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Primitive Hunting Techniques

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Primitive hunting techniques are the set of techniques that our ancestors came up with thousands of years ago. The original neanderthals discovered what worked for survival, and their many descendants modified the methods throughout the passing years, which gradually made them better hunters. The old ways were taught from generation to generation, passed on from father to son, eventually ensuring the survival of the human race.

In this article, we will talk about going back to medieval times. We will discuss different primitive hunting techniques, and we shall instruct you on how you can use these age-old methods in today’s world just as effectively as they were used a millennia ago!

Why do You Need to Learn Primitive Hunting Techniques?

Modern tools and hunting equipment come rigged with tons of exclusive features. The most cutting edge gear can even show heat signatures of approaching prey for you to mark your next target, aim, and shoot quickly!

As convenient as this may seem, every hunter worth his salt knows that when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, none of these tools is useful. In fact, when bad comes to worse, you may just get stuck with nothing but your instinct and whatever basic stuff you can scrounge out of your pack (a knife if you are lucky).

So when that scenario arises, you may feel the need to go down on your knees and thank the gods that you made an effort to learn some primitive hunting techniques! Because believe it or not, survival skills WILL keep you alive, and hunting is one of the most fundamental of these crucial skills.

Mentioned below are the 5 most popular and effective primitive hunting techniques as well as how you can utilize them to get yourself a delicious, freshly cooked meal in the wilderness.

1. Snares

Setting up a snare is an easy and efficient way to hunt small mammals like rabbits. It doesn’t require an elaborate setup or needs fancy tools to build. Plus, you don’t have to stick around and lie in wait for your prey to get snared up. You can set the trap and simply go about doing other things like building a shelter ( see our post Survival Shelter Building to learn how) and let the snare do its job!

Things you will need:

  1. Wire or cord (any type of wire/cord which you can scrounge up from your surroundings, rip off useless devices, take from fishing lines, or even the wire from your headphones can work)
  2. If you can’t find a wire or cord, then use a sturdy string (shoestrings, drawstring, purse strap, etc.)
  3. A long, thin but durable branch to use as a hook.
  4. Bait.


  • Select the right spot.
  • Use wire/cord/string to fashion a noose at one end. Fix the other end to the long branch or hook.
  • Fix the hook to nearby cordage or tree trunk for support.
  • The hook should be able to withstand the first jerk when the noose fastens around the prey and sturdy enough to hold it in place till you release it yourself.
  • Place the noose just a few inches above the ground, as it should ideally wrap around the game’s neck.
  • Place bait in front of the noose to attract your prey.
  • Cover the trap with leaves and debris and wait for the snare to do its job.

Pro tip: Always place multiple such snares around your camp so that you can increase your chances of catching something worthwhile.

2. Bow & Arrow

Archery used to be a highly coveted skill in the past but sadly seems almost forgotten today. Hunting with a bow & arrow used to be the most common medieval technique, and it can still be used today, provided you get some target practice first.

Things you will need:

  1. A long, flexible branch to fashion into a bow, at least 4 feet long.
  2. A string or cord, for traction.
  3. Smaller sticks to use as arrows.


  • Selecting the right type of wood is essential for this to work well. The wood should be flexible enough to bend backward without snapping, light enough to carry yet weighted enough to launch arrows a decent distance.
  • Tie the string/cord securely to both ends of the wood. The length of the string should be short enough to make the wood bend into a curved arc.
  • For the arrows, find some pieces of wooden sticks and carve sharp points on one end with a knife.
  • The arrows should be at least 6 inches long (or longer) and heavy enough to land a decent distance instead of flopping to the ground in a pitiful heap.
  • Prop up a target and practice hitting it with your self-made bow & arrow until your aim improves.
  • Now scope a good spot in the wilderness and go hunting.

Pro tip: You won’t be able to hit targets that are further away with a self-made bow. So try to get as close to your prey as possible, take your time in aiming, and only then let the arrow loose.

3. Pitfall Traps

This is the simplest primitive hunting technique of all – all it requires is for you to DIG! You don’t need any special tools to set up a pitfall trap. And like a snare, you don’t need to lie nearby in wait for hours, but you can go around and do other tasks while the trap catches your dinner for you.

Things you will need:

  • Anything to dig with. A shovel is ideal, but if you don’t have it, you can use a piece of wood, a rock, or even just your hands.


  • Select a spot.
  • Start digging.
  • Dig deep enough so that your intended prey can’t jump back out.
  • Keep the mouth narrow.
  • Cover the opening with some foliage and debris to conceal the trap.
  • Wait for small to medium-sized animals to fall inside your pitfall trap.

Pro tip: Similar to snares, build multiple pitfall traps around your camp to increase your chances of catching your prey – just remember not to fall inside them yourself!

4. Spear Hunt

Hunting with wicked-looking spears was another old favorite. You can give it a try for yourself but before you get too excited by the idea, note that hunting with a spear takes considerable skill and practice. So you might not get the hang of it quickly.

Things you will need:

  1. A thick branch to use as the spear base. Make sure the branch is sanded smooth, preferably rounded, light enough for you to lift and throw one-handed but heavy enough to pierce through your target’s body.
  2. A sharp knife or blade to use as the spear tip.
  3. Something to secure the spear tip with the spear base, like tape, cord, or rope.


  • Build the spear.
  • Scope out your prey and get as close as possible without alerting it.
  • Keep yourself concealed as you aim.
  • Aim for the largest surface area of the prey, for example, aim for the torso or belly instead of the head or neck.
  • Raise yourself up within eye level to the target, keep your knees slightly bent with your feet slightly apart, and retract the spear as far as you can with your dominant hand.
  • Keeping it as level as possible, use all your might to throw the spear.
  • Keep trying until you don’t miss it.

Pro tip: Get plenty of target practice to get the right feel of your spear before going for the actual hunt.

5. Spear Fishing

This primitive hunting technique takes less time and effort than spear hunting on land. Plus, it requires less skill as well. You just have to be patient in order to catch your prey.

Things you will need:

  1. A thin (2-3” in diameter) sturdy branch, around 5-6 feet in length for the spear base.
  2. A sharp knife or blade for the spear tip (optional)
  3. Material to secure the blade to the branch like rope or tape (optional)
  4. You can simply sharpen the tip of the branch into a sharp point as well.
  5. Bait (optional).


  • Build your fishing spear.
  • Select a shallow pool of water near land.
  • Sprinkle some bait over it to attract more fish.
  • Stand as still as possible and aim your spear just a foot over water.
  • With a quick lunging movement, push your spear into the water to catch some fish.
  • Don’t worry if you miss it. Stand perfectly still and silent to make the fish fall into a false sense of security, and try again.

Pro tip 1: Always push the spear deeper than where you think the fish is.

Pro tip 2: You can fashion a different type of spear with not one but three sharp points to get better results.

We hope these primitive hunting techniques will prove to be useful for you. You can also read our post Survival Hunting Tips to get some cool ideas to improve your hunting game. Besides, there are lots of good books on Amazon to learn much more. You can follow this link to find out.

Happy hunting!