The Best Animal Traps Every Prepper Should Know for Survival
Hunting in a survival situation often relies less on rifles and more on traps. Unless big game is plentiful around your home, trapping fish, rabbits and birds my provide better results. Here are the best traps for this kind of prey:
1. Fish Traps
A funnel trap uses an obstruction to direct fish into an enclosed area. First, make a large oval-shaped enclosure using sticks stuck into the riverbed or stacked rocks. On the side nearest the riverbank, leave a V-shaped opening. Place a thick branch leading from shore into your trap. For the best results, the funnel needs to be just large enough for fish to pass through, but not so big it’s easy for them to get out.
Rivers run through the countryside in many areas, so fish may be your go-to for healthy protein. Of course, you’re not always going to have the time to sit with a pole waiting to catch something. Fish traps do the work for you, and you just need to check them.
2. Traps for Rabbits and Small Mammals
Fixed Ground Snare
This easy-to-make trap is popular because of how quickly it can be assembled. Fixed snares (and the materials to make them) are highly portable, so you can set up traps even if you have to travel a ways to hunt.
To make a fixed snare, wrap two or three loops of strong wire around a branch, then twist the twig as if you were turning a wine opener. Finally, break and remove the branch. This should give you a small eye to thread the other end of the wire through.
To set up this trap, you simply tie the free end to a tree and leave the snare at neck height where animals usually walk. Paracord can be strong enough to snare wild pigs or deer, but it won’t work for rodents and their sharp teeth.
As you get more experience building traps, you may upgrade to a spring snare. This uses the same basic principle but attaches the snare to a spring pole. You also need a stake, notched trigger and paracord to hold everything in place.
The great thing about snares is that they work without you having to be close by. You can be busy doing something else and there’s little chance your prey can escape. Even better, it’s fairly easy to create a large number of snares around your hunting grounds to maximize your chances of catching something.
3. Bird Traps
Ojibwa Bird Snare
One of the best traps for birds is called the Ojibwa bird snare. Its complex design requires some advanced trap-making skills. It works by setting a knotted snare on a loose branch tied to a rock. When a bird rests on the twig, the knot slips through a hole in the stake, allowing the rock to fall and trap the bird’s feet.
Pressure activated deadfalls rely on a heavy weight (usually a big log or rock) to crush the animal beneath. This can be a good option for rodents, birds and other animals that move food around a bit. For example, you can place birdseed near the trigger stick to entire curious birds. The fastest varieties of deadfall use a spring-loaded trigger.
The best type of trap for survival in a SHTF situation depends on where you live, what animals are plentiful nearby and how much time you have for hunting. Now’s the time to learn and practice.