Trapping Birds

Why trapping?
Shooting is expensive, it’s loud, tactically inadvisable and it’s you verses a bird.
Plus, you either have to go looking or wait until they find you. I’m talking gain for effort which is very important in survival.

So I would remind you that trapping is basically a force multiplier i.e. you set up traps, go back to base, and get on with the important jobs.

Most birds are caught during the day yet they won’t take to you constantly checking traps. Just leave things alone.
Set bird traps when you are coming back from your other trap lines, and check them late afternoon before you go out to re-set your animal snares.

Bird Snares are used for anything, large or small.
As they can’t chew through lines, you can use thin mono-filament line or inner cores from para-cord. A popular moan is trigger traps aren’t sensitive enough. One word, practice.

The type A shows a berry chain. Most ‘gobblers of food will follow the food and ignore the cord (if it’s thin and flexible enough.Type B. This is survival trapping. Every berry is mounted on a fishing hook.

The duck loop is not shown very clearly.A small bait (on a hook) gets swallowed, the duck swims away, the weight under the water gets dislodged sinks and drowns the bird.

Typically claw snares are 2″ in diameter and set an inch above the perch. If you are after wading or swimming birds, then set 3″ in diameter, same height. Neck snares are typically 3″ in diameter, overlapped.

Gorges are designed with the “gobbling” type of birds.Flock eaters or swooping types i.e. gulls (although gulls don’t make good safe eating as they eat ANYTHING).
Gorges In Use

  1. Split some para-cord down to thin thread or use thin fishing line. Thread a few berries onto the line. Flocking birds will rapidly swallow the food to prevent the other birds from getting to it. Let them eat as much as they can then run towards them. The swallowed line will prevent them from escaping. Grab and dispatch before they can pull the line out of their crops.
  2. Same principle but using small fish hooks at the end of threads baited with berries, maggots, or worm. Bird swallows the hook and cannot escape. CAUTION: the hook will be well embedded in the crop. Be careful when removing it as it will be contaminated with part digested food.

A more proactive type.25-35mm long, 4mm thick on a leader of mono-filament. Using a gorge, bait as shown above and throw out to swooping feeders like gulls. The gull will greedily swallow the gorge.When it tries to fly off, the gorge turns sideways and locks in the throat.Again, when recovering the gorge, take care as it may be contaminated with partly digested food. You can of course use fish hooks like gorges.

Be cautious of gulls, they are scavengers eating whatever they can find.
I did cut one apart once, the flesh was full of thready worms.

Don’t forget mouse and rat traps.Simply put, standard snap rat traps are useful for catching birds.Bait with offal, berries, worm, or maggots.They peck, trap snaps, you get a meal.Only remember to set the traps on a pole as you won’t like mouse or rat.

Line Snares
Small thin cord snares.3-4 inches overlapped on a frame Arrange in a box or triangle formation round scattered seed / berries. The cord must be thin and light. Mono-filament fishing line is ideal for this. Simply a ground “bird table” covered with horizontal thin snares 1-2 ” above the table.

Snares are 3″ in diameter.  Flocking birds like partridge or pigeon are a favorite prey for snares. They see the food and dive in desperate to eat before their companions.

Perching snares.Ideal for doves and smaller birds. the bird lands to feed and gets entangled. 

Bird Caps. Requires a little thought and preparation.  

You’ll need to collect holly twigs with leaves attached and some thin cardboard or very stiff paper.Boil the holly in a pot and reduce the liquid down to a thick glue.Make paper cones approximately 2″ in diameter Using the bird gum to make the cones. Smear a generous layer of gum round the inside top edge.Place into the ground and drop corn or other bait round and in the caps.The bird pecks the bait and the paper cone gets stuck on its head.It will not fly as it cannot see. Note, this one you need to monitor.

Mist nets.
If you are a survivalist a 12X12 feet, made of a 1/2″ clear or white mesh, catches fish and entangles feather and fur alike. They can be indiscriminate. Only bear in mind you are trying to survive in a world where a meal is what you can source or catch. Mesh nets for furries (rabbit, but not squirrel) don’t take a whole lot of pounding. Squirrel I only snare as they can decimate a mesh net.

All of these traps I have used.
Sometimes they work, other times not.
Only while they are doing their thing, I’m somewhere else doing whatever is necessary.
A caution. Conceal your traps as an experienced tracker will find them and it gives them a ‘start point’ to search for you.

Popular questions.

  • Do I every shoot bird?
    Occasionally, water fowl but that’s about it, and always with the low noise of an air rifle or a slingshot aka catapult. Tactically quiet and cheap to feed is an air rifle. Easy to maintain, and adapt to your own ‘spec’.
  • Do I ever use a bow?
    I’m just not good enough to hit a 1-3″ target at 20 yards. So no.
  • A naturist demanded, don’t I feel disgusted trapping birds?
    Nope, as I possess a strong desire to eat.
    That and mangled meat is of little use to me apart from baiting traps. so I try to keep the prey whole.
  • Do I ever use cage or fall traps?
    I never had any success with them.