Doc Stevens and Marilyn on How to Build a Rabbit Trap (or any kind of small animal trap)

Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:30 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I was visiting Doc and Marilyn and noticed whilst walking around their garden two strange looking wooden boxes. I asked Marilyn what they were.

She said, "Tondy, those are our rabbit guns! How come you ain't know that? Me and Uncle Doc made those about five years ago. He had some that was so old they rotted, so we made those.

I asked her why they would want to catch rabbits, and that's when my education began. I am fascinated by he deer and geese and rabbits that run freely in the gardens of rural Americans, and could not imagine for any reason trapping any of them. Big Dave, who lives down the road from Doc and Marilyn shoots deer, squirrels and rabbits whilst sitting on his front porch. He shoots them in the morning and eats them that evening.

Why would Doc and Marilyn want to trap rabbits?

Trap 1 Marilyn: Well, Tondy, you's right that rabbits is cute, but it aint so cute when they's eatin' your veggies what you planted and worked hard to grow. Squirrels are just as bad or worser. We get 'coons in the garden an' they eat our veggies too. An' possums eat the dog's food an' get in our trash. Tondy. We ain't eat no 'coon. But rabbit is good, possum ain't bad eatin' and so's squirrel. We ain't eat possum much, cause Uncle Doc feels sorry for 'em 'cause so many of 'em gets hit on the road 'casue they is nearaly blind. He sets possum's loose down to the woods less we ain't got no meat in the freezer.

It don't cost nothin' to make a rabbit gun an' you can make 'em in about a hour or less. We ain't never looked at the clock. We just builds 'em.

Doc: Yeah, Tondy. You just make 'em outta scrap wood you got layin' around.These is made from one by 8's, but you can make 'em outta 1X10's or outta plywood, if you got outdoor plywood. I ain't had none, but I had one by 8's. These is 30 inches long. You nail 'em together so they look like a mail box. I used nails on these but sometimes use drywall screws. You just use what you got.

On the one end, you put hardware cloth. That's the wire screen what has holes about a half inch. It makes the rabbit feel safer goin' in, cause he can see the outside n the other end. Also, it's so the rabbit or other varmint can breathe but more important so you can see what you got. You ain't want to catch a rat an' think all you got is a scared rabbit in there! I'm scared of a rat! A rat don't weigh but two or three pounds, but it is all fight! i way 200 pounds, but I ain't fightin' no rat!

Trap 2 Up on top, you come in about 6 inches, and drill a one inch hole in the top. Then, about halfway between that hole an' the other end, you drill another hole. So if your box is 30 inches, and you come in 6 inches for the first hole, you make your next hole at 12 inches. That's half of whatever is left, like half of 24 inches, I think. This one ain't done right, now that I look at it.

Marilyn: Then you gots to cut a piece of wood for the trap door. It's a Trap 3couple of inches taller than the trap and you gotta cut grooves in the side for it to slide down in or put pieces of molding inside to make a track for it.

An' you make a stick with a notch in it to go in the first hole. The notch catches in the hole, and that holds the door up, when you have a string on it, what goes to the stick on top of the trap an' over to the door.

When the rabbit hits the stick on the inside when he's goin' for the food, it knocks the stick loose, and POW! The door comes down an' the rabbit or other critter is trapped!

Doc: That stick on top oughta be long enough to go a little past the trigger stick an' a little past the trap door, so it works smoothlike. It ain't hard, Tondy. Ain't no math test. Mostly common sense.

Marilyn: An' when you set it out, make sure you rub wild onions on it, to get rid of your scent. You don't think you stink, but to a critter, you DO and they won't go in. Rub wild onions on it.

Doc: That's all they is to it, Tondy. I'm goin' inside to eat some pulled rabbit barbecue what Marilyn made, and play some guitar. We gotta play at a gospel cookout tomorrow an' I need to warm my fingers up.Marilyn's gotta build her strength to sing and play harp. Let's go in, Boy!

Tondeleo: I didn't feel like eating pulled rabbit barbecue, or any other kind of rabbit dish, so I told them I had already eaten at the Subway in Bryans Road. I actually HAD, but not today.