Introduction: Have Fun Humanely Catching That Pesky Rabbit in Your Summer Vegetable Garden.

The problem is age-old and simple: you planted a summer vegetable garden and some pesky wabbit is chewing it all to pieces. Have fun stopping Thumper by going Davy Crockett on his cotton-tail with a humane rabbit trap.

How it works...

Two days after it was set...

Yes, it's a squirrel, not a rabbit. And the scoundrel chewed up my trap.

Kids: Do not make this without parental supervision.

Follow these steps to make a "rabbit box" from back in the old days as described by my father. It's benefits are:

(1) it works
(2) it's easily built free from stuff you can likely find lying around
(3) it doesn't harm the rabbit
(4) it can likely be altered to target other critters
(5) kids love to make, set, and check these traps
(6) it keeps the wererabbit out of the summer vegetable garden

Step 1: Materials and Tools

1. 4 boards to make the body - Dimensions are flexible but I used 6 inch wide and about 18 inches long. Don't go any shorter in length.
2. 1 narrow board for the trap door - Dimensions about 3 1/2 inches wide, about 6 inches long.
3. 2 wooden strips as stoppers for the trap door. - Size should be about 1 inch by 1 inch, 3 to 5 inches in length.  These dimensions are flexible. I actually used a rounded off edging piece.
4. Y-shaped stick - About 1/2 inch in diameter, about 18 inches in length.
5. 2 sticks - One about 1/2 inch in diameter, one about 8 inches in length.
6. String - About 2 or 3 feet.
7. Screen (optional) - A strip of about 6 inches by 10 inches. Tougher hardware cloth or chicken wire would be better--as the video shows, the squirrel chewed up my screen.
8. Nails

Drill and bits
Screen or hardware cloth (optional)

Step 2: Assemble the Box

Find a board or two about 6 inches in width. You'll need 4 boards total. Old scrap boards are fine.

Cut the 4 boards to no less than 18 inches in length. These will be nailed into a long, skinny box like a rectangular mailbox. The top board will be about 2 inches shorter than the other 3.

Leave the top off for now.

Step 3: Place Screen on the Back

The screen is optional. It could simply be a board on the back. I chose a screen because (1) I thought it would be luring for the rabbit to look through it and see the bait and (2) when caught, I could see the rabbit in there.

I cut an angle toward the bottom of my box, this is totally optional. I did it just because one board was short.

Cut some screen to fit the back of the box. I wanted to use hardware cloth since it's tougher, but I had none. Nail or tack the screen to the back of the box.

Step 4: Assemble the Trap Door

Fasten the top of the box. Leave the top about 2 inches shorter than the bottom, as in the picture.

For this step, we'll need the narrow piece of board for the trap door and 2 skinny strips of wood.

Cut 2 strips of wood to serve as a housing for the trap door. One should go across the top of the box and another inside the entrance to the box.

Nail the 2 strips as shown in the pics. Leave plenty of space for the trap door to drop freely.

Step 5: Get a Fulcrum, Crossbar, and Trigger

Fetch up some sticks. Get...

1. A forked, Y-shaped stick. It should be about 1/2 inch in diameter, about 18 inches long,and somewhat straight.
2. 2 more sticks. One about 1/2 in diameter, 8 inches in length for the trigger. One about 1/2 inch diameter, 18 inches long for the crossbar. These dimensions are just rough estimates.

Cut the forked Y-shape stick to about 18 inches length. Cut the other sticks to about 8 inches and 18 inches. 

Skin most of the bark off the trigger else the bark might peel off and give a bad trigger-effect.

See pics.

Step 6: Drill Holes and Prep the Sticks

Using about a 1/2 wide drill bit, drill 3 holes:

1. One hole roughly in the dead center to mount the Y-shaped fork
2. One hole about 4/5 of the way back for the trigger to poke through. Rim this one out so there's no hanging splinters that might hinder the trigger.
3. One hole through the top of the trap door.

Kids, make sure your parents are supervising here.

Whittle the base of the Y--shaped fork so that it fits in tightly and securely to the middle hole. Jam it in and twist it tight.

Whittle the bark off of the trigger. Cut straight into the trigger to make a cross-cut, about 5 1/2 inches from the end (see pic).. Then shave down to the cross-cut to create a notch (see pics).

I cut grooves around the top of the trigger so the string wouldn't slip upward (see pic).

Step 7: Put It All Together

Place the trigger in the hole so the notch is facing the opening. The rabbit will bump it as he goes through the box.
Put the crossbar in the fork, measure off some string down to the trigger, and tie it off (see pic).

Do the same with the trap door (see next pic).

One pic is looking straight down the mouth of the box. Notice the trigger down the middle.

The last pic shows the trap finished and set. The bait is to go at the very back of the box. The rabbit enters the box, walks to the bait and in the process bumps the trigger. Got him.

Step 8: Set the Trap and Get Him!

Nothing much else to do. Place the trap in a likely spot. Bait it up. Carrots or apple slices are good for rabbits. Be sure to put the bait in the very back of the box. A morsel at the mouth might be good to draw attention. He's yours.

Just be careful when you release the critter so you don't get bit.

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