Easy Homemade Pit Trap
A pit trap (or pitfall) is a very ancient type of trap that is excellent for both home security and hunting purposes. You simply dig a hole in the ground and cover it to hide the hole.
Some people consider the use of traps like this unethical because the animals have no hope of escape, but in a survival situation where you must find food or starve, their use is perfectly acceptable.
Building a pit trap is incredibly simple. Let’s take a look at the steps to building a simple pit trap:
- Dig a hole. The size of the hole depends on the prey you’re looking to trap. If you’re looking to trap small game like rabbits, you just need something about 3-4 feet wide and maybe 4-5 feet deep. If you’re looking to trap big game, or protect yourself from raiding humans, you’ll need a much bigger pit, as deep as 10-15 feet, with sides that offer no hope of escape.
- Lay down poles. You’ll need to lay down a framework of poles to secure the cover of your trap. These can be long sticks or branches. Just lay them in a crisscross pattern across the hole to support the weight of your cover. Make sure the poles are sturdy enough to hold your cover, but NOT sturdy enough to allow your prey to climb them and escape!
- Cover the poles. Next, cover the poles with something like burlap, cloth, or newspapers. This will keep your natural cover from slipping through the holes in the crisscross pattern of your poles.
- Lay down natural cover. Finally, you’ll want to lay down some natural cover to hide the trap and make it look as inconspicuous as possible. Make sure it looks as much like the surrounding ground as possible, or you risk it being detected and avoided. In the winter, a thick layer of leaves or straw will usually work, but in the spring and summer you’ll probably want to use recent lawn clippings or even a layer of sod containing live grass.
You may want to locate your trap along known paths or trails taken by the game you want to trap, as this will probably give you the best results. You could also put some tasty morsel on top of your cover as bait if you don’t know where the best location to place the trap might be.
Building this type of trap is a lot of work, but once the initial digging is done, it can be used over and over to trap game or protect your property from intruders.
Some important safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Always tell all family members and invited visitors the locations of your traps.
- Don’t locate traps too close to your home or to areas where your family frequently walks or plays.
- Don’t locate traps in areas where family pets may fall into them.
- Do not use traps that can cause grave bodily harm if you have children or pets that play in the area.
- Check traps often to make sure no animals or people fall in and become trapped so long they die. You should not eat meat from animals that are dead when you find them, so it’s important to find them before they die. Plus, you don’t want animals to suffer needlessly from hunger or starvation, even if you’re going to kill them for food.
- If you are worried that you’ll forget where your traps are, devise some sort of flag system that will alert you to their location without alerting intruders. Large stones are one way to mark the perimeter without looking too conspicuous.