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Heavy-Duty Live Trap
Paul Rauch first got the idea for his large, heavy-duty live trap about 35 years ago when he was a teenager. It worked so well, he still uses the same design today to trap large pest animals like raccoons, groundhogs and wild dogs.
"Except for my tripping mechanism, the design isn't much different than commercial live traps. The difference is in the size and the way I built it," says Rauch, who farms near Newark, Ohio. "I built it out of extra heavy materials so that powerful animals - like ground hogs and dogs - can't pry their way out and also so that the trap will last."
Although he made the frame for his first trap out of wood and corn crib panels, he now uses angle iron and steel expanded metal mesh. Traps are 6 ft. long and 20 in. sq. A pair of small wheels mounts at one end for transport and there are two handles at the other end to make it easy to roll around. There's even a small hitch on the handled end so he can tow the trap around with a tractor.
When set, the trap is open on both ends. Key to its success is the use of a spring-loaded conventional rat trap to spring the trap when an animal enters. Flexible picture hanging wire runs from the cocked moving arm of the rat trap to stiff wire dowells that hold up the end doors of the trap. Bait is laid on an 18-in. long hinged pedal that runs across the full width of the center of the trap. A piece of baling wire runs from the pedal up through the bottom of the rat trap to the trigger pedal of the trap.
When the spring-loaded floor pedal of the big tap moves downward from the weight of an animal entering the trap, that pulls down on the wire, tripping the rat trap which then releases the doors, causing them to close off the ends of the trap. The big doors are held closed by a pair of "little doors" that were held up by the big doors while the trap was set The little doors fall at the same time as the big doors by gravity and stay locked into position by gravity.
"What makes this trap unique from commercial units is the heavy-duty nature of it and the `stored energy idea' of using the rat trap to trip it. It's sensitive enough to catch light animals like a woodpecker right on up to the biggest animals that can fit inside. Of course, any animal can be released unharmed, including cats and dogs that belong to neighbors," says Rauch, adding that he's long thought the trap would work great for anyone with coyote, bobcat or other large predator problems. He'd-be Interested In talking to anyone interested in manufacturing the trap.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Rauch, 1941 Riggs Rd., Newark, Ohio 43055 (ph 614 366-5477).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4