In a bug out survival situation you will probably have some provisions with you. However, you will probably run out in a few days so finding food is going to be a top priority. In order to be more efficient, you should definitely build traps. Of course, if you’re carrying a gun, you can hunt.

However, hunting is more difficult, requires more skill and also means you will make a lot of noise. You don’t want that attention. Here are some simple deadfall traps that you can build, should you ever be forced to feed off wild life.

Paiute Deadfall 


This is a Native American trap. If you set it correctly it acts very quickly. You want to scale it depending on the size of what you are hunting. For an average sized rodent, like a prairie dog, you should use an 8 inch long stick that’s shaped like a “Y”, a 9 inch long straight stick thicker than a pencil and a 2 inch long stick that is thinner than a pencil.

You will also need a 12 inch long slender bait stick about half the diameter of a pencil, bait and about 8 inches of string. In this case you should pick a rock that weighs between 5 and 10 pounds. For larger critter you will have to scale it all up.

Step 1

Tie one end of the string to the 9 inch straight stick and the other end to the 2 inch stick. You can use square knots. Wipe the bait on one end of the 12 inch stick.

Step 2

Prepare the post for the rock. Place the end of the lever with a string on the “Y” stick. Put the rock on the lever stick about 1 inch away from where it rests on the “Y”.

Step 3

Take the 2 inch stick and wrap it halfway around the post. Once the toggle is secure, the rock should stay by itself.

Step 4

Place the baited end of the 12 inch stick between the end of the 2 inch stick and a spot under the stone. You know you got it when you can let go of the trigger and the rock is still standing.

Greasy String Deadfall  


This is one of the simplest traps you can build. All you need is a forked stick, some thin twine, bait and a deadfall weight. It’s better if the forked stick is straight and one end is longer than the other.

Step 1

Tie one end of the twine to a root or a peg. Tie the other end to the shorter end of the forked stick.

Step 2

Balance the rock so you can measure where to rub the bait into the twine.

Step 3

Squish the bait into the twine and balance the rock against the forked stick, above the baited twine. The pray will chew on the baited twine and the rock will fall on it.

Toggle Deadfall


This trap works best with a large log as weight. You’ll need about 1 foot of cord, a pencil sized toggle stick, a trigger stick and something to support the log.

Step 1

Tie the cord around one end of the log and one end of the toggle stick.

Step 2

Lap the toggle with the rope around the support.

Step 3

The trigger needs to be holding one end of the toggle. Place it so it will be easy for animals to accidentally step on it. When the animal pushes the trigger down, the toggle and log will be released.

McPherson Spring Deadfall  


This is one of the most complicated deadfall traps that you could build. However, it’s very efficient. You’ll need a 2 to 3 ft spring pole, 3 ft of cord, a small peg into the ground, a sharpened toggle, a deadfall support stick, a few inches of twine­­­­­ and last but not least, the bait.

Step 1

You can start by looking for two trees or shrubs that are only a few inches apart. Tie one end of the spring pole to both of them.

Step 2

Tie the 3 ft of cord into two pieces; one should be 2 ft and the other 1 ft long. Tie the 2 ft cord to the free end of the spring pole and the sharpened toggle.

Step 3

Pull it so it bends 2 or 3 ft. Burry the peg into the ground there, but leave a little room around it so you can circle it with a loop of twine.

Step 4

Bait the toggle and put it through the middle of the twine loop.

Step 5

Place the weight over the trigger area and its support stick. Tie the 1 ft cord to the support stick and the longer cord. Make sure the larger cord will pull the support stick from underneath the weight when tripping the trigger.

Use these traps to hunt small animals or rodents, should you ever be in a survival situation. Make sure you practice them a little before you actually need to rely on them for your sustenance. Also, be very careful when building and testing the traps. The last thing you want is to injure or trap yourself in the process.

Have you ever built a trap in the wild? Have you ever trapped or hunted a wild animal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Similar Posts
Latest Posts from The Survival Movement


  1. But you didn’t mention what animals would be safe to eat. Living in Vermont I know you can hunt deer, bear, moose, turkey as well as water fowl at certain times of the year. But what about other critters? What if they have Rabies? How would you tell? Maybe there are others out there with the same questions. Nancy

    1. Hello Nancy, make sure to check your email in the following days. I will for sure answer all your questions. Jason

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *