I wonder, how many of those here considering "living off the land", HAVE actually gone alone into a truly remote region of North America and LIVED there, alone, for even a mere 30 consecutive days? Most of the comments reveal, to me, an utter lack of ANY "hands-on" experience with actual wilderness conditions, let alone living there and being dependent on one's ability to stalk close enough to an animal to kill it with a .22LR or even a .44Mag.
Let's talk "The Boreal Forest" or "Taiga", which is circum-global in scope, covers much of Canada and some of Alaska and is NOT found south of the 49th parallel of latitude. My last stint in this forest ecosystem type was in 1993 and I spent four months alone in northern Alberta, where I frequently was visited by local aborigines, known as "Slavey Indians" and they DO still hunt, fish and gather much of their food year-round....they DO NOT do any of the things suggested here.
Some 20 years earlier, I spent time in extreme north-central B.C., in a camp where we maintained a "satellite tanker base" for our A-26 "Invader" air tankers for secondary suppression work. The aborigines there, WERE almost exclusively hunters, fishermen and trappers and I was right beside a couple of them when they killed Moose with a .22 as they asked me to assist with my heavy rifle due to a particularly nasty Grizzly that was about. Even these people were VERY eager to have ANY modern techno-convenience that we would bring them on our supply flights and this area is STILL wild, although nothing like it was then.
The last of the dozens of deer I have shot was killed from TEN FEET away, after I stalked him on a century-old "skid trail" in the deep moss and dark timber of the B.C. coast and this was with an appropriate cartridge, as using a rimfire is illegal here and I obey the laws. I COULD have used one of my .22s to shoot him in the ear and into his brain, however, this would be a stunt and not what a real hunter would even contemplate.
"Bear Spray"....in a SURVIVAL situation....yeah, right.....
My point here is very simply that living in remote wilderness teaches one certain things very quickly and the FIRST is that you DO NOT compromise your tools EVER. You also DO NOT see edible animals very often, ESPECIALLY in the relatively barren and "low bio-productive" Boreal Forest, where most true "survival" situations,say due to aircraft accidents would tend to occur....mountain crashes almost always are fatal.
So, given that this IS North America, WHY would an otherwise "sane" individual WANT to go out and SUFFER by trying to survive using either archaic or inefficient technology? Sometime, come to BC and visit the oldtime cemeteries of the surviving "ghost towns", which document how tough life was and how many died young, a mere 100 years ago, let alone 200.
So, who here has ACTUALLY stalked and shot and prepared and eaten ANY of the various animals that one might try to kill for sustenance if lost in a wilderness area? I do NOT mean "hunting" on some ranch or at a "feeder" and, HOW, would you deal with the meat should you make a kill with this "rifle"? Just some practical questions to keep the discussion realistic.