Trapping animals is a traditional activity dating back to ancient times that has been known to be used in conjunction with hunting and fishing for as long as humanity has existed. Trapping is done for many purposes and is popular all around the world.
Keep reading for our ultimate list of essential trapping supplies and hunting equipment that every hunter and trapper should keep in their bag.
Essential Trapping Supplies
When you go out on a trapping expedition, you’ll need to bring along trapping supplies to help you set and bait your traps, and to release your catch when you come back for it. You’ll also need to make sure to bring along protective clothing so that the animal can’t bite or scratch you.
1. Stakes and Anchors
Stakes and anchors are essential trapping supplies for securing your traps and making sure the catch can’t run off with the trap. Make sure the anchoring system you use for trapping animals is strong enough to hold the animal once it’s trapped.
The stakes you choose must be long enough to hold the animal you’re trying to trap. For the most part, 18 inches to 24 inches is an adequate length for land trapping. If you’re dealing with sandy soil, you’ll need longer stakes to secure your traps.
For larger animals, you may want to consider cross-staking two stakes to make sure they can hold the trapped animal.
It’s crucial to remember to build all your sets so that the stakes can hold animals that may get trapped. If an animal escapes your trap they’ll be injured and more likely to succumb to predators in the wild. Responsible trappers should always make sure to securely stake their trap sets.
Earth anchors are generally very strong attachments that are driven into the ground using a tool. They also must be dug out of the ground when you decide to take down your trap sets.
You should always keep a trowel in your bag full of trapping supplies and hunting equipment so that you can use it to dig trap beds, as well as to dig out earth anchors from the ground when you remove the traps.
It’s a good idea to have a small hand trowel for setting trap beds, while a larger trowel can mimic game holes.
3. Dirt Sifter
Another handy tool to keep in your collection of essential trapping supplies is a dirt sifter. A dirt sifter allows you to cover traps and bait with a fine layer of soil. It can also remove rocks or clumps of soil that are keeping your trap from closing properly.
A pair of pliers or wirecutters are excellent for securing your traps to the stakes or earth anchors. You can also use cable cutters, which have blunt-ended jaws that will cause less damage to an animal’s neck.
5. Catch Pole
You’ll need a catch pole to go along with your essential trapping supplies. A catch pole is used to hold trapped animals as you release the trap. This pole allows you to safely release non-target animals, rather than dispatching them like you would a target animal.
6. Protective Gear
Wearing protective gear when trapping is very important to prevent accidental injuries. This gear should include boots, gloves, and protective clothing.
You should bring along a good pair of gloves as well as a durable pair of boots when you’re trapping animals in the wild.
Leather gloves or these bite-proof Kevlar hunting gloves, are the best when used for trapping because they are durable and provide you with the most protection. Gloves prevent accidental injuries from your trapped animals or just in case the traps close on your hand.
Rubber work boots reinforced with a steel toe are an excellent footwear option to remember when you’re gathering your list of trapping supplies. These boots prevent any accidental injuries to your feet from trapped animals or if the trap happens to close on your foot.
When it comes to protective clothing, covering your skin should be adequate. You should also consider the weather when you’re picking out your clothes for your trip to check your traps.
Since hunting and trapping generally happen in the winter months, you should always be prepared for cold weather. Wool is a great fabric choice for providing insulation and you should also make sure you wear a warm hat to keep your head and ears warm.
You should also make sure the clothing you’ve chosen doesn’t make a lot of noise when you walk, and that you are visible to any other hunters who may be in the area. It’s a good idea to bring along a set of lightweight rain gear as well, just in case you get caught out in a rain shower.
7. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential trapping supply that you should never leave the house without. You can buy a ready-made first aid kit or compile your kit out of things you prefer to keep with you when you’re out in the wilderness, along with the basic necessities.
The main things you will need include simple items you know you will eventually need, like antiseptic wipes, bandages, antibacterial ointment, butterfly bandages, gauze pads, waterproof medical tape, tweezers, and so on.
8. Miscellaneous Trapping Supplies
There are some miscellaneous trapping supplies and hunting equipment that you will want to make sure you bring along on your trip to the wilderness.
When you’re packing your essential trapping supplies don’t forget a tactical flashlight. A flashlight can be used to illuminate your path through the woods before the sun rises or after it sets and ensure that your trapped animal is completely trapped before you approach. A flashlight is excellent if you’re checking traps at night.
Matches or a firestarter are essential when you head out into the backcountry. You will always need to have at least two ways to start a fire on you when you head out into the wilderness.
Having map and compass skills is essential for anyone who decides to go out into the backcountry, but for hunters and trappers, it’s even more crucial. You should make sure to always pay attention to your surroundings and check for landmarks you may see that can help you orient yourself and figure out where you are.
9. Types of Traps
There are several different types of traps, both nonlethal and lethal. Let’s talk about some of the most popular types of traps.
Foothold traps are one of the oldest types of traps out there. You’ll find many different styles and designs available, but they’re all based on the same general principle. With foothold traps, a central pan or trigger is connected to a pair of spring-loaded metal jaws that may or may not feature teeth.
Once the animal steps onto the trigger, the jaws catch its leg, effectively trapping it until the trapper comes along to release it. A classic bear trap is an excellent example of a foothold trap. When you use these traps correctly, they are essential trapping supplies for trapping animals without killing them.
You can use these traps to capture animals like foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and other medium-sized animals. Since these traps are not meant to kill the animal, you must return to the trap to dispatch the animal promptly to avoid prolonging its suffering.
Body Grip Traps/Conibears
Body grip traps, also known as conibears, are trapping supplies that are designed to clamp down onto the animal’s midsection, rather than trapping it by one of its feet. These traps are named after the inventor and trapper named Frank Conibear, who invented the original device in the 1950s.
These traps are the most commonly used type of animal trap. A mouse trap is an example of a miniature-sized body grip trap for smaller animals.
Regardless of the size, body grip traps typically all work using the same principle. Two steel jaws are connected to a set of springs and when the animal’s body presses against the spring, the jaws are released and close shut onto the animal’s midsection.
These essential trapping supplies are usually used for rodents and small animals like beavers, muskrats, or minks since they are lethal traps. If you’re setting out these traps, make sure you place them pretty far from the beaten path since they can instantly kill domesticated animals as well.
Snares look like simple trapping devices that consist of little more than a metal cable. However, the number of specifications makes it one of the more complex and specialized trapping supplies.
These specifications include diameter, lock types, orientation, swivels, stops, and strength and they impact the effectiveness of the trap. The principle behind these types of traps is similar to that of a noose, with metal loops that are intended to capture the animal’s neck.
The newer snare traps use different accessories and tools that are designed to catch target animals without harming or killing them.
Cage traps use a cage or box-shaped device with a spring-loaded door that is connected to a trigger and bait.
The principle behind cage and box traps is fairly simple: you place bait in the trap, which lures the animal inside the trap, resulting in it stepping on the trigger. Then the trigger releases and closes the door, activating a locking mechanism that will prevent the animal from exiting the trap.
Cage and box traps are usually small devices that are intended for trapping raccoons, opossums, and other animals around the same size.
Trapping Regulations and Laws
Trapping, like hunting, is regulated mostly at the state level. For this reason, each state is going to have its own laws and regulations surrounding the use of traps when hunting. Most states also require hunters to have a trapping license to set traps.
You should make sure to always stay up to date on the regulations and laws in your state since they are always changing.
Wrapping Up Essential Trapping Supplies
Whether you are trapping rodents and small game, or you’re trapping larger prey like coyotes, wolves, and bobcats, it’s important to bring along all of the supplies and gear you may need.
We hope this comprehensive list of trapping supplies has helped you narrow down what you should include in your trapping kit.
For more information about trapping, check out our complete guide to finding the best trapping cages.