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Semi-Urban Forest Traps, Getting Fish and Small Animals

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I live in an area with forests and small towns, roads, rivers, and limited people, but theres still people. I can easily access a small river area and small forest area where people rarely go. The river is supposed to be semi-polluted but isn't anymore. I seen a tire in it once but the water looks fresh. Its mostly rocks and not deep but we have a huge waterfall/dam here. I can try setting up traps upstream rivery (and rocky) or downstream (mostly rocky, and rapids). What traps are easy makes? Or even complicated, I got the time, I bought one but its just netting. Any recommendations on what type of fish are common (I'm in NH but its a river, so there should common types of animals/fish/others).


As for game and forest areas, what traps can I make from word or other materials that are low cost, and still effective. I tried making a small pitfall in 10 minutes and if I made it deeper it would have worked. But I disassembled it.


Pictures, How-To's and other information is gladly accepted. I figure if a caveman can survive with tools of stone and wood, I can easily make something for $3.00 that could get me 1 or 2 meals? I caught 32 bluegill with a net before, I was there for 4 hours-ish, it was my second trip there, the day before I went for 2 hours and came up with nothing.


So what can I do here? Thanks

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Before you decide the water isn't polluted, you might want to check on it. Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it is. Call the local health department, and if they don't have the answer, they should be able to tell you where to get the information. Until you know for sure, boil/treat the water before using it.

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Before you decide the water isn't polluted, you might want to check on it. Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it is. Call the local health department, and if they don't have the answer, they should be able to tell you where to get the information. Until you know for sure, boil/treat the water before using it.

so very true Nana, absoluetly clear water can be more harmful than "dirty" looking water. Point is you just never know. As for traps DH in my opinion you shouldn't really have to do anything different than you would in areas that arre pure country. Rat traps work great for small game like rabbits and squirrals and birds. Sares from simple cordage. You can make customized fish nets from old or new window screens, check your local hardware store sometimes they have old rolls of them on sale or might even have scraps they don't want anymore. I know money can be an issue so that is another good way to earn "free" materials is to go to your "ma and pa" store and ask if they have type of scrap material you are looking for that they would give you if you did some kind of manual labor for them. Leaf spring metal from cars are good for making knives and can be found at auto shops for example. I"m know im getting off topic but I meant to bring this up to you in another thread and never did

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Before you decide the water isn't polluted, you might want to check on it. Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it is. Call the local health department, and if they don't have the answer, they should be able to tell you where to get the information. Until you know for sure, boil/treat the water before using it.


Wise words, and if I may add on to this, often times if you don't see any insects living in the clear water that's a sign of chemical contamination. All of the boiling and chlorinating in the world won't help with that. You can set up an evaporator though, I've tinkered with them and I'm fairly certain I could live off of it if I made it large enough.


And Tinder has the right of it with traps, just do everyone a favor and mark them please. I had the misfortune of stepping into a spring loaded snare once because someone had placed it near a trail and hadn't had the courtesy to mark it for the safety of others.

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I personally like deadfall traps. When they're functioning correctly they inflict instant death, as opposed to other traps that inflict a lot of pain over time (like the spring loaded limb snare mentioned earlier). If you do go with a snare use a hangman style snare made to break the critters neck. Usually you'll use a springy sapling with a slip knot on the end bent over with the loop around a hole in the ground (I've seen them used to great effect on the exits to rabbit holes, but you need the snare to drag across the ground a bit as opposed to going straight up) put your bait and trigger in the hole so it triggers when the critter sticks its head in the hole.


I'm not a great trapper at all, I just know a few simple methods of catching small game, so most likely someone can come by and give you better ideas.

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^Super bored drawing

I might try this in a lake again sometime but not a river. What kind of traps can you just leave and come back for?


You can get "kona-bear" [spelling is bad] in smaller sizes. you can use these for small game like squirells.

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Before you decide the water isn't polluted, you might want to check on it. Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it is. Call the local health department, and if they don't have the answer, they should be able to tell you where to get the information. Until you know for sure, boil/treat the water before using it.



Even the health department doesn't know if a diseased deer died in the stream just around the bend upstream from you! Unless you KNOW and are willing to play 'you bet your life' with the knowledge, never assume that any water is good. I've had a drink directly from the foot of a melting glacier. Coldest, most wonderful water I've ever had! I figured I knew the melt was clean and, if I was mistaken, there were hospital services available quickly. After TSHTF, that may not be true. I've been told that really sweet tasting water may indicate a decaying animal upstream. I don't know if that is true, but remember, bears really do sh*t in the woods. So does every other animal. All that organic "debris" washes into the streams eventually. Having 'enjoyed' amoebic dysentery in RVN (the alcohol in the scotch will NOT kill the amoeba in the ice - all my drinks are "neat" now) I assure you that while an intestinal parasite may be a great weight loss program (I came home at 108 lbs and I'm 6ft2in) it is detrimental to your ability to survive.


Just my not so humble opinion, but in this case I'm very correct!

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Once upon a time I lived in Wisconsin, after drinking the tap water for many years I decided to swim in Lake Michigan. It looked just like the east coast I remembered back in the day, people swimming everywhere having a good time, there were even seagulls (lakegulls maybe), well after swimming for a while I left and went home. Well next day that beach was closed because it was polluted and not one person was on the beach. Later that day after constant stomach pains my doctors said it was E-Coli (That week was horrible).


After the E-coli was gone I still had stomach pains just not many other symptoms. Well a few months later I was diagnosed with Chron's Disease. I have to take 13 pills a day for it, forever. They said it was more then likely genetic. I asked the doctor "Do people in Wisconsin have it more then anywhere else?". He said it was the state with the highest amount of people that have it. I told him it was because of the water, he argued it was a genetic condition. Well the thing is I wasn't born in Wisconsin, doesn't make it impossible for it to be genetic, but I still don't trust unsafe water.

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Capt Bart,


Your not-so-humble opinion is very correct about not knowing what's upstream and decomposing in the water you're planning to drink. And I still stand by what I said and everyone else has said, if you don't know for sure, treat the water. I still wonder what I'm carrying around as a result of drinking the water in St. Petersburg.

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Im good on eating rats, but 10 of them might do something to a rabbit.

Rat traps kill more then just rats.I have taken rabbits with just one.Have you ever seen the size of a rat trap?

And I'm sure rabbits,squirrels,or other four legged critters see a rat trap and go "O I'm safe thats just a rat trap"...."I'm no rat":)

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Here are some ebooks (free downloads) on making different traps and using them. I would also check with your local library for any trapping books. Trapping the river gives many options; coon, beaver and muskrat are found near or in the water and every other animal must drink. Snares are relatively simple to construct and depending on your target animal, can be made with anything from natural cordage, light weight fishing line to "garage door" cable.

As VT said, deadfalls are awesome for utilizing the natural materials at hand and are very effective. They can be constructed from small logs/rocks for small game to using boulders and logs for bear.

As Melissa and SSGT said, rat traps can be used on more than just rats. I have only used them personally for squirrel, but am sure they will take cotton tails and birds easy enough.

The 110 "connibear" or body grip traps are very effective for small game. they can be attached to trees for squirrel with clips (Killer Klips is 1 brand name). You will need 220 or 330 for the larger animals like coon and beaver (check local laws as some are illegal for use on dry land or at all). 110's can be had for $5 each or less if getting Duke, Bridger and some other brands. I use Sleepy Creek, Minnesota or Victor brands personally (American made).

Foot traps can be had for everything from small game to bears (bear traps ARE illegal). If trapping near the water (and it's not completely polluted/contaminated) you can rig a drowning rig (attach a wire to your trap chain and attach other end to a heavy weight thrown into a deep pool of water; deep enough to completely submerge the animal; when the animal is caught, it will jump into the water to escape and the weight of the trap will drown it). Foot traps come in 2 main styles, coil spring and long spring. Long springs are great for drowning rigs as they offer more weight to keep the animal submerged, where coil springs require less space and normally have more holding power.


This link is to a trapper's supply store and will give you an idea of the traps. They also sell the killer klips, which can also be improvised using cut off pieces of conduit (or any other material handy). Get a book on Fisher or marten trapping, as these are the species normally targeted by the connibear attached to a tree method which works for squirrels.

Ragnar Benson has some great survival trapping books and Tom Brown Jr also has traps listed in his wilderness survival book, along with several other authors. For the cheapest money wise and the more time consuming for set up, the deadfall is probably the best, but I use a wide variety on my trapline for different sets or target animals. The cost of a trap can be high (over $200 for a dozen #4 four coils) but with maintenance and care, they will last a lifetime. gives trap sizes and target animals for that size.


Hope this helps.

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