Big game is everywhere, outside major metropolitan areas, and even then, there can be a surprising number, at least right now.
Getting it without getting caught, there’s the problem and the challenge.
Around here, we had complaints just this morning about a fair sized moose wandering through town.
Deer, in the front yard not 10 feet from the front and garage doors.
The highway north of town, there are more deer/elk hit by cars here than anywhere else in the country.
All one has to do is pick them up quietly, the state doesn’t allow the roadkill to be used (how messed up).
How to do it?
Got a very quiet gun?
Suppressors not always needed.
Using a gun in town, dicey in today’s climate.
People stand up and take notice so you have to be double careful about what you are doing.
But if you must, it’s a toss up what’s more useful, short and compact or long and quiet.
Two of the ‘best’ poachers I ever knew used different guns.
The first, used a folding stock Ruger 10/22 with a decent scope mounted.
There wasn’t a critter within 100Y that was safe from him if he decided that it was edible.
He also kept a couple of rolls of electrical tape and a seemingly endless supply of empty 1 and 2 liter soda bottles in his truck. Using target or subsonic ammo, he kept the freezer filled.
The second, used an old long barreled Savage Model 6, a bolt-action semi auto, an odd rifle it could have the bolt locked closed for use with shorts or longs or even long rifles, or leaving the bolt unlocked, it would function in semi auto form using long rifle ammo. Also scoped it was scary accurate and surprisingly quiet without a muzzle attachment but a lot harder to conceal and work around inside a car.
I was so impressed with this rifle, I went out and bought one myself, I also have a 10/22 but without the folding stock.
The same poacher also has a very nice .30-06 with a 24″ barrel.
I would say that the rifle never leaves his side, but he does take showers so it does get put into the corner on occasion. He has his standard hunting/target/defense loads for it but also a couple of “cat’s sneeze” or subsonic loads for it. The first uses a .32 Long bullet atop a few grains of a very fast powder, you literally only hear the firing pin snap then the bullet impact. Perfect for small game, and he takes a lot of it.
The second load uses a 200+ grain lead bullet but this time with a bit more powder, you hear a pop and then a heavy slap as the bullet hits. Not quite as accurate as the previous load, it will however shatter a deer skull out to 50Y with little effort. You just have to know where to aim.
No gun or not legal?
Bows have been around for years.
Crossbows are even better, and with the popularity of Daryl on The Walking Dead, they’ve become more popular and available.
The problem with bows is the lack of an instant kill/drop. Unless you hit the spine, the critter (big game) is gonna run and who knows who’s yard it’s gonna drop in. Small game can be dropped with a ‘blunt’ or target arrow easily saving good hunting points for serious work later.
Snares and traps (box or otherwise) can be highly effective for gathering small game in town, you must conceal what you are doing though, for both legal issues and to keep the critter from getting stolen by hungry neighbors.
Fair warning though, you will catch skunks and if you don’t know how to deal with them, it will get stinky. (Hint: drown not shoot)
Concealment here is a must, what we are talking about is highly problematic both pre and post SHTF.
As to birds, nets in old buildings works wonders. An old fishing net/draped within a critter occupied warehouse/building works wonders. We used an old fishing net to reduce the numbers (for the city) of pigeons that were living on/in an old building. We tried shooting them with air rifles and .22’s but didn’t put a dent in the population until I drug out my old net and strung it up.
One can also “lime” the birds roost, adding a highly sticky compound to it, the birds land and can’t take off.
I’m not a big fan of this one, finding it somewhat cruel but when you’re hungry, all bets are off.
Here’s a few good books, somewhat dated but the info is very pertinent.
Probably the best for our discussion: