A man hunting with a rifle

The earliest humans were hunters and gatherers, so we have been hunting from our earliest days. But even so it has, in most societies long ago been thrown away as a main food source, replaced by farming. Even if we can simply go to stores to get what food we want, hunting is still popular as a sport. In an zombie apocalypse, the system we expect to bring the food to us will be quick to fail, and then you will need to get your food yourself. Hunting is one good way to collect food and will probably be one of the main food sources for wandering people and people on the run, and even people with other food sources (farmers etc.) will probably also hunt wild animals for food.


Most rifles should be good for hunting, as well as most shotguns, although sawn off shotguns would be ineffective due to shorter barrel and wider spread, as well as a higher danger risk. Some pistols might work, higher calibers preferred, like the .45. Though it would be very difficult. If firearms are unavailable or you are trying to conserve ammo, you can always use bows, crossbows and even spears for a more silent approach. One advantage is that you can recycle your spent ammo. If civilization falls and we go back to hunting and gathering, then those might end up being our only weapons. What, on the other hand, should NOT be used as weapons are:

  • Automatic fire - Using automatic fire is not only a waste of ammo when one bullet should be enough, it also makes it harder to clean the meat before cooking and destroys the skin that can be used as warm clothing or armor.
  • Incendiary - If using flamethrowers to hunt for food and animal pelts is not a good enough reason for you, then you should also know that most incendiaries use chemicals which are poisonous and you would not want in your food. The Flammenwerfer 35 is a German flamethrower that uses mainly petrol, tar, and hydrogen. Things that you don't want in your food. When using a flamethrower to foolishly hunt prey, you are basically burning the animal to death. That includes burning the meat and fur to a useless crisp.
  • Meat bait - Not only will this attract zombies, but they will put your safety at risk, and animals at risk of the although unlikely event of getting eaten by a zombie.

Hunting tactics

When hunting in a zombie outbreak, you must be quick and quiet when you go out for food. It is good if part of the group go out and hunt while others stay behind.

List of tactics

  • Ambush

An old, simple, but effective tactic. An animal, or a herd of animals is lured or scared into a closed place where hunters kill them.

  • Traps (for defensive purpose, see this page)

Traps have also been used for hunting. Simple traps like falling pits or snares can be very effective.

  • Spot n' Stalk

One sits in a tree stand or an above-ground blind, if one see's prey, they leave the hide, follow their prey, and kill it when the opportunity is given.


What you will hunt and how you will hunt will always depend upon the terrain. In some terrains there will be plenty of easily found animal life, in others they will be hiding easily and is some prey will be just plain hard to find.



American Plains

Be it the African savannah, American or Middle-Asian steppes or something else, two things would mostly affect your hunt there. The vast area without hideouts, and often herds of large mammals can make your hunt pretty easy. This also represents a problem due to how easy it is, humans have often hunted many of those large animals to near extinction. If the plains you are hunting in is like Saskatchewan, you might be better off somewhere else because a gunshot can echoed far enough for any number of things to hear, and then follow or leave. Plus there are not many animals (in clear view) are in Saskatchewan unless you count on raiding the local grain and canola farms.



The Sahara Desert

Deserts are one of the most dangerous environments on Earth. They are different as they are found on many places on the planet but have two things in common. Extremes in temperature, being either extremely hot or extremely cold, and being dry. Relying on hunting as a main food source is not advised. There are rarely large prey in deserts but if they are, they are scarce. It would be best for you to not be too dainty as you will likely have to add insects on the menu. Avoid deserts as much as possible.

List of (possible) prey:

  • Snakes: Even if it's risky, the amount of meat you can get from them is actually quite a lot.
  • Deer: Very simple to hunt and very abundant, you can also use the hide.
  • Boar: Very abundant and have a lot of meat, quite difficult to hunt but worth the effort, better if experienced hunters get these.
  • Turkey: Moderately abundant and quite simple to hunt.


Don't over hunt, if you have a spot where a group of deer, boar, turkey or whatever your hunting, and when they come to feed(If you have a feeder), don't hunt the alfa males and sexually mature females. Why? Those are the ones that make the others, kill those and you've stopped the growth of the group.



A Brazilian rainforest

Rainforests and other tropical forests, although having been rapidly decreased in size by humans, still habit some large areas on the planet and house the most variety of animal-and plantlife. Therefore there are large varieties of prey, both large and small. Still, many of the larger ones may already have been hunted in large quantities and therefore be hard to find, so you should be prepared to add insects to the menu. A good tip would be to look up as many animals (monkeys, birds, etc) often spend their whole life up in the trees. Tree-climbing skills could be helpful there. At last you should be careful to not end up as prey yourself, as large predators which are experts in sneaking up on their prey are found there, as well as large numbers of venomous insects and snakes.


Tundras are, most of the time, grown with pine or seasonal forests, which can hide your prey, but also provide hideouts for you while sneaking up to it or ambushing it. During summers, plenty of migratory birds will come to raise their young, especially near the sea. Still beware that some of them, like the arctic tern, gather in very large groups and attack anything that might threaten their young. All year round there are some large game, like reindeer (caribou), elk, moose, deer or bear.



Hunting in the polar region is hard business. Animal life is scarce and fish will probably be the most important food source. To hunt, it would be best to copy the ways of the master arctic hunter, the polar bear. It mostly hunts seals and was it's tactic used for ages by the Inuits. They ambush seals by holes in the ice, which the seal uses to breathe. This tactic is also harder now due to melting icecaps. In the Antarctic you can also add penguins on the menu. They often lay eggs in extremely large groups. You should still never kill to large portion of them as the stock may never recover, leaving you without good source of meat on a place where you can't afford that.


When the humans, or at least large portions of humanity, will disappear, nature will quickly start claiming land back. Of course hordes of hungry zombies dwelling in urban areas will probably hinder that in many ways. Still, wild animals would seek shelter in abandoned suburbs, towns, and even cities where the number of zombies is not overwhelming. The predators would then follow. Hunting in abandoned urban areas would be easy to do providing you have large numbers of hideouts were you can sneak up or ambush your prey, and dead ends were it can be cornered and killed easily. Also, traps can easily be set, like in narrow entries like doors, deadfalls, pitfalls, or net traps. Hunting is abandon urban places would only be possible after many years of the apocalypse. It takes time for things to be over run by nature, even a remote town.

Domesticated animals

More inexperienced hunters can, during the first months, hunt the animals that local farmers had, if they have survived. As domesticated animals are normally more used to humans, sneaking up and hunting them would not be as hard as with wild animals. Just be sure that the owner has fled or died because you don't want an angry, armed farmer added on the list of things trying to kill you. If the prey is a cow or a chicken, it's better to keep them alive since cows can give milk (drink directly or turn into cheese) and chickens lay eggs (eat or breed). Cows take lots of work, if it is a dairy cow you must milk it twice a day, every day. That's how much milk they produce. Chickens do not take that much work because they can look for food themselves. Goats are not a good source of milk because the only time they do have milk is when the females are pregnant. Domesticated pigs have piglets at a very rapid pace, they were breed to have lots of piglets. They also require lots of attention.

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