100 Days of Useful Homesteading Skills: Day 28 – Hunt Wild Game

bird-river-wildlife-brown-fauna-thanksgiving-884277-pxhere.comHunting can be a great source of meat for your homesteading family. This can be especially true if your flock has suffered losses due to predation, but it can also provide you with variety in your diet.

For many in this country, hunting could be a solution to a very real problem, hunger. For some, it is.

Hunting and trapping was something we did when I was a child. It wasn’t just for fun, it was needful. I’m glad that I can share this skill with my children. One day they might need it as much as we did.

Luckily for me, it isn’t necessary anymore, but I still use everything from my hunts. No part of the animal goes to waste.  I appreciate what Nature provides for my family. I also choose only to hunt certain animals in years when the populations are on the rise and in danger of becoming overpopulated, if not already overpopulated. This often results in areas like mine attracting large predators.

If you have the time to get away from the homestead for a few days hunting can be a great get-away for you with your friends or a nice bonding experience with your children. For my husband, it means more time with his computer while I go enjoy nature. Our boys are still of an age that hunting is interesting, one day they will probably side with Dad.

Different states will have different laws about hunting. The laws may also vary from county to county. Make sure that you follow your state and county laws. Here, you must take a hunter safety course and pass in order to purchase a hunter’s license, no matter your age or military experience.

My license, though, cost me less than $7 for the year, not including tags, because I’m a disabled veteran. Other adult residents pay $47.01. My kids’ are $12.45. If I pay for a lifetime hunting license for my children I will pay $518.25 and they will never have to pay again.

Turkey limits in the Fall are 2 per season of either sex and in the Spring are 3 per season of males. That’s a total of 15 with myself and my two sons hunting together.

Duck limits are 7 a day for mallards and 21 possession limit in my area. That’s a total of 63 mallards a year with all three of us hunting.

I pay $25 for a federal duck stamp, $20.52 for a California Duck Stamp, and $9.46 for an Upland Game Bird Validation.

The way I figure it, I pay about $87 a year for about 78 birds (my children are exempt from the validations and stamps) that I didn’t have to feed. Bonus, I had a few nice days out in nature with my kids. That’s a good deal for me.

If I wanted to hunt deer I’d have no problem bringing down a buck every year, maybe two and I’d pay no more than $70 a year for both tags. That’s fine with me, it is worth the money to keep our freezer stocked with a good variety of meat.

If I add wild pigs rabbit, and fish into the mix, I could easily supply all the meat my family needs in a year. Now, wouldn’t that be nice? I sure wouldn’t be home very often but I wouldn’t have to raise nearly as many animals.

Do you hunt? Tell us your hunting stories.

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