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How to Set Up a Deadfall Trap

Posted by on 7/24/2013 to Food Procurement

Where to Place and When to Use a Deadfall:

These types of traps, also known as "figure 4 deadfalls", are best utilized in a common feeding area of small game such as rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, field mice, etc... Please note that trapping is illegal in many areas and you should always abide by your local laws and regulations, unless you're in a real survival situation of course...

The Deadfall Concept:

In short, large heavy object rests on unstable support. Clumsy animal bumps lousy support. Large heavy objects falls onto clumsy animal. Animal is trapped or killed on contact. You come by and salvage a life-saving meal. Say your thanks to the animal for saving your life before you eat it.

6 Easy Steps for Setting Up a Deadfall Trap:

1. Find these items: What you need for a deadfall
  • 3 sticks. All about as thick as 2-3 pencils.
    • The horizontal (bait) stick should be the longest at about 12".
    • The diagonal stick should be slightly shorter than the horizontal stick.
    • The vertical support or upright stick should be half as long as the diagonal stick.
  • A rock or weight about twice the size of the animal you wish to catch.
  • An 'anvil' to use as a hard base that the animal will be on as the trap is triggered.
  • Bait that your prey might enjoy. Like an edible plant or some of your human food.
4. Square off the central part of the vertical stick and carve tip to a flat-head screwdriver shape.

5. Near the end of the bait stick (horizontal), carve an upward-pointing notch to fit the end of the diagonal stick.

6. Carve a slot that enables the bait stick to hold against the vertical stick at 90 degrees.Simple Deadfall Traps

7. Carve a notch in the diagonal stick to take the top of the vertical stick and make sure the end is sharpened to eventually stick the bait on.

8. Now that you have a triangular shape, you can begin to set the trap. To do this, apply pressure on the diagonal stick while using the other hand to place the notches accordingly.

9. Lean the weight (a log, rock, or other object) on top of the diagonal stick where you were applying pressure. You can now remove your hands.

10. Apply bait to the end of the bait stick. Before careful to do so, it may be easy to accidentally trigger the trap and hurt your own hand. If it's big enough to kill a rabbit, it can certainly break your hand or foot.

Notes: There are various ways to reconstruct this type of animal trap. The deadfall triggers can be set in numerous ways as well. Trapping for food is certainly one of the best means of survival food procurement, due to the low level of energy expenditure and involvement. You can set a trap and go do other tasks while it awaits a victim.

We hope this simple guide to trapping improves your passive hunting success rate. A deadfall is the easiest trap to make and has been proven to be very effective in virtually any game-ridden landscapes.

Recommended Trapping Gear by Cliff: Snare-Vival Trap - Rat Traps

Recommended Hunting Tools by Skip: Blowguns - Crossbow
Blog Comments
loren Date 8/6/2013
if you set up the dead fall the way it look on your site. it wont kill anything the rock falls ontop of your upright stick an roll to side. better learn to do it right before you tell someone how
Devin Peterson Date 8/6/2013
Loren, this is a figure 4 trap. The rock will not fall on the upright stick because the stick collapses before the rock falls. If the upright stick doesn't collapse, then the rock never falls to begin with.
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