Posted by Bruce Buckshot Hemming on 12th Aug 2015

What to do when there is no food: Trapping techniques for small game animals.

It could begin something like this:

Tensions are building across the world as the American dollar tips on the verge of collapse.

China, the main debt holder of American bonds, could at any time demand full payment on their bonds.

With the technology of today, information and news spreads around the world in micro seconds.

The domino would start to fall.

The world could panic, which becomes contagious, and other countries will rush to get rid of the America dollar.

At that point, the Federal Reserve would be overwhelmed and simply declare a bank Holiday, refusing to pay out all at once.

Countries immediately cut off shipments to America.

Oil shipments stop and gas skyrockets to $10 a gallon and higher.

Worried Americans rush to the banks in blind panic trying to withdraw their hard earn money, as nationwide panic sets in.

Congress and the Senate hold emergency meetings trying to work with the debt holders.

All government payments are stopped.

Gas prices now hit $20.00 a gallon…Cash only. Credit cards and debit cards are no longer accepted.

Social Security payments stop.  Food stamps and welfare checks are not issued.

Debt holders demand all payments be made to them before any American receives any payment from the government.

Protests begin that instantly turn to riots and every store is looted beyond recognition.

Cities burn, roads are blocked and the public is cut-off from its supply chain making it impossible to obtain food and other supplies.

Can something like this happen? There are plenty of scenarios that could cause a collapse like this and as most of us know, there is only an average of 3 days’ worth of food in your local grocery store.Even scarier is the realization that you only have a few days’ worth of food (at best) in your own home!

How are you going to feed to your family?

I hear a lot of hunters say I am simply going to hunt and fish to survive. My comment is, “Are you planning to starve?” A normal adult needs around 2500 calories a day to live an active life. Of course, the more physical work you do, the higher the calorie count needed.

For instance, say you bug out and you hit your favorite spot before the others arrived. You manage to shoot a deer. There is approximately 712 calories in a pound of cooked venison. If 2 people are only eating venison how long would it last? Do you have a freezer at your bug out location? Do you know how to make jerky in the field? On a 150 pound deer you are only going to get about 2/3 in useable meat, 100 pounds. Each person would need to consume 3.5 pounds a day. So for 2 people it would be 7 pounds a day. You would run out of food in 14.2 days. Now what?

Let me introduce to you a concept called “surviving on small deer”. Most hunters are stuck in this mode of “I can survive off deer”. There is simply not enough deer to feed all the people coming into the woods and within a month most will starve to death or head back to the cities. People do not have the skills for long term survival. During the Great Depression many a farm boy saved family farms by trapping. Furs were worth money to pay on the bank notes and the meat was used to feed the family.

What are the small deer animals most hunters over look? They are raccoons, possums, ground hogs, and beaver.

One raccoon has 1200 calories per cooked pound of meat. But like hunting where you just don’t go buy a gun and say you are hunter, trapping has a learning curve and you need to go out and practice the skill beforehand.

One 20 pounder giving you lots of calories.

The reason I used this picture was that this was on farmstead and the culvert was just laying on the ground in the back 40. A little bit of bait in the culvert, set a trap in front, and you are eating. A snare would work at this location as well.

First let me explain what a modern self-locking snare is. They are made out of aircraft cable and have a locking device. Once tightened on the animal it cannot back off. There is a swivel at the end so once an animal is caught he can spin in circles without binding the cable to the point of breaking.

How would you use a snare at this location? As a quick demo I set this up in the kitchen. The same way you would set a culvert.

Pound a wooden stake into the ground next to the culvert. Place a piece of bailing wire wrapped tight around the stake. Insert and connect to the support collar (tapered black spring on snare wire) on your snare.

The coon goes in to eat the bait, and the snare tightens up locking on the animal. It’s literally that simple.

Beavers are an over-looked food source. Snares can be used on all small game animals using the same technique.

That’s a lot of food sitting in the back of my truck. Most hunters would never even consider beaver as a food source.

This beaver was snared during a survival class I taught in Tennessee. We ate well that night. He was about a 45-pound beaver and produced 25 pounds of cooked meat.

Unfortunately I am not able to explain everything that goes into trapping and snaring in one post. But I want to give you an idea of an overlooked survival skill that could mean the difference between starving or surviving.

Also another valuable skill to learn is tanning hides and making fur hats, mittens and other apparel. This will be a very valuable barter skill in a post-apocalyptic world.

Beaver mittens I personally tested in -50 degrees temperatures in North Dakota. They kept my hands warm and toasty.

Lastly, I will talk about an overlooked animal–the muskrat. This one also gets the ‘yuck factor’ from most people. Unlike normal rats, these are larger and live in the water, are fairly easy to trap, and certainly overlooked by most hunters.

Here is a picture from one class I taught. One days catch.

11 muskrats and a raccoon.

A warm muskrat hat.

Trapping, snaring, and tanning hides are very valuable skills anyone can learn that could literally save your life and the lives of your loved ones in the event of total collapse.

Bruce Buckshot Hemming

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