REFLECTIONS ON PROTEIN FORAGING
Several readers have responded to my post on skills acquisition and protein foraging, thank you for those responses. Good exchanges will move the discussion forward and several of those replies deserve a response.
First – Vlad, please stop referring to our Arctic aboriginals as Eskimos. That is a pejorative term they find horribly offensive, and with good reason. Their own term for themselves is either Inuit or Inuk, depending on whether the singular or plural form of the noun is used.
Secondly -- yes a shot gun slug does have a more greatly arched trajectory than, say, a 7mm Magnum firing a 140 gr bullet at very high speed. That is the point, however, of learning the parameters of your equipment. Again, it’s skills acquisition. Learn the trajectory of whatever round you are using, learn your “point blank” range and learn reasonable range estimation skills. Train your mind and lessen the dependency we all have on battery driven technological aids. My Nikon Monarch slug scope has a very effective “bullet drop compensating” reticle. Nikon recommends sighting the cross hairs in at 50 yds, the next circle below that is your hold over for 100 yds, the next circle for 150 yds and for 200 yds the top of the thick vertical cross hair. You need to test a variety of slugs to see which perform best with this reticle but is does work, at least out to the 150 yd limit I have imposed on myself. Modern day sabot slugs shoot much flatter than most people suspect they do. Further, Kentucky Fish and Game have estimated that the average whitetail taken in that state is harvested at a range of between 40 and 45 yds. Trajectory at that sort of range isn’t a consideration. Granted, in open areas this system won’t work nearly as well which is why it is imperative each of us develop a skill/equipment/supply set that works for each of us in our particular environment. I was recommending a system that works in my current environment for me. It is not for everyone but the point is, I think, to develop a system that works for you and will bring the least amount of negative attention on yourself and then practice with that equipment until your skills are adequate to the task at hand. The time to acquire these skills and equipment is not in the middle of society hitting a “TANGO UNIFORM” phase. It is crucial to cover as many bases with as reasonable a set of skill levels as you can while maintaining a balance you find works for you and your family. Be as discrete as possible and practice, practice, practice. Take your family camping in a secluded area and as a family practice the skills you need to develop as family activities. Remember the “Kim” games we played in Cubs and Scouts. I still use those skills when I’m in the woods to become as aware of my environment and how it changes and why it changes.
Thirdly – the suggestions to grow ones own fresh food stocks are excellent. The nuns in our arctic community built a full scale green house which they heated with the power plant in their convent/hospital and were successful in growing almost all their root vegetables on a year round basis. Again, keep a sense of balance about this; work out what works for you, in your current environment. Even apartment dwellers with a balcony can grow a surprising amount of their small vegetables, herbs, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. The herbs, garlic and peppers add enormous flavour and variety to your diet. Start doing something now, don’t wait for the dark time to be upon us to begin, by then it will be too late.
Finally, start doing, now, not tomorrow. Too many of us in the survivalist community are content to talk about and read about our area of interest and convince ourselves that we are really preparing for what we know is coming. Instead we need to start doing activities that test our equipment, that develop our skills and sharpen our minds and resolves as a real world way of establishing a personal balance in our preparedness as we ready ourselves and our families for the dark times.