The 26 Species Hunter-Gatherer Challenge

Over the past few years I’ve been exploring my local food options from furry critters to plants and fish. After all, it’s always far more rewarding to eat something that you’ve harvested from the land, on nature’s terms.

When Alone season 2 participant Nicole Apelian released a recent blog post it really got me thinking about how many critters and plants I have access to from a hunter/gatherer’s perspective. As many of you know, Nicole was known for her vast knowledge of the land, and how to procure food from it. In the blog post she describes how she was able to harvest 26 different species of “food” in all of its different shapes and sizes.  You can read her blog post here! I recommend checking it out. This got me thinking of my local flora and fauna

I took it upon myself to find the top 26 species that I could utilize to live off the land in my local environment. Here’s what I came up with:

ENVIRONMENT:  NEBRASKA’S PLATTE RIVER VALLEYA young milkweed

A young milkweed

  1. Squirrel
  2. Raccoon
  3. Cottontail Rabbit
  4. Muskrat
  5. Panfish (bluegill, crappie, etc)
  6. Snapping Turtle
  7. Bass (small and large mouth)
  8. Catfish
  9. Crawdad (crayfish)
  10. Wild Turkey
  11. Whitetail Deer
  12. Bull Snake
  13. Bull Frog
  14. Opossum
  15. Milkweed
  16. Dandelion
  17. Curly Dock
  18. Wood Sorrel
  19. Plantain
  20. Clover
  21. Nettle
  22. Mallow
  23. Mulberry
  24. Gooseberry
  25. Cattail
  26. Clingers
bull-kelp-in-shelter
Slicing up bull kelp for the frying pan

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

List 26 things to eat from your local environment, wherever you may be! You can post your list in the comment section, on facebook, your blog, or anywhere else you’d like. Here are some ground rules to better achieve the goal of the “26 species list.”

  1. They must all live in your local environment. For me, it’s Nebraska’s Platte River Valley which is mostly prairie, rivers, cottonwood forest, and oak woodlands.
  2. No large predators! They’re generally not a logical way of feeding yourself. The idea is to stay practical.
  3. It has to be a readily available food source. For example, I’m not going to list “moose” because we only occasionally have one or two in my area that wander in from Wyoming. They’re not a consistent food source, or legal to harvest for that matter.

123 GO!

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