Preparing to survive if the world turns to crap.
Before we begin today, if you didn't already know, A meteorite hit Russia and injured 500+ people. If this isn't a wake up call that these things can and do happen (and the next one might be bigger, a lot bigger), then I don't know what is.
So, last post I talked about doing some Pheasant hunting. Was I successful? Well, let's see.
Most importantly, what did I learn from that experience?
Well, here's how it went. We got there, and the farmer released 3 pheasants for me and 3 for my friend. He went out on his ATV, dizzied them and put them under cover. Now, that's not to say that they would stay there. Or that there wasn't other pheasants from previous releases running around. Feeling pretty confident, and with the aid of my friends awesome hunting dog Zoey, we went out.
A long story short, 5 hours later we returned with only 4 pheasants. They are wiley little birds. You check some cover, nothing is there. You go back to that cover 3 hours later you might find something. They tend to hide in the places you've already been, figuring (rightly) you might not come back to the same spot. Considering the size of the area we were slogging through, the birds were right.
Now, what did I learn as necessities?
MOST IMPORTANT: GET GOOD BOOTS.
We were slogging around acres and acres and acres of farm land. In places it was snowy, in others muddy, and others wet. Some places were covered with deep snow and hiding water underneath. The footwear I brought was completely inadequate. The hiking boots I had were summer boots with breathable mesh. While great for summer hiking, it wasn't long before my feet were soaked to the core and freezing and I had another 5 hours of hunting to go. Based on recommendations from my friend, you need some boots that are high up providing good ankle support. Preferably lace up models so you can adjust it to the size of your foot/ankle/calf. Waterproof and with thinsulate to keep you warm. Something like these LaCrosse 10" boots, which I'm strongly considering ordering.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH POCKETS
I had a hunters orange coat with two pockets. In those two pockets I had to get all my shells, my water bottle, my granola bar, and everything else I was taking with me. My buddy had a bird hunting vest, which included exterior straps for his shells for easy access, pockets all over the place, and these huge deep pockets where he could stuff a bird in and then continue to hunt. So yea, you can never have enough pockets.
YOUR BICEPS AND FOREARM MUCLES AREN'T STRONG ENOUGH
Your shotgun can weigh in at 7 - 10 pounds. That doesn't sound like a lot, and it's not really. Until you're carrying it around at the ready position for almost 5 hours of hunting. Then it does weigh a lot. So do exercises for your forearms and biceps. I'll be including them more often in an exercise regime. Being able to snap that shotgun up after 4 hours and getting it on target and following through and not having fatigue mess that up means the difference between getting a bird and not getting a bird.
Finally, having good patience and overall conditioning will win the the day.
Oh, one more thing. When a bird startles up, yes, you have to be quick. But you also have to stop and think about what you are doing. Make sure the bead is on the bird and you're following, don't stop. I took a shot at a HUGE male that I missed because I was over excited. That hen in the picture above I got because I thought about the shot, got the bead on and followed through. I was calm and put my excitement to the side. Not only did I make the shot, but it was a perfect shot, killing the hen instantly.
And that's important to me. Making a clean kill, making sure the animal didn't suffer. Later on when I was cleaning the bird I saw a pellet had gone through her left breast and likely stopped her heart and lungs right away.
Any questions? Shoot. Any experienced hunters out there with more advice? More than welcome.