Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Spear Gun for under $25!

After browsing YouTube a few weeks ago, we decided to try an idea we saw in a video. We've been wanting to start bow-fishing and frog gigging soon, since we eat the ones we catch; it really does not matter how they are caught - as long as it is legal within the fishing regulations.

The videos we saw were about how to modify a $15 slingshot into a "spear gun". Here is one link for more info than I provide below:

The parts/tools required for this project are:
A: 3/8"x36" Oak Dowel Rods - check them for straightness at the store
B: Slingshot; must be this type for this project.
C: Hose Clamps, or zip ties can be substituted
D: 1.5" PVC Pipe (cut down to 11")
E: PVC Cement
F: Hacksaw/Sawzall to cut the PVC
G: Two PVC End caps (already assembled in this photo)
H: Sandpaper (if you plan on painting the PVC or getting a good glue bond)
I: Measuring Tape/Marker
J: Leaves for Camo
Not Pictured: Drill & 7/16" or 1/2" bit, spray paint, screwdriver/nutdriver to tighten the clamps

First, you get all of the items out of their packaging and ready to work with. I tried to get everything rounded up for my photo, but forgot I had already moved some tools away to their spots for the night.

To start, you cut your PVC into an 11 or 12" section with your hacksaw. Then you sand down the PVC pipe and end caps where you will be applying glue to them. Then you take your drill and drill a hole in the center of each cap - be careful.

Then, you apply the PVC cement and push the pieces together, it should set up really quick. After this step I spray painted the assembled PVC piece, but didn't like it just drab green. So, I walked outside and grabbed the first two leaves I could find. Then, I hunted through the paint I had until I found flat black (actually BBQ grill paint).

After this is dry, figure out where you want it mounted front-to-rear on your slingshot. Once you're ready; fasten it on with the hose clamps or zip ties you have. The "gun" is ready for action.

Now, take your dowel rod and sharpen one end. insert the rod through the rear hole and through the front hole. Your project is ready to fire.

Remember to never point these at anyone, as with any other weapon or tool: RESPECT IT. THIS IS NOT A KID'S TOY!

Also, if you have any old arrows with bad fletching - it will fire these also if you remove the rest of the fletching; allowing for broadheads, etc. or just eliminating the need to sharpen sticks.

I would recommend replacing the stock rubber bands with heavier bands, this is my next step. You can purchase stronger bands online ( has them cheap), or possibly some retailers may stock them; but I haven't seen any in stores around here.

Also, here is a good video on making your own fishing arrow tips: He doesn't sauder the barbs in place, but that is my recommended modification.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My thoughts on the benefits of a Bug Out Bike

With the demise and subsequent selling of my Subaru, I have taken to the bicycle  as my primary modus vehiculum. For me this is an upgrade from what I had before, the reasons are plenty but I will not bore you with those facts. What I am going to discuss is how this decision has affected my bug out plans and the benefits I feel I gain from being a cyclist.

Likely the most common thing most people will endure that gives them reason to dig into their BOB’s is when Mother Nature happens. One thing that I have noticed is the mad dash for the gas pumps and stores to get the supplies everyone forgot to get before they began their pre-spring preparations. When power goes out, I am not trying to decide between fuel and food. Nor am I wasting gas waiting to get gas and driving around trying to find a parking spot before the shelves are bare. I also am not going to have to deal with the grid lock conditions one might encounter. In and out is easier for a cyclist.
 Not on topic but I just thought about the NASCAR event from a few years back, where traffic was bumper to bumper for 36 miles. Could have parked the car and took to bikes to get to the race….if I was into NASCAR.
 Let us think on every SHTF movie or series. What is the backdrop to every city effected by to topic of the movie? Cars, hundreds of dead cars. When the exodus from the city happens, you see every major, and sometimes minor, roads out of the city choked with cars and people.  Each car is loaded down with possessions that become useless when the people are forced to abandon it to go on foot because it’s not packed to be slung on their backs. Some may have carts but the loads are such that they do not get far very fast.
 Cycles are said to be one of the best inventions when it comes to input/output ratio. They have the capability of bearing impossible loads while still able to be ridden and they can go just about anywhere. All that on zero gallons of gas. You can ride roads less traveled, rail ways (tho not comfortably) trails and through congestion, just watch a bike messenger in action.
 If a car were in my BOB equation, I would make certain my gear would be capable of mounting to my bike or be transferred to my wagon so that I would not share the fate of the masses. According to the details on my rack and wagon, I could haul 150 pounds of gear, that being according to the recommendations of the manufacturer’s specs. Both the TrolleyTote and wagon break down to reduce storage space, so including it in a car would not be an issue and can be road ready in mins. This is not including all the cargo capabilities available for bikes. Just Google Bikepacking to see what people can do.
 Range is another asset to the bike.  The average walking speed 2.8 miles per hour for older pedestrians and 3.4 miles per hour for younger pedestrians. This is unencumbered. Google search turned up 2 to 3 miles an hour for hikers. I can only get this speed when walking the bike. Even at the lowest gear, I can get an average of 8 to11 miles per hour with 13 being my typical average unencumbered. I recently loaded down the wagon with groceries with an estimation of 35 pounds and still maintained 13 mph on average without much exertion. In a 10 hour period the person on foot might clear a max of 30 miles to my 130 miles.
 Other areas of benefit of a bike is that the bike can be turned into a means to generate electricity, power non-electric devices, like grinders, blenders (why should we not be able to make a smoothie when SHTF?), pumps, etc and with the gearing available on most bikes, anyone can take a turn.
 My recommendation is to add bikes to your bug out plan to give yourself more options to work with.

by primalheathen

A SLC-360 Instructor

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Clean a Peking Duck

How to Clean a Peking Duck

We have some ducks that we purchased this spring along with our chicks at tractor Supply Company, and we also had another duck that was given to us a few months ago. Once the ducklings caught up to the size of the larger duck, we realized that was as big as any of them were going to get and decided it was time to slaughter them. 

We looked up other's experiences online with slaughtering ducks for meat and decided to take their advice on cleaning them. They recommended only taking the breast meat from smaller ducks like ours, as the combined rest of the meat on the duck only amounts to around another 1/2 cup, and would make the cleaning significantly longer and harder to accomplish. 

For this project you will need:
Wood block
hatchet or heavy cleaver
freezer bags
bowl of clean cold water with ice cubes (for putting the meat in)
bowl of clean cold water with a dab of bleach (for cleaning)
sharp knife (we used a filet knife)
bucket for carcass
disposal area for carcass
wear old clothes

We started with isolating the ducks from the rest of the animals for monitoring for 24 hours. If you are going to process the whole duck (or any other animal), place them in an isolation pen for 24 hours with only water to clean out their digestive system. 

After deciding that all of the ducks looked healthy and had no physical problems or illnesses we proceeded with starting the process.

First, we strung a piece of paracord between two posts and added some slip-knots for the feet. One slip-knot would be adequate, we just processed our ducks two at a time. 

We had researched the different ways of bleeding them out or removing their heads and others' experiences with both ways. From their and our previous experiences; it seems to be best to separate the head from the body as quickly as possible. We went with a block of tree trunk we have used in the past, and a small heavy hatchet. Two people makes this part much easier, but one could do it easily enough I would think. 

I had my assistant hold the Duck by the beak with one hand, and down by the base if the neck with the other hand while I took care of the hatchet work. (Be careful to be sure you have control of your hatchet, as whatever it hits it will do major damage to!) Strike the hatchet firmly through the neck (severing it) into the wood. The hatchet will bury itself into the wood, and the head and body will be two parts. Drop the head onto the ground, or into a bucket for disposal later. Take the body and slide the feet through a loop on your rope for the body to bleed out upside down. 

Once all muscles have relaxed and the blood has stopped dripping, take it over to your table for processing. Feel the chest for the breastbone (it is very long). You should be able to determine the beginning and the end of it easily. Grasp the bird and the knife and make an incision along the breast bone to get the skin started for pulling back. Now you should be able to pull the skin and work the knife to expose the breast meat. Once you see the bottom of the meat (near the abdominal cavity) expose it around towards the ducks sides and proceed up towards the shoulder joint. I also made a few cuts in the skin to allow better access to the meat for the next part of the process. 

Now, take your knife and slide it down along the side of the breast bone length-wise removing the breast meat. Slide the knife along the ribs to remove the rest of the meat. Be careful NOT to enter the abdominal cavity. There is a large artery along the shoulder area that will release a little blood onto the meat when you cut it, but do not worry about it. remove the meat from the neck and shoulder area, and place your meat into the cold water. Remove the other breast the same way and put the remaining carcass into the disposal bucket. 

Once you are done, take the meat inside and wash off any feathers, etc that may still remain on the meat. Place it in your refrigerator or freezer depending on when you're planning on using the meat. Enjoy!

(Article submitted by SLC-360 Contributing writer)