Trapping is a traditional way to catch game and should be part of your survival strategy. They are all pretty simple to set up but each has their little quirks, advantages, and disadvantages.
You should set up several traps in different locations that you check regularly. Look for locations that show signs of animals, like some tracks that indicate that animals pass by regularly.
You should also try to set the traps away from your camp or shelter so as not to exhaust the game near your camp. The idea is to catch things further out while you can so that if you become weaker you can still obtain food near your camp. (Be flexible and pragmatic about it – don’t hike out 5 miles just to set your traps if it makes you too tired!)
NOTE: Trapping is strictly regulated in most places. So research your local laws and only use these traps in a survival situation or when they are expressly allowed by law.
How to Make a Split Stick Deadfall
The idea is that a stick is cut in two pieces and a bait stick, usually smaller is in between them. The two sides of the stick are balanced vertically.
When the bait stick is moved, the structure falls quickly and the prey is injured or killed.
How to Make a Paiute Deadfall
The Paiute Deadfall trap has a very quick trigger mechanism. It was made famous by the Paiute tribe, out of the Western U.S. It is simple and made with natural materials that will almost always be available.
How to Make a Figure 4 Deadfall Trap
The trap looks like the number “4” and that is where the name comes from. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between this trap and the others.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
None of the traps are particularly difficult but when you’re tired and hungry, you will get frustrated fast. So practice this stuff now when you have the time and resources to learn.
photo credit: Don M. flickr creative commons
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