“Disaster Guy, if civilization ever goes totally into the trash barrel, there would still be small game to hunt,” Red said. “I just have trouble thinking about using one of my few remaining .22 shells on a dumb squirrel.”
“That’s good thinking, Red!” the Disaster Guy said.
“I want to save a few thousand rounds of .22 ammo,” Red said. “But as time went on, it might be better to save it for bartering than using it to hunt squirrels.”
“The value of any ammunition would probably increase over time,” the Disaster Guy said. “It’s not like companies would be making much of it.”
“After the crash, ammunition, even .22 ammo, might be too valuable to hunt squirrels with,” Red said. “People can reload larger caliber hunting ammunition, but reloading .22 rimfire ammo is just about impossible.”
“You’re right, Red. It’s possible to reload .22 rimfire ammo, but I don’t know anybody doing it,” the Disaster Guy said. “Looks to me that you’d have whatever amount of .22 ammo you started with, and the amount would go down from there.”
“That’s exactly what I mean,” Red said. “If I used .22 ammo for bartering, it would be like money. I wouldn’t want to use it to hunt squirrels.”
“Right again, Red!” the Disaster Guy said. “But you can’t eat .22 shells. What’s your plan to hunt squirrels?”
“I don’t have one,” Red said sadly. “What do you think?”
“I think you’d have to eat. If the best source of meat gets down to squirrels and rabbits, you’d have to hunt and eat squirrels and rabbits,” the Disaster Guy said. “Fortunately there’s a way to do this without using up your .22 ammo.”
“Oh, really?” Red said. “And what, pray tell, is that?
“Slingshots!” the Disaster Guy said confidently.
“You. Gotta. Be. Kidding!” Red said.
“Nope! Slingshots!” the Disaster Guy said. “All kinds of slingshots! There’s the homemade kind made from a ‘Y’ shaped branch. There’s the Wham-O metal-frame kind that rests on your arm. There’s even one called a Pocket Shot that looks like a rubber sock.”
“And you think that a slingshot is the way to hunt squirrels and rabbits?” Red asked.
“I think that I can launch a rock, pellet, or ball bearing at a squirrel or rabbit with a slingshot, and have it go a lot faster than I could throw it,” the Disaster Guy said. ”I think I could do that with less observable motion than any throwing motion I could make.”
“But – a stupid slingshot?” Red said.
“So what do you think will happen if you hit a rabbit in the head with a 3/8” steel ball bearing?” the Disaster Guy asked.
“If he was within 30 feet of you, it would probably stun him, and you could go get him,” Red said. “A head shot like that would probably kill a squirrel.”
“But either way, if you hit a rabbit or a squirrel in the head with a ball bearing the size of a marble, you’d consider a slingshot a real hunting weapon?” the Disaster Guy asked.
“I guess I have to!” Red said.
“Okay,” the Disaster Guy said. “If you think a slingshot could be a real hunting weapon for small game, what would you have to do to become effective with it?”
“Lots of practice, I guess,” Red said. “I’d feel kind of silly practicing with a slingshot, but I guess it’s better than not having meat on the table in an emergency.”
“So, how would you practice?” the Disaster Guy asked.
“I’d shoot at tin cans next to the barn from about 30 feet away,” Red said. “Once I could hit them, I’d back up.”
“Better put an old blanket in front of the side of the barn so the bearings don’t ricochet,” the Disaster Guy said. “And you might start practice shooting closer in, say at 10 feet. But you’ve got the idea.”
“Nobody will tell you this – it takes a lot of practice with a slingshot to hit something the size of a gallon milk container regularly from 50 feet away,” he said. “You might practice daily for months before you got that good!”
“I’d feel stupid bringing some dumb squirrels and rabbits home anyway,” Red said.
“You might feel stupid coming home with a slingshot and three squirrels and two rabbits, Red,” the Disaster Guy said. “But if that’s all the meat you could get without using up your .22 shells, you sure wouldn’t feel stupid eating it!”
Part of surviving a major disaster is learning to do old things in new ways. There’s no reason to starve if you could make a slingshot. You can e-mail the Disaster Guy at <DisasterGuy@wildblue.net>. More information on preparing for emergencies and surviving a disaster is on his website, <www.DisasterGuy.com>.