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I have been reading this topic just waiting for someone to bring up the second most basic of woodland skills:
Gathering food with a knife and your woodcraft skills.

Can you harvest root plants, berries, and other fruit in the wild? do you know how to test them for toxicity?

There are several "trip" traps that are useful: a figure 4 snare and dead fall to name just two. There are also "fish" traps that can be adapted for use on game trails just as well as in the water. Does anyone else have others that are useful? My favorite "small game" trap is a squirrel run with loop snares placed along it. They are very productive and do not require advanced skills to make or use.

Do you have a favorite kind of trap that you prefer that can be made in a wilderness area with just your knife and what is around you?
( I will allow paracord - it's easier than making cordage from plants)
 

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SAS Survival Guide is all over this.

Neck snares are a BREEZE! Especially with paracord. Get the 550 mil-spec stuff and it's got 7 strands inside rated at 50lb test each I believe, each of those strands can be broke down into multiple strands even thinner if needed.

Tie a slip knot at the end of the string and make a lasso for the critters neck to go through as it runs along its trail. The slip knot should tighten up as it's pulled on keeping the lasso from coming loose on your dinners neck.

OR, keep a couple of these in your BOB. You can (as I did) buy them on ebay pre-made from the best components available for less than the components are individually!
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BOIL BEFORE USE!!! Wash your hands, then cover them with mud before handling. Even the seemingly dumbest of wild critters running along will smell your scent on the trap in a FLASH.

If your luck is anything like mine... Don't be shocked to find you caught a skunk! :D This is where that .22lr you should have packed is MIGHTY handy!!!
 

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The lack of responses kinda implies a lot of people are buying supplies because its fun to shop, but not actually testing their skills or the equipment their trusting their lives to. :(

I would suggest if your expecting to do any trapping, pack a dozen or so fencing staples in your BOB. They provide a solid anchor point for your traps, so "dinner" doesn't run away trap and all. A camp axe, knife handle, or maybe even a rock might be used to pound them into tree roots & the like. Get bigger ones than you think you'll need so they hold better. Any hardware store has them.

View attachment 2791

Good thread anyway Paul! ;)
 

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i go out in the woods and gather food but usually its fruits and berries.we have cans of black berries we picked this summer,right now the persimmons are abundant if you get there before thew deer. been looking for some grapes to make jelly with but they are few and far between this year. got 1 more place to cheack out this weekend but havent seen any yet. today we got a couple bags of the persimmons but i was looking for the grapes:( i love homemade grape jelly.
 

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I use paracord for all my snares as it's what I pack because it's so diverse in it's use. I considered carry snare wires, but decided against the weight to paracord use. I use mostly spring loops and deadfalls, but am always studying and trying to get better at new traps. There's a lot of squirrels, birds and rodents where I'm at. For fishing I'm still pretty traditional with line and hook based fishing, but pack a net also I'll use if I revert to my BOB for survival. At home, if I'm here and things go to pot I'll work the lakes in multiple ways with others, but I've got tons of rods, line, hooks and lures. I'm not shy about eating anything that crawls, slithers and swims either.

The study of plants is a constant, and I've learned particulars of my environment but there is so much more to learn and different environments. Skin tests are first for something I'm not sure about, than tongue and finally eating a very small amount if the other two don't show a reaction over the days. We're I'm at is pretty plentiful in life if you get out into the wilderness. That is for a person willing eat particular things. For someone who's not I don't think I'll care too much about as their weak of mind and spirit and won't last long.
 

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I'm a fan of wire snares - you can get fishing wire in most sports stores for much cheaper than the premade ones. I've only set a couple of dozens - maybe 50 - snares and have only lost one wire one. I have had quite a few nylon ones go missing or be broken/bitten through. YMMV.
 

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Pual S, I havent answered becouse I cant. I dont know how to make the "triggers" for deadfalls, I have always planned to use one of my mousetraps to remove the stick holding up small deadfalls.
I have paracord, but have never made a snare. I need to get out into the wilderness and have some "hermit time".
i have been studying the edible plants, but cant count on them right now.
I have always planned on using my BBGun and fishing, so i need to implement snares and trapping into my mindset.
thanks for a great question.
 

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One note on using paracord is most any critter that may get caught is capable and plenty smart enough to start biting at whats holding it immediately. Unless your setting your traps WELL within ear shot, and at a distance you can run to them to kill the game very quickly, the best bet is to carry the added weight and use wire traps.

Wild animals teeth are sharp enough that it won't take more than a fraction of a minute and they'll have cut through the cord and be running free.

I've got a couple books on identifying wild plants, and have to admit, eating wild plants is a LAST resort for me in most cases. The better books will warn and have pictures showing that for every edible plant, there is one that will kill you or make you VERY sick that looks almost exactly like the good one... Scary.
 

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I have a series on my youtube channel about wild edibles and need to get started on doing some more. Foraging can be a cold bitch of a skill but it's one that once you get good at it you'll be fed anytime of year. A few tricks I like are:

>pine trees. There's 5 parts of a pine tree you can eat. The needles make tea obviously. The resin is edible. The roots can be boiled and are edible. The stuff beneath the bark is edible. Pine nuts are edible after heating up green cones.

> acorns and the grubs in some are fantastic for bannock or just primitive roasting. Very peanut buttery when cooked.

> plantain is hard to get away from anywhere on the planet. Great salad green, good crispness. Good cooked too.

> grass, there is no poisonous species of true grasses that I am aware of. Cows eat it right? It's high in cellulose but it's edible. The seeds can be an overlooked treat.

> Roses and their hips are present most of the year. All roses are edible and the petals make a nice tea.

> Canna lilies are edible on the bulb, the leaf makes a clean plate, when you burn it it is insecticidal and it even yields edible flowers AND fibers! One of my favs.
 

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One thing you can take off you survival list is wild mushrooms, they say now that you shouldn't worry about which is poisonous and which are not. You shouldn't eat any mushrooms because they offer no nutritional value they take as much energy for you to digest as they have.
 

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One thing you can take off you survival list is wild mushrooms, they say now that you shouldn't worry about which is poisonous and which are not. You shouldn't eat any mushrooms because they offer no nutritional value they take as much energy for you to digest as they have.
I am something of a local expert and I won't mess with anything but hen of the woods because nothing else looks like it. Definitely avoid mushrooms. Morels and stuff I do know, but you can seriously screw yourself up with a single bite of the wrong mushroom and they have phases where they look like other ones. Some are indistinguishable from others to the naked eye. Listen to this guy he knows something
 

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Mushrooms are one thing I'm not messing with either. There just to hard to identify. I carry a foldout in my pack and have tried through study with other books and info, but to hell with it. Problem is I love the flavor, but survival and flavor don't go hand in hand I'd say. Definitely not, once my seasoning bottle runs dry in my BOB and I run out of peanut butter and bouillon cubes.
 

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Well Id carry the wire no problem but I would sacrifice a lot to carry a single extra conibear Ive devoted space to 3 small ones and 2 large ones. I wish I knew how long they would last for sure but I think some trappers have used the same ones for 10-15 years
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For small animals I like wire "loop" snares. There are no complicated triggers to fail and they are almost fool proof. I also like the "fish" traps for small animals. You basically build a "fence" on either side of the run with stakes long enough to go deep into the ground and still leave twice the height of your intended prey, leaving at least 12" to the run on either side. Weave in the rails through your stakes to add strength and keep the animal trapped. You build two "funnels", one on each end of the run, and then top it with a roof of woven sticks and bound to the rest of the trap or staked into the ground. The "funnels" have to have horizontal (parallel to the ground) tines (sharp sticks) that partially spring as the animal enters but are close enough to keep the animal from leaving. You do have to be more attentive to this type of trap because most rodents can chew their way out if given the time. The best part of this type of trap is that it can be scaled up or down for different game. Built properly you could use it to trap deer or even large bears.
 
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50lb test Spider Wire is VERY VERY handy for trap making, trip lines, fishing obviously, and cordage applications in general. A 300' spool weigh next to nothing.

First thing I put in when building a new BOB.
View attachment 2809

Even sharp wild critter teeth have a hard time biting through it.
 

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Army training manuals are for the most part public record you can download the Survival manuals they are found broken down into regions.
If you can find them there flash cards are a great way to learn what is good what is not.
 

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50lb test Spider Wire is VERY VERY handy for trap making, trip lines, fishing obviously, and cordage applications in general. A 300' spool weigh next to nothing.

First thing I put in when building a new BOB.
View attachment 2809

Even sharp wild critter teeth have a hard time biting through it.
I like that thought. And I'm sorry I didn't think of it. I use Spider Wire for fishing and it is tough line. I'm going to look into it.
 

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Around here hunting Morel mushrooms is a long practiced skill. Darn near a religion for some. Not sure it they are worth eating or not but they can wake up a boring meal.
Plenty of wild raspberry,apples, hickory nuts at least till winter .
 

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Around here hunting Morel mushrooms is a long practiced skill. Darn near a religion for some. Not sure it they are worth eating or not but they can wake up a boring meal.
Plenty of wild raspberry,apples, hickory nuts at least till winter .
GOTTA be Michigan. :D We had a dog that would dig up Morels for some reason when we lived there. :/ If I'm right about MI, don't forget the cherries and potato fields up north.
 

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The young prickly pear catch pads are eaten (napolitos), mostly during lent by the Mexican locals. They have little nutritional value. The prickly pear tuna are good but only come off for a short period. Any catcus tuna are good.
 
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