You need food. But where is it going to come from? Why not elk, deer, moose or other big game? Most survival instruction is geared toward surviving for a short period of time, when a casual excursion into the wilderness suddenly takes a bad turn. You get lost. You get injured.A scenario like that is a poor scenario to advise suddenly turning to hunting elk, deer, or other big game in order to score a meal. That’s probably why you’re not hearing about big game hunting on popular survival shows on television nowadays, Man vs. Wild, Dual Survival, Survivorman, etc.
But If You Need To Live And Survive Several Months …
But if we’re talking about a scenario where you need to live and survive off wild food for the long term (several months or even years), then hunting elk should be on your radar — depending of course if you live in an area of the country that has elk (see below). The only time it might not be as important is if live near the coast and can turn to ocean fishing, or somehow have the land and capability to raise crops and livestock. A lot of people though, due to circumstances, may not have that capability.If you’re into survival, you should learn how to hunt. Just one elk can provide hundreds of pounds of meat and nutrient-rich organs. Prepared and stored correctly, using simple, primitive methods (like drying and smoking), this meat can last quite some time; even several years.
But if you want to bag yourself an elk you better be in shape for covering ground. Because the secret to elk hunting has a lot to do with location, time of year, terrain, wind conditions, and simply knowing the ins and outs of elk life. Prepare to take some notes here.
First, What States Have Elk?
Elk can be found in several U.S. states. Colorado has a population of more than 200,000 elk with 50,000 elk harvested annually — making Colorado the state with the most elk in the U.S. Colorado “doesn’t have many quality bulls” though. What that means is that because there is so much hunting, male elk aren’t living long enough to become the big trophy bulls that are prized by hunters.
Colorado, Montana Have Highest Numbers Of Elk
But this is a survival site — your thoughts of elk hunting shouldn’t be about taking home a trophy bull. It’s about feeding yourself and your family or friends should the day take place that you have to live off the land.Other states with high numbers of elk include Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Montana currently has the most quality (size) and also quantity of elk overall. Colorado may have the largest number of elk but Montana has more large bulls along with high numbers of elk. It’s because of Montana’s vast amount of backcountry that male elk are able to grow larger than male elk in Colorado.
Most Elk Hunters Don’t Venture Into The Backcountry
This is an important fact to note — not many hunters are making it into the backcountry. We’re talking about wilderness areas that are many miles off the beaten path where no roads may offer access.
The further back you get from public areas and the deeper you get into sheer wilderness, the better opportunities you’re going to have for hunting elk, in regions known for elk. If you’re lost in the wilderness though you’re not likely to head into the backcountry to seek good hunting. In this case, we’re talking about a collapse of America, a scenario discussed in other articles on this site in recent months.If America collapses, infrastructure fails, stores close down, the whole gamut, that’s exactly why you may want to head deep into the backcountry. The backcountry is going to offer the best hunting. The more remote you get the better the hunting will get.
American Mountain Man Born In The Backcountry
Your new life awaits you in the backcountry. This is where the American “mountain man” was born in the 18th and 19th centuries… the fur trapper that many times wasn’t actually as solitary as Hollywood would have you believe. History records these fur trappers as often working together in large camps of trappers as well as hunters — the hunters helped keep the camp fed as the trappers did what they did best — caught small animals that were then killed and skinned for their furs. Sometimes there were also hostile Indians to deal with.If we consider the fur trade that existed so many decades ago we can see that people can survive and even thrive living and working together in large groups deep in the backcountry… deep in the American (and Canadian) wilderness; even with deep snow on the ground and cold temperatures a few months of the year.
It wasn’t an easy life though — this was a life that called for ruggedness and an understanding that hard work is how you and your camp will survive.
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