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You are here: Home > Wilderness Survival Articles > Figure Four Deadfall - Improved Version
Figure Four Deadfall - Improved
A few months ago I learned a new configuration of the figure four deadfall trap that is easier to build, easier to set up, and much more sensitive. To get the full picture of how this trap works, be sure to read this page in full AND checkout my previous article on the figure four by clicking here. As always, respect and reverence for the animal comes first... at least in my school of thought. So please, learn this skill and spread the knowledge but always bear in mind an appreciation for the gift of life the animal gives you.

 
Five Minute Video
In this quick video I explain all the fundamentals of this trap... click the four way arrow button on the bottom right to see the full screen version!

The Three Parts
The figure-four trap consists of three different parts which appear in the picture above in this order: the vertical stick, the diagonal stick, and the bait stick. This particular configuration is VERY easy to carve. In fact, I took all three of these pieces from the same segment of wood. Another benefit of this variant of the figure-four is that the pieces do not have to be perfectly straight and well manicured as with the traditional version. As you can see, these sticks have a fairly significant curve to them... which does not hinder the final result whatsoever.

Vertical Stick: The Lower Notch
This picture shows the lower notch of the vertical stick. Notice how the straight portion on the topside is cut deep into the wood at a ninety degree angle.

Vertical Stick: The Chisel Point
The top of the vertical stick is narrowed to a gentle "chisel tip" point. This is where the notch from the diagonal stick will end up resting.

Diagonal Stick: Upper Notch
Carve a shallow notch toward one end of the diagonal stick. This will become a pivot point where it makes contact on the vertical stick.

Diagonal Stick: Chisel Tip
Go ahead and carve another chisel tip on the opposite side of the diagonal stick... just like you did with the top of the vertical stick. This is the part that will fit into the bait stick.

Bait Stick
The bait stick is probably the easiest component of all. Simply make two opposing sets of notches and carve one end of the stick... you'll see how all this fits together when you watch the video and see the picture below!

Put It Together!
Start by fitting the diagonal stick on top of the vertical stick. If you carved each of the parts correctly, they will create a perfect pivot point when joined together.

Attach The Bait Stick
With one hand holding the vertical and diagonal sticks in place, slowly lower the rock down until it touches the diagonal stick. Now with the other hand, attach the bait stick one notch at a time. When the trap feels like it is in place, slowly ease off of the rock and let the figure-four hold the weight. Be sure not to put your hand under that rock at anytime!

  Best always,
Paul Scheiter

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