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Primitive Technology: Make Your Own Shrimp Trap

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Make a crayfish or shrimp trap from natural materials found on the forest floor. This is primitive technology or survival bushcraft at its most elemental.

He weaves together a small cone-shaped basket using split cane. Then, he makes a smaller cone to fit inside the larger one. Making a shrimp trap is that simple.

All it requires is a rudimentary skill at basket weaving, and a flowing stream where shrimp or crawfish live.

He laid the trap in a stream and soon caught a few smallish shrimp. He used no bait in the trap, letting the shrimps’ natural curiosity draw them inside.

I like the makeup of this trap, particularly the smaller funnel, which was simply placed inside of the larger one. This allowed easy access to remove the shrimp and was not secured to the overall structure. You could just push it in and easily remove it when necessary.

He placed the shrimp in a clay vessel filled with water and included a few yams from his garden. He then boiled the water by dropping hot rocks from a fire into the vessel.

The shrimp came out fully cooked and orange, and the yams were soft and edible.

He wrote,

In practice, a long stretch of creek might have several traps collecting food each day without any effort on the part of the fisherman. Bait is not necessary to catch shrimp as they will be naturally be drawn to the fish trap out of curiosity. But scraps from previous shrimp may be used to bring in new ones (they are cannibalistic) or other fish like eels. The shrimp trap is easy to build and can be reused many times.

Building traps like this is a simple and effective survival skill that can feed you when food is scarce and conditions are conducive to catching small crustaceans or other aquatic animals.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Primitive Technology: Making an Atlatl for Spear Throwing

Primitive Technology: Make Your Own Shrimp Trap