The undead are stalking the Earth, you need to secure your home against marauding survivors, your canned goods are running low, your kids are whining about not being able to use their iPods, and to top it all off your spouse says, "Can you run to the store and grab some sausages and a roast?"
WHAT?! Is she kidding? The store? The world has broken down, money is more useful for lighting on fire than spending, and what makes her think that the store won't already be emptied out or the meat abandoned there having gone rotten from lack of refrigeration?!
Fear not! We've got the answer to your meat problem. If you're not a vegan you know and understand that almost all animals are essentially walking snacks, mini pork chops, and tiny steak tartar. If you're a vegan post Z-Day, well we'll see you on the other end of our rifle scope sooner rather than later.
Food is food people and you can't afford to be picky when there are zombies eying your living brains. So start looking a littler closer at those fluffy bunnies and cute little squirrels cause those little buggers are now on the menu.
With most small game it is easier to trap than to stalk and kill, in a survival situation setting traps also leaves you with time to attend to other duties like foraging or shelter building. The title of this article represents the principals of trapping. Your trap must be effectively set to either tangle, dangle, strangle or mangle your quarry. Putting up several traps around your shelter gives you more than one opportunity at a time to catch a meal. You should check all traps regularly to prevent escape and undue suffering. Starting a routine of regularly doing the rounds of your traps will provide you with a positive activity, however BE PATIENT, you will need to study the habits of animals to site traps effectively, more intelligent creatures will initially be wary of anything new but will quickly come to accept the presence of traps.....That's when they walk into them!
There are no catch-all traps you can set for all animals. You must determine what species are in a given area and set your traps specifically with those animals in mind. Look for the following:
• Runs and trails.
• Chewed or rubbed vegetation.
• Nesting or roosting sites.
• Feeding and watering areas.
Position your traps and snares where there is proof that animals pass through. You must determine if it is a "run" or a "trail." A trail will show signs of use by several species and will be rather distinct. A run is usually smaller and less distinct and will only contain signs of one species. You may construct a perfect snare, but it will not catch anything if haphazardly placed in the woods. Animals have bedding areas, waterholes, and feeding areas with trails leading from one to another. You must place snares and traps around these areas to be effective.
Something to remember, when he we use the word 'snare' in this article and others like it we DO NOT mean a type of drum. Drums are not useful in catching dinner, and like gunshots banging a drum will only draw zombies to your location where YOU will become dinner...their dinner. However, if you would like to strap one on as a mobile plate, have at.
When setting a trap you must remove or mask the human scent on and around the trap. Although birds do not have a developed sense of smell, nearly all mammals depend on smell even more than on sight. (We understand that regular bathing will become nearly impossible when there is no running water and no time to devote to hygiene, the animals don't care whether you reek of BO or if you smell of Chanel #5. It's all bad to them.) Even the slightest human scent on a trap will alarm the prey and cause it to avoid the area. Actually removing the scent from a trap is difficult but masking it is relatively easy. Use the fluid from the gall and urine bladders of previous kills. Do not use human urine! It's derived from, duh...HUMANS. And therefore smells like...you guessed it, humans.
Mud, particularly from an area with plenty of rotting vegetation, is also good. Use it to coat your hands when handling the trap and to coat the trap when setting it. In nearly all parts of the world, animals know the smell of burned vegetation and smoke. It is only when a fire is actually burning that they become alarmed. Therefore, smoking the trap parts is an effective means to mask your scent. If one of the above techniques is not practical, and if time permits, allow a trap to weather for a few days and then set it. Do not handle a trap while it is weathering. When you position the trap, camouflage it as naturally as possible to prevent detection by the enemy and to avoid alarming the prey.
A simple snare consists of a noose placed over a trail or den hole and attached to a firmly planted stake. (note, a noose is also useful if you're thinking of hanging your annoying spouse from the rafters when she insists that you could 'just go to the supermarket, dear'.) If the noose is some type of cordage placed upright on a game trail, use small twigs or blades of grass to hold it up. Filaments from spider webs are excellent for holding nooses open. Make sure the noose is large enough to pass freely over the animal's head. As the animal continues to move, the noose tightens around its neck. The more the animal struggles, the tighter the noose gets. This type of snare usually does not kill the animal. If you use cordage, it may loosen enough to slip off the animal's neck. Wire is therefore the best choice for a simple snare.
Use a drag noose on an animal run. Place forked sticks on either side of the run and lay a sturdy cross member across them. Tie the noose to the cross member and hang it at a height above the animal's head. (Nooses designed to catch by the head should never be low enough for the prey to step into with a foot.) As the noose tightens around the animal's neck, the animal pulls the cross member from the forked sticks and drags it along. The surrounding vegetation quickly catches the cross member and the animal becomes entangled.
A twitch-up is a supple sapling, which, when bent over and secured with a triggering device, will provide power to a variety of snares. Select a hardwood sapling along the trail. A twitch-up will work much faster and with more force if you remove all the branches and foliage. A simple twitch-up snare uses two forked sticks, each with a long and short leg. Bend the twitch-up and mark the trail below it. Drive the long leg of one forked stick firmly into the ground at that point. Ensure the cut on the short leg of this stick is parallel to the ground. Tie the long leg of the remaining forked stick to a piece of cordage secured to the twitch-up. Cut the short leg so that it catches on the short leg of the other forked stick. Extend a noose over the trail. Set the trap by bending the twitch-up and engaging the short legs of the forked sticks. When an animal catches its head in the noose, it pulls the forked sticks apart, allowing the twitch-up to spring up and hang the prey.
There are literally dozens of other snare types but these are the easiest to use and the quickest to learn to make correctly. Never feel afraid to look for other options and practice building and setting them before you actually need to rely on them. It's also good to consider that simply trapping game isn't the end of things. Your would-be dinner has to be cleaned, skinned, gutted, de-boned, and prepared. And if you're thinking ahead you also want to consider salting, potting, smoking, and preserving your meat. I'll cover those goodies in the next few articles.
While keeping snaring and trapping in mind, just about any type of hunting really, you'll want to consider making friends with a redneck. I'm only marginally making fun here. Rednecks and hillbillies are past masters of most types of hunting. They seem to be born to eat the strangest animals, raised with a skinning knife in hand, and taught that anything that appears on your plate is edible. It may seem funny but after a zombie apocalypse their lives will make a lot more sense.
Remember, you heard it here first now....SURVIVE THIS!
Editors Note: If you have any questions or comments about this article, or you have a suggestion for subject matter that you'd like to see the Twins write about, please use the comment section below