How To Make A Windlass Animal Trap For Prepping And Survival

Food Procurement For Survival
How To Make A
Windlass Animal Trap For Prepping And Survival

DISCLAIMER:
It is illegal to hunt with this sort of trap in the UK. DO NOT DO IT.
I only practice my skills at setting up various types, and then fully dismantle the trap, leaving no trace.

Prepping is all about survival, and survival in the wilds mean learning bushcraft skills to keep you alive.
* Although you cannot leave a trap like this unattended, or hunt animals using this type of trap here in the UK, you can still practice the making and setup of traps. 
* On private land where there is a vermin problem (normally farms) it may be possible to get a permission to rid vermin from certain areas.

Trapping For Food

One of the top priorities for survival in a bugout situation is going to be food procurement, and you need to know as many ways to get a meal on your table as possible. This is essential to all us preppers.

As with all types of hunting animals for food, there are a few fundamentals that must be followed even before you can consider setting an animal trap and catching your dinner.

In my opinion you either get animals that are real smart or just plain stupid! Not much else in-between.
 
To some extent, the stupid ones are fish and rabbits, with fish spending most of the time looking for food and latching onto just about anything that moves underwater, and rabbits.
Rabbits are real daft and will quite happily sit up, nice and still and pretty much let you shoot them!

But even these daft animals can sense a predator, and especially a human predator.  
So precautions have to be made when it comes to making, handling and setting traps.
You must ensure as little as posible of your human scent gets onto the trapping materials, and the surrounding area where you place the trap.
This is an art in itself, and leaving no scent of a human and leaving no trace that you have even been there is very difficult to achieve.

Location Of Traps And Snares

Good positioning of snares and traps will greatly increase your chances of catching dinner, and by looking for animal highways and short cuts, you can build up an idea of the day to day route that animal takes whilst out looking for food.

Remember, most of an animals time is concentrated around looking for food, and generally they will take whatever opportunity to get some if it presents itself to them.

So your job is to find their most popular, active route and provide them with an incentive to check out the food (bait) you have conveniently left for them, and hopefully they will oblige and walk straight into your trap.

Making A Killer Blow

As with all types of animal hunting for food, we aim for a very quick, clean kill that's fast, instant and as humane as possible, and the windlass trap is one of those fast methods if the entry into the trap, and trap itself are set out correctly.

If an animal is not dispatched fast, it will struggle and panic. This panic reaction is similar to human response which cause a massive amount of adrenaline and hormones to be released into the animals body.
This goes straight to the muscle to aid escape - the muscle meat is exactly what we want as our food, and these huge amounts of adrenaline can easily taint the meat, giving a very unpleasant flavour.

How To Make A
Windless Animal Trap
For Prepping And Survival

Even a small windlass trap can impart tremendous energy and force at a high speed, directed to an exact kill point within the trap if set and tested properly.
Dispatching the animal by 'blunt force trauma', the mechanism will release a 'hammer' type blow killing the game instantly.

Below Are The Principles Of A Windlass Animal Trap

Once you have decided on a good area to set the trap you have two options:
1/ Use two flexible saplings and set the trap between them
or
2/ Set two posts deep in the ground 

1/  Between Two Trees

Here you can see that I use two solid trees to bind my cordage around.
These have to have flex in them, so therefore saplings make a hood choice as they will 'give' with the force when you wind the windlass up in tension.

2/  Between Two Posts

Using tow posts means you can set the trap where you want it along a trail.

The posts need to be thick enough and strong enough to take the tension and give a little, but also a bracing bar is fixed to the bottom to stop any movement at ground level.
The bracing bar should have a notch each end to ensure it doesn't slip out.

From this point on the setting up principles are the same:

Setting The Batton

Wind your cord around the two posts several times and tie off.
This doesn't need to be tight.

Position the batton in between and the posts and twist around the cord until your happy with the tension, then wind back one turn and put a safety rod across to stop accidental triggering.

Form The Basic Trigger Mechanism

There are several different types of trigger that can be used for this trap, but I prefer this type shown here.

Bait up the trigger at this point.
Setting this triggers requires a few attempts and practice to get right.!

Finish Position For The Windlass Trap

This is the final set position for the windlass animal trap.

In order to prevent the animal approaching for any direction, it is important to guide the animal toward the front of the trigger in order to ensure a clean kill.

Final set up.

With the trap and guide path in place the animal can only approach from one direction and will take the bait head on.

This will give a blunt force hit directly to the head or neck area resulting in an instant kill.

My Video Of How To Set  Up A Windlass Animal Trap

A Scaleable Animal Trap

The windlass is completely able to be scaled up or down depending on the size of animal you are hunting. As the animal reaches forward with its mouth in order to eat the bait, it will be in the perfect position for a direct hit from the batton.

The bait should be set just above the animals head height to get the trigger to activate correctly.

Steve Hart UK Prepper

Trapping is a bushcraft art in itself, and takes years to perfect, but as preppers it is well worth trying to learn these skills, and go out and practice them in the woods.

In a SHTF situation they could be one of your only ways to procure food.

When you practice your trap making:  ALWAYS DISMANTLE THEM and leave no trace when you have finished.


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