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Survival Foods (Page 5)

By: Dennis Miles

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Snakes are cooked in a variety of ways, from boiling, claying or just tossing them on the coals. I have found that skewering one end on a sharpened green stick and wrapping ot around the length and skewering the other end and just roasting it over hot coals is the fastest and easiest method.

Boiling meat and wild plants may pose a problem if you do not have a pot with you. Ahh, fear not, Lads. For you always have a pot to boil in if you have just made meat. The skin or the stomach can be used as a boiling pot. First, a couple of methods using the skin. The easiest is the "hole" method. It is best used on deer sized critters, bit I have used it once with an old groundhog, and it worked quite well. First, after preparing your game, locate 20+/- smooth stones, "fist" size is good for a deer sized skin and about the size of a hickory nut will work well for smaller game(that is what I used for the groundhog)be sure to gather these away from the water as if they have any moisture content in them they will explode with surprising force and can be damned dangerous. Get you a fire going and put the stones in the fire to heat. Then cut some small stakes and sharpen them, 4-6 is a plenty. While you are at it, cut yourself a couple of forked sticks to handle the heated rocks. Dig a hole the size of the bowl you want to make to boil in. Lay the skin over the hole, pushing it in to the required depth. Take your stakes and drive them around the edge to hold your skin in place. Take into account that the hide WILL cook as well and shrink up accordingly, so leave some room for that. Put water in your newly formed pot, along with whatever you are cooking. Take 6-8 of the stones out of the fire(they should be red hot by now)and drop them in the water. It will take a few minutes for the water to start boiling.4 When it starts to calm down, take those stones out and put them back in the fire and add only a couple of the stones to keep the water boiling from then on. The above method can be used with the skin suspended from a tri-pod as well. Now, let’s use the stomach. I have never done this with anything smaller than a deer. Wash the stomach well, then hang from a tripod, or a limb. Then the procedure is the same as cooking with a skin. Steve Short and I did a stomach stew at the Illinois doins, and have done several since. The great advantage to this method is the after it is over, you can eat the pot.

Those are generally the methods I use to cook meat in the wild without the advantage of a pot or pan. There was one other thing I USED to do, but no more. I would catch mice in deadfall traps, singe them well then cook them till crunchy, and eat the whole thing. I learned that out of one of the McPherson’s books. As disgusting as it sounds it wasn’t too bad. Although there is a fella in Mississippi that would beg to differ. I DO NOT do this any more because of a VERY deadly virus that has been found in deer mice droppings and has been responsible for several deaths. So be warned...


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