How To Stockpile Animal Traps and Related Gear To Supplement Your Survival Food Storage Now And Post Collapse

A supply of animal traps for foraging could mean the difference between life and death to the survivor

A supply of animal traps for foraging could mean the difference between life and death to the survivor

Harvesting wild game for the stew-pot is excellent long-term survival strategy as long as you don’t plan to live off of harvested wild game exclusively. Wild game should be considered as only one link, in your food resupply chain, and not as the whole chain.

You must have variable and independent sources of resupply, lined up and ready to go. I’ve seen too many preppers, who plan to rely 100% on their stored foods. They have no resupply chain, and if the crisis lasts longer than their food stockpile, then they are out of luck.

Plus your stockpile can be looted, burnt, blown away or destroyed a hundred other ways, so please don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Plan on losing your main supply, and make plans that will allow you to keep on feeding your family, regardless of how empty your storage shelves become.

But I digress, from the intended subject of this section, and that is suggested tools and traps that you’ll need when foraging for wild game.

To start you’ll need to learn how to trap and use the following trap, and related suggestions to their full effectiveness. To help you with this I can suggest a couple of books, but you’ll still need to get off of your rear-end and actually, go outside and do it. You’ll need to practice, practice and then practice some more, because most animals are smarter than the average human when it comes to trying to trap them.

Books that you should have include:

There are other good how-to-do-it trapping books available, but the three above are my top recommendations. Just don’t think that you’re an expert or proficient trapper just because you read a book, you’re not. You have to get outside and DO IT!

Snares are effective for harvesting small game - be sure to set out 10 or more in different locations to increase your chances.

Snares are effective for harvesting small game – be sure to set out 10 or more in different locations to increase your chances.

As for trap and gear recommendations, I suggest that you lay in a good supply of small game snares, you can make your own snares, but I’ve found that it’s just as cost effective to order them pre-made in bulk, than to make your own, especially when you consider your time.

The Dakotaline Rabbit Snares that are linked to above are the perfect size and weight for trapping small game like rabbit, squirrel, and pheasant. Larger game can also be taken (easily I might add) with snares, but you’ll have to make your own, heavy-weight snares for this (disclaimer: check and follow game laws… yadda, yadda, yadda), full details are given on the pages of the book Survival Poaching, that I linked to above.

My next trap recommendation is the 110 Single Spring Body Trap, these are perfect for rabbit and squirrel sized game, and can be set without a setting tool by most people. When setting these traps, it’s a good idea to use a Safety Grip Tool, for your safety.

These traps work by snapping shut hard enough to kill the animal with a blow to the neck, and have enough power to break your hand if it’s accidentally triggered while you’re setting the trap if your hand is caught.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. JP in MT says:

    I used to think that trapping was for once we moved out of town, ie. wild game. But as I look around, there is plenty of game out there today that is eatable. We even have issues with deer in town(s). Some places have coyote problems (look at what are they eating). Then there are animals that used to be pets and the owner can no longer afford to feed them. Within a generation cats will go feral quickly and dogs will pack up within days.

    • Here in Midwest USA, we have deer-in-town problems all the time. Coyotes are endemic here, but they don’t really venture into the human areas (low human population in most areas and no “enticing features” like large amounts of food refuse to attract them I think would be why). Feral pets can happen here, but they are most often killed by wild animals before things get to that point. I think things will go upside-down in that sense though when an SHTF/TEOTWAWKI event occurs. Lots of instances of wild animals encroaching on human turf and housepets going feral on a large scale.

  2. I had been experiencing some theft as of late,so I baited a rather large trap with malt liquor and a gold chain. When I woke up,sure enough,I had caught a hood rat. He is in grandmas marinade right now. It’s 101 degrees and I’ve been working outside since 6:30 this morning. I hope my appropriateness meter didn’t get damaged from the heat.

  3. Assuming the stuff doesn’t hit the fan before next July, there is an annual trappers convention in Escanaba, Michigan. That is sort of centrally located on the shore of Lake Michigan in the UP. I went this year for the first time and was totally amazed by the number of vendors selling trapping gear. This year I collected business cards because I need to learn a lot more before I invest. I would like to suggest to the pack that if you can manage to get up here next year that the show is well worth the trip. Not to mention that the UP is very pleasant in July.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I go to the UP every few years, I will look into going next year. Other then the bugs it’s a great area to go to.


  4. Illini Warrior says:

    If your locale has the smaller sized grey squirrel a modified rat trap will get the job done …. at a $1 each it’s a super cheap way to break into DIY trapping ….

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Yep, drill a hole into it, mount a few on a board and lean them against a tree. Works good. But you occasionally catch a bird in them.

      • Illini Warrior says:

        You can actually modify a rat trap specifically for small birds …. attach a lite weight hoop and netting to the striker bar …. just bait the netting area with chicken feed ….

        You’d heard the nursery rhyme 4 and 20 Blackbirds in a Pie – tasty SHTF recipe

  5. Oldalaskan says:

    In Arctic Survival School I learned how to make very good rabbit snares from .032 stainless steel aircraft safety wire. it can be bought in 1 pound rolls from Aircraft tool supply. Cut about 5 feet and twist 5-7 twists per inch, make an easy sliding noose and make the loop about the size of your fist. bend slightly to make it spring shut and set the loop 3 fingers off the ground on a rabbit trail. I have had rabbits that panicked and strangled themselves and some that just calmly sat and waited for me to come by and do the deed.
    I have several rolls also .042 to make tripping traps for night stalkers and .020 copper for more serious booby traps.

  6. dollar store rat traps, good for squirrels

  7. Chuck Findlay says:

    That shed picture is way too neat and clean to be real…

  8. mom of three says:

    What about worms, in the smaller creatures? My neice got pinworms, from chewing on her nails as a little girl. Deer, might be fine but rats, mice, squirrels, possums, and racoons, I don’t think I can bring myself to do it. I’ll stock up on more seeds, to grow for sure.

    • From my research, pinworms are NOT spread by animals. They are spread from human-to-human and human-to-surface contact, most common occurrences are in a daycare/classroom setting with someone who has pinworms. As far as worm contractions, your bigger worry is tapeworm, which ARE spread by animals, most often through undercooked meat. Doing a thorough job of cooking with any game meat should eliminate any risk though. Arguably the biggest risk from consuming small-game (and even medium-game meat) though is the risk of TSE’s (Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathies), which have the effect of essentially turning your brain to mush. To avoid this, there are certain parts of small-game and medium-game animals that you should not eat. I can’t say what all of those parts are though…..maybe someone better versed than me can inform you better. I do know that avoidance of animal brains is pretty universal.

  9. Sierra Grey says:

    Thanks for a GREAT article, MD. I was reading about people that have been through real depressions. Hunting did not provide enough food for the typical person who relied on it. Trapping did. Those that had the equipment and knowledge to run a large trapping system were far more likely to find food to eat. That is, a couple of traps isn’t a trap system. As you point out in words and in your photographs, it requires supplies. I used to think, “Oh, I’ll just whip out my survival manual and build one of the traps illustrated.” Ha. Actually trying that did not lead to success. They are easier read about then built and used. Mine efforts were mostly failures. But live traps and snares can really work, the snares in number. But even there, I found that using them successfully really requires knowledge and skills, not only to setting them, but placing them in the right places. I’ve come down to thinking that most folks like me have only one option–live traps that require bait. A live trap and a can of cat food will procure critters on my property! One night i put one out in the front of my cabin, trying to catch a bothersome varmit. I woke up to find a black bear tossing and batting around the trap. In a need-be situation, it would have been possible to shoot the bear at that point and end up with a nice skin and lots of bear jerky. The varmits and the bears up in my retreat area go crazy for canned fish and canned pet food. One of the Indians showed me how he catches wild pigs–he took a small dog run built out of chainlink fence and converted the swinging end door into a drop door, hooked to a release in the center of the run to which he would attach a dead chicken. When the pig entered the trap and grabbed the chicken the door dropped. He could then harvest the pig when he arrived with a pistol shot to the head.

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