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Friday, January 9, 2009

Homemade Deadfall Trap

Those of you who have read my stuff before may already know, that I plan to trap wild game, fish and fowl, to supplement my food storage and my four 4X8 raised bed garden plots. I don't think having one food source after the crash is wise as many things could happen to my primary food storage. Always have a plan B and a plan C to back up plans A and B.

When selecting materials from which to construct a figure 4 trigger, choose only dry, seasoned hardwood pieces that will not warp or shrink during the natural aging process. This is important, because once you get the trap set up you want to keep it producing for for the next several years.

The most crucial element, and the one most often overlooked by beginners, is the fact that all pieces which make up the trigger, should be squared with all bark removed. If this is not done correctly the trigger pieces will fly apart, when weight is applied, refusing to hold together because of the roundish trigger pieces...

The ground stick should have a forked bottom, so as not to let the trigger spin around and out from under the drop weight when the bait is taken. If allowed to turn the trigger may hold together and not trip when the bait is taken.

The best type of deadfall and the one I use most often, is what I call the log drop. The first step in building the log drop deadfall is to build a small pen about 14 inches square and 24 inches high with small sticks, trigs, leaves, grass or whatever is near by. The pen isn't being built to hold the animal, just to guide it into position where it can be effectively trapped. One side should be left open.

Next cut a small log of about four to six inches in diameter and four feet long. Bury this log part of the way in the ground in front of and across the opening of the pen. Now, cut four stakes which are about 4 feet long, drive the stakes two on each side of the bottom log. These stakes should be about thirty inches high after being driven into the ground.
Next cut a drop log that is from six to seven inches thick at the base and approximately twelve feet long. Set the figure 4 trigger with the drop log resting on top, and the bait stick slightly pointed back into the opening of the pen.

As you might have guessed, when the animal tries to take take the bait, it pulls the the trigger pieces apart letting the top log fall crushing the critter against the bottom log. This is quick and painless.

The bait should be fastened to the bait stick before setting the trigger under the drop log. To do otherwise can result in having the log fall on the trappers arm, which I have done and can tell you this is not at all pleasant.


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