A Beginner’s Guide to Trapping: Types, Locations, and Tips

A Beginner’s Guide to Trapping: Types, Locations, and Tips

A Beginner’s Guide to Trapping


Trapping is a timeless skill that has been used by humans for centuries to catch food and ensure survival in the wild. While trapping may seem like a daunting task for beginners, it can be a valuable skill to have in your repertoire. In this beginner’s guide to trapping, we will cover the basics of trapping, including types of traps, choosing trap locations, and tips for successful trapping.

Types of Traps

There are various types of traps available, each designed for different purposes and animals. Here are some common types of traps you may encounter:

1. Snares

Snares are simple looped traps that can be set on animal trails or near their den entrances. They work by tightening around the animal’s neck or leg when triggered, effectively immobilizing it. Snares are lightweight and easy to carry, making them an ideal choice for survival situations.

2. Deadfall Traps

Deadfall traps involve a large weight or log that is set up to fall on the animal when triggered. This trap requires some engineering skills to set up, but can be highly effective in catching small to medium-sized game.

3. Conibear Traps

Conibear traps are designed to kill the animal instantly by breaking its neck or spine. These types of traps are more suitable for experienced trappers and may require special permits in some areas.

4. Box Traps

Box traps are versatile and humane traps that allow you to catch animals without harming them. They are usually baited with food to attract the animals into the trap, where they can be safely relocated or harvested.

Choosing Trap Locations

Finding the right location for your traps is crucial for success. Here are some tips for choosing trap locations:

– Look for signs of animal activity, such as tracks, droppings, or chewed vegetation.
– Set traps near sources of water, as animals are more likely to visit these areas.
– Consider the size of the trap and the type of animal you are targeting. Smaller traps should be placed near small game trails, while larger traps can be set in areas frequented by larger animals.

Setting Traps

Once you have selected the appropriate trap and location, it’s time to set it up. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting traps:

1. Clear the area around the trap of any debris or obstacles that could interfere with its functionality.
2. Bait the trap with food that is attractive to the target animal. Research the animal’s diet preferences and use appropriate bait.
3. Ensure that the trap is set properly and securely. Test it a few times to make sure it functions correctly without triggering prematurely.
4. Camouflage the trap by using natural materials to blend it into the surroundings. This will make it less likely to spook the animal and increase your chances of a successful catch.

Tips for Successful Trapping

Here are some additional tips to increase your chances of trapping success:

– Check your traps regularly to avoid leaving animals caught for too long. This is not only humane but also helps to prevent other scavengers from stealing your catch.
– Experiment with different bait options to see what works best for your target animal. Some animals may be attracted to specific scents or food items.
– Consider using trail cameras to monitor trap activity and identify the movement patterns of your target animals. This will allow you to adjust trap placement accordingly.

My 2 Cents

Trapping is both a skill and an art. It requires patience, knowledge of animal behavior, and understanding of the trapping techniques. As a beginner, start with small game and simpler traps like snares and box traps. Practice setting them up and study animal tracks and signs to increase your chances of success.

Remember, trapping is not only about catching food. It can also be used for research, pest control, or simply as a means to observe and connect with nature. So, approach trapping with respect for the animals and the environment, and always abide by local trapping laws and regulations.

Happy trapping!