Unless you have a good opportunity to catch a big game, it’s better to focus your efforts on small animals, more abundant and easier to prepare. It’s not necessary to know all the edible species, memorize rather a short list of animals unfit for consumption.
You must however be able to identify the habits and behaviors of each class of animals. For example, it is important to recognize the animals who are easy to trap, those who inhabit a region and those who occupy a nest or a den, those who have specific areas to feed themselves or those who follow regular tracks. Big animals living in flocks, like the caribou, who roams large territories are sometimes difficult to trap. Finally, you need to understand the eating habits of the different species.
In general, it’s possible to eat just about everything that crawls, swims, walks or flies. However, the first hurdle to overcome is your natural aversion to certain types of food. It’s true that hungry people will feed on anything that is possible and imaginable, therefore, a person who deprives himself from a source of food because it seems not appetizing, or for any other personal reason is damaging his own chances of survival. To stay healthy, a survivor must indeed eat anything that can be found, even though it may seem difficult at first.
Insects are the most abundant terrestrial life form. Easy to catch, they contain 65-80% protein, compared to 20% for beef. Although unappetizing, insects are an important source of food. However, avoid hairy adult insects and the bitters, or those wearing bright colors, as well as the caterpillars and the acrid smelling insects. Also avoid spiders, and ticks, flies and mosquitoes, they are often carrying diseases.
The rotten logs are all designated areas to find ants, termites, beetles, scarabs and larvae. Do not neglect the insect nests located on or in the ground. In addition, the rocks, boards and other materials lying on the floor are often home to insect nests. Search also in the fields and other grassy places, insects are easily spotted. And don’t forget that the larvae are also edible.
Moreover, rigid outer shell, such as beetles and grasshoppers insects can carry parasites, cook them before eating. Also remove the wings and barbed legs. Most insects can be eaten raw, and the taste varies depending on the species: the larvae (woodworms) are bland, but some species of ant stores honey in their bodies, giving them a sweet taste.
You can reduce them in powder and mix different insects, and even combine them with edible plants.
Worms (Annelidea) are an excellent source of protein. To find them, dig on wet soils. They also appear on the ground after a rain. Put them in water to for a few minutes, they will clean themselves naturally, then you can eat them raw.
These sweet water shrimps measures between 0.25 and 2.5 cm. They form important colonies in the mat floating algae or in the muddy beds of lakes and ponds.
The crayfish are close to marine species such as crabs and lobsters. They are distinguished by a rigid exoskeleton and five pairs of legs, the front pair being equipped with strong claws. Crayfish are nocturnal animals. During the day, you can still find them in the watercourse by looking under rocks and nearby. Look also in the mud near the holes aeration (chimney-shaped) from their nest. To capture them, just tie a piece of meat or a bait to the extremity of a string. When the crawdad hangs on the bait, pull it to the shore before it has the time to release its catch.
In saltwater you will find lobsters, crabs, and shrimp starting from the waves area to a depth of 10 m. At night, the shrimps are attracted by light sources, it’s then possible to pick them up using a trap or a net.
Concerning crabs and lobsters, we catch them in a locker or with a hook. Crabs are also attracted by baits placed at the border of the water, where you can then catch them using a net. In addition, crabs and lobsters are nocturnal animals, therefore, it is easier to capture them at night.
This invertebrate category, living in both sweet and salty water, includes the cephalopod (Octopus and squid), snails (snails, periwinkles, limpets), bivalves (clams, oysters, scallops, mussels), or even chitons. Barnacles, sea cucumbers and sea urchins, not shellfish, are harvested the same way. All over the world, regardless of the characteristics of the water, we find bivalves similar to our freshwater moulds as well as some land and water snails.
– Freshwater snails abound in the rivers, streams and lakes, they have a rounded or conical form.
– In freshwater, you will find the shells in shallow water and in the places where the bottom is muddy or sandy. Narrow the tracks left by the snails in the vase, as well as the elliptical opening and dark color formed by the valves of the mussels ( freshwater mussels).
– At the oceanfront, look in the tide pools and wet sand. In addition, shellfish often attach to the rocks that line the beaches or that form the reefs in deeper water. Snails (in particular the periwinkles and limpets) stick to rocks and seaweed above low-water areas. Chitons, meanwhile, strongly adhere to the rocks above the flood zone.
– Finally, the moulds usually forms dense settlements in the bowls, wood or at the foot of the rocks.
– To eat shellfish, boil or steam them in their shell. They are delicious with green vegetables and tubers.
Fish is a good source of protein and fat, it has some other advantages to the survivor or the fugitive. Indeed, fish are usually heavier than mammals, and can be caught without making a noise. In order to catch a fish, you must however know its habits.
For example, fish eats a lot before a storm, on the other hand, they don’t eat that much shortly afterwards while the water is swollen and muddy. They are often attracted to a source of light at night.
In the high-current courses, fish rests in the hot tub (near the rocks, for example). They gather regularly in the pits, under the bushes overhanging and near the branches, trunks or other submerged objects likely to provide them a shelter.
– There are no toxic sweetwater fish. However, different species of catfish have sharp spines that can inflict painful wounds on the dorsal fins and the barbels, which get infected quickly.
- During the summer, the moulds can be toxic in the tropics!
- Do not eat shellfish that are not covered with water at high tide.
- Cook all your freshwater fish to kill the pests they may carry. As a precaution, also Cook saltwater fish caught on the reefs or close to a sweetwater source. Because of the salty environment that surrounds them, the species caught farther seaward however, contain no parasites, so you can eat them raw.
– The flesh of some marine fish is toxic. Some species are toxic seasonally, while others are at every time. The toxic species include porcupine fish, the Ballista, the fish-safe, the oilfish, fish-lime and the puffer fish (Blowfish). The barracuda, snapper and trevally, even though they are not toxic, can transmit ciguatera (a food intoxication form) if we eat them raw.
– You can easily find frogs and salamanders near seawater. Frogs rarely leaves the safety of the shore, and at the first sign of danger, they dive into the water and hides in the mud and debris.
There are few species of poisonous frogs, simply avoid those who wears bright colors or those who own a mark in ‘X’ on the back. However, it’s important not to confuse frogs and toads, which are normally found in drier environments. The skin of some species of toads secretes a toxic substance that protects them from predators. It’s not recommended to eat toads or to touch them.
– The salamanders are nocturnal. So, the best time to catch them is in the evening using a light source. Some salamanders measure a few centimeters, while others can reach a length of 60 cm. To find them, look in the water, near the rocks or mud banks.
– Reptiles are an excellent source of protein, and they are relatively easy to catch. It’s better to cook them, but you can eat them raw in an emergency case.
Raw, their flesh can indeed transmit parasites, however, as reptiles are cold-blooded animals, they do not carry blood diseases like warm-blooded animals.
– The box turtle, that we meet frequently, should not be eaten. As it eats poisonous mushrooms, its flesh can contain highly toxic substances that are not destroyed during the cooking process. Also, avoid nesting turtles, who lives in the Atlantic ocean, because of the toxicity of its chest glands.
– All birds are edible, even if their taste varies significantly between the species. Note however, that it’s better to empty the piscivorous (fish-eating) birds to in order to improve their flavor.
To catch birds, you absolutely must know their habits (as it’s the case for all the wild animals). At night, it’s possible to catch pigeons and other bird species directly in their dormitory using your bare hands.
In addition, during the nesting season, some birds never leaves their nest, even if you approach them. A good knowledge of the places and nesting periods will greatly facilitate you the task. Moreover, the birds tend to follow a regular path between the dorms, their alimentation areas and the water points. Observing carefully, you can spot these habits and tend the nets in order to cut them. Moreover, the dormitories and water points are all designated areas to lay traps and snares.
-Occupied nests offer another possibility of food: the eggs. You can pick up the eggs, but always leave two or three that you will mark. The birds will lay new eggs to replace the ones you took. Subsequently, you have to harvest the fresh eggs, each time leaving those you marked.
-Mammals are an excellent source of protein, and for North Americans, the aliment with the most sought-after taste. However, there are some disadvantages to the mammal hunting. Thus, in a hostile environment, it’s possible for the prey to notice traps and snares laid on the ground.
In addition, any animal has the potential to hurt you. The bigger the animal, the more your injuries are likely to be severe. Indeed, all mammals have teeth, and will likely bite to defend themselves, even a squirrel can inflict serious injuries.
It’s important to know that any bite can have a high risk of infection. In addition, females are sometimes extremely aggressive when they defend their young. Don’t forget that, caught in a trap, any animal will fight for its freedom.
– All mammals are edible, however, the liver of polar bears and bearded seals has a high rate of vitamin A toxic to the human. The ornithorynque, a semiaquatic oviparous animal living in Australia and Tasmania, has toxic glands. Finally, scavengers (such as the oppossum) can carry diseases.