Tips for Trapping & Hunting for Survival


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Hunting, trapping and gathering from nature in a post-SHTF situation probably won’t provide you with all the food you need to survive, but such skills can help to supplement limited supplies. Assuming you aren’t in a totally lifeless urban area, most regions of the world teem with some form of natural life, from bugs and birds to small mammals and larger game.

The most populous wild animals in most of the US include deer, rabbits, nutria, wild ducks and geese, turkey, quail, and pheasant. Many regions also have elk, moose, pronghorn antelope (though they technically aren’t antelope), wild goats and even wild boar. These larger game animals are just what you would want to hunt in a survival situation, but more often than not you may need to focus on smaller prey like rabbits and squirrel.

Don’t Discriminate

Right now, you probably don’t fancy yourself as someone who will eat squirrels, groundhogs or possums, but when times get tough you may discover that such critters are a welcome addition to your dinner table. The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be overly discriminatory when it comes to what you will or will not eat in a bare-bones survival situation. The less you discriminate, the more likely it is that you will survive to eat a more refined meal another day.

trapUse Traps

You might not have thought about it, but some of the mouse and rat traps that are available are actually a pretty good investment in case of an emergency. Mice, and rats for that matter, may not be high up on your post-SHTF menu, but if something can catch a rat it can also catch a squirrel or any number of other similarly sized critters. Mouse and rat traps are also great to have on hand simply because they can catch vermin that might try to access you stored food.

Another simple, effective trap is a snare. Easily constructed from paracord, a few dozen snares placed in the right locations can potentially net you a variety of creatures. Snares are great for catching birds and small mammals, including possums and raccoons. In any case, traps of all shapes and sizes are a useful tool in your arsenal and you should make use of them.

Stock Proper Ammunition

If you intend to hunt using a weapon, be sure to stock plenty of the proper ammunition. Your AK-74 or AR-15 rifle for fending off assailants is not quite what you’ll want to take out hunting. A .22 LR or a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun is more suitable for hunting, depending on what kind of game you’re after. Some hunters prefer to use a bow and arrow, or a crossbow, but whatever your weapon of choice be certain you have plenty of ammunition for it.

Get a Good Knife

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One of the most useful tools you will need to hunt and /or trap successfully is a reliable knife. Many survivalists and hunters prefer something with a 6” – 9” blade, which should be kept sharp and well cared for at all times. You’ll need a good knife in order to bleed out and field dress any game that you succeed in killing, as well as to assist in butchering larger animals as needed. A good knife can also be used to make snares, prepare kindling, and for self-defense.

Be Patient

Another important aspect of successful hunting is patience. Sometimes you’ve simply got to sit tight and wait out your prey, as in the case of staking out a known watering area, mating ground or feeding area. Getting impatient or trekking all over the countryside is more likely to leave you tired, disappointed and still hungry than to result in a successful hunt and a filled belly.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

As with all things related to prepping, from gardening to cooking to sewing your own clothes, now is the time to practice, practice and practice some more. When it comes to hunting, practice is especially important because you’ll want to be able to successfully hunt and kill something to eat if or when the time comes and you’re starving. Locating and tracking suitable prey is one of the skills that you’ll need to practice in order to be a good hunter, otherwise you’re liable to spend a lot of time searching fruitlessly for something to eat and slowly starving in the interim.

Don’t Eat…

There are some things you shouldn’t eat, though. At the top of the list is already dead animals. Tempting though the meat may be when you’re starving, don’t eat animals that you find dead or dying. Such animals could have died for any number of reasons unknown to you, including poisoning, parasitic infection, disease and so on. Likewise, don’t hunt or consume the meat of animals that are ill, cooking the flesh will not make it safe for consumption.

Drying, Salting & Smokingmeat

To go hand in hand with your hunting and trapping skills, it would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of salting, drying and /or smoking meats. Such treatments will allow you to store meats for much longer periods of time, thus ensuring that you and your family have food and that as little of your kill goes to waste as possible. Be sure to stock up on plenty of salt if you know, or anticipate, that you will be doing a substantial amount of hunting to survive.

Other Edible Critters

Depending on your level of squeamishness, there are a variety of less desirable animals that have been (and in some places still are) consumed throughout human history. These include certain species of frogs, certain types of insects, caterpillars, many types of ants, and bees among others. Even turtles, tortoises, and alligators are edible if you can catch them, as are raccoons, skunks, weasels and possums.

Snails, slugs, lizards, geckos and snakes are all potentially edible as well, and you might be surprised by how much nutrition such animals can contain. Bugs such as ants, for instance, are an excellent source of protein. Then there are traditional predators, including bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions. While you might not want to go out of your way to hunt known predators like these, they are certainly edible if you do happen to kill them.

Find out more about food independence on Backyard Liberty.

This article has been written by Steve Walker for Survivopedia.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

32,077 total views, 54 views today

Steve Walker

About Steve Walker

Steve Walker is the owner of BulletProofHome.com, he was a US Army officer for almost 22 years, and a prepper who survived the violent riots in the early days of the Arab Spring. He’s trying to keep secret any other informations about him or his family after what happened in Cairo, Egypt.

Comments

  1. Please don't eat bees! Even in a post-SHTF we will need them to pollinate crops and wild plants.

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  2. Thank you so much for your survival information I really enjoy it and share with our preparedness group her in Wyoming

    Thank You,
    Wayne

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  3. Actually, an AR-15 is accurate and powerful enouch to kill a deer at 80 yards, as is an accurate AK-74.

    Also, for smaller animals, like squirrels, a .177 pellet gun is better, since it will destroy less meat.

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    • Shooting rabbits and squirrels with a .22 requires a head shot if one expects to get enough "good" meat to make the use of the cartridge worthwhile. The meat damaged by the bullet is less-than-ideal for eating, although it won't hurt you. A shotgun would be a good bet for someone whose skill with a rifle will not result in a head shot ninety percent of the time, although shot shells are more expensive and much bulkier and heavier than .22 cartridges.

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  4. Thanks Great information

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  5. I think it was in the 20's that thousands of people were without jobs and food. The rural areas soon ran out of wild game things went from bad to worse. If you think you will be able to get a deer or other wild animal I wish you luck.
    The competition will be heavy!!! And you will be treaspassing on my property and I won't allow it!

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  6. James H Burgess says:

    Birds are easy prey at night. Their droppings show you where they roost. Native Americans use to chop the tree down and blind the roosting birds with torches and ashes! (and harvest them with sticks). A flashlight makes them blind temporarily on the roost and they can be harvested with a pellet gun or even a BB gun. The smaller birds are a snap to clean, just grab their breast a pull it out and throw it on the barbie! Don't waste time plucking feathers on small birds.

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  7. The same .22 LR used to kill a rabbit will take a cow and they are easier to hunt. Get close enough to the cow or bull and shoot it at the rear edge of the base of the ear. Wait until the animal stops to graze and the head is down. The bullet will enter the ear canal and hit the brain. A lot more meat than a rabbit. The down side is that the animal must be side to you for this to work. No quartering shots will work. Works for horses, sheep and deer also. At night a cow will look straight at a light, but you will need more than a .22 LR.

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  8. Go ahead: I dare you! EAT that coyote you bring down......
    I'd LOVE to hear your comments after you try to BBQ one of those critters.

    Be warned - I've eaten EVERY wild animal you listed, and MANY MORE.
    I, however, will NEVER ear coyote again.

    Go ahead; I DARE you.

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    • why not?

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      • If you want something "chewy" try coyote... broiled, bbq'ed, fried, boiled... you name it, this will give your jaw a workout. And, remember coyotes are mainly scavengers so what they eat may not appeal to you either.

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  9. Sandy the Swede says:

    In a full-blown SHTF scenario, this may be true (hunting for food) long-term in areas of lower human population density, but in high human pop density areas, virtually all game will 'disappear' within a few weeks. When the starving mobs leave the cities and begin roaming the rural areas, it won't take long. Not sure about large farm animals. I would imagine that any remaining security forces will be guarding them. What say you?

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  10. Bill in lexington says:

    If you are counting on meat for your protein / calorie intake you are going to be in a world of hurt in fairly short order. Be assured, though, that although you do need calories and, longer term, protein in your diet, you do NOT need meat to survive.

    Vegans have long ago proven this. Find out what they eat and stock up on it, then, when wild game (and pets and insects) become scarce, you'll still be just fine.

    The beauty of aquaculture (fish + vegetables in the same system with minimal inputs) is that there is never enough food available at any one time to be worth dying for (an intruder can't wait for the next fish to mature), but there is always enough for the needs of the caretaker plus a little to barter with.

    Once the SHTF, I wouldn't count on surviving after poaching livestock. Farmers can generally shoot just fine and once SHTF, won't even bother trying to hide the body ... they'll either display it or butcher it.

    Which would be scarier ... seeing a body hanging from a pole as a warning or knowing that the last half-dozen guys known to have climbed a particular fence were never seen again?

    Were I the farmer, I'd go for the sausage.

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    • I would imagine that farmers would be among the first victims of the mobs. With hundreds of acres to defend and no one to help he would be holed up or dead. He is sitting on a bull's eye for sure. He would be an easy target to get. Just fire one round and wait for him to show up, end of farmer, then dress cow.

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  11. On a lighter side there is a government study that shows that if the power grid went down for a year that 90% of all Americans would be dead at the end of that year.

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  12. Isnt trye as multi-dimensional creatures. We should be eating natural foods instead of meats. An not only that if there is a collapse. I think this idea would wipe out the rest pf the species. I think WE dont need meat an i know its hard, but we can fight it an find a way to manifest in our true formality through habits of eating natural foods. Thanks for your help!

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  13. You did not mention beaver, but they are some of the easiest to acquire high quality meat resources to be found in many cities. Many urban areas have a number of trappers that are kept busy removing beavers that colonize virtually any size pond, ditch or stream. An adult beaver in the north will weigh 40 to 80 lbs. An aircraft cable snare can be easily hidden and in the right habitat will provide one time all the meat a family can eat in a week. One time only because the cable will have to be replaced every catch but the other components can be used over and over and over.

    I set two snares yesterday beside a highway passing through an urban area and collected 80-90 lbs of beaver this morning. The water in the ditch is normally narrow enough to step across but now is a potential danger to the occupants of any vehicle that might run off the road. Hence, the contract to remove the offending beaver.

    Para cord might work for snares for some animals but cable will be some much more effective that one should include some in the supplies just for acquiring protein.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Snails, slugs, lizards, geckos and snakes are all potentially edible as well, and you might be surprised by how much nutrition such animals can contain. Bugs such as ants, for instance, are an excellent source of protein. Then there are traditional predators, including bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions. While you might not want to go out of your way to hunt known predators like these, they are certainly edible if you do happen to kill them. – SurvivoPedia […]

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  2. […] will need to be successful at hunting and foraging at least two weeks before supplies run […]

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