The Paiute Deadfall is a very effective survival trap that you can build with zero modern tools if need be.
As Shawn Woods explains in his demonstration of building the Paiute deadfall, the superiority of this trapping system is its sensitive triggering system. That’s a huge advantage when trying to capture small animals that may be light-bodied or otherwise prone to escaping traps with triggers requiring more effort.
Compared to Woods’ demonstration of the common Figure-Four deadfall in a previous video, the Paiute deadfall is a bit more complicated in construction. It consists of five trigger pieces versus the three pieces required for the Figure-Four deadfall, but it is still a relatively simple and easy construction.
How effective is the Paiute deadfall? Just look at the trap in action and the number of little critter Woods captures.
Woods also does a fantastic job of showing how you can make this trap with nothing but what may be on the ground around you. From plants with which to make the piece of cordage, to sharp stone flakes to shape the sticks for the trigger system, you could build this trap even without a pocketknife.
The night-time video of the trap in operation is also compelling, as we see mice become pancakes. Even a large rat meets his end in the deadfall after Woods adjusts to their tendency to pull the bait from under the trap before triggering it.
Deadfalls are a time-proven machine for catching animals, and it’s wise for any outdoorsman to learn their construction. It’s also a lot of fun making and using them in and around your house and yard.