3 Tips for Survival Trapping in Warm Weather

In a dire situation, knowing how to trap in warm weather may be a life-saver

Primitive Trapline
The figure-four deadfall trap is just one of the primitive traps that can be crafted in the backcountry.Tim MacWelch

When it comes to observing the typical season for trapping, one old mountain-man adage still holds true. You’re supposed to only trap during months that have an “R in the name.” This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The months that don’t have the letter “R” in their name (May through August) are all of the warmer months, a time when deceased animals will spoil very quickly. However, you may not have the luxury of colder weather or the legal trapping season if you’re trapping in a survival situation. If you have to trap for food out of season, here are three things to keep in mind when trapping in warmer weather.

1. Check The Traps Often

Many trappers check their trapline just once each day (which is required by trapping regulations in most areas). But in warm weather, you may have to check your traps twice or three times per day. Perhaps you’ll even want to check them during a hot summer night. A dead animal will rot quickly in a trap during warm temperatures, particularly since the innards are still inside it. And even though you don’t want to add extra human scent to your trapping sites, it’s important to check often. Use binoculars or similar optics to check your traps from a distance to keep the smell and disturbance to a minimum at each trap site.

2. Be Ready For Bugs

Parasites, ticks, fleas and other undesirable creatures may be all over (and inside of) your game animals when trapping in the summer. Be aware of the risks that these may pose, and use caution to prevent these pests from “jumping ship” onto the next warm body (you).

3. Avoid “Kill” Traps in the Heat

While it’s usually best to use traps that kill the prey in colder weather, you may want to skip these traps in the warm weather. Traps that confine or restrain the game animal (rather than killing them) will allow them to stay alive. This will help you avoid the loss of an animal that has died and gone rotten. Essentially, the trap is storing the meat “on the hoof” for you.

If you had to trap in warmer weather, are you ready for all the problems that can accompany the practice? Please share your trapping tricks by leaving a comment.