See-saw traps revisited

A see-saw trap in situ - built into the new post and rail hedgerow.
A see-saw trap in situ – built into the new post and rail hedgerow.

Just worth noting that within a few hours of resetting my see-saw traps along the new hedgerow, I managed to catch a somewhat irate field mouse. I posted in more detail about see-saw traps last year, and I have been very impressed with these simple machines. Not only are they much cheaper than spring traps, but they have the mixed blessing of being fired by absolutely everything. I often find that female weasels are too light to fire a Mk.4 Fenn, but the design of a see-saw trap could conceivably catch everything from mink to mice. While this inevitably means that they often need to be frequently emptied of innocent captives such as mice and toads, it means that even the smallest weasel is capable of triggering the mechanism.

My woodworking skills are not as impressive as they could be, although I do enjoy building things. It’s not at all hard to build see-saws, and like tying your own fishing flies or carving your own decoys, there is a certain satisfaction in using something that you’ve made yourself. Provided the basic issue of balance is dealt with carefully, you can turn a stack of old pallet wood into a see-saw trap in about an hour, saving seven or eight pounds on a metal trap and preserving a little bit of countryside tradition.

I freed the mouse and reset the trap, hopeful that the next time it swings closed, there will be something more substantial inside. The next moment I get, I will make some more see-saws…


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