Wildwood Survival website

SURVIVAL
Shelter
Water
Fire
Food
Clothing
Fishing
Hunting
Traps
Snares
Tools
Stone
Flintknapping
Tracker Knife
Cordage
Containers
Furniture
Lights
Hides
Pitch & Glue
Winter
Health
Lyme Disease
Vision
Native People
Emergency Prep
Navigation
Teaching
Young People
Practicing
Music
Humour
More
Wilderness Mind
Site Disclaimer
Bookstore
Booklist
Forums
Contributors
Sitemap
Guestbook
About this site
Use of material
Email me
Privacy Policy
HomeSurvivalTrapsFigure-4

Figure-4 Deadfall

  

A Figure-4 Deadfall trap relies on a trigger that is roughly in the shape of the number "4", hence the name.

The mechanism of this trap is explained in detail at the bottom of this page.

But first, some overview photos of this trap...

  


Trap constructed by Julia Kristof

Here is a nice overview photo of the Figure-4 Deadfall trap mechanism.

  


Trap constructed by Alex Harwood

A figure-4 deadfall trap set, using a pine board to simulate a deadfall, with a rock on top for weight.

  

Another figure-4 deadfall, again using a pine board to simulate the deadfall part.

  

Click on the small photo to see a movie of this trap being triggered

Windows Media format (WMV)
320x240, 319 KB


Trap constructed by Julie Liptak

  

 


Trap and photo by Allan "Bow" Beauchamp

Here is a small figure-4 deadfall in a bush situation.
 

  

Detailed photos of the parts of the Figure-4 trigger:


Trap constructed by Walter Muma

  

The basic principle of the Figure-4 trigger, and how it works:

  • A rock or other weight rests on the end of the diagonal stick. This supplies downward pressure to the end of that stick.

  • The diagonal stick rests on and pivots on the vertical stick at "C". This keeps the diagonal stick from slipping away to the left.

  • The diagonal stick is also held in place by having the end rest in a notch at "B".

  • The pressure of the diagonal stick is pulling the horizontal stick towards the left.

  • The horizontal stick is held in place by the notches at "A".

  • "A" is where the actual trigger mechanism is located.

  • The bait is placed at the end of the horizontal stick to the right of "A" (this stick can be made longer as necessary), so that it is located directly under the weight.

  • When the animal takes the bait at the end of the horizontal stick, the trigger at "A" is released. The horizontal stick falls to the ground, and the diagonal stick flips up and out in a counter-clockwise arc. This allows the weight to come crashing down on the animal, killing it instantly.

  • Note that the vertical stick should be resting on a hard surface, such as a flat stone. Otherwise it may dig into the ground and cannot fall out of the way when the trap is triggered - the deadfall weight will come to rest on the vertical stick and won't fall to the ground.

  • Note also that it is usually good practice to put something hard on the ground under the whole trap, or place the trap on rock. Otherwise, the deadfall, when it falls, may not kill the animal, only injure it, since the animal may be pressed into the soft ground.

  
Trap constructed by Walter Muma

A

Looking down along the vertical stick.

Note that the vertical stick has been squared off.

The horizontal stick has a square-ended notch cut into it.

The pressure of the diagonal stick is pulling the horizontal stick to the left. 

 

  

B

Here the diagonal stick is pushing the horizontal stick out towards the left.

Side view.

 

  

C

The pivot point at the top of the vertical stick.

This holds the diagonal stick in place, preventing it from slipping away to the left.

Side view.