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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
as to NEED to take elk or moose, hmm? much less need to hit moving small game/birds (ie, shotgun) why not cache some food in advance, and if shtf, pop a cow, horse, sheep, Llama, 2x week, hauling off a hindquarter of the bigger critters to jerk. For each adult, who can handle cutting up the meat, you can take such a quarter. Hanging around the gutpile is a really bad idea, ya see.

But deer can be snared by the neck, bigger critters can be snared by the foot (to a drag log which exhausts the animal) and small game and fish can be similarly caught. Cache such meat-getting gear at your BOL, along with empty, buried drums and some salt. Then you won't need to be out there, stupidly moving around, being seen, making noise, leaving 'sign", when the woods are full of gun-armed, desperate people. You can run your traps and nets when it's dark, if you've been smart enough to have obtained NVD goggles and a solar charger for the batteries.

with this sort of setup, you need never be more than a few minute's hard run from your base camp, and you'll always end up with flesh food for your day's effort, too. Just keep your gun handy and your senses sharpened as you tend your lines and you'll sometimes get some nice shots.

So there is no reason, foraging-wise to bother with more than the silenced 223 autorifle, and very little reason to bother with more than a silenced .22lr autorifle.

if it were not for the hostile, gun-armed people, I'd be perfectly happy with a quality .22 handgun and silencer as my foraging arm, since nearly everything should (and will) be taken with snares, and nets anyway. It's far more efficient to just have 40 "sets" (or nets) in a clover leaf pattern, so you end up back in base camp 4x a day. Having the meat/fish rot on you, be stolen by a yote , gator, snapping turtle, or dog, or having to thaw out a frozen carcass before you can butcher/skin it, all suck the big green weinie, and having an animal suffer in a trap, or a fish with a hook in its mouth, all damned day aint much better.

You'll learn your area and resources very well, spotting useful plants, transplanting them or planting the seeds closer to your base as you get the chance. If you know when it's the "right" time of the year for the seeds, tubers, greens, eggs, berries, sap, or spawning fish, you'll know where to find them.
 

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You have to forage, due to the fact that every time you have put up a cache, you did something stupid, got sent to jail and lost all the work and supplies in the cache.
 
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