General Considerations To Take Game Wsvx0208a

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A. General Considerations. Knowing a few general hints and tips will make the trapping of animals easier and considerably more effective. The eight general considerations to take game are:

(1) Know your game. Knowing the habits of the animal you want to trap or snare will help increase your chances. Such things as when and where they move, feed, and water will help you determine where the set can be most effectively placed.

(2) Keep things simple. You don't have time in a survival situation to construct elaborate sets and they do not necessarily do a better job.

(3) Place sets in the right place. Animals will travel and stop in certain locations. That is where to build sets.

(4) Cover up your scent. Animals will avoid a set which smells threatening or unusual to them (i.e., human scent or P.O.L.'s from equipment or clothing).

(a) Man leaves a scent through the pores of the skin by the sweat glands. Use an odorless contact glove when building a set. It may take up to three days for your scent to dissipate if made without gloves.

(b) Certain boot soles and clothing may leave a scent, generally this can be detected by the human nose. If noticed, attempt to mask the scent with smoke from your fire.

(5) Use the right type of set. Certain sets work better than others do for a particular animal.

(6) Use the correct equipment. Using the correct equipment is paramount to success. This includes the weight of the lifting device in proportion to the animal's weight, the cordage or wire to hold the animal's strength, and trigger tension.

(7) Check sets. Check your sets twice daily: morning and evening. Checking your traps less than twice a day can allow your game to escape, rot, or be taken by other predators.

(8) Lure your sets. Lures will add to your chances of success. Certain lures are appropriate at certain times of the year, depending upon the animal desired.

-MRE peanut butter, cheese spread, or jelly.

-Dead carcasses.

-Dead rodents.

(b) Gland or Territorial Lures.

-Animal Urine mixed with beaver castors or animal glands.

(c) Curiosity Lures.

-Single feather, bird wing, piece of fur tied and suspended under a tree limb, allowed to freely move with the breeze.

2. General Techniques to kill animals. (WSVX.02.08b) A general technique is the method in which the trap is intended to kill the animal. The acronym "SICK" is useful in remembering these techniques.

A. S- Strangle. This method strangles the animal, such as a snare.

B. Impale. This method pushes a stake through the animal, such as a spiked dead fall.

C. C- Crush. This method crushes the animal, such as a deadfall for a chipmunk.

D. K- Knock. This method knocks a larger animal unconscious, such as a deadfall.

3. SNARE NOMENCLATURE AND IMPROVISED SNARES. A snare in nothing more than a piece of wire, rope, or cord with a loop at one end, which tightens down around animal's neck. Snares are much easier and less time consuming to construct than traps, while producing better results.

A. Wire. Although snares can be used with rope or cord, they are less effective than wire. Wire should have memory and resist kinking. Aircraft cable type 7x7, in sizes 1/16 to 3/8 inch should be used. This type of wire prevents animal chew out and resists breakage. Remember that you want the smallest diameter cable capable of holding the animal.

B. Locking device. A locking device is imperative for a snare to work properly. Locking devices secure the snare around the animal's neck. There are several methods available for a locking device.

Locking SnareSnarring Mink

4. SNARING. In a winter environment, snaring is the most effective means to take game

A. Requirements for snaring. (MSVX.02.08c) There are three requirements to effectively employ snares. They are location, presentation, and construction.

1) Location. Location is paramount to success. The following guide can assist you.

a) Coyotes, Foxes, and Badger. Along rarely traveled roads, fire lanes, irrigation ditches, fence lines, in saddles, along ridge tops, meadow borders, by carcasses.

b) Bobcat and Lynx. At bases of cliffs and large rock faces; on ridges and saddle crossing; along stream bottoms. Cats need security so rarely get far from tree, brush or escape cover.

c) Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, and Ring-tailed Cats. Stream beds and banks; trails along stream beds, ponds, rivers and other water courses; Raccoons like a combination of water, old mature trees, buildings and junk piles, and a consistent food supply like grain or prepared feed.

d) Weasel. Marshy, grassy meadows.

e) Marten and Fisher. Along meadow edges, ridgelines, and downfalls.

f) Mink. Under bridges; around culverts, tiles and junk in or near streams, rivers and lakes, springs and seeps, Muskrat and Beaver lodges and dams. Mink will stop and investigate nearly every hole or cavity around a streambed.

g) Beaver and Muskrat. Around the food cache under the ice.

h) Rabbits. In thick willow stands along runs and trails.

Presentation. Presentation is the type of set for the intended animal. Cubbie sets work well for bobcat, raccoon, marten, fisher, opossum, and skunk while trail sets work well for coyote, fox, mink, and rabbit.

3) Construction. Construction is the actual building of the set.

a) A split stick is utilized to support the snare and ensure the snare fires properly. The split stick can be either green or seasoned wood. However, the snare must not slip through the split. The locking device must be next to the split stick. The split stick must be securely placed in the ground. ( If you are utilizing a weighted snare the locking device may be in the 12 o'clock position.)

b) The snare must be anchored or attached to a drag.

The Ground Snare

d) Loop size. A correctly employed snare will have the snare holding the animal around the neck. Loop size is placed on the snare according to the intended animal. Too large will result in a body or leg catch, resulting in possible chew out or breakage. Too small will enable the animal to force the snare to the side, resulting in a miss. Additionally, the loop must be placed with specific ground clearance. Ideally, the bottom of the loop should hit the intended animal chest high. The snare trigger is that part of the loop which hits the animals chest.








2 1/2 TO 3 INCHES

1/2 TO 1 1/2 INCHES


4 TO 5 1/2 INCHES

1 1/2 TO 3 INCHES













Note: -Noose size is the diameter of the snare loop.

-Ground clearance is measured from the bottom of the loop to the ground.

e) Fencing. The objective of fencing is to have the animal move through the "path of least resistance" or more importantly the snare. Fencing must be subtle and not over done.

Rabbit Snare Loop Size

f) Lure. In a survival situation, you will not be able to employ numerous snares. Luring all snares increases your chances of success. However, it is not necessary for trail sets.

Baited Under Ice Beaver Snare


Bobcat Cubbies


5. SNARE SETS. (MSVX.2.8d) Although there are numerous ideas to employ snares, here are a few.



Survival Snare Sets


Kill Poles For Snares
Krav Maga Techniques


Kill Poles For Snares

6. IMPROVISED TRAPS. Improvised traps are made from a variety of materials.

Generally, they incorporate a means to kill the animal (i.e., loop or weight) by the use of a trigger.

A. Types of Triggers. (WSVX.02.08e) There are two basic triggers used for all traps and path guards. Depending on the situation, variations of these triggers can be used.

1) Toggle.

Survival Traps Trigger

a. Spring Pole. The spring pole requires a small sapling and cordage to construct. The trigger for the spring pole is the toggle. It is designed to lift the animal off the ground; not allowing predatory animals to take your game. Remember, the trigger can not be so tight that the intended game can not set it off. The spring pole can freeze in position.

Survival Traps Trigger
Survival Spring Pole Snare

B. Construction of improvised traps. (WSVX.2.8f) Traps are designed to hold or kill animals by use of some type of action. This action is generally caused by either a weight or spring loaded device.

1) Weighted Lift Pole. The lift pole requires a small sapling and cordage to construct. The trigger for the "spring" or "lift" pole is a variation of the toggle. It is designed to lift the animal off the ground, preventing predatory animals from taking game. Remember, the trigger can not be so tight that the intended game can not tip it.

Spring Loaded Snare TrapsKill Poles For Snares

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