Trapping For Survival

This post was last updated on August 6th, 2022 at 06:07 pm

How to Trap Animals when your Life Depends on it

If you ever end up in a survival situation and need some, food trapping is the most efficient means of providing it. If you have ever been hungry beyond belief, and still are hiking around burning all of your remaining energy, you will know how great trapping is in a survival situation.

The benefits of traps over hunting, is that traps are always working for you. Sometimes you have so little precious energy from lack of food intake, that hunting on the move is not the right decision. (hunting while checking your trap line is a different story). To check traps you can move slowly, hunting and foraging while you go, expending the least amount of energy possible.

Trapping for animals has been done throughout human history. Every one of us has ancestors that relied on it. The animals can provide clothing, food, tools from bones, rope and string from rawhide, and even bait to trap more animals.

There are several types of traps that you can use. The most efficient is the snare. They are lightweight, easy to make from available materials, and easy to set. You can really set a lot of these in a short period of time with minimal weight to carry.

Snare Sets

How to Snare Squirrels

Squirrels are a plentiful resource. If it came down to life or death in a survival situation, squirrels could keep you alive. Trapping has been done throughout the history of humans. Learn how to make this easy snare pole.

All you will need is some thin wire. Strong string will also work in a pinch. Wrap the wire around itself and form a loop. Thread the tag end through the loop to form a noose for the squirrels. Spread them out a few feet apart and attach them to a log.  lean the log against a tree that the squirrels frequent. They will attempt to run up the log and become ensnared.

How to Snare Beaver Under Ice

In a survival situation beaver can be a great source of protein. They have a lot of fat, a nice coat, and their meat is very good to eat. They say it was Lewis and Clark’s favorite food to eat on the trail. Watch this recent video where I catch and cook a beaver!

You will need some snare wire or just some strong small diameter wire. Attach a doubled up piece of hook shaped wire to a sturdy stick (as shown in the center picture above) run your snare wire through the “hook” and pinch securely. This will provide tension so that when the beaver enters the snare it will close around him. Your stick should be buried into the bottom of the pond or lake, and you should have at least 12″ protruding above the ice.

The beaver are attracted to fresh sticks. You will need to bait your snares with live branches freshly cut. If they are not showing any green, you should scrape some bark of to expose the live wood beneath. Wire your sticks to the center of the snare pole.

Land Animals

This trapping technique can be very effective. You can use the twitch up snare on small or quite large game. It is especially good for rabbits, squirrels and similar sized game. The Animals will enter the snare and try to push through it. They will dislodge the trigger piece and be flung up in the air away from other animals which might attempt to steal your catch. If you wanted to get tricky you could attach a bell or a tin can filled with rocks to the bent over branch. This will alert you when your snare trap has been activated.

Making this snare is quite simple, and can be done in less than 10 minutes. You attach a rope to a bent over branch with the noose on the end. This is tied to a trigger. The trigger fits into a notch that you cut out of the base branch.  It is best to try to use this trap in a funnel area where the game will likely have to walk through your snare to get by. If there is not a natural funnel, then you can create one by piling up sticks and branches on both sides of a game trail.

The Dead Fall Trap

Warning!  never use this trap unless you are in a true survival situation. This trap is extremely dangerous.

This will work for deer, wild hogs or just about any large game.  As you can see in the diagram, you dig a deep hole for the first step.  Then you will need to chisel sticks to a sharp point, and bury them in the bottom of your hole.  To finish the trap you cover the hole with dead, easily snapped branches. Finally you will cover the branches with natural material to blend it in with the surroundings.

This trap will also work well with no spikes. If you are regularly checking traps (which you should be) Dig the hole deep enough so the animal can not jump out. When you return to the dead fall you can dispatch the animal or release it.