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Discussion Starter #1
I am sitting here having some hot tea killing some time before I go out and check my traps this morning. While I got a head lamp, its a bit nippy out this morning and I would rather wait for the sun to come up a bit and get my "drink on" and get the blood flowing first. Its a lot easier that way... Before any PETA Cheerleaders flame away, I am using live traps at the moment. I dont know why cause animal control is going to destory anything I call them to come pick up. But thats a long drawn up battle I had with Animal Control here last year.

But thats neither here nor there. It got me thinking...

1. How many folks are planning on using traps in order to put some protein on the table in tough times?

2. How many here have ran a trap line before and have some experience at this game?

3. What kind of traps are you using or going to be using?

4. What are some of your favorite "sets" when your out trapping?

Feel free to post away and share any experiences or tips below. It would be nice to hear what other think or plan and I am always game for any helpful tips I might not be aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ill be the first victim...since I started it!

1. How many folks are planning on using traps in order to put some protein on the table in tough times?
Trapping will figure pretty heavy into my preps. While I am a hunter at heart and prefer that method of putting meat on the table as its a little more selective and more challenging, lets face it, its not the most effcient way to go about putting food on the table. Consider too that hunting is time consuming. It takes up precious time that could be used doing many other things that will also need to be done. It also forces you to expose yourself a lot more too making the chances of running into others more likely. That may or may not be a good thing. Guns make noise too and thats like ringing the dinner bell to anyone else in ear shot. By running a small trap line I can put meat on the table, do it in relative silence, minimally expose myself while out doing it, and free up a lot of my time to do a multitude of other almost as pressing task.

I hope I dont have to depend on this technique as I plan to raise a lot of my own protein but even then there is the problem of pest visiting the Rabbit Hutches or Chicken Coop looking for a easy meal that may need to be dealt with. Yeah I could sit up all night and hope I get a chance to ambush the guilty predator but this eats into my beauty sleep and while beauty sleep wont make me any more beautiful, it sure makes me a lot more pleasant to be around the next day, know what I mean? Besides fire that gun at night and half the county is liable to know where it came from and where they need to look for their next meal and attract unwanted guest. Too, with all of the folks that will be "heading for the hills to live off the land" pickings are probably going to get pretty slim pretty fast and game animal populations dwindle.

2. How many here have ran a trap line before and have some experience at this game?
I have ran some pretty large trap lines in the past when I was much younger and there was much less urban sprawl. I was pretty successful at it then and made a lot of money to buy myself a few rifles, get some custom work done on them and get into reloading ammunition. Sold a lot of Squirrel Tails to Mepps spinner bait company as well. I still do a little bit these days although its geared more towards pest control than fur or meat production. Its enough to keep me on top of my game and maintain my skills.

3. What kind of traps are you using or going to be using?
I have used a wide variety of traps from Snares, to Leg Hold, Live Traps to Conibear traps. I have used Snares but these really do take some attention to detail to set and be consistently successful with. This has not been a technique that I have been all that effective at and as such very rarely use it these days. In my younger days this was by far the trap of choice. I ran a lot of these and was very effective with them. If I had it to do all over again I would have used very few of them and used them only in certain situations. These were pretty common at the feed store so thats what I used more times than not. I never knew there were other better option out there at the time. I used a pretty fair number of live traps too. Most were home built of wood and worked well but they were really bulky to hump around and some things I trapped I wished they would have been killed...Skunks for one! Man do I have some stories about that...youll need a bottle of oxygen to catch your breath in between fits of uncontrolled laughter. It wasnt funny though, at least I didnt think so!!! Then came the internet, what a wonderful and glorious thing! I discovered the engineering marvel called Conibear Traps! Its now my bread and butter trap for sure!!! Very few situations where I dont use one of these awsome traps. Unless a task calls for a Leg Hold set or a Live Trap, this is my trap of choice! Unfortunately its also a kill trap and doesnt discriminate and if used for collecting food, it will need to be checked often especially in warmer weather.

Right now my collection of traps include the following...

8 X Live Traps.

These are made from a heavy wire mesh and are perfect for Raccoon sized critters. These are large enough for a Bob Cat to get into but a larger size would be better suited for that task. Not sure what brand these are, but they are not Hav-a-heart and are far more studrier built and robust. Youd be surprised what a desperate and cornered wild animal can do to what seems like a sturdy cage trap!!! This is pretty much what I use when I am looking to target specific animals such as Feral Cats. With these if I get a Opposum or Raccoon or the neighbors pet, I can always release it none the less for wear and tear. The down side is if you get a Skunk, you might have a wee bit of a problem as you might imagine.

12 X Leg Hold

Again not one of my favorite traps these days but they can be very effective for a large number of target animals. I have a couple of different sizes about half for Coyote and about half better suited for Fox, Bobcat or even *****. In many locations these are now becoming outlawed to use or they require soft rubber sleaves over the Jaws of the trap which adds considerably to the cost of the trap. Again I dont use these often and then under specific cases as such the ones I have see very limited use and are on hand more "for just in case". In fact the ones I have are hold overs from my teen age days and are at least 30+ years old! They still work as advertised to be sure...

18 x 110 Conibear

These are great. They work very well for Squirrels, Cotton Tails, Mink and Weasels. I use them mainly for the first two on that list as the other two are pretty rare in these parts. For Squirrels its a bit tricky and I use a large PVC pipe section or cubby hole set to get them in the trap. Cottontails are easy if you can find a run they use or a burrow where they live. These dont get too much use but would be very handy in a SHTF situation that was more of a long term deal.

24 x 220 Conibear

This is my bread and butter trap. They are great for Opposum, *****, Nutria, Skunk, Otter, Badger, Marten, Fisher or small Beaver. Here in my area the most common targets are Nutria, ****, Opposum and Skunks (for disposal only). A bucket set using a 5 gallon bucket or better yet one of those plastic Kitty Litter buckets is the best method of use I have found to date! These too can be used on game trails and burrows but the Bucket set here is king hands down! Cubby Hole sets work good too but the bucket set cant be beat in my opinion. This would be about the perfect size general purpose Conibear for the "would be survivalist" as the possibility of game that can be collected would be lengthy.

6 x 330

These are best for Beaver which we dont have too many of but we do have a few and in some cases they can wreck a good bit of havoc here in "Rich n Shamless" neighborhoods along the lake shore line. I have also used them for Coyotes too although this is usually a bit more work than I care to put into setting up a "set" for that. Bobcat, Lynx and Otters are another possibility but we dont have much of those here except for the Bobcat.

* While you can set the 110's by hand and maybe even a 220 if your a corn fed Iowa Farm Boy and kinda beefy, I bought a couple of setting tools that I use for setting my conibears. It was well worth the whole 8-10 bucks they cost trust me. You can use the rope method of setting them but the setting tool is by far and away the path of least resistance and effort. I highly recommend them even if you have 110's! Im all about working smarter not harder...

* Conibears have a safety latch, I recommend you use it on anything bigger than 160's while you are setting them up. Conibears can snap shut on you and potentially hurt you especially the larger sizes. Its kind of hard to free yourself too when you have one arm in a 330 without some help from a pardner. When setting mine I use extreme caution until I get that safety latch in place. Im old enough to remember when stupidity used to hurt...there was a lot less of it back then! Just dont forget to take the safety latch off when you finish setting your trap and leave otherwise it wont deploy!

4. What are some of your favorite "sets" when your out trapping?
My favorite set is the Bucket set hands down. I do use Cubby Hole sets as well just in limited numbers. I will also set them up on a game trail or over a animal burrow. But 9 times out of 10 its the bucket set for me. Its hard to beat a bucket set with a can of sardines or left overs from fish cleaning in the back of the bucket for bait. Its brutally effective!!!
 

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Here is a weird one, but I've purchased about 100+ mouse traps. I'll take food anyway that I can if I have to. Cook to a crips to kill anything in it, put cajun season on them and think of KFC! I'm not that experienced in trapping, but its something on my "to do" "to learn" list. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah yes, the Rat traps are awsome for squirrels! Used them many times and they are cheap to boot too! Sometimes you need to think outside the box.
 

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Live trapping has another advantage most folks forget about. Once caught... you can keep it and fatten it up and kill it when you need it. So... Survival... you might want to build a few extra rabbit hutches and leave them lying around for squirrels. Speaking of that... Umm Ummm... I'm now sitting here drooling on my keyboard thinking about squirrel pot pie.
 
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Still currently have 300 plus Conibears , so yes to the pertinent questions. Sets of course are highly dependent on the game one is after and the locale/terrain.
 

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Wow. You've got quite the collection!

Yes, trapping does factor into our plan. I have used live traps in the past (dad did trapping when I was a kid) and I would do it again in a SHTF situation. As far as trapping currently, my husband and I don't do it out of respect for our neighbors. We've seen way too many domestic pets get caught up in the traps and we are animal lovers. Obviously, if we were hard up and starving, it would be another story.

Here's another easy trapping idea for those who live near a water source: Bait traps. You can set them out overnight and in the morning you'll have a bucket full of bait fish, edible frogs, crawfish. You could eat what's in the traps, or use it to catch something bigger. It's a super easy meal either way and you'll expend minimal calories collecting the spoils.

I have so many fun memories of my dad setting and collecting these when I was a little girl and I have a bunch of these traps in my garage just waiting for a SHTF situation or to use for fun when my kids are older. Fast forward to the end of the video to see what this guy pulls up for fish.

 

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Here is a weird one, but I've purchased about 100+ mouse traps. I'll take food anyway that I can if I have to. Cook to a crips to kill anything in it, put cajun season on them and think of KFC! I'm not that experienced in trapping, but its something on my "to do" "to learn" list. Thanks for sharing.
You beat me to it!!! Mouse traps are awesome for catching easy rodent protein; however you gotta make sure there's no chance they've been exposed to rat poison recently.

I have a major rat phobia so I wouldn't eat it myself unless it was the ONLY thing left. LOL. I would, however, do it to keep Fido and Fluffy fed in a SHTF situation.
 

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Umm Ummm... I'm now sitting here drooling on my keyboard thinking about squirrel pot pie.
Seriously, we have a crazy Uncle on my husband's side who traps squirrels and makes squirrel stew all the time. He likes tricking people into eating it and then breaking the news to them.
 

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I never really thought about trapping much, but it would be a good to know. I have even seen on one site that someone suggested a bunch of cheap rat traps could be used ( they don't only trap rats). I bet a rat trap or mouse trap could also be used as a trigger for a much larger trap.
 

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My dad grew up trapping in Arizona mountains for food and furs, it's a knowledge and skill that has been passed down generation to generation on his side. He's shown me a thing or two, but living where we do, the only animal we'd catch would be the ever-present feral cat lol I think trapping would be a valuable skill, not only for the food aspect of it, but also for the furs (depending on the season, I've been told).
 

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wires there's and dead falls! yes I will have several set up, some as booby traps. . . I really like the dead Falls because we have a lot of very active game trails, at 2 of my BOL
 

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We have a huge ground squirrel problem in my back yard and my neighbors back yard, so yes trapping will be a part of my SHTF survival
 

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We have a huge ground squirrel problem in my back yard and my neighbors back yard, so yes trapping will be a part of my SHTF survival
Do NOT eat Ground Squirrels , the Beldens Ground Squirrel common to Calif is a major carry of several diseases , including Pneumonic Plague and less commonly the Hanta Virus.
 

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Do NOT eat Ground Squirrels , the Beldens Ground Squirrel common to Calif is a major carry of several diseases , including Pneumonic Plague and less commonly the Hanta Virus.
Not to get too indepth, but the squirrel meat will be the only thing visible if people come thinking they need my preps more than I ;)

The meat will NOT be for personal consumption ;)
 

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Not to get too indepth, but the squirrel meat will be the only thing visible if people come thinking they need my preps more than I ;)

The meat will NOT be for personal consumption ;)
Whatever . You missed my point , don't even HANDLE ground squirrels without rubber gloves. When we clean up after the Great Ground Squirrel Shoot and the other shoots we don't do it bare handed , and if you're gonna trap 'em you'd best bleach off your traps afterward.

Again ***they're a disease vector*** , and not diseases you're likely to be recovering from if you become infected when there is no medical help. You might want to educate yourself about trapping and what to consume and not consume and what time of the year certain critters are safe to eat along with how to tell if the individual catch is safe or not when you clean it.
 

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Trapping, never gave it my though. Also plan on hunting, lots of deer here and small animals around if need be.
 

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This is something that I have thought about but realistically living in the city has it challenges with it. The thing that has always seem to put it on the back burner is not being able to actually try this. I think the good question would be how much skill do this take or is it just a numbers games. The more you set the better your chances are with little skill? I have done almost no reading on it but understand the basics of how most of them work.
 
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