Hunting with explosives

In another thread, the topic was what you’d bring on a time travelling trip to the past. So not a completely serious topic to start with.

Some people suggested bringing back things like landmines and dynamite. Others (including me) questioned the usefulness of landmines in a pre-human world. The argument was they could be used for hunting.

Okay, I’m not a hunter or an explosives expert. So I’ll ask others. Suppose you’re out in the wilderness with no gun or bow or anything like that. But you have access to a variety of explosives. Can you use the explosives to hunt successfully?

I know you can use explosives to kill fish in a lake. (At least, I know this in theory. I’ve never actually tried it.) But would there be a plan for hunting birds and land animals? Keep in mind you’re hunting them for food, so you don’t want to just blow them into smithereens.

And I want ideas on using the explosives directly to hunt. I’d rather avoid ideas like “I’d use the explosives to make a big pit and then I’d stampede a herd of animals into the pit.”

Using a Claymore mine on a field of ducks will yield some meat from the ducks that were far enough away. Maybe. And anti-personnel mines could take down a bison or two. Not what I’d call ideal weapons, but you could make them work.

A claymore is kind of like a really big shotgun shell, so it could be useful, as friend silenus mentions.

I’m thinking that launching rocks, or chunks of obsidian, or what have you, toward game animals could be useful. Use them to create rockslides above a herd of mountain sheep or goats?

They don’t immediately spring to my mind as useful things to take on a trip to the past (I prefer sustainable technologies, rather than limited quantities of modern materials) but if I had them I could make them work somehow.

As I said I’m not an explosive expert. Is a landmine something that can be easily rigged to explode on a triggered command? Or do I just plant them in a field and wait for some animals to step on them. Or animals likely to step on a landmine or are they likely to notice it doesn’t look right and step around it?

Claymores use a “clacker”, which is a sort of wired remote. I seem to remember that they can be set up to detonate using a tripwire, but I don’t remember how.

I think landmines are a poor choice. A deer or goat doesn’t have that much contact area with the ground, and then you have to avoid that area or have a really good map.

I’m aware of people using grenades fixed to tripwires to kill predators who are preying on livestock.

Chicken a la Claymore is delicious. And the smithereen is the best part of the pig…

Great for fishing

Claymores can be set to use a tripwire. For other types of landmines, you need to be hunting animals who travel in bunches, like pigs and bison. That way you might get several animals with one mine.

I think you could increase your chances of getting an animal with a landmine if you could somehow bait it and use some kind of triggering mechanism. Hopefully there would still be enough left to eat! Maybe you could use a small amount to stun the animal and dispatch it yourself.

Animals make and follow trails. Once you locate the local game trails, you could identify narrow points on them and plant a mine or two, and you’d probably have a fair chance of killing something you could eat. It would not be a readily repeatable–let alone sustainable–technique, however, because you’d quickly tear up existing trails and cause animals to avoid them.

Netflix has one or perhaps two Italian documentaries on the African civil wars in the 1960’s. One has several scenes of persons using grenades to kill elephants and harvest the ivory. Rather gory and they appear to be quite authentic.