Split Stick Deadfall Trap





Introduction: Split Stick Deadfall Trap

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.

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    Cool, but seems like it would hurt if u accidentally triggered it yourself

    1 reply

    It definitely would, be careful!


    Thank you!

    I have drawings from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to hundreds of traps blah squirrels, beavers, deer, lynx, badger, mink, wolverine, marten, birds of prey, rats, foxes, etc.

    Ask me if youre looking for a trap for a special animal . . .

    perhaps trade with other plans ?

    mvh klevhage@gmail.com



    Nice. Doesn't even require a bit of rope or any other materials.

    Why not when setting the trap, just place ANOTHER large rock in front of the 'trigger'? That way it you inadvertently spring the trap while trying to set it, the original rock won't fall on your hands. {injuries can be very bad in survival situations} Once the trap is set you can carefully remove the other rock and move on to your next Deadfall trap!

    1 reply

    Great idea!

    Perfect GIF project. Your pics are gorgeous, too. Kudos to whoever maintains that lawn.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the kind words! (And thanks for the kudos regarding the lawn)

    Nice 'ible, but here are a few suggestions. 1) Always lay a flat rock down to be the anvil beneath the hammer. It makes the kill much quicker, which is more certain and much more humane. 2) While setting up your trap, put two biggish "stop-rocks" under the hammer stone keep it from slamming shut on your hands if it accidentally triggers. 3) Skip the notching, entirely: Pin the round trigger stick between the support sticks, but with the support sticks largely offset so the slightest movement of the trigger stick will roll them instantly out of line. About 1/4" of trigger travel is what you want, or less. (Stop-rocks are your friends! You'll need them as you learn how to set the trigger for maximum sensitivity.)

    You can also make your trap more certain by tying a small stick over the bait on the trigger stick. As the critter tries to excavate the bait, the trap will certainly spring.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the suggestions! The stop rocks are a great idea, and would have saved me a bit of pain!


    It all depends on the weight of the rock. To catch a smaller animal a lighter rock should be used. I tested the trap with a rock that weighed around 5 pounds, and the trap was triggered by extremely little force.

    great, coz this is surely easier than the Paiute deathfall