August 03, 2011
Which Wild Animals Are Safe to Eat in a Survival Situation? - 4
by Tim MacWelch
While securing shelter, administering first aid, signaling for help and performing a host of other chores rank as top priorities during an emergency, the first question that tends to pop out of most people's mouths is, "So what are we going to eat out here in the woods?"
A quick rule of thumb is that you can eat anything on land with fur or feathers, as long as it is properly prepared and cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria and other pathogens that would make us sick. That means mammals and birds are good to go, although palatability is never guaranteed.
Bugs and reptiles don’t offer as much of an open menu. Numerous insects and their larvae are toxic to humans. Some reptiles and amphibians can be toxic as well. If we stick to fur and feathers, we are taking the guesswork out of the equation. The only feathered beast I would recommend that you avoid is the vulture. Its diet (rotten meat) leaves it tasting like its meals and keeps it pumped full of the worst bacteria. It's a bad sign that nothing eats a dead buzzard—not even other buzzards.
You can eat other scavengers, like crow and skunk, as long as the animal was healthy when it was killed, quickly field dressed and cooked well done. The next time you are in a survival emergency with a few rounds of ammo to spare or some snare wire, think about scoring some furred or feathered food. And good luck catching a barbeque-flavored opossum. I promise, they are out there!
Calorie content (per 3.5 ounces) of some tasty wild game meats:
Bear: 259 cal.
CC Image courtesy of shannonkringen on Flickr