How To Find And Catch Small Game

Mouse trap box art

Provided the small game around you hasn’t been zombified, there’s a fairly high chance you’ll decide to kill and eat some of it at some point. The type of game available will depend entirely on where you are; in most rural areas, for example, there is usually an abundance of rabbits, squirrels and small birds. Urbanites will probably have more luck trapping the local rat, mouse or pigeon populations.

Most small mammals and birds you are likely to find are edible, although some species of shrew are poisonous and should not be eaten. In general it is best to avoid eating:

  • Carnivorous animals or scavengers such as crows; you never know what they might have eaten.
  • Any animal with signs of disease, as this could potentially be passed on to you.
  • Animals which show signs of zombie infection or have been killed by a zombie; why take the risk?
  • Any animal which is already dead unless you are completely sure of the cause of death; animals which have been poisoned can in turn poison you.

Finding Small Game

Whilst rats are omnipresent in most towns and cities, to find some types of small game you will have to be more vigilant. Signs that animals are living in an area might include:

  • Evidence of burrowing or nesting
  • Tracks or trails
  • Droppings
  • Evidence of feeding (for example pine cones stripped by squirrels)

In any area where you find two or more types of evidence, you will have a good chance of finding and catching some kind of prey.

Catching Small Game

[Pic Credit]

Snare Trap

ZC's favourite trap

Once you have found some small game in your area, you need to catch it. If vehicles are still being used, you might be lucky enough to find road kill which can be collected and prepared. Alternatively, if you have a good aim, you may be able to use basic projectiles (for example rocks) to stun birds or slower-moving animals. This will have the disadvantage of scaring away animals from the area, making prey increasingly more scarce.

The best and most reliable option in most situations will be to use a basic trap. Traps need to be positioned in places where you know animals are going to go, for example on a trail or in an area with relatively fresh (still wet) droppings. You should avoid leaving signs that an area has been disturbed as this might scare away potential catches; clean away any soil you disturb as this will be immediately obvious to a small animal and use either mud or non-predatory animal urine to cover up your scent on the traps.

You will almost certainly increase the likelihood that you will catch something if you bait your trap; use a small amount of a food which is not readily available in the area.

Making simple traps

One of the and most effective traps you can make is a snare, a noose-like loop of wire which is attached to a stake and placed at the entrance to a run or den. When the animal emerges, their head goes through the loop but their body will be too large to follow. As the animal struggles, the loop will tighten and your prey is trapped.

For smaller game such as mice, a bottle trap can be used effectively. First, you need to locate a trail which is currently in use. Then, you should dig a small hole with an opening at the top which is narrower than the bottom in the ground. Prop a piece of bark over the top and leave the trap for a few days. Small animals such as mice will hide under the bark, fall into the hole and be unable to escape. These can then simply be collected from the hole.

When catching small animals to eat, it is important not to catch so many that the population in the area will be damaged; by catching only what you need to eat, you should be able to trap sustainably in the same area for quite some time.

Happy trapping survivors!

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Rebecca L. Brown is a British writer. She specialises in horror, SF, humour, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost. For updates and examples of Rebecca’s work, visit her Twitter page @rlbrownwriter or her blog Bewildering Circumstances.

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Comments (2)


  1. It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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