Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

Homemade wooden die traps for many centuries have been used in the hunting of fur animals. These wooden traps of a pressing type were made entirely from improvised materials, using simple tools with an ax, a saw, a hunting knife. Despite such primitive, as it might seem at first glance, manufacturing technology, log wood trap dies were quite an effective fishing tool. 

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

Hunter-hunters had several hundred of these similar tricks. With a careful choice of material and observing all the technological subtleties that have been practiced by many generations of hunters, the life of the dies was calculated for decades. While metal traps were difficult for artisan blacksmithing and therefore too expensive and inaccessible.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

In past times, dies were made entirely from natural materials, as they say, without a single nail. Instead of nails, dry hard knots were used, and for making guards for grazing bone and horn. Nowadays, nails, metal staples and wire are not highly deficient material, which determined the further improvement of the manufacturing technology of log traps of airplanes.

If earlier the hunter had to work with the ax for a long time and carefully, attaching the trap details to the trees, then modern manufacturers can afford to do this faster with a piece of wire or a pair of nails. However, despite the apparent simplicity, wooden die traps are not so simple to manufacture even with the use of technical means. It takes a lot of time to adjust the alarm mechanism. Die is a product requiring a certain skill in the manufacture and use.

Making a wooden trap-dies for fur animals.

Dies are made from straight-damp raw or dry logs of conifers (spruce, pine, cedar). Saw the log into chocks, which are gently chopped into 4-6 blocks. From these blanks it will be possible to make 2-3 dies. The size of the blanks depends on what kind of animal the die is for.

Squirrel, ermine, ferret length 70-80 cm, width 30-35 cm.
Sable, marten length 80-100 cm, width 35-40 cm.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

Crush (upper chopping block) must have a weight sufficient for the rapid death of the animal that fell into the die.

Squirrel, ermine, ferret -12-15 kg.
Sable, marten 25-30 kg.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

If the crush is made of thin chopping block, board or dry light wood, then to increase weight, you need to put an additional log on top of it. Instead of chopped blocks, thick boards can be used..

Installation and tuning of a wooden trap-dies on a fur-bearing animal.

The upper block is kept in alert position by a pair of planks (chelak), fastened together by a third part (tongue), on which the bait is strung. The animal takes the bait, pulls on the “tongue”, the details of the guard are scattered and the upper block crushes the prey.

The shuttle guard is made as follows. From a straight-layer tree, chop rectangular boards 1.5–2 cm thick and 2.5–3 cm wide. The length of the board determines the height of the crush and depends on its purpose.

Squirrel, ermine, polecat -10-12 cm.
Sable, marten -15-18 cm.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

On each side of the plank, make two cuts with a sharp knife. They should be located at a distance of one third from the edge. The depth of cuts to half the thickness of the workpiece. Gently chop the plank to the second notch (the split line is shown by the dashed line) with a knife, tapping the butt with a heavy short stick. A short board is thrown away.

To make a “tongue”, take a rectangular board or a solid stick. Make a rectangular recess on the workpiece 3-4 mm deep and 3-3.5 cm long. The length of the “tongue” should be about half the length of the die.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

There can be two types of guards. A guard is more sensitive, in which the tongue is attached at the bottom (in the figure on the right). On the opposite side of the die from the chelak, make a hinge of durable elastic material: a rectangular piece of thick rubber, conveyor belt, drive belt, strong cloth or felt.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

Features of installation and adjustment of a wooden trap-dies of a pressing type on a fur-bearing animal.

1. Connect the details of the shuttle guard with a fishing line, having previously pierced one hole in them with an awl. Attach the fishing line to the bottom block. Now, when triggered by an alarm, the details of the guard will not fall and will not be lost.

2. For the simultaneous capture of squirrels and carnivorous animals, you can use a mixed, universal bait: meat and mushroom, cracker with vegetable oil and fish.

3. In the upper and lower blocks, small notches can be made to secure the chalak. It is not uncommon for parts of the guard to freeze, and then the animal can easily pull the bait from the “tongue”. The notches prevent the frozen chelak from turning to the sides and therefore the animal, pulling the “soldered” guard, will undo it.

Dies, wooden traps of a pressing type for catching fur animals, manufacturing, installation, tuning.

The finished die can be installed in different ways: on a fallen tree, on goats, on a stump, on two or four legs, in a fork in a tree. Be sure to consider the changing snow depth and the effects of rainfall. It is advisable to make a roof (canopy) from poles and spruces above the installed ram..

Based on materials from the B.M.Zhitkov Research Institute of Hunting and Animal Breeding.

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