How to build a fox trap

Written by ragnar danneskjold
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How to build a fox trap
The fox is a wily customer who isn't caught easily in traps. (Image by Harlequeen; Flickr)

The fox can be tough to trap with the most modern methods, but with the homemade trap or snare, it can be particularly difficult. To use a homemade trap or snare on a fox successfully, you have to build the trap correctly. Before building a trap, ensure you understand UK legislation that forbids the use of gin and leghold traps to capture animals.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Work gloves
  • Plywood
  • Mesh wire
  • Wood scraps
  • Knife and hatchet

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  1. 1

    Wear gloves anytime you work with the materials required to build your trap. The lingering scent of human on a trap can be enough to warn a fox away. If he smells you on the trap, the fox will flee.

  2. 2

    Build a large box or crate out of plywood or mesh wire. The dimensions of the box should be approximately 120 cm long and 60 cm wide.

  3. 3

    Build a backside onto the box with the same material as the rest of the box. The door at the front of the box should be a piece of plywood. Some trap suppliers feature a variation of the box trap that uses thin slats of wood to create grooves for the door to move within. This method works well.

  4. 4

    Use a pocket knife or small hatchet to cut a piece of wood approximately 2.5 cm in diameter, and 76 cm long. Ideally, use a piece of broken tree branch.

  5. 5

    Place the point into a hole cut to size in the centre of the top of the box. At the other end, around 5 to 6 cm below the top, cut a notch into one side of the wood, approximately half-way through.

  6. 6

    Attach a cross-member to the upright, using a loose knot of twine, so that the cross-member can rock up and down on each side.

  7. 7

    Attach the end closest to the door of the trap with a short piece of wire or string. At the other end, attach another piece of twine to the trigger piece.

  8. 8

    Cut a notch into the side of the trigger stick high up on the side. This will catch on the top of the box, with the door held up. When the notch is knocked loose, the weight of the door will cause the door to slide down, into place.

  9. 9

    Drill a hole in the top of the box for the trigger stick to fit into, with room for the trigger-stick to be drawn out by the moving cross-member bar.

  10. 10

    To set the box trap for a fox, use an appropriate type of bait, and attach it to the end of the trigger stick. Lift the door up and insert the trigger-stick into its hole, with the notch hooked on the edge of the trigger-stick hole.

Tips and warnings

  • Scraps of beef and cheese make ideal bait for trapping foxes.
  • After trapping the fox, release it in an area far from your home or farm to prevent the animal from returning.
  • The RSPCA says that with certain exceptions all spring traps must be tested and approved and they must only be used for the target species for that particular trap and be set in a natural or artificial tunnel. In general, the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 works on the premise that mammals are unprotected except for certain species.

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