When you’re going to be scavenging the wilderness for your next hot meal, you want to make sure you’ll recognize it when you see it.

Birds are some of the most common animals we see or hear anywhere. You’ll find them in fields and forests in and around suburban communities, near areas of water or where crops are grown. Of course, there are some specific birds that you could only find in some area, but there are also others, more spread around the country. Wherever you might end up, there are bound to be plenty of birds nearby. Knowing how to recognize, catch and cook them could very well save your life.

Catching game birds

ss_16.1The most important piece of knowledge you’ll need is in regards to the season, weather conditions, and specific location. They are usually easier o catch than small mammals. All you need to do is figure out their pattern. All birds have some predetermined routes between the nest and the water pond. Once you manage to map them, it’ll be easy to use a net or something similar to catch them. Just place the net in their path and they’ll fly right in. In a survival situation, you are bound to have some paracord with you or even an actual net. Even if you don’t, you could improvise something that the birds won’t notice and fly right in. Birds can’t get out of nets, so they’ll just get tangled, fall to the ground and you can help yourself. Make sure you keep an eye on the trap. A bird that fell to the ground and can’t escape is something of interest for many animals too, some of them very dangerous.

Eating game birds

ss_16.3Once you caught it, make sure it’s dead. Next, pluck the feathers and put to boil. You can chop off the head, feet, and wings before or after plucking it. The most common part that gets eaten is the breast since it’s meatier, so cut it open completely and remove the entrails completely. That’s including the gizzard. If you’re famished, you could cut it open, clean it thoroughly and eat it as well. Be careful not to eat the intestines, though.

The safest way to prepare the bird is by boiling it. If you cook it well enough, you completely eliminate any risk of parasites and disease.

Parasites and diseases

ss_16.4The first thing you should do when you catch a bird is to find out what they have recently eaten. Avoid birds that feed on carcasses, like vultures, and as a general rule, always check for traces of parasites, infections or diseases. There are over 40 types of parasites that you could get from the bird, their eggs or the nest. Parasites can cause diseases like pox, meningitis, and encephalitis.

At the moment, you can only hunt birds according to state or federal hunting regulations, so you should go check there first. This means that having a trip to the forest for a few days and trying some game bird survival hunting will be a little more difficult. Regulation will probably vary between states, so be careful. I’m only telling you this because I usually recommend you try some of these tricks or pieces of advice before you actually need them. So feel free to go out on your property, or call a friend that could help you out with some survival practice. Just make sure you’re not breaking the law.

Do you enjoy game bird hunting? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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