site logo

The Figure Four Trap


One of the most useful as well as the most ancient inventions in

the way of traps is the common Figure Four Trap, which forms

the subject of our next illustration. It is a very ingenious

contrivance, and the mechanism, consists merely of three sticks.

It possesses great advantages in the fact that it may be used in

a variety of ways, and a number of the machines may be carried by

the young trapper with very little inco
venience. Our illustration

shows the trap already set, only awaiting for a slight touch at

the bait to bring the heavy stone to the ground. A box may be

substituted for the stone, and the animal may thus be

captured alive. The three sticks are represented separate at a.

b. and c. Of course, there is no regular size for them, as this

would greatly depend upon the purpose for which they are designed

to be used. If for rabbits, the following proportions will answer

very well. The sticks should all be square, and about half an inch

in thickness. The bait-stick, (a) should be about nine or ten

inches in length, one end being pointed and the other furnished

with a notch, as indicated. The upright stick, (b) should be

a little shorter, one end being whittled to a rather sharp edge.

At about three or four inches from the other end, and on the side

next to that whittled, a square notch should be cut. This should

be about a third of an inch in depth and half an inch in width,

being so cut as exactly to receive the bait-stick without holding

it fast. The remaining stick (c) should have a length of about

seven or eight inches, one end being whittled, as in the last,

to an edge, and the other end furnished with a notch on the same

side of the stick.

When these are finished, the trap may be set in the following manner:

Place the upright stick, (b) with its pointed end uppermost.

Rest the notch of the slanting stick, (c) on the summit of the

upright stick, placing the stone upon its end, and holding the

stick in position with the hand. By now hooking the notch in the

bait-stick on the sharpened edge of the slanting stick and fitting

it into the square notch in the upright, it may easily be made to

catch and hold itself in position. The bait should always project

beneath the stone. In case a box is used instead of a stone, the

trap may be set either inside of it or beneath its edge. Where the

ground is very soft, it would be well to rest the upright stick

on a chip or small flat stone, as otherwise it is apt to sink into

the earth by degrees and spring by itself.

When properly made, it is a very sure and sensitive trap, and the

bait, generally an apple, or nub of corn is seldom more than

touched when the stone falls.