How to Make a Deadfall Trap

Feature | How to Make a Deadfall Trap

At last, we have gone through all the most common snare designs for survival trapping. Now we have come to deadfall traps.

Typically, you can make a deadfall trap with materials that can be found in wilderness areas. The common parts to a deadfall include a large rock and a few sticks. However, constructing deadfall traps can be very frustrating. Trying to get a huge 20-pound rock on a triggering system made from some thin sticks can be very hard. It is difficult to keep it balanced on that trigger.

Trap for Your Life

Part 8: The Basic Deadfall Trap

Also, the trap tends to fall on your hands while setting it up. Yes, it does hurt. I have bruises and scars from these deadfall traps. But when you are trapping for your life, who cares about a couple of minor wounds?

In this edition of Trap for Your Life, we will be constructing the basic deadfall trap. This trap can trap chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, opossums, and birds.

You’ll Need:

  • A rock weighing about 20 pounds
  • A thin, short stick (triggering stick) about 5-6 inches long
  • Two sticks about ¾ of an inch in diameter and about 5-6 inches tall.
  • Some natural bait, like acorns. However, if you somehow have peanut butter, that will work best.
  • A knife


How to Make a Deadfall Trap | Steps

Take both of the larger sticks, and smooth both sides of the sticks using your knife.

Cut in a small groove on one end of each large stick.

Take your triggering stick and sharpen one end to make it thinner.

Take the thin end of your triggering stick and place it in the grooves of the larger sticks.

Sit those sticks upright, as this is the triggering system of your deadfall.

Take your rock and set it onto the two sticks. Try to find a way to balance it on there. This will be tricky.

Once you have got the rock onto the triggering system, be sure it holds. Watch it for a few seconds just to be sure it just doesn’t fall down on its own.

Now, gently try to place the bait onto the triggering stick. If the bait won’t balance on the stick, place the bait in front, below, beside, and behind the stick. That way the animal will have to move all over the place to get the bait, making so that it will bump the trigger.

The trap is triggered when the animal bumps into the triggering stick. The triggering stick will then knock down the two large sticks. This will cause the rock to fall down on the animal, killing the animal, hence the name deadfall trap.

This is the most basic of all deadfall traps. Stay tuned in the coming weeks and we'll show you how to make more deadfall traps.

Up Next: 8 Options for Your Child’s First Firearm | Children & Guns

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 5, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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