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Feral turkeys. Best ammo is .223 with copper jacketed bismuth hollowpoint, which will dump the kinetic energy quickly while minimizing damage to the meat. You want pre-scored jacketed bullets so they fully expand and fragment and reduce over-penetration and possible damage downrange.
Unless they are really close. Then there is a special urban law enforcement handgun round that uses a plastic bullet, and an incredibly fast burning powder. The ultra-lightweight bullet exits at speeds one would expect from a center fired rifle round, but at .357 magnum or 9mm, has much greater air resistance.
At bedroom or apartment distance, it's incredibly lethal because it punches a really big entry wound and delivers a devastating shock wave through vital organs, ripping up blood vessels and nerves. Then its energy is fully spent.
At about 60 feet or so, it has lost 3/4 of its velocity and goes subsonic around 100 feet. By the time it has traveled a city block, it essentially just drops harmlessly to the ground, and you can probably just catch the bullet bare-handed without injury at about 250 to 280 feet away. Once it's below about 100 feet per second, or roughly 70 mph, it won't even break the skin and probably won't bruise through denim pants or jacket.
Thus these special rounds go from over 2,000 mph right as they leave the muzzle, to maybe around 25 mph by the time it travels a block. It breaks into dust if it goes through a wall, so it's far less likely to endanger someone in the floor above or below, or in the next door unit if you happen to miss the bad guy.
Now for hunting turkeys where there's a danger of hitting something behind it, you can also shoot these exotic rounds out of a carbine, which is a rifle that is chambered for a pistol round. This gives you a lot more accuracy and a little more range.
Of course you can also use the traditional shotgun if they get within about 100 feet or so. You can get steel shot, and a 12 gauge with a 19 inch cylinder bore will give you a really good shot pattern that is sure to stop the bird, maybe even get more than 1 with a single shot.
Just need to dress the birds out quickly, clean them, and get them in the freezer. Thanksgiving is around the corner. WIld feral turkeys will not have as much white meat as a Butterball from the frozen food section of WalMart, and take more work to actually clean and cook it, but it thins out the feral herd.
I never thought about that but hunters who are looking for food could destroy a bird and end up without any usable meat.
You do have to choose a caliber and ammo appropriate for the critter you are hunting. If you were to shoot a rabbit with an M-1 Garand, you'd likely find nothing but "pink mist" on the brush behind Ground Zero , and bits of fur hanging in the air, and you'd be quite hungry.
But if you shot that same rabbit with a Ruger 10-22, you have this little hole and the rest of the meat and hide, bones, and other parts would be intact and usable for food, part of a warm jacket (you'd need a few more rabbits, maybe a dozen or so to make a decent fur coat). But you'd get a good meal out of it.
I don’t know much about hunting but don’t they usually use traps when they can?
Well, generally trapping involves a LOT more bureaucracy and paperwork. But if you are in a subsistence situation, traps are a heck of a lot less noisy and far less noticeable, thus preferred as a silent way to procure food.
Post-apocalypse 101 survival:
Learn to make snares and other primitive wild critter capture devices that are easily concealed, silent, and gather you food and pelts even when you are sleeping or eating or otherwise occupied with other tasks.
Silent, they don't attract the attention of or draw herds of walkers, so in that kind of zombie apocalypse, you won't have the usual roving gangs of looters and opportunists show up at your doorstep, or the much harder to dispatch undead.
And pre-apocalypse, they don't leave the kind of paper trail that firearms can leave, plus they don't require expending scarce and expensive ammunition, which might be impossible to replenish post-apocalypse.
Snares can be made from almost anything - from woven vines to steel aircraft cable to scavenged electrical wiring from the ruins of a vacant structure once the electric grid has gone down and unlikely to ever come up again as we know it.
With a good fraction of the population dead and gone, and thus far less competition for resources, one could just quietly live off of the rebounding wildlife once most of the humans are gone.
Depending on what kind of apocalypse occurred, the wild game either will be quite edible and useful to make clothing, tools, etc. much as Native Americans did for thousands of years before the Conquistadors arrived like aliens swarming in their vastly superior technologies and diseases which wiped out far more than were destroyed by conquest and enslavement.
But one place where wildlife has proliferated that you probably wouldn't want to eat unless you like getting cancer and other internal radiation borne injuries, is around Pripyat, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. So if the apocalypse was caused by a nuclear war, you absolutely also need to know how to build improvised ionizing radiation detectors.
While radiation is invisible, means to detect it has been around for at least a century and a half. Most of these exploit how charged particles and high energy photons strip electrons from atoms in the air, producing tiny channels of plasma that let static electric charge bleed off very fast.
This is also exploited with thorium infused tungsten inert gas rods for welding metals like aluminum and magnesium. The thorium emits low levels of radioactivity which helps lower the electrical breakdown threshold of the air, making it easier to strike the initial arc at much lower voltages and sustain it while welding.
Other radioactive isotopes were used up through the 1970s in carbon fiber brushes used on high end phonograph tone arms. The radiation would cause static charge to bleed off of the vinyl records, releasing dust which the brush could then easily remove from the grooves before the stylus passed over them creating crackles and pops and actually welding the tiny particles into the vinyl.
Thus records played on these high end record players lasted longer.
Some of these even had radioactive sources in the turntable platter, and in a "bridge" of fine brush bristles that would gently ride on the record as it turned. These bristles contained an alpha emitter, which only strike the surface of the vinyl or penetrate a few microns, and continuously prevent static electricity from building up by providing discharge paths for stray electrons that would otherwise build up.
What about radon gas? There was a big scare about that online at one time, then it fizzled out.
What about radon gas? There was a big scare about that online at one time, then it fizzled out.
Radon is from the decay of uranium, embedded in mostly volcanic / metamorphic rock such as granite. It is the heaviest of the noble gases, and the only radioactive gas. Outdoors, it very quickly dissipates in the atmosphere.
Indoors, particularly in basements, its incredibly high atomic weight (222) makes it settle in low places as it escapes the rock to the surrounding air.
So the radon forms during the radioactive decay, as one of the daughter products, which then finds its way into microscopic cracks and finally taking the path of least resistance, ends up in the basements.
Inhaling it in tiny quantities irradiates lung tissue from the inside out. Nearly all lung cancer cases that are not caused by smoking are caused by radon (and other radioactive particle inhalation).
In a post-nuclear apocalypse world, if mostly either underground where the geology is mostly sedimentary rock, or above ground everywhere else, you are unlikely to be exposed to enough radon to be a problem. However, above ground, or with poor filtration underground, there's lots of other really nasty short half-life radioactive materials that will be in the air as very fine particles much like smoke in size, which are easily inhaled and then end up deep into the lungs where they unleash alpha and beta and gamma particles.
While alpha particles are harmless when emitted outside the body, as they will not penetrate your skin or pieces of paper, when emitted inside the body, they wreak havoc as they can easily penetrate the micron or so from cell surface to nucleus, and disrupt DNA.
So finely powdered alpha emitting radionuclides can be particularly deadly, as are those that are soluble in various body fluids so they can be absorbed and get into the bloodstream and delivered to cells all over the body.
So the worst radiation is that which the sources are ingested or inhaled.
External radiation sources that emit strong gamma are the next problem, as are those that emit strong neutron flux, as those high energy emissions can penetrate a long ways into body tissue or even pass completely through. Beta are the next because they can penetrate a couple of inches into the flesh and leave a trail of disruption.
Another radiation type that has been used effectively to precisely target cancer are medium energy accelerated protons. They are easily steered, and given the precise energy level required to reach the tumor deep inside. They do little damage on the way in, until they are finally stopped, where they dumped a huge amount of destructive energy inside the cells they stop inside. So the velocity of the beam determines how deep they go, so healthy tissue isn't damaged the way it can be with gamma radiation.
Although the last person I know who had that therapy has been deceased for a couple of years - it didn't get all of the cancer, and nothing else stopped its growth.