Traps in the jungle
Traps in the jungle has traditionally speaking been one of the Amerindians many ways of getting to those vital proteins when being or living in the jungle. There is a couple of really good once that we will demonstrate in videos coming soon.
Not as easy as it looks
The traps are versatile and can catch small, to large mammals, fish and birds. There are some basic rules and philosophies when using traps in the jungle and if not followed will make the traps completely useless. If used correctly traps in the jungle can dramatically increase your chances of getting an “easy kill”, but do not believe you can just lay back and enjoy your stay in the jungle. If you are not an expert (In South America, Amerindians), you will have to react when hearing activity otherwise animals like jaguars, pumas or piranha will eat your dinner before you!
#1 – The trap must be where the animals are:
A trap cannot just be set up anywhere. You have to locate areas of activities by using common sense. First place to look is for example where do the animals eat? Areas of eatable plants such as palms with nuts, trees that throw seeds and areas with obvious signs of digging for roots are all good starting points. Check if there are routes leaving the area where movement would be obvious and set up your trap in that area. This brings me to the next topic which is animal lines. It can in the jungle actually be a hard discipline to learn to spot these routes, but if you find them and there clearly is movement from armadillo, deer, labba or agouti then you will have a chance of finding a good spot. The river crossings are often very visible since they cut through the thick bush at the riverside. This could be a potential area as well. The smaller mammals that live in hollow logs or underground often leave traces of activity from entrance/exit holes. This is as well a very good places to put up your trap, but! Do remember many of these have several exit holes and some might be really well hidden. If you have been working and moved around in front of their preferred exit holes then they are very likely to use another entrance/exit the next couple of days.
#2 – Patience
You do not just setup a trap and then within hours will you have a good piece of meat to roast. The mammals you are hunting are hunted by advanced and extremely effective hunters like the Jaguar or Puma and for same reason are they highly alert when changes happen in their environment. This means smelling and listening. You can expect your scent to stay around the traps for several days and this will definitely make the animals alert.
If you have been chopping with your machete in the area it is very likely that the next couple of days the animal will choose another route. The best way to get around this is actually to get your materials at one location and fetch it to the place where you want to set it up. Using materials entirely from the environment is as well a big advantage. Be patient, it can take quite some time for them to return to their old routines if disturbed.
#3 – React
If you are setting up traps, then make sure that you can hear if anything is happening. These animals are cleverer than you think which means that traditional snaring very likely will give you a couple of minutes before the animal chew through your string. Another example is making simple fish traps where you hang hooks from branches in to the water and leave them for the big fishes coming out after dark. If you do not reach them before first light, the piranhas will and they will basically eat your fish on the hook. So react right away when you hear something is trapped.
#4 – Do not underestimate your prey
There are two sides to this, first of all you should always be very cautious if you do trap an animal and are trying to get to it. The bigger the animal is the more cautious you should be, but even small mammals can give nasty bites and infections you do not wish in the jungle. Fish in the Jungle Rivers always need to be handled correctly because of nasty bites and especially the big piranhas! We have now seen a couple of bites when getting out the hooks and they literally cut straight through the flesh. The other side to this is when you are producing the trap you have to make sure that it produce enough power to actually kill or trap the animal. We do not want to just injure an animal for the sake of it.
#5 – Traps in the jungle works best as a supplement
You can hardly rely alone on trapping animals and especially mammals in the jungle. They are simply too capable of living and getting away in the environment, but they work as a great supplement to hunting and fishing. So set them up, adjust them along the way and maybe eventually you will have success if used the right way.
We will very soon start making small videos demonstrating traps for fishing and mammals. They are exciting and many of them can be copied to be used in bush craft and survival activities in the western hemisphere as well.