[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Posted by Bruce Buckshot Hemming on May 09, 2015


I was on a prepper Facebook page and the subject of rat traps for survival came up. People were saying they use them to catch rabbits and squirrels. So I asked for pictures as proof. Silence was all that I received. Again the topic came up and some ‘so called’ expert piped up and said, “Make sure you drill a hole in it so you can tie off the trap. That way some other animal can’t run off with your catch”. Again I asked for pictures proving rat traps work. Again I was met with silence.

What we have is an urban myth that is passed down from person to person. “Well, my second cousin on my mother’s side 10 years ago said it works so it must be true”. I should have been born in Missouri because I believe in “show me” as proof. I trapped professionally for years. One thing you can say about trappers is they are frugal. If a $1.89 rat trap is so effective, how come professional trappers are not using them?

Back in the 70’s when I started trapping I read the same myth about using rat traps to catch muskrats. If you don’t know the difference, for the regular brown rat, the trap is designed to catch weights no more than 12 ounces. Also, there is an urban myth about monster rats the sizes of house cats told from New York to Chicago. The best one I ever heard was when the sewer line broke in Chicago and thousands of rats the sizes of cats came pouring out. The city called the swat team to get them under control. Let’s leave the Sci-fi monster rats out of this and deal with reality.

From Wikipedia: “The brown rat, also referred to as common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat (Rattus norvegicus) is one of the best known and most common rat. A large male rat will weigh in at 12 ounces, and large female rat will be about 9 ounces”.A large muskrat weighs over two pounds. Anyways, I thought I would try it. I was told to wire the trap to cattail stalk baited with apples to ensure the trap was straight up and down.The muskrat swimming by would come over and grab the apple and get caught. Here’s what happens when using rat traps for 10 days. One trap fired with no catch 12 times. This was in the fall, rough weather, and waves were part of the problem setting the trap off.The other two times the trap actually caught a muskrat, and the trap was found in pieces. I concluded at the time that the water was soaking the wood and the staples holding the trap to the board pulled out. I was unable to reuse it because everything was gone except for the wood and the trigger arm. After 10 days not one muskrat was held. But, of course a 110 body gripper trap I was also using caught plenty of muskrats.

A friend of mine in the 80’s was struggling to survive with a wife, new son, with barely any money. He wanted to trap rabbits as he had found a rabbit den in the snow and set a rat trap in front of the hole thinking he would have trapped one in the morning. The next morning when he checked his trap, the trap was set off and kicked to the side. He tried for 2 more days and had the same result–trap was snapped and kicked off the trail. Now think for one moment, you’re starving, trying to survive in the winter and you find empty sprung traps that should be holding food. How would you feel?

He knew I was a trapper so he asked me for help. I brought over a 110 body gripper and we set it at the same hole. The next morning when I saw him at work he was smiling; he said the 110 worked like a champ. He took 6 rabbits out of that den. Real traps equal success.

Again in the 90’s I heard about using rat traps to trap weasels. At the time, I was running beaver traps in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and weasels were going for $3 to $6 each. I figured thought that would help pay for gas.I bought 2 traps and gave it a try. Again, all I caught were a couple of mice and when I finally caught a weasel, the trap broke. The wood split down the middle and the weasel escaped.The trap was broken so I was unable to reset it. I know other trappers that have had good luck with them for weasels, but not me. Every single time I tried rat traps I ended up with nothing except for broken traps and no catches. Do you really want to bet your life on Mickey Mouse traps designed to catch rats? Or, are you going to bet your family’s life on real equipment professional trapper’s use?

But wait…….what about squirrels? I am glad you asked. This YouTube video will show you the same thing. Rat traps don’t work!Squirrel owned by rat trap! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa3lgb_5Aio

So what works? The 110 body gripper is the best small game survival trap ever built. I have used them to catch rabbits, squirrels, ducks (accidently), turtles, frogs (accidently), muskrats, mink, and skunks.

Note the trap is set upright so when the animal is trying to go through it and is caught around the neck quickly killing him. Also note how the trap is set using the stick at an angle so it goes through the spring and top part of the jaws. This prevents the trap from being knocked over.

So can it actually catch a rabbit? Here’s the proof.

The great part of this trap is it only weighs 12 ounces and can be folded to fit in your jacket pocket. Here is a trick to save your weight. When you first get the trap, you need to get the factory oil off the trap. You can wash it in hot water with Dawn dish soap. Here is a hint for married guys–don’t do it in the kitchen sink the—your wife will be mad about the grease left behind. Use a bucket, then rinse with hot water and toss it outside and allow it to rust for 10 days. If you’re doing this for a bug-out bag, to help save weight, cut off the chain and replace it with 16 gauge black wire. You can get this at any lumber yard–ask for rebar wire. It comes in 3 lb. roll. In dry climate you might have to water it once a day to get the rust going. Once you have a light coating of rust, set and fire the trap off to knock off any loose rust. Paint the trap and wire with flat black spray paint. Put on 2 coats. Remember not to get it too thick on the two prong trigger or it will make it too stiff. If it becomes stiff, work it back in forth until it swings freely. Let air dry for a week outside then pack in your bug-out bag. With the wire tie-off, you’re all set to go.

Remove chain.

Wire attached.

Folded and ready for bug-out bag.

I can’t stress this enough–don’t bet your life on Mickey Mouse crap from internet experts. Get the real traps that last over 20 years.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]