10 Survival Traps and Snares You can Build Yourself
Knowing how to make traps and snares is an essential survival skill. Trapping is the most energy efficient way to hunt. You set your traps and they work for you while you attend to your other needs, such as building a fire or shelter. If you are equipped with a decent knife, these simple survival tools can be manufactured from materials you find in nature, though having a length of rope or wire on hand is certainly helpful.
Here are ten traps and snares that will serve you well in a survival situation. Many of them are great for catching rabbits and small game. Others are designed for wild boar and other large animals; you probably won’t get an opportunity to use these traps unless SHTF. If it does, you’ll be glad you know how to build them!
1. Florida Cracker Bird Trap
These live traps were used extensively throughout the South in the 1800’s. Primarily intended to catch birds, they can be baited to attract other animals as well. This versatile trap can feed you in a survival situation or can be used like a Have-a-Heart trap to capture feral cats or even skunks.
2. Deadfall Traps
Deadfall traps are simple to construct. They are typically the fastest and easiest option in survival situation where you have few tools. All you need is a boulder or large, heavy log and a couple of sticks. Place a little bait under the boulder and wait. When an animal comes to investigate it trips the trigger stick and is crushed by the falling boulder. It’s not the most efficient way to kill an animal as crushing can damage a lot of the meat, but it is effective and will feed you in an emergency.
3. Rodent Trap
Rat roast for supper? How about a vole omelet for brunch? Rodents may not sound appetizing, but they are an abundant food source that cannot be overlooked in a survival scenario. After all, you’re prepared to eat grubs, grasshoppers and other insects, so why not a mouse? Rodent traps must be built for a specific species, so plan carefully. And be sure to cook the meat extra well done.
4. Feather Spear Trap
This trap is intended only for use in a survival situation. It is not for casual trapping or hunting! Practice building this trap but don’t set it out unless you must eat and have no other choice.
Why is this trap so special? Unlike most traps and snares which are used to catch raccoons, rabbits or even muskrats, this one is designed for bigger, fiercer game: namely the wild hog. It is easy to build and reliable. A single boar properly smoked or frozen will feed your family for months. Just remember, you are pursuing a dangerous animal which could seriously injure you if you are not careful.
5. Pit Traps
This is an old European pit trap that was used to hunt wolves. It is a good basic model, though your chosen game will likely be quite different.
Think carefully before building a pit trap. They are dangerous in populated areas where people may stumble into them and be badly injured. Historically large pit traps were dug at the end of a ravine or canyon and large game like elk or reindeer were driven into the pits. This idea could come in handy for a serious survival scenario. If you ever use one to hunt big game make sure you have a plan to eat or preserve all that meat.
6. Simple Snare Trap
This type of classic snare trap is often used to catch rabbits. Yet they are useless unless you know where the rabbits’ “runs” are. This means searching brush and brambles for tunnels that are clearly defined and show signs of regular use. Look for fresh scat or bits of green plant material. All that’s left is to place your snare at one end of the tunnel.
7. How to Make Survival Traps
Here are two simple rabbit snare designs. If these two boys can successfully hunt rabbits, so can you! The rabbit snare requires few materials and can be set in minutes. Make sure to place the snare at the entrance or exit of a rabbit run through the brush. Snares are largely useless unless they are properly placed.