Small game animals are plentiful in most wilderness areas. Depending on your location, you are bound to come across mammals, rodents, waterfowls, and other game birds. Make sure you get familiar with the following methods and information on hunting and trapping small game.
In a survival situation, food will probably not be so readily available. There will be times when you might have to go without food for days. Your body will naturally adapt its metabolism according to your new diet. However, at one point you will have to eat something. Knowing how to trap and live off small game will be one of your most precious assets in these circumstances. You need to know about the edible plants and the game in your area.
As a general hunting rule, it’s unwise to rely on big game for your survival. If you’re putting together a bug out plan or are simply considering wildlife areas suitable for a crisis situation, you must take this into consideration. Usually, people tend to think that they’ll be able to live off big game, deer, moose, elk, caribou or bison. Actually, these animals have a very long grazing range and are not that reliable. Furthermore, they can be difficult to track and kill, requiring a lot of effort. You would be better off focusing on areas that can provide consistent small game throughout the year and look at big game rather as a large bonus.
You should really focus on squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, doves, waterfowls, packrats, songbirds, beavers, mice and raccoons, among others. Basically, any animal that crawls, flies or swims is good enough, even lizards.
Before you are able to hunt wild game, you need to do some homework. Do your best to learn about the animals that live in your area. Learn their habits, breeding cycles, and choices of food. Learn to read their tracks, patterns and position on the food chain.
Usually, small game is most active early in the morning and early in the evening. They travel along edges of open ground through waterways and other corridors. They usually have some established trails and tend to be very habitual. You can exploit these facts when setting up your traps or hunting.
Hunting Small Game
If you are in the hunting party of the group, you probably will not have much time left for anything else. Hunting and sourcing food is one of the most important challenges in a survival situation. At times, long hours can even turn to days without any suitable prey.
The most effective tool is your firearm. Usually, you’d want to hunt with a rifle. Just make sure you get something that’s made of stainless steel and it has a weather-resistant laminated wood stock. Fitting a scope would certainly help a lot. You should pick a caliber size that is efficient, but also readily available. I would recommend picking a .22 caliber. You can find it everywhere around the country, and you can fit the same ammunition to a handgun, like a revolver.
If you don’t like rifles, another very popular choice is the 12 gauge shotgun. It doesn’t matter that much what kind of gun you pick. You should pick one that you feel comfortable with, and that is of high quality. You want to be sure you can rely on your weapon at all times. As a general rule, it’s worthwhile to invest in good quality equipment, especially if it might save your life. Here are some basic tips you need to know before you go out hunting.
Stalking small game
- Be patient and go slowly. You need to be alert but relaxed. Avoid sudden movements and walk fluidly.
- Pause as often as you need to and listen quietly before continuing.
- Pay special attention to muddy roads and creek banks for tracks
- Look for chewed nutshell litter around nut trees to locate squirrels.
- If you’re looking for the ears of a rabbit, stay just inside the tree line.
- Listen for the sound of doves or waterfowls.
- Look at the whole environment, from the top of the tree to the ground.
Trapping Small Game
Trapping is a great way to procure food. It’s passive, meaning that once you’ve set the traps, they no longer require your attention, and you can do other things while you wait.
There are traps commercially available if you want to get some. It might be useful to get a few and test them before you actually need them. If you are prepping for a crisis situation, you might not be able to include the traps in your bug out bag. Therefore, it would be more useful to be able to build them in the wild. There are numerous traps that you can build, using only sticks and rocks that you can find in nature. In any case, you should get some practice or experience in hunting and cooking wild animals. It will certainly help you in your future challenges.
Snaring Small Game
Snaring small game is also an effective method. You should use a braided steel cable with a locking mechanism for this trap. They come in various sizes for all kinds of creatures and they’re very effective. They don’t take up much space so you can consider adding some to your bug out bag. You could also build a snare yourself, should you ever be in a survival situation.
Anyone looking to improve his or her survival skills should learn how to hunt and trap. They are critical skills. In addition, they’re not easy to master. It takes hours of practice, stalking, and many unsuccessful traps before you actually manage to eat something. Do yourself a favor and practice these skills before your life depends on them.
Did you ever go hunting? Have you ever built a trap? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.