*Hunting in Post Fan Environment*
There has been some discussion on the weapons board the past week about a semi- auto hunting rifle could be used as a main battle rifle. The general consensus of the board is NO. Hunting rifles are designed to provide accurate, low volume firepower on sporting targets. While a typical hunting rifle can make an excellent platform to build a sniper rifle from it does have its drawbacks as a battle rifle. On the other hand the rifles we normally think of as main battle rifles can make adequate platforms for large game hunting. I do have an admitted prejudice about using an AR-15 for deer hunting because I think the cartridge itself is insufficient to make clean humane kills on deer sized game. I do know folks who hunt with ARís and .223 caliber rifles during the deer season in my AO with some success but I hear many stories of how "I hit it but couldnít find it" Of course I hear stories of some folks with a 30-.06 bolt action telling the same story. Most times the difference of wounding a deer and killing it is shot placement. Poor shot placement and poor tracking skills lead to more lost animals. My opinion on the matter will not change in a post fan environment; I want a rifle that is capable of doing the job. I am a strong believer in "one shot, one kill." Most of the deer Iíve shot with a firearm have expired within 50 yards of where they were shot; over half were dropped on the spot.
My plan is to supplement our survival ticket with fresh meat from the wild. Our farm (72 acres) is surrounded by 15-16 hundred acres of wild and wooly woods and creek bottoms that belongs to the local power plant. This hunterís paradise is overpopulated with deer, rabbit, squirrel, and even some game birds. So naturally I will draw fresh meat from this area if need be. The down side to this property is that it is hunted by others and may end up being a hostile environment. The problem is how can I hunt and also maintain my own security. Ideally this is where a Rubie team could come into play with some hunting while others are providing security. Otherwise Iíd plan to use my main battle rifle, a CETME, to hunt with. The .308 cartridge provides plenty of knockdown and I feel confident in my ability to take down targets out to around 200 yards even with open sights. 90% of the deer Iíve taken over the years with a firearm were less than 100 yards away. Other options in a battle rifle would be an M1A, FAL, SKS, AK-47/Mak 90 and yes an AR-15. I know a bunch of folks who have SKSís and use them extensively as bad weather rifles. The 7.62 x 39 bullet is almost identical to the 30-30 Win ballistic wise and Iíve always regarded the .30-30 as the perfect "brush" gun. Limit the range to less than 150 yards and youíre in business. The .308/7.62 NATO is good for 300+ yards if the shooter is. Iíd keep .223 shots under 250 yards and preferably under 200.
Hunting for small game may be more difficult as our main battle rifle is overkill for squirrel and the preferred weapon for rabbit or game birds would be the shotgun. This is another place for a team setting might be helpful. Otherwise my suggestion would be to have a long barreled .22LR handgun for taking squirrels while carrying your MBR. As far as hunting with a shotgun Iíd want someone else around with a MBR. It would probably be safer to raise your own rabbits for post fan times rather than risking your life hunting them.
Now fortunately for me deer can be taken from the comfort and safety of my home. I have taken a few deer from my upstairs windows with my .300 mag bolt action. This would be ideal post fan. The deer come out to feed in the open field early morning or early evening and get popped from inside the house. Then I can take my MBR to collect the deer.
Post fan hunting will be a risk/reward issue and should at least be thought about. We should think about things like this now instead of second guessing ourselves down the road. Good luck and happy hunting.
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