Jonathan Leigh

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Recent posts by Jonathan Leigh

I originally came across this thread by googling the permies site for questions using the search term "how many chickens". I am doing some calculations right now trying to figure out exactly how many chickens one would need to be self-sustaining. I could not find a good answer on google or on the permies website, so I decided to do some investigating and figure out the math myself. Everyone is going to have different facts about their different breeds, and I have absolutely no experience raising chickens; however, I am highly skilled in mathematics having done my masters degree in computer science so I'd still say my two cents is worthwhile advice (especially since I've taken my facts from chicken raising expert sources). I'm going to share my calculations, but keep in mind I am leaning very conservatively in my calculations. Most people should produce MORE chickens than estimated, but some will inevitably produce less because of unexpected consequences. Let's start by laying out the ASSUMED numbers and the facts.

1. Chickens lay about 2 eggs per 3 hens twice a week on worst case average. Again, I'm being VERY conservative (because some people would see this as absurd with their breed). This comes out to 1 chicken producing about 1 and 1/3 an egg every week.
2. A family of 4 eats about 2 chickens a week (some say 1 chicken, I'm being conservative and saying 2 chickens because I know my family eats at least 2 chickens a week and I only have 3 people in my family).
3. You can mate about 10 hens to 1 rooster (again an arguable number but this is the one I chose to use).
4. It takes about 1 month for an egg to develop into a chick (incubation can take as early as 21 days I've read, but again we're being conservative).
5. It takes about 6 months for a hen to fully develop and start laying eggs.
6. Eggs have a poor incubation rate of about 25% success on average (meaning only 25% of eggs incubated turn into baby chicks).

Okay, so now we have some numbers to work with. Now let's do some math. Let's assume we want to go off grid next week. We need to answer the serious question:

How many hens/roosters do we need to purchase up front to ensure for the next year (52 weeks) our family will have enough chicken to eat?

At first I thought you would need to buy at least 52 chickens if you wanted to start eating and breeding right away because you would need to slaughter at least 52 in the 6-7 months in order to have chicken to eat while the little ones were raised. Now that I actually am writing about this problem of self-sustaining chickens, it seems it would be easier to buy chicken from the market until you could build up a self-sustaining population. Therefore I will assume for the rest of the calculations we need to figure out how many chickens we need to raise 7 months from now (1 month for eggs to hatch, 6 months for bird to develop) in order to sustain our chicken population to slaughter for food and then go from there.

So I am going to start by looking at the finish. We need to produce 104 chickens a year (2 chickens a week) to slaughter for food. Thus the calculation is becoming simpler. Now, seemingly, the only question we need to answer is "How many eggs will it take to produce 52 chickens in 7 months"? And we'll round 7 months to 6 months just to make the estimating easier (because we've been so conservative with our numbers). However, it's more difficult than that because we're slaughtering our breeders as well and a chicken can lay an egg that can hatch at a later time period than the ones we are going to eat. I have no idea what the successful fertilization rates are for roosters mating hens, but we do know about 1/4 eggs hatch when incubated so we know if we incubated 208 eggs about 52 of them would turn out to be chickens in 6 months. In order to lay 208 eggs we would need about 157 hens to each lay us an egg in 1 week (seems strange but 208 eggs divided by hens laying 1 1/3 eggs on average a week comes out to be 157 hens). Over the period of 6 months, the hens would lay many many more half year supplies of eggs thought if we started with 157 hens at week 1, so now our question gets even narrower. The question now becomes "How many chickens does one chicken need to produce over it's lifespan before I can slaughter it for food?"

If we take the 1 1/3 egg per hen metric, let's say in 3 weeks we will get 4 eggs from 1 hen. Let's say over 6 months we will get (4 eggs x 18 weeks =) 32 eggs. With a little luck, 1/4th of them will hatch and we will get 8 chickens over the 6th month span before we slaughter the hen. Wouldn't it be great to get 8 chickens for 1 chicken we raised over a 6 month period? It would be, but I am very skeptical about the theoretical numbers I am coming up with on this. At least we are closer to the answer that 1 hen could produce about 8 hens in 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14ish months. I bet in reality though, 1 chicken probably produces closer to 2-4 chicks per 6 months. What this means is that in order to meet 104 chickens a year, we really only need about 26 breeder chickens in our flock at any time just for breeding. After we're done with the breeding we can slaughter them because they will have produced enough for the next 6 months. Thus about 3 or 4 roosters and 26 hens would be sustainable.

I know my math doesn't exactly make 100% sense, but this is all the time I have to ponder about it and it seems to be in line with all the other forums I've looked at. I may revisit this post after I read up more or want to crunch out the numbers again. I felt it still constructive to post this unfinished, first draft, unrevised post about self-sustaining chickens. Thank you for not being too critical of me, but please feel free to add any math or opinions.




6 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hello Jonathan, et al.,


I'm still confused Jay...

They are typically called PE and there background, and certification is in structural engineering. However, if you don't get one with specific experience with a building modality they may come up with "over kills," and/or tell you you can not do something. We use:

http://blog.ftet.biz/2009/01/keyed-and-key-laminated-beams.html


I am glad to read you have tangible skill sets for the task before you. What I will point out is until you have over 1000 hours behind any given tool, you are not even competent. After a thousand hours you are adequate, and after 5000 hours proficient, and not until you have a minimum of 10000 hours plus are you even approaching expert. The same goes for designing and implementation of building methods. I meet many "designers," contractors, and even some architects that think they are good at what they do...they aren't by a long shot. My criteria for a client when they have already engaged an Architect is they must know at minimum what I know and can do, if not they are wasting project money that I would rather share with craftspeople and artisans.


My parents saved tens of thousands of dollars building their own house and we had a great living space growing up so I am under the impression designing a property is not rocket science (as I know because I've done rocket science in college ).

I like folks that are confident, and sometimes it is warranted. I have seen some wonderful homes that are extremely well built by there owners. Few would even come close to even "good practice" in overall architecture. It may not be "rocket science," but there is much more to a good design and construction than meets the eye, if you consider the whole package. I would further point out "rocket scientist" and engineers are usually rotten architectural designers and builders, as they over complicate, and try to reinvent too much, or fix what is not broken.


I have a plan (that I have been working on for a very long time) set for my future that I have carefully decided upon that involves

1) me moving back to the northeast,

2) finding, prospecting, and purchasing the right piece of land (with no noisy neighbors) with enough acreage that is financially viable at the time and that already has a house on it,

3) involves me building a house on the opposite side of the property and managing the land into a self-sustaining farm that will allow me to retire at age 45 and live off the food, water, and shelter the property generates.

4) having my investments diversified enough to have money to pay things like medical care etc.



Sounds viable in most respects and achievable in many.

It would be great if we designed the property and shared plans on a site like this on permies.com because I like to share my experiences with people, but I'm not quite there yet.

Let me know when you are and for sake of expedancy and sharing please download and use "sketchup" if possible or you may draw by hand. I will help the PE if you can use something like "sketchup" as it has universal appeal for both expert and novice alike. We do all our rendering, modeling and blueprinting with it.

As you see in my 5 step plan,

Sorry I kinda saw it as a 4 stepper but that's ok.

Thus if you are ready to brainstorm with me now, but are patient enough to wait a year or so then we can start designing more seriously.

Yep, and you can keep it all on this thread for posterity.

In the meantime, do you know any good books on forestry management and other principles like coppicing and such? I see that you are in the Arborist trade so I figured you may have a good resource or two to give some nice in-depth knowledge about tree management.

I would read through the "growies" section here at permies to start. This is such a broad field, that without knowing the land and your focus for it I feel compelled to say read whatever you can get your hands on that fits your vision.

I was currently recommended "Working with Your Woodland". (Sorry, off topic question)

That is a good start, but more mainstream and not part of the permaculture method of "edible forests."

http://www.amazon.com/Edible-Forest-Gardens-2-set/dp/1890132608

http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/

I appreciate all you have done for the country sincerely as a few of my family members and high school friends have served.

You are most welcome.

Regards,

jay



Thanks again Jay. I guess no matter how much of a lone wolf personality I have you have made me realize that this property is a much larger project than I saw it, and that I need to do some team building in order to make it turn out better than I have planned.
7 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Jonathan
There are all kinds of PE (you already know what it stands for) and some work just on bridges, some on skyscrapers, and a very few on what folks now call "alternative architecture." So NO you would not seek out a software engineer to approve engineering for your house, you would want a different kind.



I'm still confused Jay, what is the formal name for the profession you are referring to as "alternative architecture"? For example, who would you hire to work at your firm out of college? What degree would you be looking for? I gave civil engineer as an example because I took a class that surveyed the different types of engineering disciplines in college and that was the closest one in my memory bank that matched anything having to do with building structures.

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:
When you are reading to design something Jonathan, if you keep it open and public I would be glad to help you out on this forum, but you must be willing to follow directions and take feedback from the group...or...you can contact me privately and I will work for you as you designer. Either way you have access to my resources as long as it is not for profit but just your own home. I make a living as a builder, consultant, and restorationist (among other skill sets.) I augment this by assisting on sites like "Permies" to aid folks that may have will, but NO SKILL, and they also have means of mind and muscle, but NO MONEY. So I will help you with developing your "vocabulary" or you can pay me to speak for you, it's your choice.



Thank you that is very generous of you. I am willing to take feedback/criticism from a group of people. I have about 1000 ideas and 10,000 hours of research that I would like to speak to you about then. I do have many skills as when I was young I was exposed to mixing cement, painting houses, using bandsaws, tablesaws, a lathe, pvc plumbing, copper pipe welding, etc. and as I've gotten older I've taken courses like calculus and physics in college so I have a slight idea how to do force calculations as well and how to calculate areas that are irregular. What I don't have is X number of hours from some stupid institution as an apprentice or a fancy degree from an ABET accredited university of bullshit that says to the government that it's ok for me to draw up and architect my own house. I am a firm believer that with enough practice in any profession one can become proficient at anything they wish to do. I do realize I am missing a bunch of experience into the specifics of your domain, but I believe that I have a great overview of where to start as my parents actually built the house I grew up in with the help of my grandfather and I have done enough research so far to know some of the specifics of the IBC and how to meet with building inspectors that I didn't just google today or yesterday. Also, I have experience in my domain that you do not have. I intend to use sensors and SCADA equipment to make my house and property "smart", which will maximize the efficiency of things and alert me if there are problems. My parents saved tens of thousands of dollars building their own house and we had a great living space growing up so I am under the impression designing a property is not rocket science (as I know because I've done rocket science in college ). No offense to you, but there are a few thousand people that have tried to take me for an ignorant sucker on this earth, so if you are truly genuine about wanting to help me design a self-sustaining piece of property in a non-profit manner then I would be happy to have you as a friend. I've met a lot of nice people in Vermont and if it weren't for VT's damn 1.5% land tax vs Maines %0.5 land tax, I'd probably be looking to live there.

To make a long story short Jay, I have a plan (that I have been working on for a very long time) set for my future that I have carefully decided upon that involves 1) me moving back to the northeast, 2) finding, prospecting, and purchasing the right piece of land (with no nosey neighbors) with enough acreage that is financially viable at the time and that already has a house on it, and then 3) involves me building a house on the opposite side of the property and managing the land into a self-sustaining farm that will allow me to 4) retire at age 45 and live off the food, water, and shelter the property generates while 5) having my investments diversified enough to have money to pay things like medical care etc.

It would be great if we designed the property and shared plans on a site like this on permies.com because I like to share my experiences with people, but I'm not quite there yet. As you see in my 5 step plan, I have not even moved yet. I am looking to start designing the property on a serious level (and not just brainstorming) either during the step 2 phase, or after I have already selected a property I like. It really just depends on the area, the financial availability of the acreage and what zoning regulations I find on the property when I start to look. The way I see it is the property can be corrected with enough money, the people that make local regulations can't.

Thus if you are ready to brainstorm with me now, but are patient enough to wait a year or so then we can start designing more seriously.

In the meantime, do you know any good books on forestry management and other principles like coppicing and such? I see that you are in the Aborist trade so I figured you may have a good resource or two to give some nice in-depth knowledge about tree management. I was currently recommended "Working with Your Woodland". (Sorry, off topic question)

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:
Look Jonathan, I hear and understand your frustration, really I do. Nevertheless, You have to stop swimming against the current or you are going to drown yourself. No social, geopolitical or other human system is ever going to be perfect. We just aren't there collectively as a species yet. So whether you are a Socialist like myself (Native culture is a socialistic culture) or a GOP Capitalist, you are going to be part of a system if you live in society (not all societies are civil, trust me I know I saw them when I was an active Marine) and until we evolve to stop being the egocentric, greedy, self serving, disrespectful and wasteful species we are, none of these systems are going to be perfect. Learn to work from within the system, and swim with the current till you get to a better destination.

Oh yeah, before I go, don't ever deluded yourself that even if the system was perfect you would ever own and piece of land. It is not ethically, or spiritually possible for a truly ascension life form to ever believe they could own another living thing. If any thing, as my grandmother would say, the land...it owns you. So even if you have a piece of property, there are other living things around you (including your neighbors) that may have a say on how you conduct yourself, as it could affect their well being.

Regards,

jay



I appreciate all you have done for the country sincerely as a few of my family members and high school friends have served. I'm not swimming against the current, and I never said I intended to. I believe the term I used in my post was that I "legally" wanted to do this. That doesn't mean I'm not going to hate the powers that be that are holding me down though Jay, even if it is for my own good. As for your spiritual views, I'm not touching that with a 10 foot pole. I'm just going to live and let live on that one. Again, thank you for your response and offer.

Sincerely,
-JL
7 years ago
Thank you everyone, especially Jay and Brian for your suggestions.

I have one thing to add to the soap box of building codes. I didn't come up with this, I learned this from taking a course on open yale called "Financial Markets". There are billions of dollars spent to repair damage from major disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. In the Financial Markets course it is discussed that the people affected by the earthquake in Hati would have been much better off if they had house insurance. What does house insurance have to do with peoples well being? Because insurance companies FORCE building code to be implemented before they will take the risk of ensuring a home. I truly believe the government (especially the lying politicians up on capital hill) could give a crap less whether you or I are have a safe home. What it comes down to is that they don't want to clean up your mess when a natural disaster hits. They don't want your house washed down and out into the road that they paid to build that now they have to remove your property from because your building wasn't built to flood regulation standards. I think this is part of the big picture that a lot of people (including myself guilty before I saw it) fail to see. Even though your land is "your land" it effects everyone around you. For example, if you put a structure on a piece of property, the water underneath will effect the neighbors. We have had flooding in my parents basement after not having any flooding for several years because housing development projects have built on land near us and made the water table rise (confirmed by a PE). These are some of the political issues that are part of the reason why government doesn't want you building whatever you like on THEIR property. Remember, you pay taxes to the government for your land. YOU don't own anything, they just lease it to you. If you don't pay taxes (aka rent) to the government, watch how quickly they will repo your land.

Do I hate what I just said above? With every fiber of my being I hate it, but this is the way our galactically stupid ancestors have made America to be. The land mass was divided up a long time ago and the men with the biggest guns have taken it over. We just live in the aftermath of what has been millennia of wars.

Okay, now that I'm done with philosophy for the day I'd like to get down to why I searched and came to this thread. I was too wondering how it was possible to build these structures legally. Apparently it is easer than I thought because Jay said all you need to do is hire a professional engineer to approve things. I kind of want to elaborate on that a little bit more though. What do you mean when you refer to PE's? I went to an engineering college and came out a software engineer, but even though my profession is working towards having a PE degree we aren't quite there yet . I don't think that you would want a software engineer with a PE cert building your house anyway, we usually just let the debugger handle everything for us and that doesn't sound good when it comes to building houses . Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Aerospace Engineers, etc. all have to have a PE degree and take their fundamentals exam, but what kind of engineer are you referring to when you talk about having a PE approve housing (I assume it's a civil)? I do appreciate you mentioning engineering firms, but could you please provide an example or a specific type of person or firm you're referring to? I am too looking to build a custom house on a piece of land and the hardest part about communicating with officials is learning their vocabulary!

Another thing I wonder about as well is what if we want to build something like a biogas digester on our land? What if we want to have an outhouse? I remember someone posted something on one of these threads about having to get that approved with the department of health. Who do we go to for approval for that? What if we want to build a micro hydropower dam on our property. There are also people that want to regulate the flow of water too . If I want to have a used car lot with environmentally hazardous materials like motor oil on the property, is there some other department of infinite sadness that needs to approve that? These are lots of questions I have about customizing a piece of property. I am hoping someone may come along and answer them or have an opinion about them. Thank you for listening to my rant.
7 years ago
My name is Jon and I've always been a creative guy with a fine mind for logic, science, and resourcefulness. I am quite individualistic, renaissance man having a masters degree in computer science and constantly, constantly learning, but I also have a lone wolf personality. I am about as diverse as a person can get. I was born a yankee and then became a rebel, but I will soon return back to the northeast from where I hail. I've lived in both the richest and poorest states in America and I have learned a lot about the people of the United States. Thus what you need to know about me as far as background is that I have lived everywhere from on a suburban farm, to a city, to rural, in the extreme cold and in the extreme heat.

I am an atheist, and I share this with you all because I want to iterate to you that because I don't follow the same philosophies that most people do I have had to take the time to think about all the things that most people take for granted. This means I understand the universe and the environment in a very different way than most people (because I've studied it intensely), my understanding of ethics are from a different perspective than everyone else's, and therefore my modus operandi toward life is far from normal. Judging by the post of strange people I have read so far, I think I am going to fit in well here (lol that was a joke). I also want to reiterate that I am NOT here to shove my philosophies down your throat. I am mostly here to discuss survival and self-sustainable living. I am also a polyamorist, which is another thing that is quite rare about me as a person. I have already had experiences in my life where I have had more than one girlfriend at a time and as I said, I am quite abnormal and I know this. None of this bothers me though, I have accepted the qualities that make me the individual I am, but I just wanted to give forewarning that if you read my post on here you are in danger of experiencing interesting and wondrous thoughts that could be different from anything you've ever seen before. Anyway, I felt a little bit of background about myself was necessary in order to answer the question of what I am doing here on permies.com.

Between internships and full time career, I've spent about 5 years in my life at jobs. I hated school when I was young and I have always looked for ways I could avoid possible "obligations" in life such as HAVING to work. I loathe every second I spend on the clock. I have ran all the math on life and sincerely evaluated my career choices to get me to the point that I am today. Working 80 hours a week at a minimum wage job seemed like a bad idea, so I went to college. Owning a business seemed like way too much work because I'd also be working 80 hours and if I failed I would be broke. Small time jobs seemed like a solution, but I would still have to spend 40 hours a week and have no spending money. So naturally, I figured I fit in with a 40 hour a week white collar job where I would have spending money and free time to balance. Well let me tell you, I am unhappy with being a white collar employee too. Thus I set out to figure out how I could get more free time, but not sacrifice the same luxuries that I enjoy now. I finally found out how I can do that, and that is through something like permaculture. I say something like permaculture because I don't exactly buy into permaculture entirely. I like the parts of permaculture that involve great sustainable systems that provide for a pleasurable and healthy lifestyle, but on the other hand I see the same terrible propaganda and arrogant touting of false information or people breaking the law in the name of their cause that I don't necessarily agree with. I do think that government is a good thing to an extent and that regulations are put in place for good reason (when it's not abused). I don't buy into the whole concept of "green" energy, "global warming" or other environmentalist propaganda that from my research is complete bullshit. The fact is, just like our local weather, we can't control our space weather. However much cosmic radiation from our sun and other stars we are getting could be a major part of global warming just as much as any so called "pollution" that is being done. I mean from an opposite perspective from the norm, I see people crying about CO2 emissions all the time. Isn't a little CO2 GOOD for the environment because TREES NEED TO EAT TOO? People have been making fires for over 200k years, the earth hasn't melted down yet. What the hell would trees use to make food if we eliminated CO2 emissions from our atmosphere? It doesn't make any sense. I feel these are research questions that do not have good answers which many people that are radically into these social movements want to push as an agenda, which differentiates me from them. I am glad to be in with the part of permaculture that concentrates on self-sustainable ecosystems, but I want nothing to do with any kind of political bullshit that comes with it. If we are going to build a truly sustainable world we have to do better research because fact touting is just making both sides (the pro environmentalists and the anti-environmentalists) look like a bunch of idiots. Also, I believe many people need to learn simple economic principles. For example, even though we could grow enough food to feed the world or we could solve the next energy crisis that people are people. What do I mean by this? I mean people are greedy and resources can NEVER be equal. There are simply some humans in this world that don't want to share, do want more, and will take more! I love to point people at Africa when I talk about this because I tell them Africa is one of the oldest human populated areas in the world, yet their land is uncivilized, third world, plagued by diseases, and Africa has more violence and warfare than any other continent on earth. They are my best example for why world peace is a complete and utter joke. There is where I sit on the fence, away in my own paradise looking at everyone else scratching my head. As I said, I'm here mainly to learn and conjure ideas from people that have been gracious enough to share them (and I do sincerely and utterly appreciate sharing of information), but I am also here to ignore ignorant people who think they can save the world without looking at it's status and also ignore people that want to push political agendas. My philosophy on here is similar to live and let live, because to me it is not worth worrying about other peoples problems. As an individual, I like to solve problems for myself, my family, and my friends (lone wolf personality). I am a major pro open source person and I love to both take and share information for whatever reason people need it for.

Well, now that I expressed a little bit about what I am doing here, and what I like and dislike about permaculture let me just say one last thing about myself. I am in the process of designing my dream homestead right now. In the next 5 years I wish to move onto a piece of land, begin building, and eventually make the plot into a self-sustaining paradise. I am working 70 hours at two white collar jobs mining lots of money for the task at hand. That's not all though, I don't plan to work ever again after my land has been fully developed. I plan to live off my investments and the food and water that is produced from the land once my house is paid off. I want just enough money saved to give me some spending money for emergencies and to pay for my family's heathcare costs. This living off the land concept has been an idea between people of Louisiana for centuries and this is initially where I got the idea before learning about permaculture. I plan to spend all my free time I get from not being a white collar slave improving my land, hunting, trapping, playing video games, and just doing relaxing things like drinking whiskey on my porch watching the sun go down.

Thank you and I look forward to reading "yalls" posts ,
- Jon
7 years ago
Here is a good video about squirrel hunting explained by some Louisiana girl that lives on the principles of living off the land:



Aside from her advice I have to add in my two cents about squirrel hunting having done it when I was 5-10 years old and just getting back into it last year. When I was young I used to live in New England and be ruthless with squirrels. I would chase them whenever I saw them and shake them out of trees because I hated them destroying my grandfathers crops. I had a slingshot with the wrist guard that created some pretty nice FPS on my shots. Those little buggers are much tougher than you think. I shook one out of a tree one time that was near the road and it landed on the asphalt, broke it's jaw and kept running. I've also tried to kill them with my slingshot several times. First off, squirrels in suburban areas will let you get fairly close to them. I've taken shots at squirrels from 10-15 feet away. Even so, they will most likely not die if you hit them. I have hit a squirrel with a nice size pebble before and all it did was hurt it. It did not break the skin, it did not bleed, it just kept moving.

You really need a BB gun or something with adequate FPS to kill a squirrel. As recommended in the video, if you suck at shooting a shotgun is your best bet. Shotshells with number 8 shot or so should do the trick, something light with a lot of spread with medium or no choke. I myself have a very tight bullet grouping on my .22 LR and am confident enough with my shots that I use the .22 because if you do use a shotgun you will probably get BBs in your meat on occasion when you're eating them.

I now live in Mississippi and I hunt the backwoods of the public wildlife management areas for squirrel. I successfully harvested my first squirrel last year and I was lucky enough to find one out in the forest. The problem is finding them. I have read that the best time to squirrel hunt is in the morning right after sunrise (when the animals want to forage for food) and I believe this is a good rule of thumb. Also, people say if it is raining hard squirrels will most likely fast and stay in their nests until it is clear weather, so I have also head it is best to catch them right after a rain when they are really hungry, looking for food frantically and disoriented.

I went squirrel hunting last weekend and I must have hiked 5 or 6 miles in between sitting, eating, and walking through the forest. The one squirrel I did see was too close to the trail that cars come in on to shoot. I did come 10 feet away from a skunk that I shot at. I believe I maimed the skunk, but I wasn't about to follow him and get sprayed finding out. Skunk are nuisance animals in Mississippi so I kill nuisance animals whenever I see them. How did I get that close? Standing still. People make way too much noise out in the forest and if you just sit still you will hear and see so much more than if you are moving around PERIOD. These are my experiences as a novice hunter.

IF YOU DONT TAKE AWAY ONE THING FROM MY POST TODAY PLEASE TAKE AWAY THIS POINT. If you really want to find animals in the forest do some scouting about their habitat. All animals need to eat and all animals need water (and yes some get their water from seeds, but lets not go there). From what I saw out in the forest area that I was hiking around in last Saturday, I know there are only a few acorn trees in the spot where I was scouting. As the video I linked says, sitting under a food source tree (like an acorn tree) is a great way to find critters. Even the skunk I shot at was only in the spot I was in because I was standing in a wild berry patch. My plan next weekend will be to bring a folding lawn chair, sit out under the acorn tree I found, and just wait for 4 or 5 hours. If there is one thing I've learned form sitting in tree stands, it is that you will see so much more activity in the forest if you just sit and be patient.

P.S. Yes trapping is more adequate, but that requires a separate license as well. I could go into trapping all day from studying up over at the trapperman forums, but yes if you want to harvest squirrels for food trapping is the way to go. I like to hunt squirrels for hunting experience so that I can figure out how to land big game.
7 years ago