When lost in the wilderness, food is the fuel that keeps you going, and meat is one of the best fuels you can get. However, getting said meat isn't always easy. That's where the split stick deadfall comes in. In my opinion this is the easiest deadfall trap to set up and deploy. Unlike a Figure 4 deadfall no complex cuts are required, and unlike a Paiute deadfall no string is required. As my poor mangled fingers can attest, the trap packs a powerful punch (don't even brush against the trigger once it's in place!). If you intend to use one of these traps for hunting outside of a survival situation, please be aware of any laws regarding trapping in your area before proceeding. Also, please be careful! If these traps can catch an animal, they can do some damage to you too!
Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Outdoor Survival Contest!
Step 1: What You Need:
- A large rock (the one I used was about 20" x 8" x 5")
- Two sticks about the diameter of a C battery, each around 5" long (if possible, cut both sticks from one branch)
- A strong, thin stick, about the diameter of a pencil
- A knife
Step 2: The Support Sticks
- Carve a groove in one of the thick sticks that is around 1/4" wide and 3/16" deep.
- Carve a corresponding groove in the other stick.
Step 3: The Trigger Stick
- The thin stick will be your trigger stick. If necessary, thin the first inch or so of the trigger stick until it fits snugly in the grooves between the two support sticks without moving. You want it to be pretty tight.
Step 4: Setting the Trap
- Balance the rock on the two support sticks. It helps if the sticks are angled in towards the rock instead of straight up. This may take some time, so be patient, and be careful!
- Make sure the grooves in the support sticks are aligned.
- Cut the trigger stick to an appropriate size, and bait it. Peanut butter works quite well.
- Carefully insert the trigger stick into the groove between the support sticks. You may need to lift the top support stick up slightly, which might cause the trap to collapse, so be patient and careful.