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TGIF ~ Picking your Group Members ~

(Wilderness/Urban Survival), (BOB/BOL/INCH/ETC), (Shelters)
Knuckle
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TGIF ~ Picking your Group Members ~

Postby Knuckle » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:52 pm

Now I've been wondering how many of you set your parameters for measuring those who should or should not be in your group. With this thought in mind, if I were to appear at one of your get-togethers, would I qualify? Likely many of you have already read a variety of my comments and already formed a good or bad opinion about my character. And if you think you already know me, you'd likely find that I don't fit in the slot that you pre-made. How do I know this? Because many folks tell me what their initial thoughts were of me after they get to know me better. Why? Because sometimes I ask and other times they felt they had to tell me! :lol: ~ "Know thyself"~

So now you know that I likely am not going to be what you'd expect....How many others fit this classification and you now find that your measure of another is wrong? How can we get past our preconceptions to accurately judge another for such an important endevour as group selection during a SHTF situation? I dunno! That's why I am asking you all....

I live where there are likely more preppers per square mile then the rest of Canada and most of them likely don't know they even are one. My outdoor skills are likely just average to these others and rustier than most of theirs as I waste my much of my day typing on keyboards now. You don't talk of prepping here any more than you do in the city because gossip here works better than TV does in larger centers. But I don't fear my neighbour because even if I don't know him personally, I likely know a member of his family. In other words, I really don't need to even consider this subject. Yet I wonder how you folks go about it in the larger centers. This is what I do know......


LIFE'S LESSONS

I was always amazed when I went on bike runs with friends, how little they knew of camping. They all bragged of doing this and that, but they never realized how much their lack of knowledge seeps thru when put in the environment for even a weekend. I've seen skilled tradesmen holding a lighter under a log expecting it to catch on fire and thus prove his worth as a woodsman. Likely 90% of the crowd couldn't light a fire after a week of hot weather. Almost all never knew to air out their sleeping bag after the first night and wondered why they froze the second night. Many lug around frying pans but not the food they planned to cook in it( for show only it seems).

The knowledge we acquire just from playing with the fire has value. We have to learn how it breaths and what are the limits before it starts to die down. Learning how wet a log can be before it won't burn, and to instead set those wet ones close by to dry out somewhat and use later in slowing the burn of the fire for cooking and temperature control. Many often thought we just like playing with fire...Once you get a good hot fire going and have some decent red hot embers, you kick down the fire somewhat and place a wet log on either side for cooking. This makes a base to set a frying pan and drys out the wet logs more too. And this is why we play with fire!

Now camping with a bunch of idiots is what I consider bringing entertainment along. I enjoyed folks trying to figure out why I did things and often misled them as it created further entertainment. I'm sure all the country folk here have done the same from time to time. The simple things like knowing not to pitch your tent on low land can make or break your spirit alone. Remembering to laugh at the discomfort of camping is how you enjoy camping versus wallowing in the discomfort. But showing those who wish to learn camping is enjoyable and they are the ones who tend to wish to repeat the experience the following week while weeding out the whiners!

I found the ingredient that often makes or breaks these rides the most though was alcohol. A small amount softened the discomforts, too much enhanced them! Those folks who often do things in excess are the first to be the fun of the party but often also the ruin of the day. They seem to have highs and lows and thus are less fun over the duration. I point this out as these are not the ones you want in your prepper group either.

I figure this should a start to help others maybe see ways to share their thoughts on a very undefined subject. By first listing criteria and motive, we can maybe find ways of defeating paranoid thinking and openly discuss issues that guide us in choosing friends. Like I mentioned above, I already know I'm not one that folks instantly flock to, but I am one that sort of grows on you. My overall biker appearance isn't quite in sync with my intellect and I guess I like it that way. Even when I wore a badge, other P/O's would often joke that I looked like I belonged in the backseat instead. What can one do....wear a dress? :roll: 8-)

Let's try listing methods to properly discern the measure of another. Story telling is as good a way of explaining your thoughts and the above tricks I've used is just my example of how this might work.
Last edited by Knuckle on Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RT_survive
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby RT_survive » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:26 pm

I like this question you've posed.

I constantly analyze and observing people to gauge whether they are worthy of being in the group or not.

I trained 3 generations of cadets when I was in the air force, and I think that what would me decide whether someone should be in my group all comes down to how they make decisions under pressure. People can be new and inexperienced, but I don't hold that against them. What I do care about is how they react to a situation, what factors go through their minds while making a decision, and how quickly and consistently they can make good decisions that don't get themselves or anyone else killed, based on the information provided to them at the time.

For instance - balance on a big log to cross a raging river, or look around first for an alternative? What is the person like after pushing themselves to the physical breaking point at the end of the day? Are they cranky? Do they know how to stop and think when confused, or do they just push and push to fulfil a goal? How do they cope with being lost? More importantly, where is their breaking point? Can they talk themselves down from it?

Another thing that I've concluded is that first impressions don't apply at all.

I've gone on week-long backcountry trips with some very capable folks. One was a flamboyantly gay guy, a photographer who did my wedding photos - he had the shiniest pristine 1920's vintage swiss alpine hiking boots I had ever seen, and green suspenders to match. He never ever got mud on his clothes, and yet was never one to shy away from bushwhacking or going 2 days without food (long story - we lost 90% of our hanging bear bag with 4 days left in the trip to what we suspect was a cougar). Another guy, on the opposite end of the spectrum, had summitted K2, wore the best gore-tex and silnylon equipment that put Patagonia to shame, and had gear that would total over $10,000 easy. I would trust either of them with my life, but I'm almost 100% sure that anyone would take one look at the fashionably dressed photographer friend and think that he wouldn't last a day in a SHTF scenario. He's also a better marksman than I'll ever be.

Attitude goes a long way, too.

Do they talk in absolutes? That can indicate an extremist personality (e.g. "All cops are pigs." or "If you're not with me, you're against me"). The world isn't black and white.

I could write another 5 posts on this, but I have to get back to work. Maybe later.
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OldTimeGardener
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby OldTimeGardener » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:20 pm

Knuckle, Knuckle...don't cha know that fry pan is to whack the bear as it sticks its head in your tent?? Not to cook food in!
(sure hope its a cast iron pan.)

Sorry could not resist! ;)

Good post btw. :)

That airing the sleeping bag out, is the same as, "don't wear your day clothing to bed!" Many don't understand that either.

Pst:
I didn't know I was a prepper before I got on line..thought that was a normal way of living.


Back to the canner...
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A sense of humor is absolutely essential to survival.

Knuckle
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby Knuckle » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:39 pm

OldTimeGardener wrote:Knuckle, Knuckle...don't cha know that fry pan is to whack the bear as it sticks its head in your tent?? Not to cook food in!
(sure hope its a cast iron pan.)

Sorry could not resist! ;)

Good post btw. :)

That airing the sleeping bag out, is the same as, "don't wear your day clothing to bed!" Many don't understand that either.

Pst:
I didn't know I was a prepper before I got on line..thought that was a normal way of living.


Back to the canner...


Ohhhh....my mistake. I thought they were posers :lol: (ya know, they take pics of them with all the crap packed to show others later)

And that tiny script was to test my failing eyes too.....right? :lol:

Seems there are more bikers (mostly nubes) than ever these days and the BS is often getting piled even higher due to biking(weekend riders) has become somewhat of a fashion statement the past 10 years or so. With this influx comes the "compete with the Jones" mindset and the snubbing of fellow "brothers in the wind" increases as division becomes more apparent with their new concept that "my bike has more miles so I'm a better biker than you"(sometimes they just have more money to allow more ride time) or "my ride is newer so I'm more devoted".

With this snubbery, it is sometimes hard to even say hello to another rider in passing at a gas station without the conversation becoming a pissing contest over who has been where. The most often used measure is whether you've been to Sturgis (world's biggest bike rally). I have never been there nor do I wish to ever go anywhere 700,000 other bikers are! That is not relaxing, just taxing!

There is a point to this rant!

Again many folks damn themselves in but a few minutes, just by what leaks past their lips in what they discern as intellect. Many only know what the new shiney bikes are worth but cannot measure a bike that consist of hand made custom parts and see no value in it as it doesn't fit their "Jones" mindset. Thus I have often been judged lesser than them...yet this is where they forget that others are judging them in turn!

I don't get in people's faces unless they get in mine first. But after 42 years of biking and wrenching , I can spot biker BS miles away. Now folks usually don't try their BS on others unless they are trying to promote themselves to a crowd and claim higher status as their present BS likely depicts. As I've stated before, when one is caught in even a single lie, almost anything said after is then often presumed a lie also by others. The trick I use is to point out minor flaws in their story in the form of a simple question here and there. In this way I myself don't come across as a know-it-all and yet manage to diminish the podium from which the other was looking down at me from.

My point: You can't learn if you don't listen! If I do know more on a given subject, it is likely that I too had to shut up and listen somewhere in my travels. Many folks have gotten by on just their good looks or charm techniques. As Re Green has stated, " If you ain't handsome, at least you can still be handy"! And good looks and charm aren't of much use during a crisis! Yet these people who are used to having more than their fair share of say, will still expect as much even when they have no viable knowledge to share.

Do you want to have to tolerate the kind of internal conflicts this individual will eventually bring to your group? I can listen to anther's BS all day long, as long as I don't know it's BS! But let me catch you just once..... :roll: :lol:
Last edited by Knuckle on Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RT_survive
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby RT_survive » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:24 pm

Knuckle, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your method for selection is by determining inconsistencies in what people say and do. Your background is law enforcement, correct? I wonder if it has anything to do with that. My wife says I'm too trusting, and just take people at their word. Therefore, I look at what kind of decisions people make once you throw them into uncomfortable situations, but at the end of the day, I think we're both getting at the same thing - trust. If you can't trust the person, there's no use having them in the group.

Are there any other factors that determine acceptance? What about physical fitness/capability? Intellect? I have a close friend who is mentally challenged (IQ is definitely below 100) who cannot be taught basic skills like firearms safety (I've tried, and failed), but he is as strong as an ox (manual labourer), and I'd trust him to be loyal to the bitter end. He would die before seeing his friends get hurt. Does he have a place in a group? For one, I don't actually trust that he can make a good decision in a complex situation, but his heart is always there and he always has the best intentions. Is that enough?

Knuckle wrote:Again many folks damn themselves in but a few minutes, just by what leaks past their lips in what they discern as intellect. Many only know what the new shiney bikes are worth but cannot measure a bike that consist of hand made custom parts and see no value in it as it doesn't fit their "Jones" mindset. Thus I have often been judged lesser than them...yet this is where they forget that others are judging them in turn!


:lol:

Funny story about the same thing - I was judged harshly by an acquaintance, right at the beginning of the trailhead, before going on a short 2-night trip. He basically said I should go home and prepare properly.... because I had an old, unassuming 20L pack, shorts, trail runners and rain jacket, while he was equipped with a brand new expedition pack, carbon fiber trekking poles, Ka-Bar knife hanging on his belt, and various knick-knacks hanging off his pack with carabiners. He spent the first 30 minutes of the hike detailing every last feature on his equipment, and why I needed to wear waterproof boots.

It didn't take more than 3 km into the trip for him to shut up.

:lol:
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Knuckle
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby Knuckle » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:59 pm

Now that is a believable story....many proclaim their station but haven't proven their worth!

As a guide in my youth, I started taking folks out fishing at 12 years old. To qualify in those days, I basically knew how to drive a boat, knew a dozen killer fishing holes over maybe 10 miles of water, where the rapids and deadheads were and how to find home again at the end of the day(which is harder than most would think). I learned to watch which lures caught what and in what depth of water. I heard many thoughts on how fish think and soon realized I likely knew more than them already, but only because I lived here year round and this is my back yard. Most of my rifle knowledge is also from hunting in my youth or the military as I have just dropped archery and sold my last bow this year. I started also guiding for moose, deer and bear at 15. I learned much from those I guided as some were truly more knowledgeable than their guide was. If I were to argue with them on their approach though, there would likely be a loss in tip at the end, so I think I learned how to be subtle at an early age due to this. I needed them to succeed yet feel they were the great fisherman at the end of the day to get that big tip!

I also noted how most folks watched their guide light the fire and how few ever offered to help. Also how they casually talked with me while I cleaned their fish so they could watch how it was done. It is amazing how many would attempt to clean fish the same way as myself, once they felt confident enough to try(and usually after their wife left). I clean fish in a different manner then most in my area other than the natives...that is because a native taught me their way first and I find their approach slower but more thorough with less wastage. My point is that those often watching never knew how to clean a fish until then!

This shows many can learn such things, but most like to learn by being shown, not just reading about it. Proof that this rule still applies is noted daily as I fix others computers. Many profess that they are highly knowledgeable about computers while handing me their laptop to fix. If that were really true, they likely wouldn't be talking to me, would they? Yet once I show them how to avoid a repeat of this dilemma, they are in top form and suggesting I take their advice on many computer related issues. So be it. To contradict them in any way might jeopardize them as a repeat customer. Thus I compromise for profit!

So must I do so when choosing group members? I dunno? I'm asking you? There will always be reason for accepting and dismissing an individual...depends on where you draw that line. Mine tends to be adjusted more towards the value of human life and peaceful resolution first option. If I'm pretty straight forward and weigh much of what I say before it is said. I expect the same from others. If you say it, it is obvious that you had to first think it. When you say you were just kidding, that doesn't remove the fact that you still had to first think that thought! Thus you have just given an insight to your approach of thought....yes? I won't totally measure you on such as these, but I don't forget that you mentioned them either. And I expect others to in turn do this same measure of me.

As for your low IQ friend... I too have a few of those and accept them for their limitations. They too have their place in society as we often save them a seat out of kindness. Yet hard times might produce only a few extra seats and so this factor will have to be measured by the situation at hand and one should accept that not all things need final answers as yet. As further proof of this mindset, imagine that you were given the job of determining the first to receive medical treatment in a triage situation. You likely hold some of their lives in your hand with every choice...can you do that job? Hopefully you will never have to know the answer to that question either!
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MrsPrepwPets
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby MrsPrepwPets » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:41 am

RT_survive wrote:Are there any other factors that determine acceptance? What about physical fitness/capability? Intellect? I have a close friend who is mentally challenged (IQ is definitely below 100) who cannot be taught basic skills like firearms safety (I've tried, and failed), but he is as strong as an ox (manual labourer), and I'd trust him to be loyal to the bitter end. He would die before seeing his friends get hurt. Does he have a place in a group? For one, I don't actually trust that he can make a good decision in a complex situation, but his heart is always there and he always has the best intentions. Is that enough?


I'm just going to throw a couple of things out there.
One, change the IQ scale. 100 is solidly in the middle of the mere "average" portion of the population. 70 is considered "functional, below average" (65 or 68% of the population meets or exceeds) with 69 the high-end threshold for "challenged". Anybody above that goes to normal classes in normal public schools and is expected to hold down normal jobs without issue and is issued a driver's license without question, and it's only below the 70 that "disability" and social security start coming into play.
Just saying.
There are certainly other factors in intellectual disability besides IQ, as well, no argument.


As far as your specific friend goes...
I call him a keeper.

I do a lot of restoration work. The two universities and three environmental programs I work through for a lot of it regularly have partnerships with adult day and full-time care programs and with the ARC. People with severe limitations regularly thrive most with routine, see. And once established, are aces at maintaining routine. They also don't tend to mind tedium. In fact, most of the "challenged" people we work with greatly prefer "cookie cutter" or "rubber stamp" jobs.
They excel at planting and transplanting, at hand pollinating, at dividing and propagating, at caring for plants. And with routine established, do so with magnificent attention to detail and an eye for the sanitation and hygiene practices.

That kind of thing certain ebbs and flows between individuals, but we work with mostly the 45-60 IQ crowd, because most of the 60+ are able to hold down other jobs, such as cleaning offices and bagging groceries, cleaning kennels and pans, raking leaves, and other services, and some of them are seasonal dock labor or work in factories nearby, or are loaders and haulers for some of the delivery-based organizations.

Would I make one the executor of my will as I might expect a "normal" child to become? No. But could they keep up with the mental tasks of a 6, 8 or 10 year old? Sure.

Especially in a time of more manual labor, somebody who doesn't mind weeding, who can help keep bugs off crops, who can rake and haul hay, muck out, or thresh grains, who can haul and pump water, that's pretty handy. They're tasks that they can handle, especially with child-level "alert" training about what to do (find their rally point/safe spot upon command or an alarm being sounded).

I don't really need another thinker. Nice to have, most of the time, but sometimes cumbersome, especially in a crisis. I actually don't need another shooter, so that aspect is moot for me, too (as long as they can understand the same "don't touch" that we did as young, young children). More labor? Absolutely. Would love to have it. Especially labor that will follow directions and not un-do things I've been building for years because they have a different concept of what growing space should look like.

Like a small child who would be inclined to tell secrets or maybe not understand the nuance of what should be talked about publicly, maybe I wouldn't share the concept of long-term preparedness for OpSec's sake.
But disaster readiness as with floods, snow/ice, or electrical outage? Sure.
To be part of a disaster plan, to have set Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C to follow, as with the fire alarm or the tornado siren going off (different plans)? Totally reasonable.


But, of course, there's a financial aspect, too. Especially if the friend isn't being told about long-term preparedness for fear of being "outed", some of the financials get harder to deal with.
-Can you afford to put back supplies for him?
-Is there a way for him to purchase nonperishables to store at your location, using sales and future fiscal upsets, or are there people who would be a barrier to that?
-Is there a way for him to contribute currency directly to you, with the understanding that you're holding it as a physical bank or physical "insurance" for him?
...Is he mentally able to then grasp the concept that the physical currency you're holding (in theory, precious metals or some other goods) is, after a disaster, being applied to his room and board so that you can use it for future trade?

And on other notes:
-Could he get to you in an emergency, or would you have to leave your family to fetch him?
-Could he be trusted to see the main store and then not tell anyone, or would you have to set up and limit him to seeing dummy caches/cabinets so that you wouldn't lose everything if he talks to a neighbor or has already told somebody in the community?



I have to admit, I have friends of full intellect and capability I don't tell, because a little alcohol and they'd blab. I have buddies I would offer a hole to but who are resistant to the idea of what I consider "normal" 10 and 30 day emergency and insurance stockpiles.
And I have people who I won't associate with in certain settings because they run their mouths without thinking, even sober, and I don't need everybody at a nearby restaurant, Dicks, Bass Pro, my gun club, and the fuel station to know what I do.
So I understand if that is a major concern, totally.

But otherwise, a strong back and loyalty is a hard enough combo to find. Love for my family combined with it? Especially if there's a willingness to work (some have a need to do labor, some are as lazy as the average college kid here)? He'd have a place at my table, if I could swing it for him.
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RT_survive
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby RT_survive » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been weighing the options for including him in my plans. I would put his IQ slightly below the 80 range, plus/minus a few points. He can live independently, but only with financial support from friends and family. He is capable of great selflessness, and is well loved because of how he treats his friends, although he is often taken advantage of because of it (buying a round of beers for everyone, giving his paychecks to his heroin addicted brother, falling for pyramid schemes, etc).

I've given it some thought, and as per your comments, I'll be including him in my preps.

He will never be responsible enough to handle a firearm, or be able to complete semi-complex tasks like making any rope knots, but I've seen him patiently hunt, haul heavy gear, and silently bear discomfort (hunger, exhaustion and mosquitoes) for 9 nights in the backcountry last week. I probably won't let him know of my plans though. :)

On a different note, do you have a list of people who you have red-flagged as potentially dangerous in a WROL/SHTF situation? People you would avoid or hide from?

I have two guys on my list. They are brothers, and they're both preppers - but the wrong kind. Their plan is to take what they can from whoever happens to pass their BOL or "territory" that they've already staked out. I've gone for beers with these guys (they go to the same range I do), and our wives are friends, but they are incredibly dangerous individuals. They don't know that I am a prepper, so I often get lectured on preparedness and the need to stock up. I politely listen, but shrug it off like I'm not interested. They've already justified to themselves that it is perfectly reasonable to kill anyone who stumbles upon their BOL because they need to "protect their own" and prevent knowledge of their whereabouts from getting out, regardless if the trespasser is a man, woman or child. They want to include me in their plans because of my qualifications and past experience, but I wouldn't ever trust them with my family. Don't get me wrong, they are extremely capable preppers, and the older one (my age) is protective of those he considers his friends, but I'm wary of what they are capable of.
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Knuckle
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Re: Picking your Group Members

Postby Knuckle » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:52 pm

It may seem weird as I'm the one who started this thread, but I have to approach this subject in a "what if"aspect as I don't really believe in this prep group as a lifestyle way of thinking. I guess I assume folks would end up being thrown together by circumstance (just like in the movies :? ) and you'd simply have to deal with aspects as they come along. But I started this link because I wonder what criteria folks others use to measure those which they figure they'd suitable for such a time.

I always measure folks every day and assume others are doing the same continually too. I have also met individuals like those RT describes above. In response, I'll ask some questions.... :roll:

Do they mention this aspect in a manner of jest or do they seem serious?

Are they trying to measure your reaction in turn by throwing such a concept at you and watching your response.

Some consider the shock therapy approach as a good measure but obviously it would leave anyone they tried it on wary of them which shows it's main flaw(they've forewarned they've at least considered such intentions).

You did all one can really do in such a circumstance. You never led them on so they'd attempt further communications. Hopefully they never learned too much about you by the weapons you carried at the range(ie: camo painted, assault, etc.,). I definitely would red flag them and forewarn those you do trust that they talk in such a manner.

There is likely a better section to mention this train of thought, but I'll mention this here as I might forget....I have gone to battery style electronic combo locks as one access point to my home and business. I like them because I program a spare access code in for emergency and I can give it later as an emergency number to someone if they need it. Later on, I simply delete that number and know that they never duplicated it as one might if you'd loaned them a key. This sounds distrustful, but it illuminates folks as possible suspects further down the line if something goes missing later. This technique might come in handy for your group scenario too. If they later prove distrustful, you don't have to recode your locks....

I don't consider the shooting range as a decent way of knowing the full measure a man other than that of his overall weapons knowledge. It might be the place to recruit for a war party, but surrounding yourself with those who'd shoot first, talk second, might backfire somewhere along the way. I don't know how many of you hunt also, but you might meet them at the range a few times and find common ground while plinking. If I considered the fellow a possible group member, maybe drag along a trusted friend to get his object opinion next time you meet. Then if all seems well and good, invite him for just some bird shooting( fall season only of course). Many want to blast down the trails on a 4 wheeler where I live....walk instead.

This is where you can see if he is watching or just passing the time. See how much he knows about the prey. If it's say, Partridge, does he know when the birds eat and when they gravel? (they eat small gravel to help digest their food). Does he know what kind of surroundings they prefer? If he doesn't know the prey, is he interested enough to learn or is it just into the defense aspect of survival he cares for? When you see the prey, let him take it. Watch the way he loads and handles his weapon. See if he squeezes or pulls the trigger. After the kill, is he too elated or does he approach the hunt as a means, and show quiet demeanor after having killed? Is the shot clean and accurate? If the prey needs finishing off, does he do it swiftly and mercilessly and does he seem to enjoy it? Does he seem to give a silent prayer after the kill?(seems many have the habit and just don't admit it). And does he know how to properly clean that which he just killed?

A lot can be learned about another individual during a single hunt of even a small bird as you might have concluded by now too. This is likely where I'd measure another for such a group most!
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