I think most people fail to understand that most trappers in the older days carried few traps, Steel traps were generally hand forged and expensive. In the 1700's era the standard would have been about 4 Beaver Size Traps per Man/Horse. Later in the 1800's during the boom in Beaver trapping still 6-8 steel traps would be the norm. As trappers began to trap other fur bearing animals, they realized that steel traps being heavy as well as expensive would need to be supplemented with traps from the landscape. Trappers were experts at not only catching animals in steel traps but also experts at utilizing the local resources to improvise traps from the landscape, these skills were carried as knowledge gained not only from their native homelands in the early days, but also taught to them by the indigenous peoples of the region and then passed on from father to son. Today we have forgotten so many of the valuable skills needed to be truly self reliant, that we must re-learn these forgotten tactics for gathering not only fur but also fair for the table. Below I will attempt to pass on some of this past knowledge to help you become more self reliant. Pictured below are examples of traps from the early 1900's 2 are considered Beaver Size or #3 and 2 of them are a bit smaller considered a #2.
Below are 5 Trap Triggers that can be made from the Landscape and scaled to be used for the particular target animal and trap set desired. Only by practicing these things in the a real life scenario can we re-learn these skills. Primitive trapping is illegal in many states but trapping by modern steel trap methods can still be practiced in some form in most states. The important thing is studying animal behavior and sign so that we can understand how to bring animals to a set and where to place our traps to be effective.
|Figure 4 Trigger|
|Piute Dead fall Trigger|
|Reverse Figure 4 Trigger|