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Bear traps


philip in china

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Hi Phil (in China),

You never know what you're going to come across next on this website. I'm not sure of the specifics of your request. I'm guessing you've posted it on IFI because you want to blacksmith a steel trap? Do you really mean the nasty steel teethed menaces that savagely grab the animal by its paw/leg? Or do you mean something else? What are you trying to do? Relocate an animal(s) or harvest it/them?

I've trapped wild boar both with heavy snares and large steel and chain-link box traps. Both methods are also suitable for bear, if done to the right scale.

The biggest risk with trapping is having your traps pose a danger to people, pets and livestock. Looking forward to hearing more specifics about your bear venture.

Phil (in Hawaii)

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Bear traps as in the teeth and jaw type I’m darn near positive are illegal here… And if your trying to trap bears weather leaving them alive or killing them, there are much more effective and less time consuming methods of doing it.

Having said that, If your just making it to be decorative/display, look for plans for medieval man traps, or old fox or wolf traps. Old Bear traps are the same thing on a larger scale. I would imagine if you didn’t want to make a functional one it would be pretty easy to work it out from pictures even.

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Same as above... just find smaller trap and scale it up. but be sure you get one with springs on both sides. Some of the smaller traps have a single spring.

An image search and a miniature model should point you in the right direction. The trigger would be the part I would need to study in detail.

Be careful if you actually undertake making a full sized one. Those things are mean.

My grandfather, as a young boy; around the turn of the 20th century, knew an old man who trapped bear with the big iron bear traps. He said that the old hunter would keep a big "C" clamp hung on a limb above each trap in case a man ever got into one of them. Theory being that the trapped man could use the clamp to compress the spring enough to get his leg free. All of this is based on the assumption that bears are no good at using C clamps.

Don

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I wanted to make a medieaval type man trap for no real reason. I don't intend to ever use it to trap men or bears. I just fancied making one. I used to see them in the museum of the castle in Pontefract where I grew up. From memory they had interlocking teeth and the spring was a piece of flat steel that twistedas the trap opened. I don't remember how it was triggered.

Interestingly they were used in the trenches in world war 1 so they are more modern than one might think.

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I think he means Cabela's; an American sporting goods chain.

Thinking of the bear/man traps I've examined (not many), I seem to recall that the two jaws pivot on a base-plate. The trigger-plate fits into a notch in each jaw when they are 'cocked'; steping on the plate pushes it down, releasing the jaws.

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Hey Philip
Try looking up Newhouse trap. They made the best ones, the others were cheap immitations I have thought about making them to sell to tourists for years just never got around to it. The grizzly bear traps were 16" across the jaws when open and wieghed about 50 lbs. if you heat treat the springs be carefull.:D

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doubt there would be much call for them in north yorkshire,..... one of the advantages of relocating!

on a side note.... the abuse of bears for chinese " medicines " is one of the few topics that makes me very, very angry. and IMHO anyone who traps large animals for fun using these barbaric devices is scum, & will get a glasgow kiss from me rather than a handshake.

(im not suggesting thats what you do / intend to do phil !)

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How the spring works?

Well, to set the trap, one pushes the springs down, spreads the jaws flat, and a flat pin is laid over a jaw and held in a notch under the pan. The animal presses down on and moves the pan, knocking the pin that is holding the jaw down. In the picture posted by chrispinnh, one can see the flat pin front and center.

So, the springs are relaxed when the jaws are closed, the springs are pushed down and angry, the jaws are opened and held open by the pin, once the pin is knocked out of it's place, there is nothing to hold the jaws down, the spring comes up and closes the jaws.

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I used to trap in my other life. Most of the time the ones with teeth were man traps. They used them in Europe to keep humans off their land. Most bear traps in north america with teeth came from europe and had been man traps.
The bite of the trap comes not only from the spring coming up but the way the spring encircles the jaws it holds the jaws closed very effectivly. When they are open they are quite easy to hold open once the spring is fully compressed. You have to compress the spring and then open the jaws, it is almost impossible to open the jaws without compressing the spring first. When you set the trigger it is very simple and effective. One with the spring that is a coil is the conibear trap. It is used where the animal goes into it and the animal is killed by the blow, usually immediatly. In the case of the beaver and rats they are set in a way that the animal does not get above the water and drowns if not killed right away.
I never saw traps with teeth, for wolf or anything else because of the way the spring is built they are not needed. The teeth were for to trap man, to damage him enough he could not compress the spring and get out.
Just a bit of the love of man towards his fellow man.

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Do a google of "steel leg hold traps" and see what you get. Then do the same with "newhouse bear traps" . As a young man I trapped muskrats, coon and the like to sell fur to make money. NOBODY was concerned other than to be greatful that I was cleaning their ponds of rats that tore the dams up and/or were greatful that I was stopping coons from destruction around buildings. Ground hogs can flat tear up a foundation on a building. I used leg hold and conibear both. Conibear traps kill pretty much instantly. Never used snares. Some idiots have ( past and present ) set traps in fence rows in runs that they think animals will run through. Then they seldom check their traps. Dogs get caught and killed. Owners get mad ( UNDERSTANDIBLY SO ). Responsible trapping is just that. Like responsible gun ownership. Philip, the second link will give you a good pic ( and there has been another posted prior to me ). If you need to see what a single spring trap looks like ( to build a wall hanger ) I have a couple in the shop and can take a pic or 2. Just add another spring to fit your needs. Mail me if you wish. If you're concerned, next time you walkin in the timber take a bending bar or 2 with you ( piece of leaf spring with a 3/4 wide slot about an inch deep sawed in it ). If you get caught, use the other foot to compress the spring(s) and hook the bar over them. Lord thats gotta hurt.

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