You Cannot Rely On Hunting After TEOTWAWKI

You cannot rely on hunting and gathering during TEOTWAWKI

“I got a 12-point buck this past weekend. It was a beast; field dressed at 190 pounds! Man, you should have seen this thing stomping through the hardwoods looking for acorns.”

If you know an avid hunter, you’ve undoubtedly heard similar stories and you’ve probably seen your share of pictures proving your friend’s hunting prowess.

Hunting As A Food Source

As a hunter, I know firsthand the exhilaration that comes with harvesting wild game. I’ve successfully hunted deer and turkey, ducks and doves. I’ve caught fresh water fish from the banks of a stream and landed sharks and other salt water fish from the stern of a boat many miles from shore.

Personally, I have no interest in trophies; I’m in it for the meat. I much prefer a tender 4-point to a massive 12-pointer any day. And where permitted, the females of a species can be even more savory on the dinner table.

Hunting can help provide a inexpensive source of food during hard times. Many hunters save untold amounts of money by harvesting their fair share of meat during the hunting season. A couple of deer, a turkey or two, and some migratory birds such as ducks and geese, can go a long way toward cutting down on the annual food expenses of a family.

Of course that must be balanced against the price of the supplies and hunting leases, but under the right conditions a family can save money by hunting and fishing.

Hunting After TEOTWAWKI

Still our society is completely dependent on modern day sources of food.  More people rely on food grown thousands of miles away than at any time during the history of man. There are fewer farmers than ever before and most of what they grow is not edible without significant processing.

Hunting after teotwawki will be hardIf all of that breaks down, if the supply chain is interrupted or the food supplies are compromised in some way, most people will have no way to feed themselves. They do not have the skills or land for farming.

Many  naively believe that hunting and gathering will offer the bounty they require. The are mistaken.


Unskilled Hunters Will Scare Game

Hunting is a skill that is not easily learned. When you do it wrong, it’s difficult to know why. Did you approach from upwind? Or were you in the wrong place at the wrong time? Did your prey see you more?

After a societal collapse, there will be many, many people in the woods looking to provide a meal for their family. Lots of people stomping through the woods looking for sign of animals will drive the game further away, making it more difficult for even seasoned hunters to bring home meat.

Wild Game Will Adjust

Animals have an amazing sense of when they are in danger. Deer that routinely walk around during the daylight hours in the weeks before hunting season suddenly disappear into the night after opening day of hunting season. After the collapse of society, wild game will quickly adapt to their new reality and make themselves scarce. Self preservation is a powerful motivating force.

Hunting and Fishing Will Be Unregulated

Today, states closely monitor and regulate the number of animals of each species that can be harvested each year. They do this to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy hunting and fishing as a past time as we do. However, once food supplies are interrupted and the government is overwhelmed, many of the traditional wild game will be hunted to near extinction very quickly. Even less traditional fare such as squirrel and groundhogs will become highly sought after sources of protein.

Difficulties in Preserving Meat

Today, most hunters freeze game that they harvest and consume it at various times throughout the year. Preserving meat without the luxury of a freezer is a lost art for most people. Animals that are harvested after a collapse will largely be wasted or will spoil prematurely. This lack of conservation will cause even more hunting than would be otherwise necessary.

Hunters Will Become The Hunted

Hunters today can go into the woods and expect a certain level of common courtesy from other hunters. When I hunt, I expect to have my private acreage to myself. If I’m hunting on public land, I expect that another hunter will not place his stand or blind too close to my location. There is an unwritten rule that helps us all to co-exist in the woods.

However, once society collapses and men and women are trying to feed their hungry families, common courtesy will be a thing of the past. In fact, I expect that many unskilled and unsuccessful hunters will turn to robbery and even murder in the woods. The will wait in the woods until they hear a shot and then follow the sound until they find the successful hunter and will procure his game without regard to his life.


As you make your preparations for surviving TEOTWAWKI, remember to not rely too heavily on any one source for anything. Be flexible and willing to adapt. If possible, grow your own sources of meat by raising chickens, turkeys, or rabbits. Sure some deer jerky would be nice every now and again, but it’s even nicer to not have to rely on finding wild game to eat.

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23 Comments on “You Cannot Rely On Hunting After TEOTWAWKI”

  1. Jarhead Survivor Says:

    All good points, Joe. But there’s always some hammerhead out there saying they’ll hunt once the SHTF.

    I had a coworker who loved to talk about TEOTWAWKI. We were talking once about getting lost in the woods with just a knife and he said, “I’d make a fire using my shoelace to make a bow drill and do some hunting.” There was much more to the conversation than that, but he was full of asinine comments like that.

    Problem was he weighed at least 350 lbs and there was no way he was going to walk any distance, or make a bow drill (zero outdoors experience other than reading), and had never done any hunting. (But he LOVED computer gaming.)

    News flash. Hunting is hard. That buck or doe isn’t going to walk up to you to get shot (usually) and turkeys are as skittish as anything I’ve ever seen.

    What will probably happen is you’ll have fifty guys like him crashing around in the woods accidentally shooting each other because they don’t know not to shoot at something you can’t see.

    (/*end rant*/)


    • Joe Says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Jarhead. Your story is a classic example of what we’ll face as the golden horde realizes that the food supply is not going to return anytime soon and that they must find food elsewhere. During those times, the woods will be a very dangerous place.

      Thanks for sharing the story.



      • John Adams Says:

        The “Golden Horde” will become the “Golden Herd” and “Long Pig” will be “On The Menu”, as people resort to CANNIBALISM to survive, rather than pursuing Wild Game. It would be “Easier” and “Eliminates Competition” at the same time . . . Cold, hard, simple fact, when it comes down to living or dying !!!


  2. Dave Summers Says:

    Very good blog post. I always mention that one of the most important reasons for first aid is to preserve Life, not only the casualty\’s life, but your own as well. Far too often only one person\’s life
    is in danger when the emergency services are called, but by the time they arrive there
    are more. If you put your life in danger, you can end up fighting for your OWN life
    instead of the casualty\’s.


  3. Albvs Says:

    When I see the average hunter now I’m surprised at how much money went into their “sport”. They carry so much with them that they can’t get it done on foot, they now require a four-wheeler to move all their gear.

    I suspect that the post-apocalypse hunter will relearn to use more simple methods. Sure, without the game warden, initially a lot of deer will lose their lives. But the smart ones will relocate and probably flourish. Note that thousands of deer are killed annually by cars but there won’t be so many after everything changes. Wildlife of all varieties will do quite well, trust me.

    In fact, honey bees may start to rebound in numbers for the first time in 50 years when they turn off all the cellphone towers. There are less than 10% of them left now. And when the honey bees’ numbers return they’ll help to pollenate food more efficiently than what is done now. Imagine ten times more blackberries, for example.

    It will be hard at first. The difficult truth may be that once the first few waves of people die off from starvation then the remaining survivors will be the sturdier, more experienced types. Certainly, there will be the criminal types but there always has been.


    • Joe Says:

      Rural areas with few people is where the deer and other animals will continue to flourish. That’s also where I want to be. Not only for the hunting, but for the safety.



    • TripodXL Says:

      Honey bees are not down to 10%. Nowhere near that, maybe 15-20%. I raise bees. If the hives are kept clean and wax beetles kept out the only thing that bothers them is mites and certain viruses and those can be controlled. There is no evidence of cell phones causing a problem. It is a combination of factors that have been narrowed down and honey bees are doing fine when appropriate defensive measures are taken. Not sure where you get your info, but it is absolutely wrong.


      • TripodXL Says:

        Clarification…not down to 15-20% only down by 15-20%. And that is a liberal estimate. They aren’t going to die out any time soon.


  4. Devon Says:

    I especially agree with the preserving part. Unskilled hunters will try for the biggest buck and they might succeed. Then they have two meals of venison and the rest rots. I am currently working on building an outdoor smoker for an unlimited amount of animal jerky that needs no refrigeration.


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