Seeking Urban Hunting tips

Hey peeps. I need your help. I’ll tell you the plan, then ask what I need.

The Plan:

I will eat roadkill, but as it is an oportunistic source of food, it is not reliable. I need to hunt for protein. I’m planning on mostly sticking to the old throwing stick. I can get squirrels, ducks, geese and rabbits and such. Maybe that will be enough. But I’d like to catch me a raccoon. A few of them at least, to make muklucks for next winter. I don’t think rabbit or squirrel hides are thick enough to for boots. They also don’t have a lot of fat like those raccoons do. Anyone know if I can get enough fat from geese? I think I’m going to stay away from the fish, seeing as how fresh water fish have the highest level of dioxin of any animal. I’m guessing those are farmed fish, which means wild fish probably have more. I will probably shy away from trapping at first, don’t want to kill a defenseless house cat.

Any tips on hunting? Any bright ideas? Please give me feedback. Thanks.

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16 Comments on “Seeking Urban Hunting tips”

  1. One idea – more of a fanciful romantic notion with possible benefits. Falconry. Raptors provide their prey with the only thing they could ask for – a quick, clean and mostly unexpected death.

    Plus in a scenario with scarce food sources a well trained raptor could utilize it’s keen vision to lead it’s “owner” to a pocket of game.

    I’m curious, ever eaten any not usually eaten animals sadly snuffed out by motor vehicles? Like a shrew, or better yet, a fox?

  2. Funny you should mention birds of prey, then ask me what strage victims of the road I have eaten… I’ll let you use your imagination on that one.

  3. Raccoons are attracted to Tinfoil. or anything that shiny. but tinfoil is the least expensive, and very likely you’ll find it in a dumpster.

    raccoons enjoy crayfish. crayfish can be caught freely with a simple trap in a pond or stream. namely the minnow trap type. a concave cone at both ends of the trap with a hole leading in. easy in hard out. can be handmade easy-peasy.
    sometimes a net as a scoop does the trick too. especially with leaves on the bottom of a pond.

    they will live for quite some time out of water, as opposed to using fish.

    even in an urban setting, the crayfish might be so novel as to hold the raccoon’s attention for a long while. even if you miss!

    attracting might be best, especialy if you’re not great with the throwing stick yet. I know your intention is to eventually hunt without attractant, but with experience comes skill.

    so throw some crayfish in a tinfoil ball and wait. : )

    i’m not an urban scout, but i know my area, and bait. Hope any of this helped you. I’ve never caught, trapped, or hunted raccoon. i’m just using what i know about them. i know more about the crayfish than raccoons!

    have a good one, wishing happiness in your life,

  4. Scout,

    For hundreds of years, goose was the primary source of fat available to Ashkenazi Jews–it will more than suffice. As vegetarians who shy away from roadways, geese are low in fat-soluble toxins.

    Don’t worry about fish. Farmed fish have MUCH higher pollutant loads than wild because they are fed fish meal, get more deposited pollutants because they live inland or near shore, and are subject to a host of other indignities too grim to enumerate.
    Wild freshwater fish should be fine. Epidemiological studies of Ojibwe who subsistence fish in lakes with high mercury levels have not shown any statistically significant health or neurological effects, and only slightly elevated blood mercury levels. Unless you plan on getting pregnant, you should be able to eat freshwater predators three or four times a week without issue. Ducks, on the other hand, concentrate mercury and PCBs so effectively that they should be enjoyed only with great moderation.

    Incidently, Lord et. al (2004), in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, show that racoon meat has approximately the same level of mercury as safe freshwater fish.

    Persistent organic pollutants are an inescapable part of the landscape for now, but the higher concentrations will migrate poleward over a few decades. Until then, you personally should be fine, but unless you can procure enough geese/bear/moose, you will need to trade with farmers, herders, and grocers for safer fats for the children and women of childbearing age.

  5. I know the kids in the subdivision near my house poach deer and other animals with bows at night. So thats something to think about. You could invest in a cheap compound bow, and begin to hone your skills with that until you can make and perfect the use of a primtive bow, if you don’t already have one. Plus it will be more compact than a primitive bow, especially if you got a kids (scout sized!) version it might be small enough that you could carry it around in a backpack and not look so suspicious.

  6. ever think about trapping, in general? I know it is kinda lame, but the trappers here spend all morning putting out traps, eat lunch, then spend the afternoon getting the game out. very energy efficient, and would allow you to do other things besides hunt hunt hunt for meat.

  7. I’ve thought about how to avoid killing the local cats/dogs/children when trapping, and what I’ve concluded is that if I’m careful I’ll be able to set traps in locations that are species-specific and relatively safe. For example, setting squirrel snares (which would be relatively harmless to other species), making fish traps (eat low on the food chain and you should be fine with regard to toxins), and setting small and thus relatively harmless deadfalls for rodents.

    I’ve never used a throwing stick to hunt anything but it seems like a very inefficient way to obtain meat, even when one is highly skilled at throwing… which, of course, I am not. What is your experience with hunting with a throwing stick?

    And then of course there is the “modern scavenger” approach to gathering stuff that would otherwise be thrown away by other predators. So broadly framed this could include anything from roadkill scavenging, which you’ve already mentioned, to picking up stuff from butchers/taxidermists that they would otherwise throw away. I’m not sure how you feel about that (I for one would like to transition to doing my own trapping/hunting), but it’s certainly better in the meantime than paying for food. Plus, I enjoy the craftiness.

    I’m still doing research on all this myself, but I’ll let you know what works/doesn’t work for me.

    – Devin

  8. PennyScout,

    Yeah, I’ve been thinkin about the bow. I wasn’t thinking about night though. Get the geese, while they sleep! A scout sized one would rock. I have not worked on bows really at all. I was going to take the quickie-bow class at Rabbitstick, but I just couldn’t get myself to do really anything there…

    Rory, trapping will be part of it for sure. Like Devin mentioned, you’ve got to know where to put them so you don’t end up killing a house pet.


    I like your ideas about species specific places. I thought about that at Rabbitstick during the trap class I took (holy shit I did do something there!). He said to put squirrel traps in the trees. I thought that was cool. Fish traps would work if you were in a more rural spot that I… unless you make a day of it; bike the the spot, catch some fish, bike home. Perhaps even camp out there. Harmless dead falls for rodents… hmmm… “Sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I don’t know cause I won’t eat the filthy motha’ fucka’s.” Definately not going to go there. I’ll need to work on my trap skills. I suck. That’s why I was thinking the throwing stick. At some of these parks, you could walk right up to a squirrel and hit it on the head, they are so tame. Plus, throwing stick seems simpler than setting a trap… you throw a stick. You don’t have to know shit about the animal to throw a stick at it. Trapping requires a knowledge of trap theory as well as animal habits and routes. I definately think that setting 25 traps a day is more reliable than walking around with a stick, but at least at first, I’m gonna use the club, while I learn the traps and animals.

    I’m definately more about hunting/trapping the food myself, than getting it from taxidermists, but that’s a great idea. More meat just going to waste! WTF?

  9. Bugs and worms. Red worms, found in many poorly tended composting bins (like the one at your old domicile) are higher in protein than most typical sources of meat. Grab a few handfuls, put them in a jar of cornmeal overnight. Next day take ’em out. They eat all the corn and it flushes out their guts. Then you grind ’em up and damn that’s some good not-hamburger meat. Cook and eat. Can also be turned into flour if you’re really into it – but not sure how to dry ’em. Maybe after the solar cooker bit gets going.

  10. Here’s a few ideas on avoiding pets:

    1. Use a box trap as shown in the following about midway in the page. Small dogs can get in but that all comes down to placement (and luck of course!).

    2. Use toe gripping traps (non-lethal) and if you catch a pet simply release it with a locking metal leash (used by animal professionals to restrain testy dogs).

    3. As Urban Scout mentions above, make a day of it or longer, and go to places that people and their pets don’t go. Think of all the hunter-gatherers and how they would move from camp to camp to gather food. Modern hunter gatherers shouldn’t be any different. We can’t really expect to rent or crash somewhere and obtain all our food from a bikeable distance around us. Which hunter-gatherer did that?

    4. Lastly, use legal traps with a license so that if anything goes wrong you’ll be better covered than if you’re using primitive equipment illegally. I know this doesn’t sound like music to the ears of the primitivist but you’ll still be learning the nuts and bolts of trapping and you can always switch to primitive in a future crash where monitoring illegal trapping is no longer worth it.

    I’ll be waiting to hear if anyone comes up with more.


  11. We catch raccoons in live traps, the “Havahart” style. But they need to be of wire or the coon will bust out of them.

  12. On the bow front your going to need something at least with a draw of 45lbs to humainly kill a deer, and even at that its going to be a crap shoot. I’d make / look for something with about 50lbs.

    I know you would like fashion something yourself but I’ve seen many recurve (robin hood) bows at goodwill in the $15 range. These would be an excellent bow for small game and large game up too a white tail deer. The biggest concern I would have is the sheer waste of this animal. You would have to smoke ALL of it right away as you would never eat it quick enough unless you were willing to deep freeze it.

    I can even show you how to properly dress a deer if need be.

    Another form of food would be duck. There are tons of ducks on Sauvie Island, and one duck would be a good lunch / dinner meal. Make sure to soak the breasts in a salt water solution to remove the “gaminess”.

  13. Last note:

    Be sure to read up on or call me about proper kill zones, just blindly shooting an animal will not do any good.

    I’d also like to bring up the point of modern technology. Would using carbon steel arrow heads be out of the question? I understand you would be contributing to the monitary gain of a corporation, but it would be much more humane for the animal rather than using a bone or rock as a tip.

  14. I would like to comment on the truly romantic notion of hunting with a bird of prey. For two years I hunted with my friend and his red tail. There is nothing clean or quick about it. The prey experiences a horrific, terrifying death. Once she ripped a rabbits skull cleanly out of it’s body, but typically an animal was opened up in several spots before expiring. Birds are kept in a sort of shed when they are not hunting. Its not like in the movies where you whistle and in flies Avenger.

    I don’t have much practical experience trapping. Pitfalls and Box traps would detain a critter without injury, but they are big and hard to make (not that I’ve ever tried).

    Ranged weapons are my forte. Firearms are, of course, the easiest and most effective, though probably not your style.
    Next easiest is the modern bow, but it is just as reliant on machined parts and ammunition as the modern firearm. –A link to the smallest effective hunting bow on the market.
    Slingshots are deadly, or at least crippling, on small game and require only a little practice.
    Blowguns- I’ve never found to be very accurate.
    Sticks and stones are next on the list. You probably know about these.
    Next is atlatls, and primitive bows- these can be very effective but require real skill and years of disciplined practice.
    Throwing edged weapons, (knifes, tomahawks) is fairly easy in the back yard but difficult amongst vegetation. and I’m always afraid I’m going to break the blade against a rock.
    I would carry a silenced .44 mag break action pistol. (assuming your laws permit- I think they do) ,, But I’m a gun nut.
    A quality pellet gun uses only air. A small cache of ammo would last a lifetime… THe gaskets inside could be replaces with trash/ leather. ..Doesn’t really match the outfit though.

  15. I would recommend and atlatl ( or sling ( I think the sling would be the easiest to learn–I’ve heard it likened to learning to serve in tennis. And a sling would be ideal for small game in an urban setting because your weapon is easily concealable and portable.