games and imaginary situations. For example, how fun would a video game be if you had to play it to exhaustion days on end in the hopes you will get one clean shot. Not to mention after the kill, the real heavy lifting begins.

The nice folks walking beside me were totally unaware of the greater environment surrounding them. It was clear that they considered a hunting trip just a dirt-covered urban war. Now I don't mean this in a mean way, but fighting a man is not the same as hunting four-legged big game. The prey's senses are different. The camo is different. The movements are different. And the reaction is different.

The amount of noise these guys made walking off-road was astounding. It was as if silence was a completely different planet. Not only could they not move silently, but they were completely unaware of what silence was in the first place. Every stick snap. Every branch brush. Every fabric scratch sounded like a bomb going off, but hardly raised an eyebrow to my friends.

I also could not believe how many game signs they missed, including the game itself. Flashes in the brush. Flicks of whitetail. Shadows that slowly move. And these guy thought they would just take up hunting when the S hit the Fan. No, they will take up starving as their new skill. And they will be very good at it.

So here's some help. In addition to my suggestion that if you want to hunt when the grid goes down, you better start hunting now to learn how. I also suggest you do you homework. If you cannot list a few dozen important traits of good hunting, here is some help:

Read it. Memorize it.

The other major thing I noticed while watching my friends "hunt" was that they expected to be able to stop, get ready, and then the game would magically appear in front of them. Not behind them. Not to the side. And not tomorrow. And even worse, they acted as if the game was on some sort of schedule so if nothing happened within five or ten minutes, not only would they give up, but they would talk loudly about it, and move about.

Now I'm not quite ready to blame Facebook or the iPhone, but these guys could not sit still, let alone quite for a solid 15 minutes in a row. I was hoping for at least a solid hour of perfectly still quite time, but here they were, restless as ever after a number of minutes you could count on your fingers!

In the end, I realized that these guys are normal. They are the new prepper, or Survivalist 2.0. Completely full of imaginary skills, but totally inept in real world experience. Hunting is an art. It takes practice. You must make mistakes, and the better you are, the smaller the mistakes you will continue to make.

Check out this video. Is this the next generation of hunter, let alone gun owner? Imagine this guy walking through the trees totally pissed off that the deer won't show themselves!

But if your belly is empty and you intend on shooting your next meal, just remember, the critters you are chasing have honed their skills and senses over millions of years. And you? 

That's what I thought.

And please be careful where you get your advice about hunting... Not everything you read on the Internet is true.

Carrry on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wolves are our friends

Who do you think will clean up all the corpses? Your mom?

The US is filled with wolf-hating survivalists, and that is a contradiction held by those ignorant of basic biology. When polite society takes a holiday, the garbage men still need to go to work. If they don't show up, no amount of food, fuel or firearms will protect you from the onslaught of bacteria and viruses just itching make you puke your guts out, or cough up your lungs, or crap yourself to death, or bleed out through your eyes.

In the case of gun fights, disease, and rioting, the same public services that are not providing security will also not be providing corpse disposal. And history has made it clear that rot and decay are the precursors to continued disease and contaminated water. In fact, corpses are such good vectors for disease that they were weaponized long ago sailing over the castle walls like catapult balls. Toss a couple of expired comrades into the aqueduct and wait a few weeks from a safe distance away. Bioterrorism is a centuries-old method of fighting. Just like dropping a hornet's nest into a spider hole, or releasing tigers into a cave, using death as a weapon is second nature in battle.

Predators, whether wolf, coyote or skunk will be the last line of defense between deadly microbes and your future. So show some respect for the critters that do the dirty work.

I could drive down the highway in any direction and find a dozen road-killed animals, mostly deer. The states of decay range from weekend-fresh, to month-old mummy. But after that the hair and bones are little more than the precursors to dust. And dust to dust means survival.

But if the repressed sportsman have their way, then the predators will be as rare as .22 long rifle ammo. And since the wolves and coyotes won't be around to clean up our mess, it won't just be the fecal matter hitting the fan, but also enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Hepatitis A and E, Leptospirosis, and Acute respiratory infections.

For workers routinely handling dead bodies 
• Ensure universal precautions for blood and body fluids 
• Ensure use and correct disposal of gloves 
• Use body bags if available 
• Wash hands with soap after handling dead bodies and before eating 
• Disinfect vehicles and equipment 
• Dead bodies do not need disinfection before disposal (except in case of 
cholera, shigellosis, or haemorrhagic fever) 
• The bottom of any grave must be at least 1.5 m above the water table, with a 
0.7 m unsaturated zone. 
Predators take the path of least resistance and will choose the dead over the living. Anytime a K9 challenges another animal, it risks injury itself. So an expired deer is preferred over one still alive and kicking.

So the next time your friendly survivalist or prepping neighbor talks about smoking a pack a day, remind him that the wolf may be the only thing between continued human life and gruesome drawn-out death. 

Tell your friend that killing predators is the same as killing the garbage man, the employes at the sewage treatment plant, and the hydrology engineers that guarantee fresh water every day. Sure, it makes good press, the bloody mouth of the wild dog ripping out the throat of someone's dead grandma, but in reality, it is also the delicate balance of nature. The same nature that will keep you alive if you let it.

So add another 'S' to the bumper sticker. Shoot, Shovel, Shut up, and Suffer.

Carrry on.