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I don’t devote much mental energy to the nutritional challenges posed by SHTF (Sh!t Hits the Fan) and TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It) scenarios; I’m too busy trying to keep the house stocked with chocolate chip waffles and Doritos. But if you think about it—and lots of people spend lots of time doing so—most Mad Max-wary OFWGs (Old Fat White Guys) reckon if worst comes to worst (WCTW) they’ll feed the fam by hunting. Maybe not . . .

When I bring up survival or preparedness to my friends, family, or co-workers, most just scoff and say things like “Well, I can keep food on my table by hunting.” Apparently, they think that they are the only ones with this idea, and that they will be in the woods alone to have their fill at nature’s table.

What they fail to understand is that others will be doing the same thing. They are right for the first few days of a disaster, when most people are not running out of food yet.

M.D. Creekmore at has a point. I’m not sure it’s particularly important, now, but it makes sense. So, what to do? First, scare me some more. I need a wake-up call. (The coffee hasn’t kicked-in yet.)

If the disaster lasts longer than a couple of weeks, all but the true survivalist will be out of food. Once their meager supplies of food are consumed or spoiled, the village will empty into the surrounding countryside. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, and other choice game will be hunted out within a few weeks. Hungry people will start turning to the less desirable table fare such as raccoons, possums, and rodents. This happened during the Great Depression in my home state of Tennessee . . .

Even if you own thousands of acres, you won’t be able to keep every poacher off your land, and you can’t protect every wild animal that passes through your land. You can more easily protect livestock, though, because it is generally kept close to the farmstead and will rely on you for care.

I know! I’ll raise livestock! Wait, don’t tell me. I’m f’ed there too . . .

Defending something in your yard is easier than defending something moving unseen through the woods a mile away. Livestock comes with its own set of issues for the survivalist, though. Most people don’t own enough land to have enough livestock to truly provide for them. In today’s modern agriculture, even large farms don’t raise all of their own animal feed. If the feed truck stopped running, would their livestock simply starve to death?

Luckily, Mr. Creekmore has a seven-point plan to cope with the feedstock conundrum and other challenges, available at the link above. It’s all common sense stuff that could save your life. That said, I’d rather buy 20,000 MRE’s, put them in the basement and spend my days plinking looters. Just sayin’ . . .

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  1. Preparing for the OMG END OF CIVILIZATION SCENARIO FOR YEARS is a waste of time for the majority of folks. If you’re in the city or the suburbs, you’re screwed by design – such areas were never designed for that kind of living on purpose. People in such areas may as well stop living the fantasy that they can truly prep for that scenario. (FWIW, I’m a suburbanite. I accept my fate.)

    To my mind, you’re much better off planning for the “month or two without power and gas” scenario. That could reasonably happen, and it’s not outrageously difficult and expensive to prep for.

  2. There is a great deal of bad information about the topic of survival and firearms. I do not write this as a plug for Fernando Aguirre’s blog ,but people who want an honest idea of what to do when the government goes AWOL should see his blog. Hearing the truth about honest survival from someone who has been there WILL change everyone’s preconceptions. It certainly changed mine.There are a lot of great tips he offers.

    Among them is this;the government never actually goes away, because no matter how bad the situation is someone WILL come back to restore order;and that authority will not take kindly to someone walking around with a rifle and openly wearing body armor. Mad Max is very unlikely to happen. A currency collapse that prompts a tax hike and loss of daily utilities is somewhat less farfetched.

    Another myth Aguirre busts is the concept of going to a ‘rural retreat’;running away to a ‘rural retreat’ is a great way to get killed, because in an environment where government is broke police will be consolidated to population centers, leaving felons and ne’er do wells all the time in the world to lay siege to your so called compound. A so called survivalist holed up in a building under siege cannot leave to get food, cannot leave to get gas or medicine, and can be cut off from leaving.The bad guys can leave the scene or order takeout. The assaulted ‘compound’ dweller, not so much.

    • “Among them is this;the government never actually goes away, because no matter how bad the situation is someone WILL come back to restore order;and that authority will not take kindly to someone walking around with a rifle and openly wearing body armor.”

      Well yes and no. A government of some kind will form. But it won’t have the power and legitimacy of the old order. Militias like the Mahdi Army, Freikorps, Hezbollah, Irgun, and others could step in to fill the void. Organization is the key to survival.

    • A so called survivalist holed up in a building under siege cannot leave to get food, cannot leave to get gas or medicine, and can be cut off from leaving.The bad guys can leave the scene or order takeout. The assaulted ‘compound’ dweller, not so much.

      The bad guys will probably not be doing so well either and will not have shelter, food, water, warm clothing, resupplies of ammo. If the bad guys have any brains, they will look for easier targets.

      • So what do you do when all of the easier targets have dried up? The fact remains that your compound is still something they want, and if they’re motivated enough they’re going to get it eventually. Also when have bad guys ever been known for having a surplus of brains?

    • I guess the assumption is there is only ONE survivalist in this compound? A pretty weak stance I’d say.

  3. Better idea than hunting – read “Survival Poaching” by Ragnar Benson. Then buy some long-term storage foods.

    And if you don’t want to stay awake at night, DO NOT read “One Second After” – about an EMP attack and the collapse of the power grid. And don’t go to wikipedia and type in “1859 solar flare”.

    • That was diffidently a book to make you stop and think. I was hoping for a sequel. Maybe dealing with the south west under Mexican Army control or California under the Chinese.

  4. (1)Team work is essential to survival. (2)The criminal element knows that too. (3) Mobility, never stay put for too long. (4) stock up as much as you like, but only pack what you might need. (5) Trust: If you can not trust your team, you have been hanging out with the wrong people. (6) the time for “playing around”, (as mikeb put it) will be over. Survival is about working with what you got, or can find, food shelter, weapons, etc., the environment you are in, adapt or die. Assuming complete break down of “law and order”. Just a brief outline………On the callous side, the reality is, the younger, fitter, smarter, faster, will be more likely to survive longer.

  5. When people say “I can keep food on my table by hunting,” what makes you so sure that they’re talking about hunting animals in the woods?

    IMHO, TEOTWAWKI ain’t happening soon, or even unsoon. But as an intellectual exercise, I posit this query: Assume that some people will stock up on guns and ammo while their unarmed neighbors will stock up on food. Who will actually get to eat?

    • Unarmed people with food?? Armed people without food??……..wait, I need to think about this…………….

    • Exactly ralph. My lazy ass is not gonna stomp around the woods looking for a deer when I can go down the street and get spaghetti-Os. By the time all the canned and preserved food is bad then most people will be dead or gone. And probly me too. Tere just really isn’t any real “living out the apocalypse comfortably” scenario. Everyone will die young, Including you.

    • Neighbors roasting on an open fire, jerky drying in the shed….

      People, people who eat people, are the hungriest people, in the world….

      There’s a lot of very well marbled Americans out there for when all of the tasty critters get gobbled up. Protein is protein, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

      Donner, party of six, your table is ready.

  6. If you’re ready for the end of the world, like I try to be, you’re ready for things like what is happening in Washington state right now: Multiple feet of snow, unplowed roads, grocerey stores with hardly any food left to sell.

    Keep your powder dry (And keep as much of it around as you can afford) and have 30 days of food for every person in your family, and you’ll be a step ahead when something happens…Weither its you getting snowed in, or something much worse.

    I agree about the part concerning hunting, though. You’re more likely to get injured, run into bad guys, and burn precious calories looking for a deer that aint there than you are to get lucky and bag a buck.

    Its much better sense surival wise to learn how to trap and snare than it is to rely on hunting.

  7. I used to read survival magazines. One article stated that all of these back pack survivalists will be on an animal level in two weeks.

  8. subsistence hunting will only work were the population density is low such as the arctic where the natives have been doing subsistence hunting for generations. In the lower 48 there is almost nowhere that the population is low enough for it to work.
    In the event of TEOTWAWKI involving the loss of electricity and immediate communication i.e. the internet, the loss of life will be on the order of 98% in my estimation. One year after the SHTF the human population will be low enough to allow the wild game population to recover. Perhaps two years after the loss of the power grid there will be sufficient game for the surviving humans to engage in subsistence hunting.

    In the America South West I think the primary game animals will be equine. Wild horses, burros and donkeys have been protected for decades. People will just have to get over their Disney inspired attitude that animals form families such as in cartoons.

    If it is a mammal with 4 legs, it will be human food. The larger the better. One shot can bring down a 1000 lb horse. That will feed you longer than the same round killing a 60lb yearling whitetail deer.

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