How to Prepare a Trap.




Hello, today you will learn(hopefully) how to prepare your trap for the wild.

I do not mean how to de-scent OR set your trap. (those will be coming in the future)

What I do mean how to prepare the trap.

My definition for "prepared trap" is one that has at least one swivel and one spring added to the chain.
The point of the spring and swivel is to prevent the animal from breaking its leg. With a regular chain the animal can run and the jerk would break its leg(this is prevented by the spring) or the animal could twist and have the skin worn off of its leg and possibly break its leg(this is prevented by the swivel).
I will also be adding a stake.

Step 1: Tools.


Step 2: Materials.

Materials you will need.
Except for the trap and stake, I think you can figure those out on your own.
But just in case, the stake should be about the same length as your fingertip to your elbow and thick enough to safely drill a hole in. And it needs to be pointy on one end.

Step 3: Connecting the Swivel to the Trap Chain.

In this step you will connect one end of the swivel to the end of the trap chain.

Grab your swivel, wire, wire cutters, pliers and trap.

My trap chain had this convenient piece of metal with a hole dirlled at the end attached so the swivel will go to this. but you can attach the swivel to a link in the chain.

This is probably the easiest step, with ~one foot of wire run it through the swivel and the LAST hole on the chain.(the last hole on my chain was the small hole in the piece of metal, but your last hole will most likely be the last link on the chain)

Then do whatever you need to do to keep the swivel from coming off. I just bent the wire in a tight "U" and twisted it.
Trim accordingly.

and you are done with this step!

Step 4: Attaching the Spring to the Swivel.

Ok, this is where it gets sorta tricky. Well, more tedious than tricky.

Grab your pliers(1 light duty needlenose plier and a slightly heavier duty needlenose plier helps a bunch in this step), spring, solder and soldering iron.

With the pliers bend the outer ring(on the spring) so that the end of the spring is exposed and you can slip the swivel on.

Slip the swivel on and then clamp the spring ring.

Once the spring ring is clamped there should only be a small(~2mm is good) amount of space the swivel can slide off.

To prevent the swivel sliding off we are gong to solder the gap shut, with your trusty soldering iron of course!

Step 5: Attaching the Spring to the Stake.

Don't worry, this is the last step!

In this step you will be soldering the spring ring shut and attaching the spring to the stake via lots of wire. And a previously drilled hole of course.

First of all, you need to repeat the steps needed to seal the ring on the end. Don't worry, you wont have to slide anything on so you can seal the gap before you attach the stake.

Cut a length of wire close to 4 feet and run about 1 foot of it through the hole in the stake.
Wrap the 1 foot of wire around the stake until there is ~ an index fingers length left.
Twist the finger length around the 3 foot of wire.

Then run the end of the wire(the long end) through the sealed hole on the spring.

Wrap the wire around and stake and then back through the hole on the spring several times, just make it "un-unwrappable" to your standards.

You can either solder the tag end to another piece of wrapped wire or just tuck it in somewhere.

Step 6: Congrats! You Are Now Done!!

Now your trap is a lot less painful for the animal and the animal will not escape (escaping is bad for the animals because due to design of trap they are most likely injured.)

All you need to do now is de-scent(I would only advise de-scenting it if the area is under pressure from hunters or trappers targeting the animal your trying to trap. I have not de-scented my traps and I have caught 2 raccoons and one possum.)

Don't worry, lots more instructables on this topic will soon follow depending on feedback.

I imagine you are wondering why i would post this instructable before posting one about the general techniques and methods.
I posted this instructable first because this one proves that trapping is not a senselessly cruel sport. In cases of cruelty its generally not the trap or the sport but the individual who sets the traps that is the cruel one.
If you feel the need to debate about the cruelty of this sport please watch this video.

Thank you for reading and all constructive criticism is appreciated.



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    15 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 6

    Don't let the negative remarks on the first page get to you, Fur trapping is still very controversial, especially the traps they use, you will ALWAYS get negative feedback for this kind of material on any web site, but what people don't realize is that if we don't help thin these animals down, they will all suffer from lack of habitat and food.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    thats actually for a drowning rig, its a slider. try getting a nail and bending it to look like a hook, then put the chain on it and close the loop with a pair of pliers. a big steel nail not a roofing nail. You will have to cut it to about 3 inches from the head, and get rid of the point.


    9 years ago on Step 2

    i have one of these, i just repaired it the other day, it was missing the pan.


    9 years ago on Step 1

    I use a pair of bolt cutters for my pan adjustment, it has good grip. its a small pair nothing big.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    No it hasn't you can still buy them, just because its 'inhumane' does not mean its outlawed.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i see a couple glaring problms with your set up. animals WILL ESCAPE with the set up youve provided and no one wants that when trapping. a wooden stick will not work as an anchor system for a trap.a beaver needs to be set up on a drowning rig because it will chew off a wooden stake and everything else will pull the stake and run. if your trapping a coyote or anything else for that matter you need at least a 18-24 inch rebar stake and for coyotes you need 2, cross staked to hold your catch. if anyone tries to use the set up youve provided and they actually get lucky and catch something in it,that trap will not be there when they came back and check it.unless your trapping rabbits. sorry it isnt that positive and ban me if you must but that set up stinks when it comes to humanely trapping animals. you WILL have animals escape with your traps with that set up. thats the problem when people who dont know anything bout what theyre trying to do try and give advice.

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The only problem i see is the stake and the spring, although i catch stuff with wooden stakes, i use oak, about 24 inches long with 4 feet of chain and 2 swivels, i pound the chain end into the ground, this helps by using the force of the chain as a torsion in comparison to the stake, to get results similar to rebar. I caught my first coon in a foothold trap with a gutter nail holding it in the ground, i'm pretty sure that wood stake will work, but the spring must be heavy duty or it will snap. its the same as any other method so i don't see the problem. there is a chance of escape, but thats just a chance, it will likely even hold a fox. And you just stated that your a problem. The real problem is people that know more than the other person coming in and being snotty about it instead of giving positive advice on how to make it better.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Animals will escape ANY setup unless its a body grip. whether or not they escape depends on many different variable such as how well their foot is in the trap, how big they are, what kind of soil the trap is anchored in, how long they are left in the trap ETC. A wooden stake works very well in soil with a high clay content especially because they are FREE. you CAN catch a beaver in a leghold trap with a setup like this one. obviously, it is not as effective as a drowning set or a bodygrip trap but incase you havent noticed from the materials and trap used in this instructable, it is not orientated towards people with money put aside specifically for trapping. that set up cost me almost nothing to create. also, this instructable is meant to get the most use out of a very versatile trap. now this trap isnt meant to catch coyote beaver otter bobcat or rabbit but i can testify that it has caught several of each of those species. you are judging my instructable on the basis that "it doesnt look pretty, therfor it must not work well at all" when someone who puts thousands of dollars into their traps and scents and materials may have a success rate quite similar but you wouldnt call him out on his setup because its "right" and "top of the line" and that is an extremely immature mistake to be made. now, since i dont know anything about what im saying i guess you should ignore what im saying... but i dont learn this info from trapping website, i learn what i know from experience and people who have been doing this all their life. sure your way may work better but i guarantee my way works and is alot cheaper. and considering your smartaleck statement towards the end i think im going quite lenient on you. why dont you post an instructable about tis so i can call you out and sound like an idiot in return?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    i have had tons of success in a modified 1 1/2 Coilspring, and even more in a Havahart live trap, body grippers can cause a mess in the summer. its not a matter of they will escape, its they might escape. and that trap is designed for coyotes, but the steak isnt, make a drag out of some thick brush, then tether the trap too it, if you catch a coyote it will tangle itself in the nearby vegitation. Its WAY to big for a rabbit, i trap for a sport, i trap for fur, but if you want to catch rabit in a leghold use a muscrat foot trap, which is readily available at rural king for 5 bucks. I catch stuff using the same traps my dad used when he trapped some 30 years ago. So these things last a while.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thats a number 2 long spring designed to catch coyotes and fox, the spring on the end of the chain isn't a good idea because it can stretch under the pull of the coyote, and will eventually pull apart.