As a prepper, you’re prepared for anything. You think ahead, you’re self-sufficient, and you’re aware of your surroundings at all times. Have you ever stopped to think about how these qualities could come in handy when hunting?
If you’re a prepper but not a hunter, the good news is that plenty of your skills can help you become a pro in no time.
Hunting is typically used only for recreational purposes these days, and is rarely used as a primary way to survive. However, we never know if this will have to change. It’s a reality that we may someday need to hunt to survive, so it’s important to be prepared.
Here are the prepping skills you already have that will help you be a better hunter:
Tracking. Step one in hunting is identifying and finding your prey. Your tracking skills will come in handy here as you work toward tracking down your hunt. Knowing how to identify and follow footprints, scat, eggs, and other traces will help you find them quicker and more accurately (and without getting lost).
If you need some more gear to help increase your tracking skills, check out Mission 42: Tracking.
Foraging. Knowing as much as possible about the foliage, wildlife, and other animals around you will help you better predict your prey’s next move. Certain fauna will indicate areas that are safer or more dangerous than others, which can point you to your target’s watering, feeding, and even resting places. Combining this with tracking them will help you know exactly where to look to find them in the best place to strike. This will also give you a good indication of any animals that might see you as prey as well. Berries can attract birds, deer, and small mammals, which you’re probably hunting, but they can also attract bears, which could pose a dangerous threat for you that you’d want to avoid.
Looking to advance your foraging skills even further? Check out Mission 44: Foraging.
Finding water. One, stay hydrated. As a prepper, you know how important this is when you’re in the wild, and during a hunting trip is no exception. A source of fresh water means better chances of survival for yourself, and the same goes for your prey. Knowing how to find water can help lead you straight to your target, or at least their tracks and scat. If you come across water but see only traces of your prey, chances are high that they’ll cross through again at a later time. Be patient and wait on them, or learn their watering and feeding schedules in order to best find them at an unsuspecting time.
Purifying water in order for you to stay hydrated is vital. Mission 19: Water Purification can help.
Fire starting. Animals will pick up on your scent quickly, which can immediately kill your chances of getting close enough to them to take your shot. Standing by a fire before hunting will help you smell more like smoke, which is something animals are a little more accustomed to smelling. Knowing how to start a fire in any condition is key here. You won’t need a fire that lasts too long (unless you want to make a meal out of it as well), but you do want a flame big enough to have an impact on your scent. Always carry a couple of options for fire starting in case one of them becomes compromised, and practice your various methods for starting so you’re prepared to do so in any environment.
Brush up on your fire starting skills and add some gear to your stash with Mission 17: Fire Box.
If you’re not a big hunter yet, use it as a time to put your prepper skills to the test. Besides, branching out and honing different skills new to you can help make you a more well-rounded, more prepared survivalist who’s ready for anything.