Survival Skills for Hunting and catching your Food

man in camo hunting with bow

How use Survival Skills to Set Snares and Traps

Along With Fishing and Hunting

Having enough survival skills to obtain food in the wild is very important to any prepper - While you can survive for weeks without food, it is not recommended you try.

You can always obtain food if you have the skills needed to set snares, traps and by knowing how to easily fish and hunt in the wild.

Having this ability will ensure that you can obtain food for energy so you can complete your survival tasks and for psychological reasons as well.

Food is comfort and having it will boost morale, which can literally be a lifesaver.

Snares for hunting:

snare photo

A spring snare is ideal because once the animal is snared it is secured out of the reach of any predators prowling the trails.

Look for signs of depression in the grass, which indicates an animal trail.

To construct a spring snare you will need cordage, survival knife or small axe, a slender sapling that can be bent, a peg to secure the sapling and a stake that is driven into the ground.

The small peg needs a notch or extended elbow so it can be secured to the stake driven into the ground.


Pull the sapling down so there is enough tension for it to spring back up when released. Tie a length of cordage to the sapling and the other end to the small peg and holding the sapling secure the peg to the driven stake so it holds the bent tree in place. Carefully tie another length of string to the peg.

Make a loop with some cordage and make sure you use a slipknot so when an animal's head tries to force its way through the loop it tightens. Take the other end of the string that is attached to the peg and tie it to the loop.

Push some slender sticks into the ground and drape the loop over them so the loops' shape is maintained. Once an animal walks into the snare it will pull the peg lose that is holding the tension on the sapling causing it to spring up with the animal snared.

It will take practicing your survival skills to where you can set a dozen or so snares in a relatively short period. 

Making your snares overly complicated is time consuming.

You want to weigh your efforts against the results when hunting for food, there is no point in expending 1,000 calories only to net 300 calories. Your traps and snares must be such they can be set up in minutes so you can set about searching for other ways to obtain food.   


snare picture


A Simple Snare.

It is recommended that you use wire for a simple snare so it maintains it shape. Wire should be between "20 and 24 gauge" with a loose slipknot so the wire tightens easily once the animal tries to force its shoulders through the snare.

You have to size your snares for the type animal you expect to trap otherwise the loop will be either too big or small. A simple snare may not hold the animal long, so check often and to prevent predators from running off with your catch as well.

Keep in mind you are competing with other predators that have been honing their survival skills for years.

survival skills shhowing animal trailPlace the snares along trails leading to and from water and along small game runs that lead to and from the animals den.

Animals will use more than one trail so always look for the so-called backdoor trail or bolt hole if you discover a den and want to set snares close by.




Dead Fall Traps

survival skills showing deadfall trapDeadfall traps can be complicated and occasionally you can injure yourself setting one up.

A trap such as the one depicted can be used for smaller animals and they typically need to be baited because they are difficult to set up along game trails because larger animals along the trail will trip them.

You must bait them to draw the animal to a spot where they would not normally be. Use bait that is not unique to the area.

There is no point in baiting a trap with acorns when you are in a forest of oak trees because there is no reason for the animal to be attracted to the trap. Use peanut butter or rations from your pack.


survival skills showing figure 4 deadfall trapThere are numerous components to a deadfall trap making them more complicated to set up than a snare.

survival skills deadfall triggerThe more complicated something is the greater chance of a malfunction.

Use deadfalls traps to target specific animals you know are in the area and set them close to where you suspect they might be. 




Survival skills are important but you do not need to be a master to catch fish.

Fishing is one of the quickest ways to obtain food in the wild and it can be done with limited skills and materials. Essentially, all you need is line, hooks and bait, or you can catch them by hand or by using a spear.

survival skills button hookgorge hookLine can be shoelaces, string, clothing torn into strips and braided or you can make cordage by stripping cattail stalks, for example, and twisting the fibres into line.

Hooks can be pieces of wire, paper clips, or bones and pieces of wood carved into hooks.

Use the pop tops off discarded soda cans or even use a broken button as a gorge hook.

A gorge hook is sharpened on both ends and is usually about five centimetres long.

Both ends are baited with the hopes the fish swallows the entire hook.

Having survival skills means you adapt to your surroundings and know how to use what you find there for your survival.



Fishing Spear

spear for fishing


A fishing spear can also be used as a small animal spear. Fishing spears should be multi-pronged so the spear catches and holds the fish.

A single spear end even though sharpened may not secure the fish or even penetrate.

However, a fishing spear take a lot of practice to perfect as well as most of the time you may need to wade out into the water which can be both dangerous and mean having to dry your clothes.




Modern Survival Fishing -  The YoYo Reel - 

Traditional fishing methods can be time consuming and require effort that will burn up valuable calories. Therefore, as a prepper, it's important to always carry some equipment to ensure you can have food.

The YoYo reel is ideal for preppers as several reels can easily be set up and left in a matter of minutes leaving you free to carry on SURVIVAL SKILLS yoyo reelwith other survival tasks and come back later to find a nice catch of fish.!

yoyo fishing reelOnce setup, the reel is left to work on its own - the mechanism is sensitive to a fish nibbling on the bait and does all the catching for you including the reeling into shore.


To some extent this is a "preppers survival fishing dream kit". Saving a lot of work and effort.





link to >  YO-YO Automatic Mechanical Fishing Reel



Start working on your survival skills now. Build up your knowledge of snares and trapping by reading survival books like the very good 'Trapper's Bible' on the left here.

So when you find yourself lost or stranded or even out for an adventure, you have the means and the knowledge to obtain food.

Having a YO-Yo reel will definitely help you get food and save you time and effort.

Happy Prepping Folks..




Additional Basic Survival Articles 


basic survival skills by ray mears

Essential reading for all outdoor survival

Ray Mears - Outdoor Survival Handbook




1 comment

    • Eli on April 21, 2020 at 2:06 pm
    • Reply

    These are quite difficult traps… And fishing things… Easiest is to make a willow basket to catch eels which you only need to set in the water and come back and catch the live fishes…. Stabbing at a fish with a sharpened stick seems insanity… Catching rabbits etc is much easier if you just use what poachers use and put nets across the openings of the warrens then stick a ferret down the hole to catch em or at least put your snare over a warren door so you have stone chance to get a rabbit. Catching rats wouldn’t be too hard as they can be trapped the same way as the fish …you basically have a hole that funnels into the basket easily but can’t let the animal out you can use sharp stakes that point inward they can easily squeeze past to get in but get spiked trying to go out… And you could if you had to survive more easily survive if you catch a mating pair of rabbits don’t eat them and keep them caged and mating to make you some more rabbits… You might go hungry for a few weeks but you’d have infinite rabbits to keep you going thereafter. … Like if you have the means to have soda pop cans and paperclips and cordage then you have the means to do a lot of things … Its unlikely that the entire population will disappear overnight ever…so in the event of a disaster buy a few chickens eggs and hatch them into breeding broilers and layers … Start a maghot farm to feed them… Poach a breeding pair of rabbits or buy some Guinea pigs and make a tractor run so they can move around eating the things you can like bugs and maggots… Like if you’re going to prepare prepare …. Start growing and farming food …humans need to farm to survive not forage and hunt. Join a local cooperative farm transform a lawn into a plot of vegetables buy some chickens make a maggot farm…maggots will eat shit out of a bucket and feed a chicken which you can eat… I dunno you won’t survive long with this peppers guide because at no point in time will there be a situations hat is not of your own choose for leisure and fun that you will be in a forest with only a paperclip and some cord …. The real prepping that you need to be doing is investing now in sustainable futures … Waiting for the world to degrade to the point where you’ve only got a paperclip and piece of rope is fairly pointless. The point of prepping is to prepare for the worst. If the worst happens you want some local piggery and a local chicken laying enterprise and a local food forest being grown and established for fruit and veg all year round… You want a local textile plant utilizing locally grown hemp and a local coppice providing fuel…etc… This is all very ell for a team building excersise but its useless information if you actually want to prepare to survive and thrive any one of the potential disasters waiting to happen. Also invest in local forges being rsdtored local clay pits being used to make local bricks and kilns etc… If the shit hits the fan and you’re skinning rabbits and stabbing at fish with a sharp stick in the woods I garuantee you although you may survive you will not compete for mating and you will not have any progeny because if a man is at that level come disaster and hasn’t got a decent set up for himself to thrive no woman is going to mate with them. So that’s an important survival requisit…that your not half naked wearing a rabbit skin hat stabbing fish and you actually have a decent set up like a sustainable farm or something worth getting involved in… Yeah… Sorry.

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