When in a survival situation, you may find yourself in need of food. One way to acquire food is through trapping small game animals. While hunting for animals and foraging for berries and such may seem more practical, you have to consider the time and energy lost while doing so. To hunt, you may have to spend all day in one location hoping something will cross your path, and that a well-placed shot will not only be possible but also be all it takes to secure that animal as dinner. This is the ideal, but the cards could fall another way entirely if you only injure that animal and have to track it over a great distance to find it, or possibly not be able to find it at all. When foraging, you may have a run of good luck and find food plentifully early on, or you might walk all day without your labor resulting in any fruit.
Trapping, on the other hand, is more energy friendly as it does not require your constant attention. It also does not require you to cover vast quantities of ground while carrying the supplies needed to get you through the day. Instead you can set a trap (or even multiple traps) and go attend to other things, returning periodically to check and see if your trap is occupied. They key to trapping is knowing what animals are in your area and how to target them.
Squirrels are small put plentiful animals that make for a good meal. They can be caught with a squirrel pole snare or snares affixed to tree trunks and limbs.
Rabbits are fast and behave erratically but are creatures of habit. Since they take the same paths on their quests for food, a few well-placed snares on those paths will secure you a rabbit dinner.
Beaver habitats can be found along streams and river beds, especially where dams are present. They are agile in the water but slow and lumbering on land and can be caught with snares. Since they are also creatures of habit like rabbits, watch the paths they travel and place a snare on that path.
Foxes may seem like a tough animal to trap, but it can be done with strategic trap placement. Good locations for fox traps are near where they den up or near an appetizing food source, such as where chickens are kept.
Coyotes are a pack animal, so trapping one is more likely since there are almost always several present in a group. Much like foxes, coyotes are known to pursue easy meals and can be trapped near a food source.
Before you attempt to snare or trap animals, check your local laws to see what is legal and at what time of year. Granted, when you are in survival mode and starving, following the letter of the law might not be your number one priority, but you should at least arm yourself with that knowledge. Also useful will be practicing the use of snares and other trapping methods so you are familiar enough with them that you can use them successfully and humanely when the time comes. As usual with scared, wild animals, watch for teeth and claws to be used defensively against you as these could lead to serious harm. Getting slapped with a beaver tail can be unpleasant as well. Trapping or snaring a food animal is only the first step; you still have to finish the job and get that animal free, a task that will hopefully result in no harm being done to you, so take care to protect yourself against a dinner that may bite back.