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You have to have food. There’s no way around it. Once your stores of Mountain House and Piggly Wiggly canned vegetables run out, you’re going to have to find means of putting food on the table. If you’re in China, you spread the word about cannibalism. People in post-World War 2 Europe, turned to prostitution for a single can of food.
Lack of food makes people do stupid stuff.
Hunting is an obvious means of putting food on the table, but it’s often not as simple as it sounds. I spent all of the last deer season without ever seeing a single stupid deer. How many mornings did I freeze my butt off sitting on a log staring off into the distance only to see squirrel after squirrel?
Though it’s typically highly illegal to hunt many animals at night (there are exceptions, and I suppose I’m mainly thinking about deer), if we’re looking at a post-collapse, WROL environment, that’s not really an issue that you have to think about. And this being the case, I think that there is a case that can be made for why you would want to hunt at night and how night vision can help.
Let’s take a look…
I do think that Jericho had it right when they showed how collapse led to every bubba out there putting venison on the table, ultimately leading to a collapse in the white-tail deer population. However, you want to be that bubba.
Anybody with hostas can tell you how deer come out late in the night to eat everything you’ve just planted the day prior. Why? Because deer are partially nocturnal. Studies show that whitetail deer tend to graze in open fields until around midnight, bed down in the woods for a few hours, and then wake up and resume grazing a few hours before sunlight – only this time in “upper woodlands.”
There are some geographical and seasonal variations to this pattern, but more or less, that seems to be the general rule of thumb. So this tells you where to find them during this time, at least. Where I think this proves of benefit is that it eliminates your having to “waste” daylight during a WROL situation hunting when you could be using that daylight to complete other daily household chores, such as splitting wood, working a garden, etc.
With the ability to see at night, you could then set up shop on the opposite side of a large field and wait. Where you normally wouldn’t be able to see the deer that were out in the middle of the field, if you used night vision, you would have a chance of putting venison on the table. And if we’re talking about a Golden Horde-type situation, I don’t think most would have the intestinal fortitude to want to try to investigate a shot heard in the dark, either.
This would be a great chance to procure food relatively easily compared to conventional methods/times.
I regularly find rabbits playing around (and occasionally in) my garden late at night. The catch is that I don’t see them until I just about step on them. Then, they jump out from right behind my boot, I jump up about the same height, and they take off running into the woods.
I’ve also spotted these little guys literally playing a game of tag right after the sun had set.
Having night vision in such a time would not only allow you to better protect your garden and crops but also allow you to put some bunnies in the pot.
Every gardener knows that rabbits can cause absolute havoc. In Great Britain alone, rabbits cause approximately $137,000,000 in damages per year. When you’re staring a global famine in the face, this isn’t the time that you want to have to worry about a rabbit eating every bean sprout that you planted two weeks ago.
If you live in hog country, you know how brutal these things can be to everything. They’ll eat everything you just planted, destroy your garden, and are incredibly dangerous as well. A relative of mine was dragged off into the woods by a wild pig many years ago when they were a small child. Thankfully, that pig was operating solo, family was nearby, and the relative was saved with nothing more than a cut-up wrist. It’s not uncommon for pigs to travel in absolutely massive swarms that move through an area like locusts.
If you can see and reliably hit these things late at night, you can not only put pork on the table but also protect your family and your food supply as well. Hunting here works as well. One 1989 Australian study found that hunting feral hogs reduced their population density down to 3-8 hogs/km2 compared to nearby “light hunting” areas that still had 43 hogs/km2.
Considering we now have 600-pound “super hogs” that have escaped into the US from Canada, that may be something to consider.
BONUS: Protect your livestock from predators and thieves
If you have sheep, goats, cattle, or chickens, one of the things that you already have a problem with is predators. I’m still not exactly sure what it was, but some creature ate 15-something of my chickens over a period of two weeks despite my doing everything in my power to kill that thing.
While raising chickens is expensive at the moment (my feed cost had skyrocketed), losing chickens now doesn’t compare to losing chickens when they’re one of your primary food sources, and you have no means of replacing them (e.g., after a Chinese balloon hits the US with an EMP).
The same goes for raising any type of herd animal. We already have problems with cattle thieves in my area. Can you imagine what this would look like after a collapse?
I also think that something needs to be said about the potential for predator attacks on humans post-disaster. If we consider there to be a plummeting of the deer population because “everybody is hunting,” then we also have to consider that predators of those animals that people are hunting are soon going to become very hungry.
One of these animals is coyotes.
These things are everywhere where I live, and as studies have shown, they both can and do lose their fear of people. At least as of 2004, there was an increase of coyote attacks on cyclists, joggers, and dog walkers. I’m okay with the cyclists having trouble (ride somewhere else), but for everybody else, that’s an issue that needs to be rectified.
One of the things that this study found was that “stalking small children” can soon become a coyote problem. Here are a few of the attacks mentioned in the study that I found of interest.
- 1978 – 5yo bitten on leg in driveway
- 1979 – 2yo on front porch eating cookies grabbed by throat
- 1981 – 3yo killed in front yard
- 1992 – 10yo attacked while asleep on back porch
- 1997 – man stalked by two coyotes and bitten
- 1999 – 6 coyotes attack man on bicycle with his dog
- 2001 – 3yo bitten while in yard playing
- 2002 – woman attacked by 8-10 coyotes
Admittedly, is the chance of being attacked by a coyote statistically speaking a huge problem? No, it’s still a rare occurrence. But it makes sense to me that as traditional sources of coyote food dry up, these types of attacks would increase in number.
One of the things about coyotes, though, is that they like to move about at night. Talk to any hobby shepherd. They can confirm this. With a proper pair of night vision, you could not only work to eliminate the potential for coyote attacks on humans in your vicinity, but also better protect your herd, and protect the guardian dog that you have out with your goats as well.
(This is a side note, but I do think you would also be better protected against feral dog packs with night vision during a disaster setting as well.)
Consider the uses of night vision for preppers.
If you’re currently looking at new areas to prep in, may I recommend (again) turning to night vision.
There are a number of reasons why night vision is an excellent thing to have at hand in a post-collapse environment. Putting food on the table and keeping the food that you already have safe is just another reason why.
If you’re looking for some, I recommend checking out Ready Made Resources. They have it in stock, Bob is awesome to work with, and he offers financing.
What are your thoughts on all this, though?
Have you had problems with nocturnal animal activity? Been on any nighttime coyote hunts? Are you having an issue with feral hogs already? Have you ever hunted at night? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.