Traps and snares

Bear trap | Fox board | Furry animal trap | Wolf trap | Elk trap | Wild reindeer trap | Falling log trap
Bent tree snare | Lever trap | Wolf trap | Log trap | Lid trap | Snare

Trap drawings by Timo Sepänmaa

The bear trap was located near a dead animal placed on a route followed by bears. The noose tightened around the animal when it stepped through it and made it drag the heavy log. This slowed the bear, making it easy to track and kill.

Fox board. The fox would jump to get at bait placed on the middle spike on the top of the board, leaving its paws caught in the deep notches on both sides of the spike. In Finland, this trap is also known as the “paw board”.

The furry animal trap is mainly meant for wolverine and fox. It has a heavy lid of logs supported with an upright stick. A piece bait is attached to the stick with yarn or a leash. Pulling the bait dislodges the supporting stick and brings the heavy lid down on the animal.

In the wolf trap, the bait is inside a noose, connected to a trigger that is released when the wolf takes the bait. The lever rises and catches the wolf, leaving it hanging in the air.

Elk trap. The animal is chased between a narrowing row of fences. In the narrow part there is a spear with a bone point tensed between two trees. When the animal releases a locking stick attached with a strong, the sharp spear hits its side.

The wild reindeer trap is made of loops of yarn suspended between trees. A corral fence leads the animals into the trap where their antlers are caught in the loops.

Falling log trap. The large falling log trap could be used for hunting bear and wolf. In principle, it operated in the same manner as the furry animal trap. The bait was attached to a supporting post which when released launched a mechanism bringing down large logs on the animal.

Bent tree snare. In this trap the top of a small tree is bent near the ground. Attached it is a length of string with a loop. The loop is attached to a trigger stick releasing the bent tree and leaving the prey hanging from the loop. This snare type was meant for small animals, hare and grouse.

Lever trap. Small animals, hare and grouse could also be caught with devices resembling wolf traps. Here, a low fence with an opening is constructed across the paths of the animals. A trigger noose in the opening releases the lever and lifts the prey into the air.

The wolf trap resembles the furry animal traps. The trigger mechanism, however, is different: the stick holding up the lid is placed on a round stone. Drawing the bait will easily dislodge the stick and drop the lid on the animal. This trap could also be used for catching fox, wolverine and similar furry animals.

Log trap. The small log trap has a three-part mechanism. The trigger, placed horizontally is supported by two parts attached to each other and in turn supporting a log. Moving the trigger dislodges the support and the log falls on the animal. This type of trap was used hunting smaller animals, such as hare and grouse.

Lid-type trap. In this trap a lid-like structure falls on the animal. It has a trigger mechanism that is more complex than in traps in general. The trigger stick is attached to a forked piece of wood, a horizontal stick and a noose. This trap was used for catching grouse and hare.

The snare is one of simplest hunting methods. A small lasso-type noose placed along the path of the prey would tighten around the animal’s leg or neck. Its efficiency could be improved by constructing a low fence with openings for the snares. Hare and grouse-related birds were caught with snares.

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