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Live Rabbit Trap

Construction: To be effective, the rabbit trap should be constructed of fairly good lumber. The door and its guides are critical points, since gravity must close the door after the trigger is tripped. Be sure there is enough space between the guides that the door slides without binding. Some people extend the guides about 1 inch above the top of the trap to support the door. When the door is raised and the trigger is set, at least 2 inches or more of the door should be in the guide tracks. The opening should be at least 4 inches high. This height can be adjusted by changing the length of the string between the door and lever.

The trigger is not complicated, although it may require some fine-tuning to insure a quick release when contact is made.

Location and Operation: Rabbits live in areas where good escape cover is available--in brush piles, briar patches and thick fence rows. They also prefer low-cut bluegrass mixed with clovers and shrubs. In order to catch rabbits, the box trap bust be places in or along runs or trails made by rabbits using these areas.

Opinions vary as to the importance of baits for the box trap. Some prefer baits such as apples, carrots or corn, while others use no bait at all. Baits may attract opossums and skunks in search of an easy meal.

Care should be taken to place the trigger notch on the edge of the hole nearest the door. This will insure its release when the animal pushes against it upon entering the trap.

Comment: With a little modification in the size during construction, this trap design may be adapted to catch other, larger or even smaller animals. Nuisance animals may be trapped and moved to another area, using the box for transport.

Caution: These traps must be used in accordance with all rules and regulation of your area. Certain permits and landowner permission must be obtained before any trapping is done. When in use, the law requires that the traps be checked daily and removed when no longer in use.


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By David E. Pitts

Missouri Department Of Conservation