Friday, June 30, 2017

Nomadic Prepper Strategy

In ancient times when this fortress was built in Wales, you could survive a hostile attack for years with ample food and a good supply of arrows. But being out in the open, on the move could quickly prove fatal.

Today, a few artillery rounds or an Apache attack helicopter could easily destroy even a fine castle like this.  Being stationary can be fatal in modern times.

So our fall back Prepper strategy to address this concern takes us back to our roots of being hunter/gathers.  Wandering around bodies of water and rivers while fishing or hunting the animals that depended on it was our way of life.  Planting some wheat seeds for a primitive garden or having a herd of goats began about 9,000 BC, allowing larger groups to survive in an area longer before exhausting the food supply and having to move on.

So envision having a small herd of goats, each with a backpack carrying supplies, and a good herding dog to help protect them and provide security for you. In the Prepper Handbook ($4.99 on Amazon), we talk about how many goats, and other food sources, are needed to be a sustainable food supply.  Here is an excerpt from the Prepper Handbook.

Seventy percent of the red meat consumed in the world is goat and they can provide wholesome milk for a family. Goats can forage for food better than any other livestock and can reproduce every 6 to 12 months. For this reason, they are highly recommended as the best sustainable food supply source. They are also very mobile and can browse on the move if you are traveling, bugging out on foot, or living a nomadic lifestyle.

It takes about 3 – 8 months after birth for the kid (baby goat) to be ready for butchering. The gestation period is 150 days or 5 months. Under ideal conditions, healthy young does produce one, occasionally 2 kids per year. Older does produce 2 – 3 kids per year. A doe will continue to produce until about 10 – 12 years old. So if you want to eat one young goat per month, then you need no more than 12 does in theory, possibly as few as 6, but have a few extras to be safe.

A goat will dress out at about 50% of their live weight. For example, a 100lb live goat will yield about 50 pounds of meat. With three does and a buck to breed them, you can raise about 3.3 pounds of meat per week against the 3.9-pound target below.

This is one of many Prepper Handbook tables to prepare a sustainable meal plan

An alternative plan below is to raise Nigerian Dwarf goats. Instead of having 12 large 120 pound Boer goats, have 32 small ones (70 lbs). This will provide a stable monthly supply of meat and require minimum canning, drying, or freezing when compared to the other alternative above. If you loose one of your does to “predators,” you will still have 31 or 96.8% of your herd. In the prior case, losing one would be 8% of your herd. Nigerian Dwarf goats make good “pets” (smile) if you live in the city. Note some cities prohibit livestock, but allow “pets” that are named.

Most meat breeds like Boers (most common US goat), Spanish, Fainting, and Pygmies and occasionally Nubians (most popular dairy goat) will breed all year around. In this case, you can breed one doe each month to have a regular supply of kids to eat. They can be bred at 6-8 months of age when they reach a typical adult weight. Boer, Nubian & Nigerian Dwarfs are known to have multiple births, i.e. 2 kids at a time. Spanish goats and a New Zealand breed called Kiko are the hardiest, lowest maintenance & best foragers. These Kiko goats are what I would want if I could only have one type animal and were on the move (nomadic).

Pygmy goats are small and good to eat. Nigerian Dwarf goats are small and good milk producers. After a few laying hens, this is what I would get if I lived in the city.

Goats consume about 4.5 pounds of grass or hay per day per 100 pounds of body weight. For example, a 100 lb goat would eat 4.5 lbs of hay or grass, and a 50 lb goat would eat 2.25 lbs (4.5÷2) per day. In addition to hay, goats also need to eat some brush and feeding a little grain is good. Ideally, you should feed one pound of grain per day per goat. Keeping six goats on three acres of land should be sustainable, but they should be rotated to different one (of 3) acre pasture every 30 days. 

If your only buck is lost, you are in serious trouble, so having extras is a good idea. Half of your kids born should be bucks, so save a few of them and then eat the rest.  Since one buck can breed about 25 does, you should keep more does than bucks. Bred does are a highly valuable asset for barter, but better yet, loan a few to a friend to raise some kids as this helps secure your herd having some in a different location.
Horses for travel are also a huge asset in a nomadic life style.  They allow you to travel quickly, to carry heavier loads and they can live on grass as goats do. Having a mountain bike with a cart might be a good modern alternative. 

Adapting your cart to be a pen for chickens would add a food source of eggs and meat. In addition, having a supply of seeds to plant along your route could provide future food when you return this way. Migrating south for the winter, like the birds, would likely be part of a nomadic life-style.

You also need a strategic method of travel, using a V or diamond formation, with a scout on point ahead of the herd and others on the sides.  Each member of the group should have a survival pack and any scouts moving ahead of the herd should have a scout pack with more defensive contents.  After this, it is critical that you have a survival plan.  But that is a topic that would be unique for a nomadic lifestyle, which would only be feasible if the populations were lower even than when the Native American Indians ruled the US which was estimated to be only a few million.

For additional information see the following links:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to Catch Your Own Live Bait

With a little effort, you can fish all day without spending a dime.   Dan Marsiglio
If you have a shovel and a lawn, you’ve got all the worms you need. But that’s not the only productive bait around. The creek you fish can supply its own—for free. (Just be sure to check bait-collection regulations in your area before heading out.)
Catching live bait
Although ugly-looking, these guys are sure to nail a fish.
Courtesy Bob Henricks/Flickr

1. Hellgrammites

Rare is the fish that won’t devour one of these nasty aquatic larvae. Pick them off the bottom of submerged rocks by hand, or stretch a seine across a fast-water section of the creek and flip rocks upstream. The current will flush the bugs into the net.

Catching minnows
Tried-and-true, minnows have caught countless numbers of fish.
Courtesy S. Rae/Flickr

2. Minnows

Minnows are easier to catch off the main current. Approach from midstream with a seine and corral the school against the bank as the net closes. If the bait is thick and the water fairly shallow, a quick swipe with a long-handled dip net will also produce.

Fishing with Crayfish
Good for fishing, and a Cajun-style boil.
Courtesy coniferconifer/Flickr

3. Crayfish

Choose a stretch of slow to moderate current, then flip rocks and scoop them up with a dip net. You can also stretch a seine across the creek and walk toward it from upstream while splashing and kicking rocks to spook crayfish down into the mesh

Fishing with Salamanders
Looks like candy for big bass.
Courtesy Jannis/Flickr

4. Salamanders

Often overlooked, this bait is like candy to bass and big trout. Look for them under larger rocks near the water’s edge. Productive rocks are often dry on top but cool and moist underneath. Moss-covered rocks farther up the bank are prime spots, too.

Digging for grubs
You can find an ample supply of grubs 
just about anywhere away from sunlight.
Courtesy Greg Schechter/Flickr

5. Grubs

Find some rotten logs or wood near a creek bed. Peel away the bark to expose the soft, dead wood, or poke around in the dirt underneath, and you’ll probably find some fat white grubs. Find a trout or crappie that won’t eat them and you’ve done the impossible.

Fishing with grasshoppers
Grab a net, and round up a bumper crop of 
grasshoppers in no time.
Courtesy Leonardo Re Jorge/Flickr

6. Grasshoppers

The best way to catch hoppers is to walk through the tall grass that often flanks a stream with a cheap butterfly net. Just skim the net across the tips of the blades; you’ll have a dozen or more hoppers in a flash.

Click HERE to read the Original story from Field & Stream, a classic magazine.

For additional information see the following links: