securing meat sources
Posted 05 October 2008 - 05:51 PM
- Decide on the dimensions you need for the type and size fish you are going to trap. Minnows or panfish for bait can be caught in a trap 12 inches diameter by 24 inches in length, large catfish, carp, and suckers require a much larger trap.
- Choose a shape for your trap. Many are rectangular, with a 1:2:4 height, width, and length ratio, but cylindrical traps work well if there is not any current in the water to cause them to roll and become fouled.
- Select the material you will build the trap out of. In Alabama, where trapping catfish is a long standing tradition, the finest traps are built by craftsmen using white oak strips, woven together with galvanized steel or copper wire. Because this takes considerable skill and time, we will look at building a trap with a wire mesh fabric or poultry netting. The choice then, is the mesh size, determined by the size fish you are trapping. For bait minnows, a hardware cloth in 1/4 or 1/2 inch mesh is fine, for suckers or carp, poultry netting is less expensive.
- Cut the wire mesh large enough to fold into a "box" and allowing for overlap at the seem. A 12 inch X 24 inch X 48 inch trap will require a sheet of wire fabric 6 feet long and 4 feet wide.
- Mark the fabric across the width at 12 inches, 36 inches, 48 inches, and 72 inches, and using a length of straight lumber, fold at each mark 90 degrees, to form a box. Tie the final corner with plastic "snap ties" or light gauge wire.
- Cut another piece of wire fabric 12 X 24 inches for the end of the box, and secure it in place with the same ties or wire you seamed the box in the previous step.
- Form a funnel with the wire fabric for the end of the box you have not closed up yet. The funnel openning will have to be large enough for the fish to swim into, tapering down to leave this openning facing into the box. Secure this piece in place with wire that can be untied later to release or remove your catch.
- Place an "onion bag", or mesh fruit bag filled with your bait into the trap, along with a large stone or piece of brick to weight the trap down, tie the funnel in, and you are ready to "set" the trap.
- Tie a strong line to the trap so that you can pull it out of the water when you are ready to check it, take the whole apparatus to the water, choose your "fishing hole", and lower it in.
- Pull the trap in slowly when you decide to check it, keeping in mind you never know what will be inside it.
- Use a wire mesh that is stiff enough to form to the shape you choose and that will remain rigid with a substatial weight of fish in it.
- Use a suitable bait for the fish you are trapping. Rabbit feed pellets, cat food pellets, cotton seed meal cakes, corn bread, or limburger cheese are common trap baits.
- Check the trap daily to make sure no turtles, otters, or other predators have discovered it and either damaged it or gotten trapped in it.
- Do not abandon your trap if you give up this effort. Remove it and dispose of it when you are finished.
Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:08 PM
Have you considered chickens or ducks, Hip?
Raising chickens is lots of fun, and real easy too. Especially if you have lots of space. Only difficulty is in building a coop/yard, but if you don't have to worry about bears then construction is a breeze, and fun too. Good layers are easy to come by, and local feed stores should carry breeds that work for your climate. Three to 5 chickens laying an egg a day, is a pretty hefty protein source in and of itself. If you consider the additional boost from breeding and raising meat chickens or dual purpose (lay for a year then harvest for meat), then it doesn't take much more space to quadruple your bird production. The benefit to your land in insect control, as well as free fertilizer if you rotate your coop locations, either with a chicken tractor or just rotating fields, is indispensible.
I have found chickens to be a joy to be around as well, the noises they make are enjoyable, and they have personalities too. The very fresh eggs and meat of chickens that have plenty of room to run around in, get plenty of sun, and grass, and bugs, is far beyond the flavor and quality of what you'll find in any grocery store.
Ducks are another option, but I find quacking and waddling to be less pleasing to be around than clucking and pecking. Though ducks aren't as likely to tear up your ground, and are more partial to eating snails and slugs. Though they'll want to spend lots of time in your pond. Which is good for the health of your pond as long as there's not too many ducks.
You might consider seeding your property with game birds as well. There's plenty of hatcheries that supply game birds, quail, ptarmigans, grouse, etc.
McMurray Hatchery is my favorite, I've ordered from them in the past and gotten excellent customer service. They have an amazing assortment of fowl and equipment as well. Basically everything you'll ever need.
The books on livestock and backyard farming by Gail Damerow are indispensable in the info they provide for keeping your animals happy and healthy. She has a wide range of books for just about any animal you'd consider, from rabbits to horses. The Storey Guides all compiled in the Barnyard in your Backyard book, though are also available separate. Generally written like technical journals, they're still easy for a beginner to understand.
Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:08 PM
This instructable I'll show you how to make a minnow/small fish trap with two soda bottles, some zip ties(can be replaced with wire or string). It only takes about 10
1. Fin. End. Finito. Finished product.
step 1: Item List
-Wire Cutters(or scissors)
-Two 2 Liter Soda bottles, empty( can me made with 1 or 3 liter bottles as well)
-7 Zip Ties( can be switched with wire, or string
1. Two $0.47 2-Liter Soda Bottles from my local WalMart
2. Zip Ties
step 2: Remove the labels
Remove the soda bottle labels with a knife. Then take some sharp object and scrape as much of the glued on white part as you can.
1. Removed the labels
step 3: Cutting
Cut the top off of one bottle, cut where the bottle starts to bend/curve.
The other bottle, you need to cut off the bottom 'legs'. I usually cut about 1/4" above that so its straight.
1. Cut off the bottom. About 1/4 inch from the end of the 'legs'
2. Top of one bottle. Cut where the bottle starts to curve in.
step 4: Putting it together
Take the top and remove the cap, of the bottle that is only the top. Insert that into the bottom of the 2nd bottle. poke holes with a knife or big needle around the bottles.
Place a zip tie, or string, or wire in each of the holes to connect the two bottles. Make sure they are tight and won't fall apart.
1. Poked 6 holes in the top from soda bottle 1, and in the bottom of soda bottle 2. Used the ZipTies to hold them together.
step 5: Cut the release hole
Cut a flap towards the middle/top of the longest bottle. Then poke some holes in the flap and in the bottle, and when your ready to drop it in some water...add bait thru
that, then close it and use either string, wire, or a zip tie to close the flap. If you use a zip tie you'll have to cut it to get the fish out.
1. Cut side door to remove the fish. Took off the bottle cap, as I forgot to do that before I zip tied the two bottles together.
step 6: Done
You now have a bait-fish trap for less than $2, or free.
1. Fin. End. Finito. Finished product
Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:15 PM
but not until next spring, not feeding all winter.
mcmurray's already been bookmarked some time ago,
waiting on their catalog...
Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:22 PM
Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:23 PM
Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:34 PM
Chicken wire, the 2" hexagonal wire stuff is strong enough to keep out any thing smaller than a bear, though coons are known for pulling things through small holes. Really, coons will probably be your biggest problem, but your dogs will be the best defense, that and having a secure coop for night time. Likewise, chickens will be cooped up at night, so owls aren't a concern, and hawks will only be a danger if you put your fowl out to pasture without any tree cover. Putting some sort of bird net over the top of your chicken yard is one way to protect them, as well as decoys such as those fake barred owls.
Keeping your dogs out of the chicken yard will probably be a good idea too. They'll most likely learn to accept them as part of the family, but all it takes is one taste of chicken blood and there will be no more peace on your lil farm.
Posted 05 October 2008 - 10:07 PM
I've heard you can snare turkeys...
Trot lines are always good for catfish, and turtles in some places... Turtle is YUMMY!
My dogs keep the coyotes off the property, and I've heard a litter of pups mewling last year in the neigbors field, but never seen any here. Any possum, coon, rabbit, (or cat, for that matter), that comes here, gets et.
(Coons ain't bad eatin', either.)
I'm building a combo coop and equipment shed out of free pallets from work.
BTW, I eat a LOT of road-killed deer.
Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:59 AM
A long narrow trench that geese can walk into and see out of, but is deep enough so they can't spread their wings, is a simple and effective protein procurement tool (if there are geese around). Make the edges of the trench a gentle slope, and make it straight so the geese can see out both ways and not feel trapped. Bait the trench with whatever they're currently eating, and when the geese go in for a snack you can just walk right up and grab 'em since they can't spread their wings to take off and aren't smart enough to figure anything else out by the time you get there.
I tend to focus on survivalist methods for obtaining meat, but I only practice making the traps/snares/spears etc., I don't actually kill anything with them because of the ethical and legal issues with trapping (which tend to diminish quickly in survival situations). If the need ever does arise then deadfalls, traps, snares, and spears are the way to go for obtaining meat since making them only requires knowledge, whereas rifles and bows can be lost, stolen, or break (plus if you're hunting to survive, others will be too and rifle shots tend to attract unwanted attention in that context, so a silenced .22LR or even a powerful air rifle might be a better choice than a 30.06, especially if most of the game around is small, like rabbits and squirrels).
Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:57 AM
Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:21 AM
Posted 06 October 2008 - 09:14 AM
Rabbits might be a good investment as a meat source as well.
I heartily agree! I used to rent a spot in an orange grove for my motorhome, back in the day, from a lady with a rabbitry. Not hard upkeep, lots of quality fresh meat.
Also, when I was a kid I was taught to go sit under a hickory tree at sunrise, and shake a box of matches. Sound to the squirrels like someone is cuttin' their nuts, so they come out to see...
Then I'd head-shoot 'em with .22 shorts. Sounds like a muffled clap in the woods... and didn't scare the squirrels.
Squirrel and rice is mighty fine eatin".
Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:21 PM
squirrels were cussing me good last time i gathered hickory nuts
Posted 07 October 2008 - 01:02 PM
Dig a hole 6-8 inched in diameter by 12 inches deep.
Drop some corn or bird feed down there and check frequently (before the coyotes do)
The peasant will stick its head and body down there to get the feed and fall in head first.