Prehistoric Trap Systems of Northern Arizona

by Survival tips on

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The ability to procure food in a demanding landscape like the desert was possible for those who know where and how to look and have a wealth of hunting and trapping skills. I believe trapping played a significant role in the menu of hunter-gatherers in the desert though archeological site reports tend to focus on larger fauna and hunting implements like the atlatl and bow.

Despite ranking low in the overall archeological interpretation of the Southwest, deadfalls and snares have been found in quantity at Basketmaker sites in Arizona and Utah and were used (and still are in some regions) at places like Hopi and Supai into the historic era.

As experienced primitive trappers know who are reading this, the use of deadfalls and snares is a very calorie-efficient method for obtaining wild game from the landscape. This is not to say it was the end-all answer to procuring meat but its importance is not reflected in most archeological site reports of the Southwest.

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