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April 10, 2016
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April 30, 2016
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Trap Sets

When food is scarce and you are limited on materials and resources you might want to think about how you’ll trap live game for a meal. Setting traps takes patience, time and practice. However, when set correctly they will work for you time and time again, even while you sleep.


Bait Stick Snare    
To build this trap, you’ll need a spring pole, a forked stake to drive into the ground, a pencil-diameter toggle stick, a snare line with an attached trigger line, a bait stick, and some bait.

Tie the snare line to the end of your spring pole. Bend the pole down until the snare line touches the ground and mark the spot. Drive the forked stake into the ground here. Keeping the snare line plumb is important to the correct function of the trap.  Secure the  pencil toggle to the end of the trigger line, attached to the snare line. Run the toggle under the fork on the stake in the ground, keeping the toggle parallel to the ground and at a right angle to the stake. Next, set the baited trigger at the end of the toggle, You trap is now set. Set the trap off for testing purposes. It should spring quickly. When it does set up support twigs for the noose.

Please note: Never handle the noose of a snare line with your bare hands or fingers AFTER the trigger is set.Very bad things can happen.


Drowning Snare 
This is a simple trap that can be effective for acquiring food and reduce suffering for the animal. This snare requires a snare line with a noose, a heavy rock, a float stick, and a stick to prop up the rock in a precarious position.

This is an easy set, providing you have a steep-banked waterway that is frequented by creatures of habit, using the same runs to get in the water.

To create this trap, tie the snare line to the rock, leaving a length of line free to tie the float. Set the noose in a run or slide that is heading straight into the water. Prop up the rock so that it will fall if the noose is pulled. Another option is to tie the prop stick in line on the snare line. The float lets you see where the rock and animal are located underwater. In cold conditions, this trap shines, with the cold water keeping the animal intact, preserved and out of reach from most scavenger animals.


Motion Triggered Snare 

This is a variation of the bait stick snare that can be set for motion activation, no bait required. Use the same ingredients as you would for the standard bait stick setup: spring pole, snare line, forked stake, trigger stick and toggle .
There is a difference in this set; you place it near a trail or run, and the snare line is tied around the vertical trigger stick. The action of the trap follows: The noose tightens and pulls from the caught animal, the trigger is pulled out from under the end of the toggle, springing the trap. Make sure the snare line or toggle line don’t hang up under the fork of the stake in the ground, which would cause a trap failure.


Figure 4 Deadfall 

A bit of technical expertise is needed for this set. The figure 4 deadfall has trod down more than a few novice trappers. However, the needed materials are few in number. To set you need the deadfall weight, three sticks and some bait. A rock is an excellent source for the weight. It should have a square edge so it stable while sitting on the ground. Locate three stick that are as straight as possible (perfectly straight, if you can manage), and about the same diameter and length. Sticks that are the thickness of a finger will work for most deadfall triggers.

Carve a screwdriver-like blade end on one stick. This will serve as the vertical post. Repeat the blade carving on another stick and a notch near the opposite end. This will be the diagonal stick. Carve a notch at one end of the third stick, and make a point with the opposite end to secure bait. configure the sticks to make a “number 4” shape on the ground. Square the vertical post and cut a notch on the horizontal bait stick so that it hangs on the square edge carved on the post. Put all three sticks together so that the notches catch each other and hold the deadfall weight. Re-carve any spots that won’t hold.


Peg Snare 
The peg snare is best reserved for the more technical and practiced trappers.  Knowing which  side of the peg to tie the line is paramount. That being said, this trap is relatively easy to set. You need a spring pole, a peg driven into the ground, a snare line with noose, a peg to act as a trigger, and some bait (when available). That final decision will depend on whether you plan to make the trap motion or bait activated.

Carve a hook near the top of your peg and drive it far into the ground. Using some existing sapling can be great if you can break or cut it off. The root system makes a reliable and strong anchor in any type of soil. Especially when you consider the tension of the spring pole. After you set the ground peg, carve a matching hook in your trigger peg, which will  mate to the hook in the ground peg. Tie the snare line to the spring pole and tie the trigger peg into the line. Make sure to tie the knot on the trigger peg on the hook side. Tying the line anywhere else on the peg will pull the trigger at the wrong angle and will not set the trap. This trap can be effective with or without bait depending on the placement.


Fixed Snare 

As the trap setter you will want to select the best possible material for the fixed-loop. Try a braided steel cable or solid wire if available—for a combination of strength, rigidity, and flexibility. Count on the fixed snare being a single-use trap The caught animal often bends and kinks the wire making it susceptible to breaking. This set up has its own flaws. However, it can be set quickly and with minimal effort.

Find a breakable twig that is 1/8 to 3/16 inches in diameter. Wind one end of your wire around the twig a few times (2 or 3), then spin the twig like a propeller, which will twist the end of the wire closed. Break the twig and remove which creates an eye you use to make the noose. Place these snares over burrows and in small-game trails, or attach them to spring pole snares for a more secure snare line.


Treadle Snare 
This trap is set off by the animal bumping the treadle stick by stepping on it, knocking it down, or knocking it out of their way. The treadle snare requires a spring pole, a snare line, noose and trigger line, a pencil-sized toggle stick, the treadle trigger stick, and a support to hold the trigger stick.

Start by tying the snare line to the end of the spring pole and tying the toggle stick to the end of the trigger line. Bend the spring pole down, then lay the toggle over the support. Use the treadle trigger stick to secure the toggle in place. Set the noose of the snare line so that it hangs beside the treadle. The trap is now set. Again, please note do not handle set traps with your bare hands.


Squirrel Pole Snare 
This is a set that takes advantage of the squirrel’s penchant for short cuts. Carefully choose about a  six-foot pole that is approximately the diameter of your arm, and cover it with small wire snare loops. Try to find and acquire a  pole that has a rough natural look to it. It may be best to find a pole that has a fork at one end. The fork will help the pole stay secure and not twist and fall.

Start making wire snare loops from 2-foot lengths of small gauge wire (22 or 24 gauge). Make the noose loops slightly smaller than three inches in diameter, zig-zag the wire between the pole and the loop ( you will want a small amount of slack). Twist these snares around the pole, and place them all over the squirrel pole. Put a dozen or more on the pole, do not neglect the sides of the pole. Brace the squirrel pole against a tree that has squirrel sign around it, or has a nest plainly visible.


Rolling Snare
This set uses a pair of wooden hooks to trigger a motion-activated spring pole snare trap. The materials for this snare are; a spring pole, a snare line with noose, a hook to secure into the ground, and a hook to tie to the snare line. Think about using this set on small game trails and runs.

Locate a forked branch about one to two inches in diameter. Sharpen the non-forked end and drive it into the ground on the edge of a small-game trail. Find a smaller fork and tie it to the snare line. Set the two hooks so the free hook will roll off the hook that is staked to the ground, do not allow them to hook together. This would prevent the trap from springing. Set the noose in the trail, propped up with twigs or tied in place with thread. The trapper will not need bait for this set,


Toggle Deadfall 

The toggle deadfall uses string and a toggle to hold a weight in the air. This is a motion sensitive set. The toggle deadfall set works best with a log as the weight.  Needed material: a log,  a foot of cord, a pencil-sized toggle stick, a trigger stick, and a support pillar to support the deadfall.

Tie the cord to the end of the toggle stick and the end of the log. The toggle lays over the support. The support can be the top of a stake or a horizontal branch with enough rigidity. Place the trigger stick to hold the end of the toggle and is in the path of the animal. Set the trigger low and set the trap in the animal’s trail. When the animal pushes the trigger down, the toggle and log are released.


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