Camping & Survival

Hunting for Survival

Rat trap

Survival hunting is just like any other hunting. The only difference is that you may have more luck hunting smaller, more readily available prey. A squirrel dinner is much more likely than bagging a 10-point buck. In a post apocalyptic, wilderness survival situation, you may find yourself forced to deal with a varmint diet. Eating squirrels and opossums isn’t that bad. I grew up eating fried squirrel when I visited relatives living near the family farm, loved the taste! There are tons of delicious recipes for eating varmints, but that is a whole other article. Our lawyers also want us to remind you to follow all local hunting laws in your area, some places have rules against trapping, so don’t be stupid.

Rat trap
Squirrels, Meet Your Doom

When in a survival situation, many survivalists will tell you to set out snare traps. These traps are very effective if you use them in large numbers, and get very lucky. They take a little practice to set up properly, and it may take a while to catch something. In addition to luck, a snare trap doesn’t kill the prey right away, if at all. The snare may catch the animal on the foot or tail, causing the animal a great deal of distress before the hunter eventually comes along and dispatches the varmint by hand. I’m not saying that I really care that much, but if an animal is going to become my meal, I figure the least I can do in kill it fairly quickly.

Other methods of survival hunting are plentiful. While snare traps require very little equipment, a three-dollar investment in some large rat traps might actually give you better luck. I would have to be pretty darn hungry to eat a rat, but most people don’t realize that if it can kill at rat, it can kill a squirrel. The little critters will eat just about anything, so bait it with something that has a strong odor, since this is how they find their food. Peanut butter works well, so do apples and bread with almond extract. If you are running out of bait, a stack of sunflower seeds works quite well, too. One thing that is essential to squirrel hunting with a trap, always drill a small hole through the corner of the trap, so you can tie it to a tree using some paracord or wire, this will keep your dinner from running off with your trap, should it not expire immediately. Two rat traps fit perfectly into an old ALICE ammo pack, so they can be a seamless addition to your survival pack.

Rossi Youth Trifecta
Why have one gun, when you can have three!

To ensure that you don’t go to bed hungry, I recommend that every survival pack has a firearm. What kind of firearm goes well in a wilderness survival pack? Something you can hunt with is ideal. It is difficult to hit a moving squirrel with a $1,200 custom 1911, but a $200 .410 single shot, or a .22 LR is just what you may need. These guns are cheap, so you can keep them in your pack, in case you somehow lose your AR-15. The Rossi Youth Trifecta or Henry Survival Rifle are amazing little values. The Rossi is a youth size, so it is small enough to break down into a pack, and you get three very useful options. This thing gives you one stock, and three barrels. A .243 for long-range, medium game work, a 20 gauge, for bird hunting, and a .22 for our little friends the tasty southern squirrel. I’ve killed rabbits with all three of these rounds, and with great success! Therefore, if you are in a wilderness survival situation, and need some type of way to bag dinner, a few rat traps, and a versatile, multi-caliber firearm will ensure that you don’t go to bed without dinner. Just remember, if you want to, share your food with the unprepared folks that called us crazy before the SHTF, or let them go hungry, your choice!

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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