Recovery Operations

a. Select site(s) IAW mission order.

b. Ensure site is free of hazards and enemy.

c. Select best area for communications and signaling devices.

d. Observe site for proximity to enemy activity and LOCs.

e. Follow recovery force instructions.

(1) Coyote and Wolf. Coyotes and wolves often run in family groups, especially in the early part of the season. When a littermate is caught, normally other coyotes will return to the set site, so reset traps in the same area. They are inquisitive, so you want them to smell and see. Generally they run 3-25 square mile territories, even larger during periods of rough weather. They will move and congregate around a good food source until it has been eaten. Some years, natural food abundance will have them working one species and showing little interest for other foods and baits. Look at fresh scat and select baits on what they are eating. Coyotes are found at every elevation and habitat type in North America while wolves are restricted to northwestern states. At higher elevations during deep winter snows, coyotes will move to lower elevations with the deer, elk, and livestock, although some will tough it out in the deep snow.

(2) Fox. Gray, Red, Prairie Swift, and Desert Kit foxes are found throughout the U.S. Grays are found in pinion-juniper, cedar, oak brush, canyon bottoms and hogbacks, cottonwood draws and edges where these meet. The Red Fox is found in irrigated agricultural lands along the bases of mountain ranges and prairie rivers, in the high mountain parks and alpine. The Prairie Swift Fox is found in the prairie states of this country. The desert kit fox is found in the southwestern corner states. Both of these species are vary curious. Fox habits are very much like the coyote.

(3) Bobcat and Lynx. Bobcats are generally found in the west while Lynx are found in the northwestern states. They compete with coyotes and sometimes are preyed on by coyotes. Their territory is generally two square miles. They den in rock caves, deadfalls, hollow trees and logs. They are sight hunters and use their eyes and ears more than the sense of smell. They prefer to kill their own food and avoid rotten carrion. Bobcat can be "pulled" to an area by curiosity lures. They often avoid large open space.

(4) Raccoon and Opossum. They are located throughout the U.S. They like a combination of water, old mature trees, buildings and junk piles, and a consistent food supply like grain or prepared feed.

(5) Ring-tailed Cat. They inhabit watercourses where rocky canyons or broken rock, erosion holes and rough terrain occurs. They are found in the western states. Old timers talk of ringtails being fairly abundant prior to the expansion of the raccoon range and densities during and after WWII. It is possible that raccoons have replaced the ringtail in much of its former habitat.

(6) Badger. They are found from above the timberline to the lowest elevation in the west. They apparently do not tolerate high densities and generally there are only 3-4 per square mile while running 1-3 square miles. They prefer rodents but take carrion, fruit, insects, roots and grain. They hole up for long periods during extremely cold weather, moving just before and after severe weather systems. These animals can be tracked to dens and snared in the den. They often inhabit prairie dog towns.

(7) Skunk. Three species are found in the west: striped, spotted, and hognose. Skunks are located just about everywhere. Their musk is a prized ingredient for lures.

(8) Weasel. Two species of weasels occur in most of the west: the ermine or short-tailed, and the long-tailed. They prefer meat and blood, although sometimes they are caught on peanut butter. Their body shape is adapted for living and pursuing their prey on the prey's own territory, burrows, tunnels, and runways. They have ferocious appetites and will tackle grouse, rabbits, ducks, and squirrels. They are inquisitive and can't pass up examining cavities, knot holes, and burrow entrances.

(9) Marten. Marten are found in the upper montane and subalpine zones above 8,000 feet. They generally don't venture far from the escape cover of trees. They live on squirrels, rabbits, voles, deer mice, grouse and other small birds and mammals. There may be as many as 3-5 per square mile. They like fresh kidney, heart, liver, and spleen for baits.

(10)Mink. They are found in suitable water habitat or marshy ground with good bank development and undisturbed wetlands vegetation. They feed on fish, crustaceans, clams, and small mammals and birds. They will general travel along the stream bank.

(11)Beaver. They are found in almost all water with cottonwood, aspen, or willow trees. Peak activity of beaver is from September to freeze-up when they are repairing dams, lodges and building food caches. There will usually be slides from the water to cutting areas of trees. Their castor is an excellent additive to lure.

(12)Muskrat. They are found in springs, dugouts, dams, and permanent pools on intermittent streams, rivers, and irrigation ditches, mountain lakes and beaver ponds. Their dens are usually below the water line and into the bank.

(13)Black Bear. They are found throughout North America. The female generally has one or two cubs during the winter hibernation. Survival of the cubs is good since they benefit from at least a year of parental care. Sows have litters every other year and will not produce cubs until 2 or 3 years of age. They are omnivorous in their feeding, taking what is available such as insects, rodents, berries, roots, fish, and carrion. They are inquisitive. Their color can range from black, brown, cinnamon, to golden.

(14)Mountain Lion. In colonial America the mountain lion, painter, panther, catamount, or cougar was found throughout the U.S. Much of their disappearance was due to the clearing of forests and land-use changes as development progressed. They have litters of 1-6 kittens, averaging 2-3 normally. These are generally born in late winter and early spring. Dens are generally caves in rocky country, hollow logs, windfall trees and various cavities that provide protection from weather. Males can weigh up to 276 pounds and 175 pounds for females. They have tremendous strength with reports of mature lions carrying full-grown deer up cliffs, moving 650-pound cattle, and carrying adult elk for long distances. They prefer to kill their own food and disdain soured and decaying carrion. Kills are deep scratches and gouges on the neck and shoulders, bites and scratches around the neck, face and eyes. The skin is peeled back and the blood rich liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs are eaten first. The muscle tissue is gnawed from the bones. The lion will normally scratch dirt and plant material over the kill, leave it and return for a future meal.

(15)Rabbits and Hares. There are numerous species located throughout North America with the Cottontail, Black-Tailed Jack, and the white-tailed Jack being located in our training area. During winter months, they will feed on aspen and willow twigs.


If the need arises to implement survival skills in a semi-permissive or non-permissive environment the Marine must be able to utilize basic skills, as referenced in the Marine Battle Skills Handbook Pvt - Lcpl, in order to avoid making contact with hostile personnel. Unfortunately, the enemy will not consider your MOS when deciding whether or not you should be captured or killed. It is imperative that every Marine live up to statement - "every Marine is a basic rifleman."

To discuss every possible survival scenario and enemy situation would be pointless. The following outline is to be utilized as a guide. Common sense and survival skills, along with these considerations, will increase your chances of avoiding capture or possible death.

A. Apply the key word survival (ICBT - 20.01) (PVTX.14.16)

1. Size up the situation:

What was the mission?

Can the mission still be accomplished?

What is the enemy situation?

■ Troops and Fire Support available

Do you have communications with higher?

Is anyone injured? How will they be transported?

How will you communicate with other Marines in your group?

Arm and Hand signals?

■ Terrain and Weather Do you have a map?

Does the terrain offer cover and concealment? Where is the water?

Do you have protection from the elements? Is it advantageous to move in current weather? Will you move in daytime or evening temperatures? How much illumination is available at night?

■ Time, Space, and Logistics Is it day or night?

Time Distance Formula

What kind of supplies and equipment are available?

2. Undue haste makes waste:

■ Should you stay or move from your current position.

■ "Slow is Smooth - Smooth is Fast" i.e. Is there a need to run to the SAFE or should the requirements of survival be implemented in route? Security is paramount -is it being sacrificed for speed?

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