I happened to be listening to Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night album, just for background music while trying to figure out what to write, and along came his tune Porcupine Pie. (Listen to one version here.) It’s a great little tune, especially for the kiddies, but I wonder how many people have given thought to life after the collapse and what kinds of nourishment you can round up near you. A lot of fun has been made over things like the road kill diner, and you know you’re a redneck when you drive by a road kill saying that’s a waste of good meat, but there really are a lot of things you can eat that wouldn’t ordinarily be part of your daily menu choices.

Porcupine is actually a rather sweet meat, and they really aren’t that much more difficult to prepare than any other animal you would have to skin. The big scare and bother for most people is of course the quills that adorn the porcupine’s furry little body. An old Indian trick I’ve heard of is to sear the quills over the fire to burn them off, then skin as you would other fur bearing critters. A good thing about these animals is that they are very slow in getting about. If you were really desperate for some fresh meat you could easily run one down and kill it with a stick if you were in fair to middling health. Dave Canterbury done kilt one on the first episode of Dual Survival. (See it here.)

Another animal that most people can eat, but never think of is the little black and white kitty cat of the woods, the skunk. I know, eeeyuuuu that stinks. Maybe so, but it used to be a mainstay filler meat for many of our aboriginal tribes here in the United States. And naturally the problem with this particular animal is the problem of its musk glands and the tainting of the meat it can cause. Here’s a recipe from Frank Bates’ Camping and Camp Cooking book;

Skunk Stew: —… Properly prepared, it is really a delicacy. When you catch a skunk, of course you kill him, if you can, before he explodes. If the odor is strong, hang the carcass over a smudge of hemlock twigs, being careful not to scorch the fur. Skin and dress, being careful not to break the musk glands, which must be carefully removed. Put in cold water over a slow fire, and boil for an hour, or as long as any fat will rise to the top. Skim off this fat and carefully preserve it in a bottle, against the time when the baby has the croup, or you yourself have a sprained muscle; it is very penetrating. Throw away the water, and boil the meat with a sliced onion in fresh water, till the meat will slip off the bones. Add sliced potatoes and season with salt, pepper, and a very little sage or poultry dressing. Many a man has become a confirmed mephitiphagist after partaking of the above without knowing what he was eating until he had finished his meal.

I’m not really sure how you would kill a skunk quick enough except for a deadfall trap. I would think shooting would be pretty risky as the scent glands would be the concern. Maybe someone can share a tip here.

Basically, any animal can be eaten, but I would stay away from the scavenger and strict carnivores found in and around the cities at first, such as cats. There’s no telling what kinds of toxic garbage they may have eaten. After a while things would improve and even these animals would be safer as a food source.

Otters are also said to be pretty good eating if prepared properly. Then there is the ever present ground hog, and on and on. I would say that these smaller animals would be able to be processed and then cooked in the same way as a rabbit would be used in a recipe. I’ve had some, and while I wouldn’t say I love them as everyday food, they are food, and someday this knowledge may fill your hungry belly. You can even grind them up and mix different meats into a hamburger blend too.

The point here is that when it comes to survival and preparedness planning, don’t count on normal being normal anymore. Learn to adapt and use your environment to your best advantage, including the food sources presented to you in that environment. Learn how to catch and prepare animals and fish that can be found where you live, or where your bug out location may be. Learn about the wild plants you can utilize as food sources to enhance your diet in a healthy manner.

It’s a tragedy to hear about hunters and fishermen that get lost in the woods and die of starvation. Living in the wilderness is like living in a grocery store. Unfortunately, we forget about the world around us and learn to pen ourselves into a life of supermarkets and takeout food. It’s a nasty habit, and we need to eliminate that habit if we are going to be survivors in the coming times.


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