The term combat hunter is indeed a twenty-first century expression… however… every standing army throughout history had foragers and hunters in
their ranks… As I said before a Combat Hunter is not just a lean green fighting machine… he or she, is also a forager a path finder, recon,
planner, organizer, teacher, guide and a million and one other little things that come up, out in the field… A combat hunter may not be the man in
charge but they are the one everyone turns to for advice… when and where to set camp … where to post look outs… the differences between a game
trail and a human made one… when not engaged in actual battle, your primary function as a combat hunter is foraging. Supplementing you food
supplies… not only feeding yourself but everyone with you too… obviously I cannot teach you to be a real combat hunter with only a few internet
posts, but I can impart a few key concepts that can keep you alive in a tight spot… In this lesion I will confine my thoughts to survival in North
America… to my friends in Europe the rules are basically the same with only minor adjustments for game and local conditions…
So are you ready… then let us begin…
A man/woman with a full belly can withstand hardships that a starving man could never endure...
Water is generally a problem only in dry country. A man lost in the deserts of the southwest or northern Mexico will be in serious trouble if he
doesn't find water…
It is impossible for an uninjured, knowledgeable, and skilled combat hunter to die of hunger in the temperate regions of this continent during the
spring, summer, or autumn months. There is just too much food around. Even in winter, there is still plenty of food, but harvesting it is more
difficult. Food is likely to be a more serious problem in the Arctic. But even here, a man/woman with a rifle can survive…. If they know how…
The subject of food gathering … hunting, snaring, trapping, fishing, and harvesting edible plants and fruits … is so vast that I can only touch
upon it in this section… However, I must state that there are very few creatures on this continent that a man should not eat, and certainly no
fresh-water fish that are harmful….
If you ever become lost or stranded in the wilderness, “the, you know what”, really does hit the fan…immediately conserve any emergency rations
you may have… If you can add to your food supply by harvesting any animals, fish, or edible plants, do so, even if you expect to be found or rescued
the next day... Having an ample supply of food will give you confidence… even if you are not rescued when expected. There is something about having
a supply of food that is comforting to the human mind … a sort of hoarding instinct…Besides if things do get dicey… there won’t be anyone
coming to save your butt…
It’s all about mind set and using the best survival tool you have… it’s housed between your ears… I know a man who once got lost on a moose
hunt. He was scared…but he used his head and kept his cool…
From a high ridge he spotted a fairly large lake and decided that that was where he should stay while waiting to be found. On his way to the lake, he
encountered a moose, which he promptly shot. After he dressed the moose and skinned it, keeping the hide intact to use as a blanket, he built a small
lean-to against an overgrown tree near the shoreline of the lake. He built three smoke fires and waited. The second day after he was lost, he heard an
aircraft. The aircraft spotted his smoke fires, landed on the lake, and rescued him. It even hauled out his quartered moose. The man was at no time
worried about not surviving. He knew that he had enough food for a long time and this gave him the confidence he needed to settle down and wait to be
The flip side is I was personally involved with the rescue/recovery of another lost hunter down in the mountains of northern New Mexico... this man
lost his head and spent a week traveling in circles… one big long lazy loop, round and round, bypassing both food and water… before we got to him
he died from exposure… don’t lose your head….Think your way through the problem…
Green plants such a spruce tips, willow tips, leaves of Labrador tea, dandelion leaves, and
many others are a good source of vitamin C…. The best way to ingest this is to drink tea
made from such leaves… Rose hips, the fruits of the wild rose, also have a high vitamin C
content…. Another good source of vitamin C is the cambium, the inner layer between the
bark and the wood of poplar, jack pine, and spruce. The flowers of many wild plants in North America are safe to eat. The roots of cattail, wild
carrot, tiger lily, lady's slipper, arrowhead plant, vetch, and other plants with thick fibrous roots are good sources of carbohydrates. They can be
eaten raw or boiled. The roots of the water lily are edible when boiled twice or even three times, but the water should be changed between boiling’s
to remove the acrid flavor…
Greens such as dandelion leaves, young green milkweed pods, young water lily seed pods, the lower inner core of young cattails, and young pigweed can
all be eaten raw or stewed.
Fiddleheads, the fronds of ferns, are delicious….
Berries are another source of food. Almost everyone knows the common ones such as
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and wintergreen. But be careful with
others unless you can positively identify them. Red and white berries are more prone to
be poisonous than not, unless you know them. Avoid any black or blue colored berries in
bunches. If you come across berries you don't know and want to try them, eat only a few
and wait twenty-four hours for a reaction… Then eat a little more and wait again… If, after
the second twenty-four-hour period, nothing unpleasant has occurred, the berries are
probably safe… Other fruits such as wild cherries, acorns, and nuts of all kinds are safe to
Among the lower plants, lichens can be eaten. Scrape these off rocks and stumps. They
can be eaten boiled, dried, or dried and powdered, and used in stews and soups…. The
lemon lichen is edible and very common…
Mushrooms should be eaten only by those who know them. Although only a few are poisonous, these can be deadly. Generally speaking, anything that
birds and animals eat is likely to be safe for you to eat, but always make the sample-and-wait test before eating something new or unknown. Two very
poisonous plants are the baneberry with its cluster of red and white berries and the water hemlock whose purple streaked leaves have a foul odor when
There are no poisonous plants above the tree line in the Arctic.
The water hemlock is one of the relatively few poisonous plants in the outdoors. Other
deadly plants include some of the mushrooms and the baneberry.
Aside from some of the insects, particularly caterpillars, you can eat just about anything
in the way of animal life... Large earthworms, snails, grasshoppers, and crickets are all
Grasshoppers or locusts have a nutty flavor when roasted, and are considered a
delicacy in the Middle East. Frogs, lizards, and snakes (even the poisonous ones) can also
be eaten. Indeed, snakes are quite tasty… they have fine bones in the mean much the same as a fish…
Mammals, birds, and fish are generally more important to a man trying to survive, if for no other reason than because they are larger and more
abundant. While plant materials and some of the invertebrate animals can be gathered with the bare hands, this is not the case for fish, birds, and
mammals. You will have to have or make traps, snares, or weapons. Snares and traps are the most effective way of taking small mammals and birds.
Rabbits can be easily taken by snares of different types...
The snares should be set on known rabbit runs. These are easy to find in thick cover or when snow is on the ground. Squirrels can also be taken on
snares set on leaning poles against trees. It is wise to set two or three snares in succession, because often squirrels travel in pairs…
Big game such as deer can also be snared. There are essentially two types of snares for
this. One is the Apache foot snare which snares the animal's foot and is anchored to a log
which the animal must drag. The other is a neck or head snare set about eighteen inches
off the ground. The noose must be about twenty-four inches in diameter. This snare is
also anchored to a log or a very strong whippy sapling. These snares must be set on
known deer trails.
Snares can be made of almost any kind of rope or wire. Certainly wire snares are superior
to anything else because they are thin, difficult to see, and easy to bend into position. For
big game, the snare has to be very strong because a snared animal will exert a great deal
of force in its frenzy to get away...
Snares for small game can be made from strips of deer skin or moose hide, strong string, or heavy fishing line. I have even used boot laces. Most
small game snares are lethal. They kill the animal almost instantly…
Every survival kit should contain a coil or two of snare wire…Fur-bearing animals such as foxes can be taken with a stone beehive trap baited with
fish. Dead-fall traps can also be used. Birds can be caught in the Ojibway bird snare. The Canada jay or whiskeyjack is particularly vulnerable. Gulls
can be caught on baited fish hooks. Grouse - ruffed, blue, and spruce … can frequently be caught on a noose on a pole. Indeed, often grouse can be
killed with rocks. In the wilderness, these birds are usually very trusting. The eggs and young of birds are very nutritious...
Nests of ground-nesting
birds are easy to find on the Arctic islands. Geese can be killed with clubs during their
flightless stage of molt...
Generally mammals cannot be taken without a weapon. A club is the easiest weapon to
make. A club is all a man needs for a porcupine… A rap on the head will kill this spiny
animal instantly... A porcupine should be skinned from its bare belly. If you see porcupine
damage on the branches of trees, watch carefully. You will probably encounter more
porcupines in trees, and they are easily shaken down…
The only other mammals that can be killed with a club are lemmings and mice.
Lemmings in particular may be a very important source of survival food in the Arctic
Regions... I once saw this movie about a wolf researcher who spent months eating nothing but voles and lemmings…Such aquatic mammals as beavers and
muskrats are also easily killed with a club, if you can catch them on shore…. If you see beaver activity, watch carefully. Sit down and wait.
Perhaps you can catch one by cutting off its escape route once it goes on land...
Ask me in an IM and I will share with you a great recipe for beaver tail stew.
Other simple weapons are:
Throwing sticks for birds and small mammals, a slingshot made from any rubber or elastic, or even a bow and arrow… But usually these weapons are
not very effective and practice is needed with them to achieve a fair degree of proficiency… Still useful tools for a combat hunter when silent
kills… is the rule of the day
A firearm is the primary tool of a combat hunter… but when hunting for survival, one must forget any sort of sporting ethic…. Your ability to
survive depends on your skill as a hunter… The man/woman who knows intimately the habits and habitat requirements of wildlife is bound to be more
successful as a hunter… When the poop hits the fan now is not the time to be squeamish or to debate the morality of taking an innocent animal…
The basic rules of hunting are:
move quietly and slowly; look twice; move upwind or cross wind; watch for game signs such as well-worn game trails, tracks, droppings, feeding
activities, dens, holes, and salt licks. In dry country, water holes are good places to wait downwind…
Remember that any bird or mammal can be eaten … even such fur-bearing animals as
mink, martens, fishers, foxes and wolves. The various ground squirrels, marmots, and
woodchucks are all edible. Such animals as otters, lynx, bobcat, and cougar have a
reputation of being very tasty. Owls are said to be indistinguishable from grouse in a stew
Remember not to waste ammunition…One Shot, one Kill… Kill the biggest animal you can find. Deer, elk, moose, and bears are all very good to eat.
So are seal, caribou, muskox, and polar bear in the Arctic regions…As wild boars are in the south
Any sort of firearm is better than none. In an emergency, game can be
killed with a shotgun loaded with bird shot if the hunter can get close enough. Big game
can also be killed with a small-bore rifle such as the common .22 rimfire. However,
center-fire rifles of .30 caliber are the best choice for big game animals, while a twelve gauge
shotgun is the most efficient type of firearm for small game…
But in the real world where the game of life and death is played out every day… the weapon of choice for a combat hunter is every bit as specialized
and those made for snipers… Real Marine Combat Hunters are currently issued the HK417 20" or the SA58 FAL Medium Contour Rifle. in 7.62x51mm NATO
or .308… 21”… parkerized camo finish… mounted with a specialized Leitz hunting scope, but because this is a dual purpose weapon… Combat and
Hunting… they come with 20 round mags… why this weapon, and not a modified M4??? Remember the prime rule of being a combat hunter… not to waste
ammunition. Kill the biggest animal you can find. Deer, elk, moose, and bears etc… the smaller 5.56 might be fine for taking varmint size game…
but you need something with a lot more kinetic energy to bring down the big boys…
As a side note… the US Marine Corps did place an order to replace all M4’s with the HK 417. Congress killed that plan…
Fish can be an important source of food. During spawning runs in the spring or fall, many species of fish … pike, trout, char, salmon, and suckers
…are particularly vulnerable. Dams of various kinds can be constructed in the shallows to trip or contain the fish. They are also more vulnerable to
spearing and snagging at this time. A surprisingly efficient fish spear can be made from a tri-fork of a green hardwood limb that has been baked in a
fire to harden. The points should be sharp and, if possible, have barbs…
Of course fish can also be caught on hooks and line. Certainly every personal survival kit
should have strong line, hooks of various sizes, and some artificial lures such as spoons
and spinners… Hooks can also be fashioned from nails, pins, animal bones, and shells...
Metal can be heated in a fire and crude hooks pounded and bent with stones...
Lures can be fashioned from shiny metal. The bowl of a soup spoon makes a very fine fishing spoon once a hook is attached… Did you see my thread on
the bottle cap lure…?
Brightly colored bits of cloth and bits of aluminum foil can also be used as lures. Meat of any kind, particularly the less edible parts of fish, and,
of course, large insects, frogs, crawfish, and earthworms all make suitable bait…
Fishing with a net is far more effective than fishing with a hook and line. Once the net is set, it works continuously… A net can be set just about
anywhere, including under the ice, by being passed from one hole to another with notched sticks. The places to set a net are near steep drop-offs,
entrances of weedy bays, stream mouths, and pools below rapids … in short, the kind of places that fish frequent…
Well that’s it for this lesion… I haven’t planned on writing a third part yet but I do have an idea rolling around in my head… Probably dying
of loneliness in there all by itself in the dark… anyway I’ll leave it you guys… let me know if you want me to continue with the Combat Hunter
series??? Or just go back to covering the basics???
edit on 29-8-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)