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Are you tucked away comfortably in your suburban or urban home reading this? Well, whether you know it or not the brush, thickets, woods, and even the streets around you are ALIVE.
In the daytime, there are squirrels traveling up and down trees and rushing across the powerlines. There are doves sitting on your windowsills and rabbits hiding in the thickets at the end of the road.
If it’s nighttime, there is even more action! Prey and predator alike are taking care of their business in their own nocturnal way.
Most of these animals constitute edible game and can be a source of food in the worst case scenario. If an economic collapse or cataclysmic disaster leaves the supermarkets and farmer’s markets all closed up and you have no food to eat, edible game in the city could be the solution.
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Why Would I Eat Edible Game in the City?
With the supermarket shelves full and food prices only incrementally creeping up, you might wonder why you would consider eating things like squirrels and rabbits or even rats!
Well, as a nation, we are not headed in the right direction. We are facing a fuel crisis, inflation crisis, morality crisis, world war, and debt crisis. When I say we, I mean the entire world! These are not just American problems. Access to fuel and food are going to become a serious issue.
A full blown economic collapse could force serious changes in your way of life. How you gather food and cook it could be part of that radical change.
Now, if you are going to take advantage of this edible game, then you need to have a way to catch, lure, or kill that game. This could be through using hunting methods or trapping methods. These are all important and, when practiced, can be incredibly effective.
Types of Edible Game in the City
The squirrel thrives in deep woods but also in urban environments. It doesn’t take a large stand of trees to support squirrels. They are also good at getting food from whatever source they can. From stands of oak trees in urban parks or backyard gardens, the squirrels will find something to eat.
Squirrels don’t have a lot of meat on their small bones, but they are easy to kill or catch, and they are just as easy to skin and prepare.
Best Methods: Small conibear traps are great for trapping. You can affix them to trees to catch them coming down from nests. An air rifle is another effective way to kill squirrels. Pellets and BBs can do the job quietly and affordably.
The humble rabbit is a delicacy. It depends on where you are in the country or the world if you are going to agree with that. Rabbits are hiding in a park near you. They are quick in the right circumstances, but they also freeze when they are scared.
Rabbits are pretty easy to kill and dress, too. They have much more meat on them than squirrels. I think rabbit is an incredible meat. It is very lean but can be cooked with things like bacon and broth to make it exceptional.
Best Methods: Use an air rifle or the .22 rifle for taking rabbits. A bow with a judo arrowhead can be effective at stunning or even killing rabbits. Arrows are quieter than rifles.
The nocturnal mega rat marsupial known as the opossum is lurking in even the most urban areas. If you can get over being close to these hissing creatures, then you can take advantage of them as food. Now, they are not as tasty as the two previous game animals that we talked about.
Since the opossum is nocturnal, you will have to hunt them at night or set traps to kill them. It could be dangerous to go out at night in a SHTF situation with a firearm.
Best Methods: No matter what you use to shoot opossum, do yourself a favor and affix a flashlight to it. Pellet guns can kill them quickly and quietly.
The trash panda gets around in urban environments. Given the name, I think it is easy to understand where and how you can find them. I often see big fat racoons in the early hours of the morning. These animals would be easier to trap in a 220 conibear than they would be to shoot.
Larger racoons have decent amounts of meat on them. The pelts of many of these animals could be used, too. If you know what you are doing.
Best Methods: Larger traps, live traps, air rifles or even .22 rifles would all be sufficient to kill racoons.
Dove is a sought after bird by hunters. Dove season is a big deal for many hunters. The dove breast is small, but it’s still meat. These birds like to hang in fields and can be busted up into the air by dogs or even just by walking through these fields.
In a more urban setting, you can find doves sitting on power lines or in small trees on the street. Headshots are best for these birds as you do not want to put pellets or bird shot into the small breast.
Best Methods: No. 2 shot in a 20 gauge shotgun is how you enjoy an afternoon of dove hunting. The only consideration here is the noise. In a collapsed world, people will hear continuous shots going off and it might bring them closer to see what’s happening.
To avoid that, you might consider BB guns or air rifles. Though hitting a fast moving dove with an air rifle is probably not easy. I have never tried it.
Squab is an unfledged pigeon, and it finds space on some of the most popular French menus. These pigeons are around 4 weeks old and have been raised for eating. Still, they grow up into a bird that loves city life.
Pigeons are plentiful in cities all over the nation. They are a great city food for people who are looking for meat. They are the same size as doves so you will get a similar amount of meat. You are gonna need at least one bird per person.
Best Methods: Treat these birds like similar sized birds. In fact, the same methods used for dove are going to work for pigeon, too.
These fat little buggers are usually hiding in backyards or on roadsides in cities and suburbs. Sometimes I run 5 miles of road in a suburb, and I see these groundhogs running all over the place on that little stretch of road.
Groundhogs have about 1 to 1.5lbs of meat on them. That is a good amount of meat for a single small game animal.
Best Methods: Groundhogs can be put away using everything from shotguns to BB guns. Just be aware of the type of shot you use. You do not want meat to be riddled with birdshot or something like that. Instead.
The .22 rifle or even the .223 round from an Ar15 is a great pullet for putting a groundhog down fast. Archery is also a possibility.
Creeks and streams even in the most urban areas are often home to muskrat. These creatures are surprisingly tasty. They run the banks of creeks and streams looking for food. This usually happens in the wee hours of the morning or as the sun is setting.
These creatures are mostly nocturnal, and they look just like beavers without tails. They are smaller though.
Best Methods: When it comes to muskrat, your best method is to set killing traps like the 110 conibear or snares, down by the water. Look for areas where travel routes tighten and place your traps there.
You have probably seen or read some kind of apocalyptic tale where survivors are eating rats. Rats are the most plentiful protein resource in cities. I have seen rats as big as house cats in the basements of Philadelphia.
While most people bristle at the idea of eating rats, there is gonna be a lot of them around in the city and you could argue their populations will only grow in times of disaster and collapse. When human waste and trash is left to fester, these creatures will thrive!
Best Methods: There are two routes to take when considering rats as food. The first is killing traps. Killing traps are great because they do not cost ammo, they are quiet, and the food is ready to process when you come back to the trap.
You could also consider projectiles. I would recommend something semiautomatic as you could happen upon several rats, and you will want to be able to put several down at a time. Air rifles or even handguns that are powered by CO2 are a great example or a semiautomatic .22 rifle would be great.
Eating predators is a different kind of challenge. These predators often need to be lured and having something like a predator call is a great way to do that. The fox will come to a predator call.
The fox is furry, and you can take advantage of the fur as well as the meat. You will not get a ton of meat out of a single fox. They are lean animals.
In the city, you are not going to see a lot of foxes, but I have seen them wandering the paved streets at night and in the early mornings
Best Methods: The .22 rifle is about the best weapon for killing a fox for meat. They are too small to hit with a shotgun.
Coyotes are pack animals and while they are not as formidable as wolves, they can still pose a serious threat if you are out in the woods trying to kill one. Since they are predators, they will also need to be called in and lured using the scent and sound of prey animals.
Coyotes are serious survivors, so unless you are truly interested in hunting them and willing to put in the effort, don’t bother. Coyotes are nocturnal and very sneaky.
Best Methods: Coyote hunters use tech like night vision to see the predators as they approach. They also use prey animal calls to get the attention of the coyotes. A rifle with some stopping power is best used against these animals. Though a shotgun would work, too.
The Question of Pets
In a serious collapse, people are going to have no choice but to turn their dogs and cats loose in the streets, eat them, or watch them starve to death. Unless they have prepared emergency food for their pets, they will largely be out of options.
This will lead to a lot of stray pets on the streets. Stray dogs and cats are edible game in the city. The question is whether or not you want to include them on your menu. This is something you should consider now.
Just remember, extreme hunger will force you to do desperate things.
For a long time, we have eaten small game like squirrels and ground hogs. Many hunters and trappers still do. Factory farming has simply made it much easier to get our hands on a decent steak without the hassle of raising, trapping, or killing anything.
In the event of a serious economic collapse, a breakdown of modern society, or even the continued collapse of our supply chain or energy sector, all that could change.
What are you going to do when meat is no longer in Styrofoam containers under plastic wrap? Will you be able to feed your family? Now might be the time to start learning how to take advantage of edible game in the city.
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