Paiute Deadfall Trap

About: Hi, I'm Seth, I am first and above all a follower of christ; I live to glorify God in all that I do and i would love talk about that with you. I'm a life scout and a member of the OA. I play a plethora of in...

Food is one of the hardest things to come by in the wild. In a survival situation traps can do the work of hunting for you while you make shelter, create fire, and find water. The Paiute is the easiest deadfall because all you need is a piece of string or a shoelace.

Step 1: Materials

Hammer:          large flat rock (the bigger and flatter the better).

String:                shoelace

Main support:   Y-ed 1-2 inch by one and a half foot stick

Lever:                 1 foot by 1" strong stick

Toggle               3"-3/8 inch twig

Trigger               inflexible twig as long as the rock

All the measurements are very flexible and are just general guidelines.

Step 2: How It Works

Y-ed stick is the fulcrum to the lever. The lever stick holds up the rock. The string which is being held down by the toggle pulls the lever down. The toggle is wrapped around the base of the main support and is held in place by the trigger. the bait is placed on the trigger stick. When the trigger is touched it releases the toggle, letting the rock go.

Step 3: Tie It Together

Tie one end of the string to the toggle and the other to the end of the lever.

Step 4: Set Up Main Support

Sharpen the end of the main support or dig a small hole and plant it in the ground.

Step 5: Set Up

Have a friend hold the rock up. place the lever between the Y of the main support and under the edge of the rock.  Wrap the string/toggle halfway around the base of the main support. Put the trigger stick against the toggle on the side that's resisting to stop it from unwinding (letting the rock go) and the other end against something in the back to keep it in place (ex. the rock itself or a small stick planted in the ground). Put the bait far back in the trap to keep the animal from escaping before the trap springs.

Now bask in it's glory!

Step 6: Tips and Other Useful Things

Lay the trap in a place that animals like to hang around.

Try to handle everything as little as possible because animals have very good sense of smell.

Cover the sides of the trap with brush and sticks so the animal can't escape through the sides.

For bait peanutbutter is good you can try really anything you think animals will eat.

If your rock is wide but not very heavy you can try putting more rocks on top of it.

As an alternative to a Y-stick some people cut a wedge into the lever and make the main support into a wedge-shape.

Try to make it go off as hair-triggered as you can so that there isn't a chance the animal can escape with the bait.

You can Bury another rock to act as an anvil making a more deadly impact.

Thanks and good luck!



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    13 Discussions

    I haven't personally but I've only done it a couple of times. The thing about traps is you have to put out volume because they aren't 100% successful


    2 months ago on Step 6

    Or, if you are really hungry, try eating the peanut butter WITHOUT sticking it in the trap (and then dig up a few seeds and slugs for seconds!)! Works wonders if you really want to stay alive!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    How much do store-bought mousetraps weigh? Seems like if you are planning ahead.....


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a fine trap to understand how it works. But I don't think it has enough force to kill a mammal. Maybe a bird. But I'd like to see a video of ANY deadfall trap actually killing or maiming a food source. Can't find one. Anywhere.

    1 reply