I won't be getting into much details here on this subject, but will give you links for you to continue your research.
To begin, I'll quote something I wrote in the Acquiring Food and Water page. "It isn't always as evident as they make it out to be at times in survival books and on some internet sites. The fact is, you might not catch anything or it'll take a long time before you do.
You may wound up expending more energy than you'll get back from hunting and fishing. Like in the photo you can see a rabbit. She is fast! Be confident, but not overconfident. This does not mean you shouldn't try!"
Do not be overconfident, for this may wreak havoc on your psychological well-being if you are not successful at hunting or fishing. However, it will give you an encouraging boost if you are successful. Find the right balance, and preparation begins at this very moment as you are learning on the subject.
The techniques spoken of in this section are to be used only in a true survival situation. The laws may vary from one place to another so get informed for your area. Usually these methods are outlawed, except for true emergencies.
Fishing and hunting are two things that can help to sustain you in an emergency. There are wild edibles and insects as well as other things that can also give you some nutrition.
Mastering hunting skills can require many years of training. However, you do not necessarily need to be an expert, although that would certainly give you the edge that can make all of the difference between success or failure at times. Learn what you can, and hope for the best if ever you need to use these skills.
The more you learn on the subject the better off you will be. If you will be going out on a trip to the great outdoors, plan as part of your pre-trip planning to know the kinds of animals, plants and other things that will be in your area, and then plan accordingly. Having a knowledge of primitive skills is beneficial. If an emergency situation comes upon you then you'll have a backup if something was damaged, lost or your supplies run out.
Different ideas exist on the subject of hunting, and different schools may teach things a little differently one from another. Do some research on the internet to have a look. Visit the websites of the wilderness survival schools on the Links page to get started. Learn what you can because knowing some basics will still give you an edge you otherwise wouldn't have if you knew nothing on the subject.
It may also depend on what circumstances you are in and the type of hunting involved. Opportunistic hunting doesn't require the same preparation and you can use a throwing stick or a throwing star to attempt to stun or kill your prey while you are on the move. This sort of hunting is not premeditated. It is simply to have an improvised weapon available at all times so that while you are out collecting firewood, foraging, checking traps and snares or doing whatever else, and happen to come across a rabbit, grouse or squirrel, you can throw your weapon at the animal. If you are successful, then you are able to replenish some of your nutritional needs. Have one spare weapon with you on your person as a backup. You might have a second throw in a situation, or you may break or lose your weapon, so have another one handy.
Case and Point:
During the survival course I went to we practiced using the Throwing Stick weapon at a stuffed toy rabbit perched on a log a distance away.
The object lesson was to practice at opportunistic hunting and learn to use our weapon to stun or kill an animal that would come across our path in a survival situation.
The instructor had carefully prepared his stick and when the time had come to start, he let me go first to give it a try. I threw it but missed, and hit a tree cracking the Throwing Stick in half and sending the two pieces to the left and right of the tree in opposite directions. The stuffed toy rabbit was fine and it was my instructor that appeared to be stunned by the look on his face. Oh well, it happens.
During the same activity another student threw a Cold Steel Bushman at the toy rabbit while the instructor, myself and a student were together a short distance away. What we heard was a loud 'ding' sound that didn't sound like a stick breaking. The instructor asked, did he break it? We went to see and yes, the blade was broken. This was a little surprising considering the quality of the blade, but it happened. It had broke at the handle, a clean break. This was a knife that the instructor had brought to show us. This really wasn't his day.
The motto of this case and point is that it takes practice and that you can count on the possibility of breaking a weapon. Also, you should never throw your knife at anything. You can lose it or damage it. A knife is too important a tool in a survival situation to throw around and risk damaging or losing. This is common knowledge and for a good reason. A quality knife may save your life and that of your group. There are too many purposes that a knife can serve. You simply cannot do without one. You can use the primitive equivalent if you lost, damaged or didn't have a knife, by using a sharp piece of a broken rock. However, you'll never have the cutting edge retention of a quality blade with that, even though it may be sharp.
Here below is a very basic description of tracking, stalking and hunting. Have a look at the links at the end of the section here for more detailed information on these subjects.
The art of being able to know what animal has made a track, and how fresh it is amongst other things. Knowing the animal, its habits and behavior, where it may go to drink, rest and hunt, will give you an idea of how, where and when to hunt it. It may also give you a clue as to what other animals live nearby.
This is the art of being able to stealthily follow an animal, with the hope of getting close enough to kill it. It can also be to lay wait, perhaps for hours at a time, until the animal you are hoping to catch comes by. Technique is involved, such as being able to patiently wait in a hidden area while remaining completely still, as well as camouflage and descenting yourself, so that an animal doesn't smell your presence. You need to remove your scent from traps and snares as well when those hunting methods are used, or an animal may avoid the trap. This is especially the case with herbivores such as deer and rabbits.
HuntingThis is obviously the overall methodology and skill involved to capture your prey to have food etc.
Remember that the sort of hunting involved in a survival situation will be in many instances much different than modern hunting methodology. It depends on what you have at hand to work with, and your circumstances.
One example that exists, is a duck blind that can be used in temperate waters to camouflage your presence to ducks and geese. This isn't a blind where a hunter sits and waits for ducks to fly by, aim his modern weapon, then fire.
You approach them while submerged, head only above water with reeds and other, slowly bobbing up and down with the waves if there are any, and when you are close enough you grab the bird by the leg and pull it under to drown it. If you are fast enough you may be able to get another one because the sound of a bird plunging into the water is common for these waterfowl. However if too big a ruckus is made in the first attempt you won't have time to get another one, but at least you have some meat with the bird you did catch.
There are many different types of snares, traps and primitive weapons that exist, from bird snares to snares that can capture a deer. You do not need to know them all, but at at least learn the more popular ones. Do some more research in order to get some more information.
I'll give a list here of some of the more popular methods available. There are many others.
1. Rolling Snare, also known as the 'Twitch-up'. Watch out for your eyes when setting up this snare, because if it slips out of the notch there is a possibility that the trigger can fling into an eye.
2. Figure-4 Deadfall.
3. Paiute Deadfall.
4. Throwing Stick for opportunistic hunting.
5. Throwing Star for opportunistic hunting.
6. Spear. Fire harden the point and use it for either fishing, opportunistic hunting or while stalking a prey.
7. Squirrel snare.
8. Primitive Bow and Arrow. This may require more expertise to properly construct than is generally spoken of.
9. Primitive Sling Shot.
In a survival situation, if you are fortunate enough to be near a lake or river, definitely give fishing a try. For fishing, there are traps available that can be made using what you have on hand, as well as the resources around you. It is possible to make a fishing net, fish basket to scoop smaller fish in a stream, fishing hooks, fishing line and sinkers, and you can also trap fish by pooling them into a corner in a stream or river. If you pool fish in a restricted area, you will always have fresh fish when you need it. These are only some of the methods available, another is spear fishing.
It is always best to have a wilderness survival kit that is stocked with fishing hooks and line with sinkers. Also include some brass snare wire that can be used with a rolling snare and a squirrel snare.
Baiting can be accomplished in several ways, including using offal from any previous catch. Worms and some insects are good for baiting fish. Earthworms are apparently good for us. They contain 8 amino acids where the best plant has 6, and the body therefore has to make up the rest. Learn how to prepare insects for consumption, to avoid any issues. Also be certain to not consume a poisonous one! It is like for wild edibles, positive identification and knowing how to prepare it etc.
Remember to improvise if you need to. This is absolutely important to develop this ability to make maximum use of anything at your disposal. This goes for any aspect of survival, whether it be in a wilderness or an urban setting. Be creative!
Here are some links to help you learn more about hunting and fishing. Do some research on more sites to see the best methods to do things..
1. Wildwood Survival - Hunting, including primitive weapons.
2. Wilderness Survival - Traps and snares
3. Wilderness Survival Skills - Wilderness survival food.
Have a look at the Videos page as well for some information on the subject.