Ancient hunters used four different trapping devices to catch game animals and birds: the pit trap, the snare, the entangling net, and the fowler’s net. In the case of the pit trap, the hunters dug a hole on a game trail that was big enough to hold the animals and deep enough to prevent its escape once it had fallen in. A net was stretched over the top of the pit and disguised so that it looked like solid ground. When an animal stepped on the net, the apparently solid ground collapsed, tripping the animal (Psa 35:7; Jer 18:22). The snare was also set along a game trail. It consisted of a cord with a loop on one end that could tighten around an animal’s foot. The
hunter bent a springy sapling or branch, locked it in position, and then tied the cord to it. When an animal placed its foot into the loop, the hiding hunter pulled the cord, which released the energy stored in the bent branch, which tugged the loop of the snare tightly around the animal’s foot (Amos 3:5).
The entangling net frequently was used to capture the fleet-footed deer. The hunters identified a location where the natural lay of the land created a funnel and erected and camouflaged a vertical net at the narrow end of the funnel. Then hunters caused the animals to panic and run into the wide end of the funnel. Distracted by the threat from behind them, the fleeing animals ran headlong into the net and became entangled (Isa 28:13).
The fowler’s net used to capture birds was often suspended above the capture zone by using the branches of a tree. Birds were lured into the danger zone with bait and decoys. When they were in place, the waiting hunter released the weighted net, which fell and entrapped the animals (Jer 5:26). END OF PART 1