Large animals, such as deer, elk, etc., can travel large distances and chasing them down will consume a large number of calories – something that you may not have to spare post SHTF. Small game, such as rabbit, mice, squirrels, racoon, beaver, prairie dog, etc. don’t go far and will provide a stable supply of meat.
If you are staying in one area, then trapping small game is a good option. Traps can be simple, such as a #110 Conibear, cable snares and wooden rat traps. The more traps you set, the better your odds of having some meat to put in the pot. The odds are even better if you know where to place traps. As these traps are all fairly cheap, it is something you should stock up on.
Generally speaking, animals are predictable and habitual. They follow the path of least resistance and thus keep to the same trails, so look for ‘rabbit runs’ and areas that have been flattened by animals running back and forth. Paths of least resistance can also be edges of fields, fence rows or edges of open ground, as they tend to stay out of large open areas so they don’t become prey to birds.
Other areas they are going to run to, with some regularity, are watering holes or water ways, so look for a path to a local watering hole. In more mountainous areas, you may find that they regularly run to salt licks.
When placing traps in a trail, you need to ‘direct’ the animal to the trap, so narrowing the trail by using brush, sticks and other natural objects will help direct the animal into the trap. It’s also a good idea to remove unnatural, or human, odors from the trap by rubbing it and your hands in the dirt before handling.
Traps also need to be secured, so if the animal is not killed, it can’t run off. Traps should also be checked regularly, so other animals don’t take your supper. Like other skills, you should learn how to clean small game so that you don’t waste any meat. Happy trapping.