Do you enjoy our articles? Be sure to like American Preppers Network on facebook, and be a part of our community of over 155,000 fans!
By July 27, 2012 Read More →

Survival Hunting Without a Gun

Have you ever thought about exactly what you’re going to hunt and how, should it come down to all of us bugging out in the woods?

These are very important things to consider.  A lot of people I have asked these questions to automatically say, “We will shoot them!”  Of course, any experienced survivalist knows this would be the last thing you would want to do for fear of attracting others to your bug out location.  (BOL)  Not only that, wouldn’t you want to save your ammunition for home invasion against all those non preppers who think they are going to just waltz on up to your home spread and take what you prepped for?

So now I ask, what other skills do you have in capturing and preparing your family a meal?  There are multiple ways to obtain food in the forest and I am going to talk about a few of them today.  When my husband and I discussed this, my first thought was using a Compound or Cross Bow. There is a difference for those of us that are unfamiliar with this type of hunting.  If you have ever watched Walking Dead then you have seen a Cross Bow. :)

crossbow  <– If not, here is a picture of one.  I am sure we all know what a basic bow looks like so let’s get to the down low and talk about these babies.  There are many, many things to consider when using a bow as a hunting weapon.  The cost for example can start at $100 and go up to as high as $1500.  There are TONS of different compound bows, re-curve bows, cross bows and long bows.

Deals can be found on bows.  Many hunters out there who have money to spend (Tax time hehe) will buy a bow, use it one hunting season and then upgrade it next season.  So guess where the old bow goes?!  To the pawn shop, so when they approach their wives they can say they have some money already put up for a new one. *wink wink*  I am just kidding about that last part, but seriously, this happens all the time.  So you can check out the pawn shops first, because often times, there could be brand new bows there for a bargain.  The best time to do this is in the off-season.

Do your research on which bow is right for you.  Go to a local archery range or possibly an Army / Navy store to find out what is right for you: arm length / bow size, draw strength, price range, etc…

Firearms kill by causing massive tissue damage and shock, whereas bows typically cause blood loss.  Knowing where to hit an animal is vital, be it a firearm or a bow.  You don’t want to have to also hunt for the wounded animal!

Pros and cons of a Cross Bow hunting:

Pro:  Are easier to fire than regular bows. Easier to aim and shoot.

Con:  Slower to reload than regular bows.  Sometimes louder than regular bows (not a problem for self-defense).  Must cock and load ahead of time.  Only get one shot (reloading is slow)

Here is a comparison of Cross Bows and Long Bows:

“Regarding the range on Crossbows versus Longbows, the standard ballistics analysis will tip in favor of the longbow. All things being equal (that is, a typical 75-80lb. longbow is being compared to a typical 150lb. crossbow, both shooting missiles from 450-650 total grain weight), the longbow wins for distance….the crossbow wins for kinetic energy and yes, flatter trajectory OVER THE SHORT TERM. (Flatter trajectory means: FASTER FPS or the arch of the arrow after leaving the bow).

“Here’s the physics. The crossbow, although having a higher lb. pull, applies this force across a shorter STROKE (say, 12″-14″ limbs). The longbow, although giving a lesser FORCE (in terms of “lbs. pull”) applies this force over a longer STROKE…say each side of the bow with 18″-24″ limbs. Force is basically equal to mass x acceleration. (F=ma). Acceleration is equal to velocity squared (A=VxV). And Velocity (V) is equal to distance per time. Since the TIME of the stroke is longer across a longer distance, you get more “oompa” (for lack of a better descriptive) in the longer limb strokes of a long bow versus the crossbow.

This is one reason that it takes roughly a 150lb-180lb crossbow with a 16″ span to match the ballistic punch of a roughly HALF as “strong” longbow (like a 75-80lb. bow). The real benefit to the crossbow is controll-ability and the rapid single-fire potential of carrying a missile “cocked and locked.”

Like all weapons and survival gear, keep spare parts and LEARN how to use and repair your bow!  If you have experience in archery, please start a discussion on hunting with bows!

  • Traps

Trapping animals for food is an invaluable skill to learn.  I remember, when I was younger, trying to make a box trap to catch something with my best friend.  It was so exciting making the trap and checking it for something every day.  Of course, living in Houston, Texas at the time, probably meant we were never going to catch a thing.  And we didn’t, but it was fun trying lol.  There are about 5types of traps I can think of that are mainly used in trap hunting.  If you can think of any others feel free to share them with us. :)

  • Foothold Traps:

The foothold is a device that has 2 jaws, 2-3 springs and a spring trigger in the center that is usually round and when stepped on the trap closes around the animals foot.  They are made in all different sizes and types depending on the animal you are trying to capture.  Be careful though, some states have outlawed the use of these traps so check your state for the laws on these traps. As well, animals have been known to chew off their foot to escape.

  • Cage Traps

Cage traps, like foothold traps, are intended to catch animals live.  These are often baited with smaller *lure* animals, cat food, or fish.  Cage traps are considered the most humane traps because the animal is unharmed. (until you kill it)  Often these cages are used by animal control or home owners who just want to relocate an animal verses killing it.  They will usually have a trigger at the back of the cage which causes the door to shut on the animal once inside.  Some traps have a different trigger located in the middle of the trap causing a door to shut from the back and the front, leaving two points of entry for an animal.  I found some reasonably priced cage traps at

  • Dirt Hole Trapping:

This requires a little bit of digging.  A trapping pit is exactly what it sounds like: A hole dug in the ground to lure an animal.  I could see where this could be very useful if you found a place in the woods where animals cross frequently.  Here is a video showing an example of dirt hole trap setting.

  • Dead fall Traps:

The dead fall trap is a heavy rock or log that is set up at an angle with sticks or tree limbs.  One of these sticks serves as a trigger.  Tie or connect the bait to the trigger stick and when the animal moves that stick the rock or logs fall on the animal crushing it.  The figure four dead fall  is probably one of the most common dead fall traps.  Here are links on how to build a log dead fall part 1 and part 2,  and a rock dead fall.  These are good videos with basically the same concept. (The second video is a little graphic as it actually shows the catch made.)

  •  Snares:

Snares are anchored cables or wire nooses set to catch wild animals like rabbits, squirrels, foxes or coyotes.  I have even found videos where they can be built to catch hogs.  (I will post those videos at the end of this section.)  Snares are one of the easiest traps to make and are very effective.  The snare tightens around the neck or body of the animal, restraining it.  Here is an AMAZING video on making a basic snare.  Not only does it tell you how to make an excellent snare, but it also shows you how to add the pre-made snares to your bug out bag so you don’t have to fashion one when time is important.

Here is the 4 part series on trapping hogs.  This is for the more experienced trappers, but why not challenge yourself? :)  I also want to add that you should not be deceived by the country drawl in these videos.  I love me some country boys and they are some of the smartest people I know when it comes to survival. :)

This is about all I have on hunting without a gun!  Hope you learned some useful information and that you will practice it!!  I love trying new things, it makes life interesting.  My 10-year-old is in love with compound bows and keeps begging us to teach her and up until this article the answer has always been no.  I think that now, the answer will be yes. :)  Enjoy your adventures!!

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Please Visit My Store: Jalapeño Gal’s Survival Surplus

More articles on preparedness

Posted in: Uncategorized

About the Author:

Cari is an editor and author for American Preppers Network. Her family currently live in Georgia. Cari spends her free time gardening, canning, testing products for review, helping others prepare and going to the gym. She believes preparedness is about love and taking care of your family. Cari also has her own website where she shares all of her preparedness articles and her recipes for canning, dehydrating, juicing, basic cooking. To have a look and hopefully follow her: Click Here! Please Join My New Blog!

11 Comments on "Survival Hunting Without a Gun"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Most states offer trapping courses associated with their various fish and wildlife classes. My grandson and I have taken not only the hunter safety course but the bow and arrow class along with the trapping lessons. Both would provide excellent skills necessary for capturing or killing food silently when bugging out. In addition we keep a high power pellet gun readily at hand for stalking small game. These guns are fairly quiet and easy to store up ammo (pellets) for.

  2. Paul Whitley says:

    I am really surprised that I seem to be the only one who knows how to hunt with a BB Gun. People snicker, but a BB going 1,200 to 1,500 feet per minute WILL take out some good sized game. At the least it will stun/knock down prey in such a way that a knife to it’s throat will finish the kill.

    • I think whats best for a each person is different. This article is focusing on being without a gun though. My preference would be a gun to :)
      Thanks so much for the input Paul. Im sure there are many who dont consider a BB gun, truthfully the thought never crossed my mind lol


  3. BUGS…. 1462 eatable insects, a cricket has 13 grams of protein. So 2 crickets equals a can of tuna. I’ve been eating them for years. I will survive. Mill worms are great to, you’ve just got to set your mind to it……

    • ewwwww, i dont think i could deal with the crunch lol. In a do or die I would though.


    • Bob says:

      Heh. How does a 4 gram insect have 12 grams of protein in it? If you’ve got crickets running around that have 12 grams of protein in them… I hope you have a good shotgun!

      Hmm, this website makes that claim too:

      However, it also claims a red ant contains 13.9 grams of protein, and a cow contains 27.4 grams. As such, I expect that all the info on the list is per 4 ounce serving.

      Ah ha. Mystery solved. The data presented is per 100 grams. So 100 grams of Crickets (About 25 of them.) contains 12.9 grams of protein. All in all, they are a surprisingly high source of protein with little fat.

      But i think I’ll stick to chicken.

  4. BUGS…. 1462 eatable insects, a cricket has 13 grams of protein. So 2 crickets equals a can of tuna. I’ve been eating them for years. I will survive. Mill worms are great to, you’ve just got to set your mind to it……

  5. Bob says:

    Another good option is the sling shot. Those “Wrist Rocket” types that wrap around your wrist pack a mean wallop! Make sure you practice ahead of time, though.

  6. I am almost ashamed I didn’t add the wrist rocket considering I HAVE ONE lmbo!!! I use those glass marbles in it and aim at things in the trees all the time. Then once i bounced one off the tree and hit the neighbor who was in her back yard on the street over from us. lol My husband was like…get in the house now…no more slingshot off the balcony lol.