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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to the very dry and warm ( no freeze this winter) weather we are having, rodents are becoming a problem in the middle of a city with the metro population of over a million people. We have jack rabbits and ground squirrels on the street and in the front and back yards eating the flowers and gardens this year. I have lived in this house on and off since 1968, my mom was here when I wasn't, we have never had them in our yards like this before. I decided this might be a good chance to practice with snares and a little trapping. While doing research I have found out that these critters would likely make me quite sick if eaten and not prepared correctly. A local friend said you can only roast wild rabbit between frosts or you get worms. Other wise you have to boil them until the meat falls off the bone.

I need some good reference materials, books, etc to learn from as I have never been taken hunting and I doubt I will find anyone anytime soon to take me out and teach me how to hunt and survive on what lives in the desert. I think I would like to learn how to set snares and deal with what I would catch in the snares and survive so I can start to pass some of this on to my fatherless grandsons (Their dad died almost 5 years ago.) I was raised fatherless also and I don't want them to be an adult that cannot take care of themselves or their families.

Thanks in advance,

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I soak in salt water for half hour rinse...de bone, dry deep fry in olive oil garlic black pepper spices I like..rose merry sage....hot peppers ....
 

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Look into methods of attracting nesting birds of prey, falcons, hawks, owls. When they find such a plentiful food supply, they settle right in even in suburbia and urban neighborhoods.
I have not seen a bunny in years! I've had various owls make the backyard their home over the years. The red tail hawk has been around several years now. Two years running, a huge goshawk lived in one of the pine trees.
Competition from a red fox that moved in this year may have depleted the food supply as I have not seen the red tail hawk in a couple weeks.
I may have also contributed to a shortage by trapping and transplanting an overabundance of squirrels. A real entertaining show one day when a squirrel was in the love trap and hawk swooped down from the trees. Watching hawk try to get at the squirrel in the cage and squirrel trying desperately to get out of the cage was something to see!
 

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Before you start killing critters in your yard, check your local laws - make sure you aren't violating any animal cruelty ordinances - you don't want to be charged with a felony for killing Thumper and or Chip and Dale or called in by a bleeding heart neighbor. Be discrete.
 

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grey...in the 80's. work was a little slow around here..i took off and went to fla.
little place called Christmas. off of hwy 50. by the indian river..pitched a tent at a air stream rv park.
got a job with in 2 days, was low on funds down to my last 30 bucks and a jar of p-nut butter
i came home from work...the dang squirrels were in my tent, ate a hole threw the lid of the pnut butter jar.
i was hoppen mad!!!! went to the local kmart..picked up a cheap bb gun..and started shooting squirrels
the owner stopped me..saying the old grey headed women folk were complaining..i told him how the squirrels ate my food so i am going to eat them..
that old man just looked at me and said...good hunting!!
 

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Yep...... a good quiet pellet gun would be my weapon of choice. I bought a refurbed gamo silent cat few months ago. Plenty powerful to take a rabbit or squirrel, but it is anything but quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We have hawks in the neighborhood. A couple of the pets on the street have lost their lives because of the hawks. I think one of the neighbors killed one of our hawks for getting their dog. Can't prove it and they, the neighbor, is gone. Use to have a huge owl a round too but not seen it in years.

Since it is just Me, I need to be careful. I would like to pass on whatever I learn to my grandsons. One has already told me he wants to go hunting. Anybody know of any programs that teach these skills in the AZ Desert?

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Take a state Hunter Safety course as a beginning. While it won't teach you how to hunt, it will teach you how to approach it. You will also likely find numerous people - both teaching and taking the course - that can steer you to the information you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Take a state Hunter Safety course as a beginning. While it won't teach you how to hunt, it will teach you how to approach it. You will also likely find numerous people - both teaching and taking the course - that can steer you to the information you need.
That is a great Idea, I'll have to see if AZ Game and Fish has one down here. They have some great classes at their Phoenix facility, but too much for gas for a round trip, at least $35 - $40 for my Corolla.

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when i was 10 or 12... my dad put me in a tree stand, no gun.
he told me to sit there and watch an listen
i spent a good week or maybe longer in that stand, watching,,listening
you would be surprised at what you see and hear..and learn

when you figure out their living patterns, food, water, play, sex
and travel paths. the rest is timing
the deer here, like to get a drink around 6pm..and little before sunrise
they have a route they follow for food, you find that highway..set up at an intersection

depends on where you are, get an aerial topographical map.if you look close you can see trails
 

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The meat on those varmints is edible, particularly the rabbit. The ground squirrel may have scent glands to deal with (like a ground hog does). None of the meat will kill you - but the fleas might. Might be a good idea to check on that.
 

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Ukko .. almost every game animal has it's own little quirks that can kill you ..you have to be very careful not to take game that looks sick or acts weird.
Rabies , tick and flea borne diseases .. https://www.avma.org/public/Health/Pages/Disease-Precautions-for-Hunters.aspx rabbits in particular carry Tularemia , which, at one time was weaponized as a war time biological agent , much more lethal than anthrax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tularemia http://ocw.tufts.edu/Content/72/imagegallery/1362317/1368956/1376022

I cannot stress enough the value of a meat thermometer in your bug out bag if you plan on subsistence hunting.. they are small, light, and they are your last line of defense against food borne disease... I also think some mosquito netting to protect the kill from flies and other insects is a good idea .. a net made of something you can boil between kills, also light and easy to pack.

Back in the day, way back, thousands of years back, back when survival was so easy a caveman could do it, hunting and preparing animals as food had a ton of religious rituals and tribal taboos that everybody knew and observed and that probably allowed cavemen to survive what they ate.. now we are all modern and scientific and know about germs and sanitary practices and folks get food poisoning a lot http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/ and that is with all the modern protections of science and FDA inspections, refrigeration, and freezers .. meat goes bad fast at room temp ... cooking over an open fire is not as uniform as a nice oven, especially if you do not have a lot of experience, hence the life saving meat thermometer.

If your bug out bag has a firearm for taking game, and you do not have the proper game handling, cleaning, butchering, and cooking equipment and some way to sanitize your equipment between meals or butchering animals .. even a dirty plate can kill you in the field. As is probably commonly know by everybody , 2/3rd of all deaths in the US civil war were from poor camp hygiene, not battle wounds, and yes camp hygiene involves more than safe game handling, and proper cooking and cleaning everything up after meals , but all of that is absolutely essential to survival.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your comment about uneven heating and risk it causes got me wondering about roasting in a good campfire cast iron dutch oven. Wouldn't that help to even up the temp in the cooking vessal kind of like an oven? I have one that I have only got it seasoned, it has never been used. Since the death of my little truck camping is not a possibility. I have been tempted to build a fire ring in my backyard so I can practice with my dutch oven..

So in the end my question is a good dutch oven an answer to a better way to cook (meat)?

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Back on the hillfarm, my mother cooked game frequently - a lot of it in a frying pan. It was always well done, however it was cooked; no pink anywhere.
 

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Dutch Oven .. depends on the recipe .. great for stew or shepherd's pie and things like a seasoned roast w/ potatoes .. bit heavy for a bug out bag .. I wouldn't want to do dry rub ribs in one or steaks .. I was more thinking along the lines of open spit or grilling. Larger birds can get nice and brown on a spit or grill and still be undone inside. Fish would probably be close to done in a Dutch oven by the time you got the coal heaped up on the lid ... I like to kabob meat in smallish chunks on the grill to be sure it cooks thru. If you are short spices and seasoning most of your flavor is going to be fire, smoke, and fat. Baking a roast without some seasoning in a Dutch oven is kind of like cooking unseasoned steak in a covered frying pan on the stove ...
 

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Back on the hillfarm, my mother cooked game frequently - a lot of it in a frying pan. It was always well done, however it was cooked; no pink anywhere.
Yeah, the days of that cool pink center belong to the USDA inspected cow.. course if you do have to cook it thru ( and you do) it's a good excuse for a egg and flour crust and some coffee or milk gravy and lots of pepper.

Edit.. Gawd now we need milk and coffee and pepper , two of which aren't even grown commercially in the States and will run out in short order if international trade breaks down during SHTF. Dang and thickening gravy without corn starch is a pain, of course you brought the flour and bacon? Right? who was supposed to have the bacon and flour in their bug out bag?..arrrgh we are going to starve.

reminder to self , pick up two oxen and a chuck wagon for shtf ..

Yeah, live off the land they said.. abundant game they said ... arrrgh ...anybody got any salt? And this Bass needs lemons.
 
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