By John Campbell
I had the great pleasure of meeting the owners and makers of the DF-4 trap while at a prepper expo in Prescott Valley, Arizona. As soon as I laid eyes on the trap, I knew I had found a winner. For years, I have made traps of all different kinds. I have even used these traps while growing up in Oklahoma. I would sit for hours taking the time to make each fitted piece and pack them along with me. However, this is not a big deal. I find that most traps I make in the field are bulky; they take up a lot of space in a bag.
It has become my understanding that trapping itself is a full-time job while in the field. Not only do you have to make your traps, you have to possibly find bait, make repairs to existing traps, and check them all. For most, they see this as a romantic idea of man living in nature using only what he makes. This ideology is great; however, when it comes to those with lacking experience they will soon find themselves on the other end of the spectrum. They may tend to become lazy and make only a few traps or just give up altogether. Surviving long term on plants and bark is not going to cut it. You need fats and protein or you are buzzard food.
Keep in mind that the use of these traps is illegal in Arizona, unless you are in an actual survival situation. With that being said, you could use them on your own private land, just be mindful of the laws and other people’s pets. The main reason I did not set these traps to use is because of my personal pets as well as those in the neighborhood. I am not a killer and I will not kill a pet just to demonstrate a trap.
Using this trap was very easy and straightforward. The kit comes with instructions which are very well written and everything is well explained. The pouch that everything comes in is small and keeps everything together and in its place. The overall construction of the traps is amazing. These are made of an anodized aluminum for strength and weight reduction. In the photo you can see the trap is set under a log. I drove small stakes into the ground to hold it in place and make it more stable. This will also act as a guide to keep the fall in line with the kill. I did find that I needed to place a small flat rock under the trap. This will keep the trap from digging in and planting itself in the ground. This is not an issue, I do this with all my traps anyway. I find that if it begins to rain, in very few cases the post can start to sink in the mud.
The trap locks into the active position with a small notch cut in the back of the bait stick. This meets a small flange on the lever and makes a secure fit yet a sensitive trigger. At first I thought this wasn’t enough to hold the weight of a log let along a rock as a fall. What I was most worried about was the wind. We have very strong wind gusts in my area that if a trap is going to be affected it will be for this reason. When I took it out into the field I found I was mistaken. The trap functioned like a dream and has found a place in my survival gear list. I found that setting this trap was so easy that if used in an actual survival situation it would take no time at all to set all five in the kit. This to me is a huge plus, anytime you can spend less calories working and save body fluid you are that much ahead of the game.
The bait stick I found to be very interesting and effective. This is set up as a point and barb. There are also a series of holes drilled to add wire or cord to aid in securing the bait. Why you may ask? Think about this, anytime you secure the bait to the stick in such a manner it will force the critter to work that much harder to free the bait. While they are fighting that much harder they are putting more and more pressure on the trigger. This is the same reason I will split the bait sticks on my hand made dead falls. In the photo is a close up of the bait stick. I used a little of the supplied wire at first. I found that it was not very visible in the photos so I used a white twist tie for visibility purposes. You can see the Craisin in the notch being held securely in place with the wire. Again, this makes the critter work that much harder to get the bait.
The kit that is supplied with the traps comes in an Altoids tin. It consists of a small fishing kit with two split shot sinkers, fishing line, and two hooks. It also comes with Craisins, snare wire for small animals, an instruction card, and some blaze orange paracord. The instructions show how to tie a fisherman’s knot and give a very good idea for the paracord. In the past, I have made lures from things like bank-line, twine, gum wrappers, and yes, even paracord. This is something I had not though of in many years. These old fishing trick we did while growing up are still alive. That brought a huge smile to my face.
Paracord lures and jigs are actually highly effective. The awesome part is with all the different colors of cord out there, you have never ending combinations of the types of lures you can make. For me I like to keep it as simple as possible. The fishing kit and snare wire are a great addition to the kit and I can see having all this stuff together being very solid and well thought out. There are a lot of gimmicky kits on the market today. This one however, is one I would recommend to anyone that is trying to build a survival kit, a bug out bag, or even for keeping in your vehicle as a just in case item. This kit blew me away and I think Ed Mitchell did a hell of a job putting this kit together and bringing it out to the world. If you are interested in this trap contact Ed Mitchell at DF-4.com
My fishing lure made with the supplied paracord.
VIDEO COMING SOON!