How to Make a Small Game Hunting Trap

With the right knowledge and materials, you can build your own small game hunting trap. As an avid hunter, I have built many different types of traps that promise to catch anything from rabbits to deer. In this tutorial on how to make a small game hunting trap using materials around our home, I will show you step-by-step everything you need for success!.

A “home made small game killing traps” is a type of trap used to catch small game. These types of traps can be made with materials that are found in nature or at home. The materials needed are as follows: rope, wire, and stakes.

Man using small game gig spear in river.

Creek Stewart is a Senior Instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness, and Bushcraft, as well as the author of The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide, which was just published.

I’d like to begin this post with The 3 Survival Rules of 3 — the same way I begin many of my training programs and seminars. Humans can live in the most harsh conditions:

  • 3 hours without any kind of protection
  • 3 days without drinking
  • 3 weeks of fasting

These regulations were not devised by me. Mother Nature took care of it. This adage has been around for a long time. Simple, easy-to-remember survival words like these are one of my favorites. Sudden survival situations may be terrifying. Panic and terror cause the mind to go a little crazy. Even basic things might become difficult. The feelings of being lost, trapped, or in danger may be paralyzing, overpowering, and downright terrifying. The 3 Survival Rules of 3 is an easy-to-remember statement that may help survivors achieve balance and calm by establishing important survival goals. In a survival situation, it’s often the little things that count the most, such as getting your priorities jumbled up and chasing food before shelter or water.

With that stated, if a survival situation lasts long enough, you will ultimately need to feed the human furnace (calories). One of my favorite activities is gathering wild foods. In the spring, I adore cooking a salad with fresh wild greens, in the summer, foraging for berries, and in the autumn, unearthing starchy wild tubers. I’ve got a lot of experience and believe myself to be a competent forager of wild plants. I also provide a session for restaurateurs that wish to use wild foraged herbs to create dishes that are distinctly local. Even with all of this experience and talent, I am positive that I could not survive on wild collected plants alone for an extended period of time — particularly in specific places (desert) and seasons (winter). Even the most expert forager or survivalist will not be able to do so. A long-term survivor will eventually need the energy that only flesh can offer.

Survival hunting is a fine balancing act of danger and reward. Always attempt to figure out if the energy cost of constructing hunting equipment and the act of hunting will result in a net calorie gain or loss. It takes a lot of energy to make hunting equipment. Hunting necessitates the expenditure of energy. Energy is required for field dressing and cooking. The objective is to find a hunting method that offers the highest possibilities of calorie reward while posing the least amount of danger.

My buddy sells products at flea markets, festivals, and fairs. “Creek, the money is in the smalls,” dad often tells me. He explains that although it’s good to sell a $50 or $100 item now and again, he’d go bankrupt if he relied on them to earn a livelihood. He claims that the $1 and $2 goods are his bread and butter.

When it comes to survival hunting, this is the greatest comparison I can think of. You’ll have to rely on the smalls to earn a life. Do not attempt to shoot large game animals such as elk, deer, boar, or bison. These creatures need excessive effort. If you just concentrate on these high-priced animals, you run the danger of being hungry. Regardless of what you see on TV, your chances of catching one with archaic weaponry are limited to none. Primitive peoples hunted creatures like this in groups of up to thirty adult males, and the hunts may last several days. Even then, they often returned empty-handed. Your greatest hunting prospects in a sudden and unexpected survival situation with limited supplies are with the smalls. Frogs, fish, rodents, snakes, birds, and maybe (if you’re very fortunate) rabbit, squirrel, groundhog, muskrat, and possum are among them.


A split tip gig is one of the greatest primitively manufactured multi-use small game hunting tools. Split tip jobs are still utilized to put food on the table in rural regions of the globe. They’re simple to manufacture with few tools and quite effective at close range and short distances. I’ll show you how to create one in the video below.

How to Make a Small Game Gig with a Primitive Split Tip

Start with a green sapling (small tree) with a diameter of 1-1.5 inches and a length of 6-8 feet. It won’t work if the wood is dead and dried. You’ll need to fell a young green sapling. Bamboo is an excellent split tip material, but most of us lack access to it. Willow is a favorite of mine. Willow is fairly plentiful near water, which is where you’ll get the most use out of a gig like this. As long as the tree is good and straight, you may use almost any species.

Vintage small willow sapling placed on earth.

After that, remove all of the branches and slice off the top until it begins to taper to less than 1 inch in diameter.

Vintage sapling trimmed illustration.

The gig’s business end is constructed from the sapling’s roots (the fatter end). To begin, place your knife or sharp rock straight across the sapling’s bottom. It has to be as completely aligned in the middle as possible. Using a heavy stick or rock, drive your knife approximately 10 inches down the sapling. To avoid damaging my knife, I prefer a stick. It’s critical to cut the gig shaft in half straight down the middle. Batoning is the term for this.

Vintage men holding knife and cutting sapling.

Rotate the sapling 90 degrees and baton it once more. This will divide your gig’s base into four equal parts, each roughly 10 inches deep.

Vintage man holding knife and cutting sapling into four pieces.

Vintage men holding knife and splitting into quarters.

Cut two segments of branch approximately the diameter of a pencil and two inches long from the branches you chopped off in the previous stages.

Vintage knife and small sticks placed on earth.

Push them down into the splits you just formed one at a time.

Vintage pushing first spreading stick.

Vintage pushing second spreading stick.

The tines of your split tip job will be stretched out as a result of this. You can see how the concert is shaping up now. The diameter of your gig tines should be about 4-6 inches. The advantage of a gig like this over a single sharp tip is that it expands your surface area, increasing your chances of a successful strike. The tines also aid to catch and pin prospective prey by forming wedges.

It’s now time to sharpen your tine tips to a razor’s edge. Inside and out of the gig tines, you’ll have to work your knife. Willow is a soft wood that is simple to carve. Other species, like as walnut or maple, are more difficult to work with and require more effort.

Vintage man using Knife for sharpening tines.

Vintage after done sharpening.

Willow (and many other species, including mulberry and basswood) bark may be scraped and used as rough cordage to lash the end of your gig so that it doesn’t tear off with extended usage in the spring and summer.


Vintage bark lashing around the sapling.

Lashings aren’t essential if you’re just going to use the gig a few times. Lashing the base of the splits, on the other hand, makes the gig more resilient and keeps it from breaking out. I show you how to make a fast and efficient lashing using conventional cordage or primitive plant and bark fibers in the photos below. I’m using paracord to make it clear how the lashing works.

Your Gig’s Lashing 

Vintage the long end around the gig and over the short end.

One end of your cordage should be looped as indicated.

Wrap the long end around the gig and over the short end.

Wrap the long end around and over the short end of the gig.

Keep wraps tight.

Tighten the coverings.

Continue wrapping.

Continue to wrap.

Feed the end through the loop you made in the beginning.

Feed the end into the loop you established at the start.

Firmly pull the bottom tail and the loop with grab the loose end of your cordage.

With the loose end of your cordage, pull firmly on the bottom tail and the loop.

Pull the loop just under the first couple of wraps and trim the two ends.

Trim the two ends of the loop slightly beneath the first couple of wraps.

Vintage Knife and lashing close up.

vintage lashing final process.

Hunting with a Gig: Some Pointers

Survivors are scavengers. Split tip jobs are ideal chance weapons. A gig is simple to use and deploy, whether you come across a quail concealed in a patch of grass or discover a frog on the edge of a murky swamp. Gigging may also be a game of waiting. Waiting for a fish to come within striking distance or a rat to poke its head out of a burrow may require a lot of patience. In any case, it’s a useful tool for going about everyday survival tasks or actively hunting and collecting. It may also be used as a weapon of self-defense, a trekking staff, or a cooking skewer.

Gigs work best for games that take place in or around water. Fish and frogs are the main prey. The nocturnal American bullfrog emerges at night throughout the spring and summer months. By shining a light into their eyes, they will not be able to notice you approaching. Frog legs are a nutrient-dense, substantial diet that is perfect for survival. For thousands of years, primitive communities all throughout the globe have relied on variations of the split tip job to put food on the table. The split tip gig is one of the greatest marine hunting instruments known, with applications ranging from freshwater trout and salmon to sea urchins and coconut crabs.

Man using small gig spear in river.


If you’ve never utilized a gig before, I recommend giving it a go at least once for the experience. Metal commercial gigs may be found for a few dollars at various hunting/fishing shops. With a couple of screws, they may be readily attached to the end of a long pole. For information on frog gigging laws, restrictions, and seasons in your state, contact your local DNR office. Although most states prohibit the use of a primitive gig, utilizing a commercial gig is useful practice in case you ever need to apply your survival skills in an emergency.

It’s important to remember that the question isn’t IF, but WHEN.


Unofficial hunger games cover with gig.

Consider buying up a copy of my new book, The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide, if you love studying primitive survival techniques like this one. It’s a basic skills handbook based on the famous Hunger Games book series. It’s a fantastic book that’s jam-packed with life-saving primitive survival techniques in the areas of shelter, food, fire, and rescue. Great for getting youngsters interested in survival techniques, but readers of all ages will love it!




The “best small game traps” is a trap that can be used to hunt small animals. The trap consists of a wire cage and bait, which you can use to catch small mammals like squirrels.

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