I have a friend who makes his living selling items at flea-markets, fairs and festivals. He always says to me, “Creek, I make my living with the smalls.”
He makes the majority of his money selling the $1 and $2 items – not the $100 big-ticket items. Of course it’s great to sell a big-ticket item every now and then, but if he depended on big-ticket sales to pay the bills, he’d be out of business.
The same is true with survival hunting. It’s all about the smalls – the little critters like fish, frogs, snakes, crayfish, crabs, rabbit, lizards, squirrel, mice, rat, rodents, bats, birds, turtle, possum and raccoon. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a large-game hunt with a big fancy hunting weapon, but at the end of the day it just isn’t all that practical. Larger game is more dangerous and difficult to hunt and requires more energy to process. In a long-term survival scenario, it is important to understand how to hunt, kill and eat the smalls.
When hunting small game, simple is the most efficient strategy. One of the most effective primitive hunting tools I’ve ever used has been the gig – especially for fish and frogs. gigs are also very easy to use. Don’t underestimate the ability of a simple gig to put food on the table. You’ve probably seen commercial gigs like the one shown at right. They are sold in the fishing section of almost any outdoor retailer.
These typically come with a bolt or screw that you use to mount it to the end of a 6-10 foot pole. They are only a few bucks. If you don’t have one, get one. They only weigh a few ounces, and it’s a great piece of kit to have in your Bug Out Bag if you ever need it.
Unexpected survival scenarios happen to hundreds of people each year. If you ever need to provide yourself or others with basic human survival needs such as shelter, water, fire and food, knowing how to make a small-game hunting gig might just be part of your life-saving equation.
It all starts with a tree sapling about 1-1.5″ in diameter and ideally 6-8 feet long. Willow works great and often grows near your ideal hunting grounds – ponds and streams.
STEP 1: Once you’ve cut down the sapling, split the base into four equal sections about 10″ up.
STEP 2: Cut two 2″ sections of small, pencil-sized branches and slide one down each split. This will spread the four sections out.
STEP 3: Sharpen the tips, called tines, of the gig. Lashing around the 2″ pieces helps prevent the gig from splitting out, but is not necessary.
Quick make-shift gigs like the one shown above are perfect for pinning small game such as frogs, fish, lizards and snakes. In a survival scenario, all edible game is fair game.
Survival common sense seems counterintuitive to many people. Oftentimes, the simplest strategy is the most effective. Energy conservation is critical. Making an effort to spend fewer resources is always a good survival strategy for individuals (and countries) in a survival situation.