DIY Skull Mounting Bracket

| April 26, 2016
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I finally got around to making a skull mounting bracket ad putting the antelope on the wall. Last year I cleaned and ‘bleached’ an antelope skull to make a nice euro mount. I may eventually put a post up about cleaning and preparing a skull in the euro mount style, since everybody asks how I did it.
Euro  Mount Bracket
Anyway, I needed to make a mounting bracket for the antelope skull, So during a recent internet outage, I took a short break from work and finally made a bracket. I took a 3/4 inch wide scrap piece of steel, trimmed it to about 10 inches, and made a 20 degree bend near the middle. I ground the surface. to rough up the texture of the bracket, and painted matte black for a simulated wrought iron look.

I drilled two holes for matching black screws, and voila! An easy and professional looking, nearly free skull mounting bracket. It cost about 50 cents, and took less than 30 minutes to make.
DIY  Euro Mount  Bracket

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Starting Fig Cuttings

| April 25, 2016
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

All of our fig cuttings rooted! I have a lot of experience propagating stubborn plants, even going so far as to do it for others by request. I have used different layering techniques, and even plant tissue culture to be successful, but recently I cloned Lattarula Fig cuttings. I have never started figs from cuttings, but they are fairly easy by comparison to other plants; which was a welcomed surprise. If anyone is interested in increasing their success rates, here is the method I used.

1.) Get a large clear Tupperware container. I like large takeout soup containers. It should be large enough to place the entire cutting into a soil-less media and still have room for leafing out, and unconstrained rooting.

2.) Prepare sterile coco fiber(my soil-less media of choice), rinse and ring out if it seems salty. Fill containers with well drained coco fiber.

3.) Dip the cutting ends in rooting hormone, organic options do exist, but I won’t get into that here. This step isn’t ‘necessary’ if you prefer not to aid in root growth via a chemical means.

4.) Place all but the top 2.5-3 inches in the media.

5.) Add a liquid fertilizer to filtered, preferably sterile water, and water in the cutting. Just water enough that beading of water on the inside of the clear container is visible, and no more.

6.) Loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid. You want some gas exchange, but you also want to maintain a high moisture content.

7.) Keep in indirect light and keep warm. If you have a heat mat, use it to apply bottom heat. Try not to exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a sweet spot around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

8.) Keep the humidity high, by adding water to the coco fiber media as needed.

After about 2 weeks there should be enough root growth to reduce the humidity, and reduce the watering. When a small root ball is visible, remove bottom heat and slowly increase the lighting the figs receive. After 3-4 weeks, plant up cuttings into a light organic potting media, and keep well watered, but not damp.

Don’t be fooled by leafing out, sometimes a plant will leaf out before or during rooting. Don’t reduce heat or humidity, don’t increase light, and don’t transplant until a root ball is visible and healthy.

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22lr for small game when shtf

| April 25, 2016
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

Hate guns? Well before you completely tune me out, please consider what I am saying. What I am talking about is a smaller caliber rifle for hunting small game, like rabbits or small birds. Something that will provide sustenance for when the grocery store shelves are empty. I am not talking about a battle ready rifle with ballistics designed for killing other humans.

So if you don’t have a gun, consider getting one, plan on receiving proper training, and taking a hunter education course.

If the idea of a real gun still irks you, consider getting an air rifle that could reliably take a rabbit at close range, because I would hate for you to have to regret a steadfast opinion about gun ownership and all the political BS, when all you are interested in doing is surviving, and all I want to do is make sure you are able.

So what to get? Any 22 rimfire rifle that is reliable and easy to operate.

The rimfire 22 or 22 caliber long rifle, abbreviated as 22lr, is an affordable small caliber ammunition, with a smaller range and less ballistic energy than other larger caliber rifles. The effective range for most newer shooters with a stock .22 rifle is going to be 25-35 yards, and that is sufficient for survival.

I personally own a Ruger 10/22 and prefer it to other 22lr rifle models and manufacturers. I use it in its stock configuration, without a scope, for rabbit and other small game. It gets a lot of use every season, and reliably puts food on the table.

Sure the 22lr are is puny compared to almost anything else, but in a survival situation its small, light, reliable, portable, accurate at shorter ranges, easy to maintain, and if you become a good shooter, 500 rounds of ammunition means 500 rabbits.

A 22lr rifle can be purchased for less than 200 dollars. Ammunition in today’s hoarder market can still be acquired for less than 10 cents per round.

Lets take a look at the economics.

1 22lr round of ammo(10 cents) = 1 rabbit(1-2lbs of organic rabbit meat), with even better nutrition than chicken.
3.00 = 1lbs organic chicken store bought, at a minimum(assuming its available)

Whether you are hunting for survival when SHTF, or its a seasonal form of sustenance and recreation, the economics favor hunting small game. And don’t think all you can hunt with a 22lr is rabbits. Depending on your state’s laws snow hare, rabbits, squirrel, grouse, turkey, and other small birds. You’ll additionally have an effective means of defending livestock from predators like fox, racoons, coyotes, etc. As well as fly tying materials for fly fishing for sustenance.

For more information on small game nutritional values check out this link: Wild Game Nutrition

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Sometimes Shit Happens

| April 25, 2016
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I’m not a fearmonger, and I don’t think the world is ending tomorrow, but sometimes shit happens. In the hours, days, and weeks after a natural disaster, like the flooding in New Orleans, or the Icelandic volcanic eruptions in 2010 that shut down air traffic over Europe, fear and chaos ensued over the scarcity of goods.

In Europe, people descended upon stores for a limited amount of goods. Stores were empty in days and no new provisions were on their way. The supply chain was severely interrupted, and by the grace of god, or luck, or whatever you want to call it, the volcanic eruptions subsided, air traffic resumed, and supply chains were restored.

In New Orleans, besides raiding stores for food and water, some folks used the hysteria and lack of policing as an opportunity to loot and steal from their local businesses and neighbors.

You don’t have to be a total nutbag preaching about the end times on a street corner to want to be prepared if SHTF.

I personally prefer not to be dependent on a grocery store if and when something does happen. I’m not saying build a bunker, or bury caches of ammo in the forest. All I’m saying is sharpen up some gardening skills, have a few supplies around, make sure your guns are functional and you have enough ammo to last a little while. Don’t like guns then just make sure you can supplement what you wont have available.

We are by no means ready to live completely off of our garden and poultry today, but we do have seed stock, and other dry goods to get us to that point. We have a well, a few months worth of propane, enough poultry grain to keep things functioning until we could support ourselves and our poultry completely, and the poultry produces enough eggs to fulfill our protein needs.

I know this seems like a random post for Gardenisto, but I think some of the skills I have to share are the ones that reduce my need to use the grocery store, so I set up a category called SHTF, and will post some self reliance and sustainability stuff under it, not doomsday fear-mongering nut job crap, when the topic isn’t a typical one for Gardenisto.

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