When facing a long-term survival situation, finding food is going to become a priority. While water and shelter are more important in the hierarchy of needs, starvation is a real threat that will make even the most menial of survival tasks almost impossible to accomplish. This is why knowing how to get food without wasting precious calories to do so is important.
Of course, hunting large animals such as deer, elk or moose is always an option. But sometimes hunting big game can take a long time, and will require tracking animals that will burn calories. If an animal isn’t killed and consumed, those calories won’t be replaced. Foraging is always a good option, but you can quickly run out of food if you rely solely on what you can scrounge up. On the other hand, small game is much easier to find, catch, clean, and cook.
How to Catch Small Game
If you have a firearm, hunting is an easy task. A .22LR rifle is ideal for shooting small game like rabbits and squirrels. However, you may not have a gun and may need to catch your game another way. Enter into the world of snares and traps.
Setting the Trap
You can often observe wild animals running around your location. The areas where you see small game the most frequently are your best spots to place snares. Sometimes, it’s better to put your trap near a body of water where animals are likely to go for a drink.
The most important step in catching small game is setting the snare. After all, if you don’t have a trap set, how will you catch anything? Making the snare is actually quite simple. You just need to create a loop out of metal wire. You can do this by folding a piece of wire back onto itself. Once you have a fist-sized loop, anchor the other end of the wire to a tree or stake and wait. This method is especially useful for catching rabbits and other burrowing animals because you can set the trap outside of their hole. Then, when they come out of their burrow, they get snared.
Eating Small Game
When hunting small game, you should gut the animal as soon as possible. It only takes an hour or two for rabbits and other small animals’ abdominal muscles to go bad in warmer climates. Skinning a small animal is easier when the animal is intact. So be sure to skin the animal before you gut it. Then, you can finish dressing it. Once you’ve properly skinned, gutted, and dressed the game, it’s time to cook it. Roasting is an excellent option for small game, especially over an open fire.
Small game is a great way to keep your calorie intake up while living in the wilderness. Small animals are easier to hunt than larger ones like deer. Additionally, they’re easier to handle and prepare.
Small game can be a lifesaver when survival is on the line, but in some instances, it can also be deceptively deadly. To find out why a person cannot survive on rabbits alone, check out this article on How Rabbit Starvation Can Kill You.
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