Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday Reading - It Isn't All Farming
Mostly it seems when we talk about prepping or survival-ism / homesteading etc. these days we talk about gardening, canning and some livestock like chickens, goats or bees. However there is one aspect of post collapse sustainability I (at least) rarely see mentioned and that is wild life management.
I tend to agree with many who point out that wild game won't last long in a post collapse situation. I happen to have access to first hand accounts and observations of what happened to the local game populations around my neck of the woods due to over hunting during the depression. I think I have mentioned before that although my father grew up in a little house in the woods not far from where I sit this morning that he did not in fact ever hunt nor harvest a deer until he was well into his 30's.
There simply were none around.
However some types of smaller game should be able to survive the hunting pressure. Rabbits, squirrel and quail spring to mind for that type of game around here. No matter how high the pressure there should always remain isolated pockets with enough numbers to rebound back against high hunting pressure. This type of game generally requires firearms of a specific type or load different than most would carry in a collapse type situation which removes the target of opportunity factor.
Promoting small game cover and crops can be just as important and as rewarding as planting perma-culture like fruit trees and berry plants. A homesteader must of course keep an eye on his or her wildlife and make sure they never over harvest but with a few land management tricks you can keep a good supply of small game nearby for the occasional taking.
Around the Small-Hold rabbits and quail abound but I make it a point to get pockets of Sunflowers growing or leave the ones that are already taking off alone. They provide seeds for the quail to eat and good overhead cover for the rabbits from hawks. Large fence rows with seed trees and brambles also provide much needed cover for these animals from predators while blackberries and wild grapes also provide food. Most small game will consume water in their food or gather it in the mornings but during dry periods having open sources of water they can access without exposing themselves is also important.
Certainly the mechanics of small game management is a subject more complicated and regional than I could go into here. My real point today is that it can be an important step in post collapse sustainability to promote wildlife in and around your homestead. Even if your immediate populations are reserved for nothing more than emergency harvesting when you cannot get out far or conditions require you stay very close to home. Plus you can guard these populations from other hunters more easily.
Do not overlook local wildlife management as part of your preps. Ya never know when it will pay off.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!