David Simpson, Author at Into The Jungle - Page 4 of 11
About the author

    David Simpson

    Although the tools available to a hunting editor are changing rapidly, the core of the job entails some timeless fundamentals. It requires a passion for hunting that’s equaled by a determination to protect the animals, woods, waters, and fields that our way of life depends upon. It requires an endless curiosity to learn and share better ways to do things. And it requires a deep understanding that outdoorsmen are a community, and that sharing your own love for the sports through great storytelling is the best way to teach, inspire, and keep these great American traditions strong. These qualities make David the ideal hunting editor, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the role.


      How To Track Animals In The Wild

      By David Simpson

      For some, it’s a hobby that creates great adventure. For others, it’s born out of a necessity for survival. It’s animal tracking. Learning how to find animals in the wild takes patience and time. You’ll get on the right track with these tips that can help you determine just how to find them

      1. Observe everything, not just footprints

      If you’re just starting out as a tracker, you might be tempted to merely follow animal prints across the dirt, sand or snow but you’re probably overlooking other distinctive signs that an animal is nearby, says Steve Engel of AnimalTracks-BySteve.com.
      “Tracking is all about observation,” Engel says. “Observe everything and look for the reasons why things are as they are. Scat (droppings) are of particular significance because they can tell you where an animal was, often when it was there to great accuracy and what it has been eating. The animal has essentially gathered information about its diet from everywhere it roams and deposited it in a neat package for you to examine.”

      2. Safety while tracking

      As you observe your surroundings for signs of an animal, be sure to stay alert for any signs of danger, as well. “There are dangers in being outdoors,” Engel says. “The trackers should know what the potential dangers are wherever they go from the types and abundance of stinging and poisonous insects, to skunks, to large and potentially dangerous herbivores and carnivores, to the presence of cliffs or unstable ground in the environment.”For example, he suggests, noticing fresh tracks of a cow and calf moose, regardless of pattern, would be good reason to stop and take stock of the situation. “Getting off the trail may not be your best option perhaps backtracking would be better,” he says. “Standing very still and picking up what clues you can as to their whereabouts would be the best first thing to do; then base your next action on what information you can glean. The same would go for coming up on the tracks of an adult bear with cubs, especially in grizzly country.”
      Don’t assume an animal is tame you may be on high alert for bears and mountain lions, but you are more likely to approach other animals, such as deer and moose. However, that may not be your best idea.
      “Keep in mind there are more moose than bears to watch out for, and moose are as dangerous as bears, if not more dangerous, in a situation of protecting their young,” Engel adds. “I like the saying that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.

      3. When to follow, when to backtrack

      Tracking an animal can allow you to follow it and get close, but backtracking where it has been can also be useful if you want to learn about its behavior rather than its reactions to being followed. “You will get to know its territory and get a sense of its personality,” Engel says. … Read the rest


        Pistol vs Shotgun vs Rifle vs AR15 for Home Defense

        By David Simpson


        You can ask this question of five different people and get five answers. Depending where you ask the question could determine a different answer as much as who you ask. If you were to ask a salesperson, they may say “the one that you can conceal the best.” A physical trainer may say the gun that is the lightest to carry is the best choice. Talk to an instructor at a gun range and that person is likely to tell you the one that best fits your hand and is the most comfortable to shoot is what you should buy.

        If you ask me which gun is best, I’ll ask you what’s the target? In other words, our world has become a world of choices. For the gun enthusiasts, it’s like walking into a candy store with 50 choices. However, for a person who doesn’t know a Colt from a Kimber it can be overwhelming. Below we’ll break down the four most common types of guns and discuss their pros and cons.


        The most common reason a person buys a gun is for home protection. A pistol is nice because it can easily fit in a small drawer of a night-stand, under a mattress or in a holster hanging from the headboard. But… in all of these cases, the gun isn’t locked up. Do you have children in the house? If so, none of those should be options of where to store a pistol. Be responsible and get a safe and use a trigger lock.

        1. REVOLVER VS. AUTO
          Now, what type of pistol, a revolver or an automatic? Either can be bought new for under $400 depending on the caliber. Most revolvers will limit you to six shots and you will feel more of
          the kick. An automatic can hold as many as 17 shots in a full size frame.
          Accuracy isn’t the selling point of a pistol. How it feels in your hand and does its work when you need it to means more than if you can hit a target at 100 yards. Most law enforcement officers who use their pistols do so at a distance of 15 to 20 feet or less. A pistol is ideal for close range but should have sufficient stopping power.
        2. WHAT CALIBER?
          Calibers are like horsepower…there’s no replacement for displacement and horsepower comes at a cost of mileage, noise and size. A 9mm is a very common caliber and one with respectable ballistics. It’s easy to find on most ammo shelves and isn’t the most expensive choice.
          A double tap in the chest of most bad guys will keep you alive and them wishing they would have stayed home. For those of you looking for the 4×4 of pistols, there are several options. Stopping power is available from several calibers.
          The most popular are .357 magnum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Keep in mind these
        Read the rest

          Safest Place To Be And What To Do In An Earthquake

          By David Simpson

          Back in the 1970s, the mantra was “duck and cover.” She knew that when the ground started to shake, she should steer clear of glass and tall furniture, find a sturdy table for cover and hold on until the shaking stopped. At 5:04 p.m. on Oct. 17, 1989, all that practice was put to good use.

          That’s when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area. The Loma Prieta quake killed 63 people, injured 3,757 and left thousands of people homeless. James, who worked in an office building at the time, dove under her desk when the ground started to shake violently. All around her, cubicle walls toppled, papers and office supplies flew, and fluorescent lights and ceiling tiles crashed down.

          Because she knew what to do, she avoided injury. “I didn’t have to think twice about what to do,” she recalls. “My desk was in the middle of the room, and so the safest place was underneath it. I held on while the ground shook and, once it stopped, I carefully climbed my way out and calmly hurried out of the building.

          Thank goodness nobody in our office was hurt.” Do you know what to do during an earthquake? Here, we’ve outlined three scenarios at home, in a high-rise building and outside and described what to do to keep yourself and your family safe.

          How to survive an earthquake at home

          When you’re at home and feel an earthquake, drop to the ground and take cover under a desk or sturdy table. Hold on tight to the table until the shaking stops and if it moves, move with it. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the room.

          Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway. If you’re in bed, stay put. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall, or your bed is near a window that could shatter. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.earthquake-safety-tips-1
          If you’re in the kitchen, move away from the refrigerator and stove, as they could move and shift with the shaking ground. Stay away from overhead cupboards, which could easily open and lose their contents if they’re not latched shut.

          No matter where you are in the house, stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster, bricks and ceiling tiles. Stay inside and under cover until the earthquake is over.

          Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. Remember that aftershocks may occur and some of them can be just as jolting as the initial … Read the rest


            How To Preserve Food: Best Food Preservation Methods Crucial To Survival

            By David Simpson

            It’s simply a hobby … unless you’re confronted with a disaster. Then it becomes crucial for survival. Home canning is a hobby that many people consider a passion. But, if disaster strikes, that’s when the stockpile of healthy provisions becomes invaluable. But before you rush out to buy your supplies and start adding to your pantry, follow these guide-lines to ensure your emergency food is safe and sanitary.

            Best Foods

            Your first step as a food preservation expert is to determine the foods you will be storing. Highly acid foods like peaches, pears, tomatoes and apples taste the best and last the longest because the natural acids in the fruits help in the long-term preservation process. You can also jar or pickle low-acid vegetables like carrots, beans, cucumbers and peas, but the pickling spices and salt may discolor or break down the composition of the produce.

            You’ll want to avoid any foods from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) because these foods will disintegrate during the boiling process, resulting in a big pile of jarred mush, advises registered dietitian and canning expert Kathryn Hollering. Meat, poultry and game can be jarred, but they require a pressure cooker and extremely sanitary processes to avoid bacteria.

            The proper steps

            The most important key to good canning is purchasing firm, high quality produce from a local farmer, particularly a farm that is native to your state, Hollering advises.
            Produce that travels a long distance to get to you will lose part of its flavor and quality along the way and the same is true for meat and poultry.

            If you are using fresh game, it must be properly cleaned and kept cool until canned. Even though mobility might be important to you in an emergency, sturdy glass jars are the best and safest storage for your stockpile.

            Ball mason jars, lids and rings are the easiest to find in the United States, and they can be purchased online or at a variety of local hardware, grocery and department stores. Keep in mind: you absolutely must use new lids that fit precisely for each particular size jar. Reusing old lids can lead to contamination of the food. Your last purchase should be the apparatus used to prepare your product.
            There are three types of preparation: pressure boiling, water bath and open kettle, says Hollering. “They all use a form of boiling the product, but they are different and must be applied to the appropriate foods, or botulism can occur,” she says.

            A pressure cooker is a large kettle with a strong lid, sometimes with a clamp and a built-in gauge for watching the boiler temperature. For water bath canning, often used when canning fresh fruit, you will need a four-gallon kettle and lid which holds seven jars during the process.
            Although you can employ the same four-gallon kettle for the open-kettle method, this style of canning is not recommended because the food may Read the rest


              5 Reasons to Build an Underground Shelter

              By David Simpson

              Sept. 1, 2011 changed the world forever. Terrorist attacks can occur in any shape, any form, any city. And how about the economy? Or solar flares? Mother nature’s earthquakes can also create havoc on the world. All these serve as not-so-gentle reminders that we ought to be prepared … for just about anything.

              Enough searching on the Internet and you might find the schematics for the perfect underground shelter, but when do you know if it’s the right time to build one? “Having an underground shelter is like having life insurance,” says Marc “Eagle Eyes,” author of “Earth Changes, Get Ready” and the builder of 56 log shelters. “You certainly can be more relaxed about the uncertain future when you have a fully stocked under-ground shelter.” The very point of having an underground shelter is being prepared before catastrophe hits, but if you’re looking for the perfect reason to start construction, examine these top five reasons.

              1. Neutralize nuclear attack risks

              The fear of nuclear materials being sold on the black market is a concern that permeates the thoughts of many Americans. You can find resources on the Internet to learn where historical enemy targets are within the United States.

              Most of these targets are military bases, shipyards, missile silos, high-tech industrial regions, transportation hubs and highly populated areas like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. If you’re in these likely zones, it might benefit you to build an under-ground shelter right away. Many experts predict that a nuclear attack will happen, and some say it may happen in the next few years.

              2. Watch out for war

              Tensions persist in various parts of the world, and should there be a war, you may find that having an underground shelter will be invaluable even a potential lifesaver.
              Many are concerned about Israel and Iran’s nuclear sites, which may spread radiation across the Middle East.

              Others can see the possibility of dirty bomb attacks in the United States due to this continued strife. “It’s easier to think of all the reasons to build an underground shelter now rather than think of the reasons not to,” “Eagle Eyes” says. “The governments of the world know something is coming, so as individuals, we need to take note and prepare as soon as possible.”

              3. Ease the fear of economic collapse

              The economy of the United States continues to sink, so do you know what you’ll do if the value of the dollar drops to nothing and infrastructures break down? You can be the one who is fully prepared by building an underground shelter. Consider creating a shelter that includes more than simply survival gear. Here, you can store stockpiles of foods and goods that may be hard to come by in the event of an economic collapse.

              4. Evade the effects of an environmental disaster

              Images of natural disasters have no doubt burned into your consciousness. Whether a hurricane, tornado, earth-quake or flood strikes, the victims … Read the rest


                The Key To Surviving Any Traumatic Incident Is a Positive Attitude

                By David Simpson

                What are you telling yourself ?

                When a crisis hits, the first reaction is denial. Our mind shouts, “Oh, no. This can’t be.” But we quickly realize that it not only can be, but it is happening. What you tell yourself next is crucial. If you tell yourself, “I can’t handle this, I’ll never survive,” you will likely give up.

                You have created what is considered a self-fulfilling prophecy. And, in time of severe disasters, giving up equates to dying.

                Your very survival depends upon believing you not only can survive, but that you will survive. The single most important aspect of surviving any crisis—whether a devastating hurricane, a terrorist attack or a family tragedy—lies in your mind. More specifically, your ability to react, survive and overcome any crisis depends upon your mindset … the messages you give yourself. “But I don’t know for sure that I will survive,” you may be thinking.

                True, you don’t know for sure that you will survive, but, you don’t know for sure that you won’t. So, you have a choice: believe you will or believe you won’t survive. As Thomas Ford once observed: “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are probably correct.” Be aware of your thoughts. Your thoughts are the messages, or self-talk, that determine your emotions and your behavior.

                Mental Rehearsal

                Another helpful strategy for developing a survival mindset is to use mental rehearsal. When you read or see reports of disasters in other areas, think about how you would react.

                Mentally rehearse what you would do in the same situation. Think about specific actions you would take in dealing with the crisis. Also think about how you could be better prepared to cope. For instance, do you keep supplies of batteries, flashlights, First Aid kits, non-perishable food, etc.? If not, consider doing so.

                Mentally rehearse what thoughts would be racing through your head. Identify the thoughts that would contribute to negative feelings and replace them with positive messages.

                Mentally rehearsing your plan of action and your self-talk can be a sort of psychological fire drill to prepare you for the real thing.

                Where It Began

                When things seem really bad, consider a line from the “Lord of the Rings” novel. “If you can say, ‘This is the worst thing that could happen,’ it means it is not the worst thing that could happen.”
                Remember, survival begins and ends in your mind. Good thinking gives good results.

                Coping statements
                Facing some adversity? Some seemingly over- whelming challenge? Replace your negative thoughts with positive coping statements. Here are a few examples.
                • I can do this!
                • I won’t give up!
                • It may seem rough, but I’ll get through this.
                • When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
                • Quitters never win, and winners never quit

                The element of surprise

                When the massive quake struck Los Angeles in 1994, there was no warning. Just like that … Read the rest


                  The 7 Most Important Survival Skills You Must Have

                  By David Simpson

                  I t only happens in the movies … at least you thought. Your heart races uncontrollably, adrenaline surges through your body and sweat pours down your face … all because of the sudden realization that you’re lost. In the span of a few hours, you have gone from an outdoor adventure to a survival situation.

                  Will you live or will you die? Every year people venture into the wilderness to enjoy Mother Nature, and every year some of them will run into trouble. The consequences can be death … unless the necessary precautions are taken. And that means go equipped with the following seven skills.

                  1. Plan

                    Planning: Make it your No. 1 priority. Regardless of the duration of the trip or the location, make a plan. There is an old saying about the five Ps that always rings true: Proper planning prevents poor performance.
                    Should something happen to one of them, provide your trip agenda to more than one person. Remember, you can’t be lost if no one knows you’re missing.
                    Your trip agenda should have a list of travelers, intended destination, travel route, departure and return times, the number of vehicles (including colors) and license plates. Every detail will serve as a tool to help officials find you, if need be. By all means, don’t vary from the plans. Sure, it is great to be easy-going and flexible, but it’s not so great to be a statistic.

                  2. First Aid

                    Let’s face it … accidents happen. A gash from a sharp rock while walking to the river’s edge, or a stumble on a slippery slope resulting in a broken arm. Even a simple blister can ruin a perfectly good outing.
                    First Aid is an essential skill in the wilderness, and it is easy enough to pick up. Look for various credible sources that teach courses in first aid. This is one skill everyone should have in his arsenal.

                  3. Navigation

                    Let’s talk navigation. A GPS is great, but you should always have a back-up navigational tool. Every wilderness traveler should learn the art of map and compass reading, just like the old days.
                    These tools may be old, but they work and are reliable. If you’re unfamiliar or need to brush off some of the rust of map reading, there are plenty of good resources. Books and DVDs are that explain navigation are available. Another option is to join an orienteering club.
                    Now, imagine yourself in the wilderness. When you realize you are lost, stop wondering around. Getting even more off course never helps. Sit down, collect yourself and don’t move until you get your bearings. Next, break out the map.
                    If you still don’t have a good fix, don’t move! Search and rescue personnel can find you easier if you aren’t outrunning them. If you have to move or choose to, do not necessarily follow a river … because they do not always lead to civilization. That is a common mistake people make. Make sure

                  Read the rest

                    7 Tips For Extreme Weather Survival Guide

                    By David Simpson

                    The ferocity of Mother Nature. From her bone-chilling cold to her oppressive heat, she can be deadly. In addition to staying hydrated, the most important tool you need to cope with extreme heat or cold is the same thing—your clothing. “Heat and cold are the No. 1 killers in any survival situation,” says Robert Allen, president and head instructor at the Sigma 3 Survival School in Arkansas.

                    If you’re in an extreme weather situation and don’t have access to a store for gear, your clothing can serve multipurpose uses in both weather extremes, if you know how to repurpose them for additional functions. Following are some tips that can save your life.

                    1. Beat the heat

                      If you’re ever stuck in the sun without access to shade, use your clothes to shade you, Allen says. You can wet your clothing and wrap it around your head and neck to stay cool when necessary, or you can rig your clothes to create a small tent that will shade you from the sun. “Shelter is the biggest priority any time you’re trying to survive,” he says. “Not just if you’re trying to keep out of cold weather, but just as important if you’re avoiding the sun. You need to stay fully covered, because you can bake yourself in a heartbeat if it’s hot outside and you aren’t covered.”

                    2. Fight the cold

                      If you find yourself facing particularly cold temperatures and you don’t have the right gear to stay warm, you can make it yourself.
                      “Anything that causes dead air space is basically insulation,” Allen says. “You’ve got your base shelter, which is your clothing—then you take that and fill it with grass or whatever is around you to create that dead air space. If you stuff enough dead leaves or pine needles into your clothes, you’ve made your own sleeping bag or parka, and that can retain a lot of heat and keep you warm.”

                    3. Prepare for fluctuation

                      No matter what the circumstances, you should be ready to adjust your strategy once the sun goes down. “I spent a year in Iraq and saw temperatures upwards of 130 degrees during the day,” Allen says. “Then in the evening it can go down into the 80s—which doesn’t seem that low, but that quick fluctuation is a massive shock to your system.” Therefore, before the sun sets, you should have your insulation ready to put into your clothing, and remove any wet gear so you don’t get the chills at night.

                    4. Additional essentials

                      Three items you don’t want to forget, no matter what the weather is, are a knife, fire starter and water, Allen says. The knife can help you cut branches to create a shelter or make a fire, among myriad other uses. The fire starter will help you create warmth and a cooking area effortlessly, and the water is a must for your survival.

                    5. Water conservation paramount in both heat and cold

                      Most people know how important it

                    Read the rest

                      The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Handgun

                      By David Simpson

                      IF the world gets crazy, you gotta be ready.
                      And that’s exactly why your list of must-have items should include a handgun. At first, it may seem like a monumental task, especially if the closest you’ve been to a gun is a 3D showing of the latest action movie at your local theater.

                      But it’s cool, because, as you’re about to find out, buying a used handgun is a lot like buying a car. You simply need to define your needs, the job for which it is intended (self-defense), determine your budget and then investigate the market. Once you have narrowed down the field, it is time to “kick some tires.”

                      First impressions

                      First impressions are important.
                      You’ll see NIB (new in box) guns with all their original packaging down to those that the owner keeps wrapped up in an oily rag—or worse. For those guns that are not boxed, there are some simple first steps to take in your evaluation.
                      First, confirm that the firearm is unloaded before your initial inspection. Then, go down this checklist:

                      1. What is the general condition of the gun?
                      2. Is it clean overall?
                      3. Is the bore bright and shiny with crisp edges to the rifling and no damage to the crown at the muzzle?
                      4. Are there any scratches, dents, dings or other evidence of mistreatment or accidents?
                      5. How is the finish? Rust or corrosion is obviously a problem, although if the gun is sound you can always refinish it if it is financially feasible. However, that typically destroys any collector
                        value that may have existed.

                      Be aware that many guns will show a lot of holster wear to certain spots on the firearm but still be mechanically tight. You can either touch those spots up or let the old gun wear them proudly.

                      It really is that simple for starters. From there you can do some basic ergonomics and mechanical checking. I’ll cover specifics for both revolvers and pistols in a moment, but first let’s look at the basics.

                      The basics

                      Having confirmed that the gun is completely unloaded, start by seeing if it fits you.

                      The coolest gun in the world is no good if it doesn’t fit your hand and point naturally for you. You should be able to focus on a “target” across the room, close your eyes and raise the gun.

                      When you open your eyes, it should be pretty well aligned with that spot. If not, you may be able to correct that with different stocks (grips), or maybe you should just find a different gun.

                      Continue by checking its basic action. Check to make sure that the safeties work as designed, and that the cylinder, slide or magazine latches work properly.
                      Ask if you may dry fire the handgun to check the trigger, and ask if you can test fire it.

                      Besides trying the gun, looking at fired brass can tell you a lot. Off-center primer strikes are not good, backed-out primers are … Read the rest


                        How To Survive A Shooting Massacre Or Terrorist Attack

                        By David Simpson

                        This, like the others, took more innocent victims. Everyone seems preoccupied with asking so many questions in an attempt to understand why these perpetrators kill and who is to blame: parents, the media, video games, guns or the economy? These are all the wrong questions!

                        Men, women and children worldwide have been the victims of such attacks for years. The massacres in Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Aurora, Mumbai, India, Beslan, Russia, Tuusula, Finland, Utoya Island, Norway, Toulouse, France and many others are tragic examples of the threat that shooters pose to public safety.

                        Yet, many people chose to ignore the risk by assuming that such attacks will not happen or believing that they can be protected by local law enforcement. These are dangerous assumptions.

                        Full security

                        We all know that there is no such thing as 100 percent security, and no one knows where and when the next attack will occur. Active shooters and terrorists always attack the most vulnerable targets. They plan their attacks meticulously and over a long period of time and exploit weaknesses in security systems.

                        They attack with surprise and their goal is to inflict the largest number of casualties as quickly as possible. That is why most casualties in these incidents occur during the first 10 minutes, before law enforcement intervention.

                        Whether the shooter is a mentally deranged person, a religious fanatic, a vengeful employee or an outcast student, they all use similar tactics and the results are always the same: large scale death and suffering. As community leaders, business managers, teachers and parents, we are in a position of trust.

                        If we do not act responsibly, we are failing those who put their trust in us and accept the loss of innocent lives. Doing nothing to prepare and accepting defeat is unethical and un-American.

                        As Americans, we do not give in or give up. We know that life is sacred and we fight for what is right. A mass murderer killing innocent men, women and children is wrong! It is time we start asking ourselves the most important question: What can be done to survive and stop the violence during the attackwhen escape is impossible and the shooter is on location killing people?

                        Under attack

                        Under life-threatening circumstances, a person will automatically resort to employing skills and a plan of action that have been practiced previously. In order to survive, we must be trained to think like a survivor, manage the stress and follow through with an effective plan of action.

                        There is no doubt that victims of such attacks all share a common desire of staying alive. What they lack is the knowledge necessary to act in self-preservation. In courses funded by the Department of Homeland Security, we teach participants how to rapidly assess the threat, locate exits, use cover and evacuate safely when possible, or how to barricade in an enclosed space and deny access to the shooter.

                        The program teaches … Read the rest

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