I asked a listener a question about trapping, “I have a question for you: At a minimum, what would I need for traps in a post-apocalypse world, and where would I find the traps?”
Why traps? Well to be honest, while cats are great hunters, they are also food for bigger animals and large predator birds like eagles. Once you lose the cat, you reduce your food options.
Traps are awesome. They wait for any passing four legged food source without sleep. They stay ready in the winds and the rains without complaint. And when they work, they close shut without mercy, concern, and with a deaf ear to the death cries of their victim. In freezing weather, just a drop or two of antifreeze with keep them from freezing shut. 24/7, 365 days of mindless hunting.
Trapping comes with a major responsibility though. You simply cannot put a trap out and come back in 3 days. They need checked for the wrong animal, so you can release it. They need checked so that if you get what you were looking for, you can humanely dispatch it so it won’t die of hunger or thirst. If you wait for them to die by hunger or thirst, you actually contaminate the meat with toxins from decomposition. You know why you want to throw up when you smell a dead animal? It’s called cadaverine and puterecine. These are what causes the smell of death and in high enough levels are poisonous to humans.
We are humans. While we hunt for food, we have a sense of fair play in all of it. We do not kill more than we need, and we don’t let an animal suffer needlessly. Pass these morals onto the young and there will be enough to go around for all.
Anyway, the reader tells me: It would depend on what animals you plan to catch. In SE-PA, I would have at least 6-12 #110 or #120 Conibears, 2-3 #330′s, and some #1 1/2, # 2, and #3 or #4 leg holds. I’d also stock some small, medium, and large snares with stop-locks.”
Let’s toss a few into this mix as well: A fish trap for streams and rivers; a crab trap if you live on the coast line; a humane trap for the garden; and your basic snare wires for squirrels and rabbits
The Conibear 110 trap can be used for rabbits, squirrels, muskrats, mink and several other animals. I found a “Buy it Now” on Ebay for 10 bucks for two of them.
The Conibear 330 trap I found was 10 dollars brand new on Ebay as well. The trap was designed for beaver but can also be used for otters, raccoons, and snapping turtles, and will kill a dog, so keep Fido away from your traps.
The humane traps are best for the garden and you can find a variety of sizes and prices on the internet, but generally you should be able to get a rabbit sized trap for approximately 30 dollars, and a racoon sized trap for about 40 dollars.
Why the humane traps? These won’t kill your dog or kitty should they get too curious. Plus, if the animal is ill, you can take the trap off your property to kill it so your ground isn’t infected with whatever is making the animal sick.
The Leg Holds are your generic traps that people are most familiar with. While the conibears look like a square, these are the butterfly wing style that you see in movies that people inevitably step into. They also run about 10 bucks on Ebay, but I have seen them in a few TrueValue stores as well.
Snares are easier to pack in your evac bag and are much cheaper. In the past week I just bought 160 feet of snare wire, in 4-40 foot roles. It cost me 2.25 for the rolls, and 2.50 to have it shipped to Frostbite Falls. It doesn’t take much to make a snare, just watch videos on YouTube, using shoelaces as the wire so you get the idea how it’s done. These can trap almost anything as long as the wire isn’t broken by excessive struggling.
Fish traps can be made from tree branches and sticks. Look up on YouTube Wilderness Fishing Trap. Basically, Sticks stuck in mud and you have a trap.
All traps should be cleaned before being put away, and stored out of the weather, preferably hanging up. Avoid smoking by the traps so a scent isn’t placed on the metal.
Any snare or trap, once set, should be checked frequently during the day. You can place it where it can be seen from across a lake by using binoculars so you won’t disturb the trapping area. Check it once before dark, and then check it bright and early. You have just made an easy meal for a bigger animal. Imagine finding the remains of your future dinner, being last nights dinner for a big cat.
My #1 warning with traps being bought today: DON’T use them without a trapping license or permit. Practice putting them into places on your property, setting them off, and then put them away for the apocalypse. Practice often, but don’t break the law until no law exists.
I found this type of fishing pole, called the Tenkara pole. http://www.tenkaratimes.co.uk It’s compact and looks promising.