Survival Food - Part Three
(Adapted from the U.S. Army Survival Manual)
A squirrel pole is a long pole placed against a tree in an
area showing a lot of squirrel activity (Figure 8-8). Place several
wire nooses along the top and sides of the pole so that a squirrel
trying to go up or down the pole will have to pass through one
or more of them. Position the nooses (5 to 6 centimeters in diameter)
about 2.5 centimeters off the pole. Place the top and bottom
wire nooses 45 centimeters from the top and bottom of the pole
to prevent the squirrel from getting its feet on a solid surface.
If this happens, the squirrel will chew through the wire. Squirrels
are naturally curious. After an initial period of caution, they
will try to go up or down the pole and will get caught in a noose.
The struggling animal will soon fall from the pole and strangle.
Other squirrels will soon follow and, in this way, you can catch
several squirrels. You can emplace multiple poles to increase
Ojibwa Bird Pole
An Ojibwa bird pole is a snare used by native Americans for
centuries (Figure 8-9). To be effective, place it in a relatively
open area away from tall trees. For best results, pick a spot
near feeding areas, dusting areas, or watering holes. Cut a pole
1.8 to 2.1 meters long and trim away all limbs and foliage. Do
not use resinous wood such as pine. Sharpen the upper end to
a point, then drill a small diameter hole 5 to 7.5 centimeters
down from the top. Cut a small stick 10 to 15 centimeters long
and shape one end so that it will almost fit into the hole. This
is the perch.
Plant the long pole in the ground with the pointed end up.
Tie a small weight, about equal to the weight of the targeted
species, to a length of cordage. Pass the free end of the cordage
through the hole, and tie a slip noose that covers the perch.
Tie a single overhand knot in the cordage and place the perch
against the hole. Allow the cordage to slip through the hole
until the overhand knot rests against the pole and the top of
the perch. The tension of the overhand knot against the pole
and perch will hold the perch in position. Spread the noose over
the perch, ensuring it covers the perch and drapes over on both
Most birds prefer to rest on something above ground and will
land on the perch. As soon as the bird lands, the perch will
fall, releasing the over-hand knot and allowing the weight to
drop. The noose will tighten around the birds feet, capturing
it. If the weight is too heavy, it will cut the birds feet
off, allowing it to escape.
A noose stick or "noosing wand" is useful for capturing
roosting birds or small mammals. It requires a patient operator.
This wand is more a weapon than a trap. It consists of a pole
(as long as you can effectively handle) with a slip noose of
wire or stiff cordage at the small end. To catch an animal, you
slip the noose over the neck of a roosting bird and pull it tight.
You can also place it over a den hole and hide in a nearby blind.
When the animal emerges from the den, you jerk the pole to tighten
the noose and thus capture the animal. Carry a stout club to
kill the prey.
Figure 4 Deadfall
The figure 4 is a trigger used to drop a weight onto a prey
and crush it (Figure 8-12). The type of weight used may vary,
but it should be heavy enough to kill or incapacitate the prey
immediately. Construct the figure 4 using three notched sticks.
These notches hold the sticks together in a figure 4 pattern
when under tension. Practice making this trigger before-hand;
it requires close tolerances and precise angles in its construction.
The Paiute deadfall is similar to the figure 4 but uses a
piece of cordage and a catch stick (Figure 8-13). It has the
advantage of being easier to set than the figure 4. Tie one end
of a piece of cordage to the lower end of the diagonal stick.
Tie the other end of the cordage to another stick about 5 centimeters
long. This 5-centimeter stick is the catch stick. Bring the cord
halfway around the vertical stick with the catch stick at a 90-degree
angle. Place the bait stick with one end against the drop weight,
or a peg driven into the ground, and the other against the catch
stick. When a prey disturbs the bait stick, it falls free, releasing
the catch stick. As the diagonal stick flies up, the weight falls,
crushing the prey.
Steve's Notes: Practice these traps before you are
in a survival situation. You'll find that you can make them twice
as fast the second or third time. Speed is important, because
you'll usually need more than one trap, due to their inefficiency.
Continued here: Survival Food
- Part Four.
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