Gone Outdoors

How to Build a Fox Trap

by Ragnar Danneskjold

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.

Wear gloves anytime you work with the materials you are going to use 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.

Build a large box or crate out of plywood or 2-inch by 2-inch mesh wire. The dimensions of the box should be approximately two feet tall by four feet long and two feet wide.

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. LongshadowFarms.com features a variation of the box trap that uses thin slats of wood to create grooves for the door to move within. This is a good method that works well.

Use a pocket knife or small hatchet to cut a piece of wood approximately one inch in diameter, and 30 inches long. Ideally, this will be a piece of broken tree branch.

Place the point into a hole cut to size in the center of the top of the box. At the other end, two to three inches below the top, cut a notch into one side of the wood, approximately half-way through.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Items you will need
  • work gloves
  • plywood,
  • or,
  • 2"x2" mesh wire
  • wood scraps
  • knife and/or hatchet

Tips

  • W. Hamilton Gibson recommends scraps of beef and cheese as ideal bait for trapping foxes.
  • He also recommends baiting a potential trap location for an indefinite period of time prior to placing the trap there, in order to accustom the target animal to spending time there.

Warning

  • Trapping fur-bearing animals without a trapping license and the appropriate tags from your state Fish and Wildlife agency can result in severe criminal and civil penalties. Please contact your local game warden for advice on the proper protocols for obtaining a trapping license.

References

About the Author

A classical Rennaissance man since serving in the U.S. Army's elite 75th Ranger Regiment, Ragnar Danneskjold has worked as a ranch cowboy, a Department of Defense contractor, a strength and conditioning coach, a martial arts instructor, a freelance writer and a horse trainer.