One can only consider ones self part of the environment if he need not go back to the car for a Snickers!
As we move through the environment we are ever aware of the life that surrounds us. Plants and Roots as well as Fungi and Grasses are abundant most times of the year for a snack or as sustenance. That's all well and good but as I noted earlier Charley reminds us most taste like Crap.
MEAT! That's what I need. It's safer, tastier and not as easily confused with a poisonous mushroom. A Rabbit always looks like a Rabbit, so does a Squirrel and Raccoon. They are easy to find and identify. The three major ways of collecting "game" are hunting, trapping or road kill (carrion) seeing how I'm no crow, I'll skip the last method.
The Porcupine is a sacred animal to the wilderness traveler. The Gods in their wisdom have given us this tasty (but Quilly) morsel of forest fare. The "Lost Man's Supper" often refers to our prickly friend. Easily stalked due to their poor eye sight and equally easy to kill with a simple sharp rap on the old noggin. The trick comes with learning how to skin the spike infested little buggers.
Cutting along the rear legs and vent (anus) you need only pull the tail bone out of the skin and use it as a "handle" to pull the hide off like a sweater. Cut off legs, head and field dress the critter. Boil-roast-fry-bake heck almost any way you prepare em tastes pretty good to me (Bring Tabasco)
Hunting will be covered on other pages within this blog later but for now lets touch on trapping. I'm not in the habit of carrying "Leg hold" or "Conibear" traps on my adventures into the bush but I always have a knife and some cord/wire in my kit. Useful for a load of things from fixing a backpack, boot or belt to setting up snares as a way to collect dinner.
One of the first snares I ever made was the cross anchor "Twitch up" snare. It kills most of the time and has supplied many a meal over the years. Placed in Rabbit runs or baited to attract Raccoon it seldom fails. It's not the easiest snare to produce and I think that's why I respect it so much, once mastered all others are a walk in the woods (no pun intended) it's still the snare I teach most often.
One of Sam's first Twitch up snares.
I like to add a tin can and pebbles wired to the top of my snare tree, this acts like an alarm when the snare goes off. I recall a night on the Boreas river in the Adirondacks when I had to spring from my hammock at the sound of the alarm to dispatch a Coon caught in a Twitch up not far from our trash site. I knew he would come for a sniff and a taste so I set the rig with a few pulls of burnt chicken meat.
Tuesday night we had Chicken, Wednesday we all ate Raccoon...............yum!
Friday it was Fish.
No Rabbit today but he'll get it.
Remember snaring of game for other then "SURVIVAL" is illegal and unnecessarily wasteful.
Keep in mind that in the wilderness you can eat some animals and be eaten by others!
Welcome to the food chain!