Best Coil Spring Traps For Trapping Animals For Food, Fur & Survival
Bridger #2 Regular Jaw Coyote/Fox Trapping Package
Coil Spring Trap Basics For Experienced & Beginner Trappers
Coil Spring Traps are good for animals sized up to and including fox, raccoon, coyotes, mountain lions, and wolves. Keep reading to learn all about Coil Spring traps including how to select your traps, how to prepare and modify your traps, and different methods and tips for trapping different sized animals. Additional Coil Spring Traps (types and sizes) are provided below.
TopSurvivalPreps.com is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.
Why you might need it
Get everything you need to start catching animals like foxes, raccoons, minks, skunks, coyotes, beavers, bobcats, lynx, badgers, otters, mountain lions, wolves, and opossum. Bridger and Duke makes the best quality coil spring traps in our opinion.
Whether you are a new or experienced trapper, or you are a Doomsday prepper stockpiling traps for a long term survival scenario, a well made coil spring trap will be effective in catching small and medium sized animals.
Coil Spring Traps - Best Practices
Coil spring traps are leg hold traps. Square shaped jaws are best due to a slightly higher catch rate. If you "laminate" the trap to make the trap's jaws have more area, your trap will be even more humane and will have more "hold" making the trap even more successful.
Another consideration is "regular" vs. "off set" traps and whether or not you prefer "dogless" traps. An "off set" coil spring trap has a gap in the jaws when closed and can be one of the most humane traps. "Dogless" traps are easier to maintain. These and other trapping terms are further explained below, so keep reading.
One important note about trapping. Your trap line must be checked once a day. If you do not have time to tend to your trap line properly, then you should not be trapping. So if you are only going to check your traps on weekends, as an example, you could set your traps on a Friday, check them on Saturday, and remove them after a final check on Sunday.
You do not want to leave an animal trapped for days, starving and suffering. Another thing, when your trap is successful, the animal should be immediately dispatched (we recommend a shot to the head with a .22 short) and immediately removed at least 40' away from the trap location if you will reset the trap in the same set location.
You don't want the animal bleeding in your trap location. Remove any blood from the area with your trowel, and wipe any hair and blood off the trap with a clump of grass or anything else convenient before re-setting your trap.
The best all around set for trapping predators (racoons, opossum, skunks, fox, mink, bobcats, coyote, etc.) is the Dirt Hole Set. However you also need to learn how to create Flat Sets. Scroll down and watch the videos on both of these important techniques.
Regular Jaw Versus Off Set Traps
We prefer the offset coil spring traps because they are more humane and the animal will suffer less than a regular jaw trap. The offset design will reduce broken bones and allow blood flow to the animals foot. The animal will be "handcuffed" to the trap, but testing has shown that animals will "fight" traps a lot less if their leg is not numb from lack of blood flow. In theory, the increased blood flow and injury reduction will minimize stress on the animal while still providing adequate holding power. Keep in mind that offset traps are not as practical with animals that have a tapered foot like a coon. Regular jaws, lamination and/or double jaws are other options that are more successful on tapered foot animals
The offset design creates space or a small gap between the gripping surfaces when the jaws are closed. This offset or gap is usually 3/16" or 1/4" depending on the trap size. The offset jaws also allow the trap levers to come up further on the trap jaws. Because of the offset, the trap jaws actually close further than a standard trap. When the trap levers come up further on the trap jaws it makes the trap harder to open.
Regular Jaw Coil Spring Trap (Note How The Jaws Close Tightly)
You can convert a Regular trap to an Off Set trap by welding a 1/4" lug or bolt to the inside top of the jaws. This will allow blood flow to the animals paw. Add lamination and you have a much more humane trap than a regular jaw trap that is not laminated.
Advantages of off set coil spring traps:
Least amount of foot damage on a target animal.
Little to no damage on smaller non-target animals.
Will hold animals with less foot issues compared to regular jaws.
The levers ride higher and the jaws hold better with the added space between them.
Many trappers also prefer laminated or wide faced jaws to reduce injury and improve efficiency. Lamination increases the surface area of the jaw which creates added gripping ability. See the remaining sections and watch the videos below to better understand these and other concepts
Off Set Coil Spring Trap (Jaws Close With A Small Gap Which Is More Humane)
Should You Use Offset Traps?
In some states offsets are mandatory for land sets and you're required by law to use them. If you live in an area where you have the option to choose between the two styles, it really just comes down to personal preference and opinion. With pan tension set at around 2-1/2 pounds, a level pan and a properly bedded trap you should not have any problems receiving a good high pad catch. There's always the possibility that non target animals (like raccoons) could pull out of an off set trap.
If your local laws dictate you must use an offset, then the choice is easy. Or, if a landowner prefers you use an offset due to local domestic animals then it's nice to have a few off sets laying around. Overall, choosing an off set over a regular jaw trap is all about preference and what works best for you.
What Are Dogless Traps?
Dogless traps have less moving parts, less things to come out of adjustment, and way less things to freeze up and get mudded up. If you look at the above pictures of a basic coil spring trap (Regular Jaw & Offset Jaw), you can see that the "dog" is the mechanism that is the hold down bar/catch lever which is similar to how a mouse trap works.
The "dog" is one of the mechanisms that can get bent after repeated use, and will require maintenance by bending it back into shape with pliers or other tools. Dogless traps do not have the "dog" mechanism. Instead a small lip on the pan holds the trap open. See the picture below for a Dogless Trap.
Dogless traps require a lot less to maintain, which is critical when you have a lot of traps out at any given time. Dogless traps have a big advantage in that pan tension is usually the same after a catch as before the catch. No wasting time adjusting traps on the line.
A disadvantage of dogless traps would be if you wanted a super light trigger. It's hard to adjust a dogless trap light enough for a weasel or even a mink.
Bridger #3 Coil Spring Off Set Dogless Trap
Where Can I Buy Coil Spring Traps
Amazon used to carry a lot of different coil spring traps, but now Amazon carries a smaller number of these sporadically. You can start with these places to find coil spring traps to check their availability and price.
The Sportsman Guide carries coil spring traps and trapping supplies.
Recommended Trapping Supplies & Books (click to expand)
The New Buckshot's Complete Survival Trapping Guide (We highly recommend this book to learn everything you need to know about trapping and snaring animals)
Dressing & Cooking Wild Game: From Field to Table: Big Game, Small Game, Upland Birds & Waterfowl (The Complete Hunter) (A real wild game cookbook. A must have for any hunter. This book has outstanding recipes, and shows any hunter how to dress, clean, cook, and age wild game, with plenty of do's and don'ts)
Recommended Accessories (most of these are already included with the pictured trapping packages above):
Rickard's Logwood Trap Dye - Preserve and keep your traps in good working order.
Pete Rickard's Best Trap Wax, 5-Pound - Preserve your traps and make them lightening fast
Three in One Tool (Trapline Hammer) - A Trapper's dream tool for Dirt Sets - Combo Stake Hammer, Hoe, & Dirt Punch
Metal Dirt Sifter - Very useful for any sets that require fine dirt over the trap.
Fiberglass Trap Pan Covers - These pan covers are the best thing for covering trap pans and they are reusable
Trapper's Trowels - Especially good for clearing out holes to bait and is easy to pack on the trap line. A must for anyone making dirt hole sets.
Berkshire Disposable Stake Driver - Essential for driving in Berkshire disposable stakes
Berkshire Disposable Cable Stakes - These are the least expensive, lightest, and easiest earth anchor to use. Works for all sizes and types of traps and snares, even in the water.
Heavy Duty Berkshire Stakes with 18 Inches 3/32nd Cable - 1 Dozen - Grabs more ground than Standard Stakes
Super Tie Out Cable for Dogs Up to 250-Pound - 25' vinyl covered steel cable with loops designed to hold dogs up to 250 lbs. Use these to tie off to nearby trees if you prefer these versus using disposable stakes.
Universal Heavy Duty Chain Swivel - Each swivel comes with two 6 gauge J hooks. You will need a vise to close these, or a hammer & large vise grips.
Galvanized Utility Wire, 9-Gauge - Can be used for laminating traps (see 2nd video below)
Recommended Baits & Lures:
Cat-Man-Do Lure - 1 oz. long distance call lure for Fox, Coyote, Bobcat, Grey Fox, Fisher & Marten
Pete Rickard's Red Fox Urine Hunting Scent - Will draw foxes and coyotes
Milligan's - Predatory Chunk Bait - This 'sweet meat' solution will offer you a bait with high appeal for eating, but also a curiosity element for the canine's sweet tooth
Kishels Bobcat Gland Lure - 1 oz. supreme lure for bobcat trapping
Kishel K9 Bait - 6 oz. works great for fox, coyote, and cats
Wildlife Research 526 Coyote Juice Calling Scent - 8 oz. High quality coyote calling scent
Widowmaker - Persimmon - 16 oz. Great for coyotes, raccoons and fox
Fox Frenzy Trapping Lure - All season lure for red and grey fox, badgers, coyotes, bobcat, lynx, and most main predators.
Canine Candy Lure - Season long lure for fox, coyotes & wolves
Dobbins Backbreaker Beaver Lure - 1 oz. heavy castor based beaver lure
Dobbins Beaver Plus Lure - 1 oz. brings in otters and raccoons too
Dobbins Muskrat Lure #1 - 1 oz.
Coyote Box - Variety of lures for coyote trapping. Includes:
Hawbaker's Food Lure 400
Mark Steck Highway 61 Predator Bait
Mark June's Songdog Supreme
Carmen's Pro Choice Lure
Bridger #2 Off Set Trapping Package
Bridger #2 Off Set Trapping Package Components (click to expand)
NOTE: Here's a list of all of the items in the Bridger #2 Off Set Trapping Package. You may not be able to find this, but these are the items you need for a good starter kit in trapping using coil spring traps.
The Above Pictured Package (Suitable For Catching Animals Sized Up To Bobcat, Fox, Racoon & **Coyote) Includes:
Qty = 6: #2 Bridger Off Set Jaw Traps (2-coil)
Qty = 1: Dirt Sifter
Qty = 1: Package of 24 Pan Covers
Qty = 1: Narrow Blade Trowel
Qty = 2: Lures
Harding County: Fox Gland Lure
Bold Choice Long Distance Call Lure
Qty = 1: Cold Creek Trapline Hammer
Qty = 1: 8oz Bottle of Fox Urine
Qty = 1: Pint of Mark Steck Bait (Attractive to all predators)
Qty = 1: Berkshire T-Top Driver
Qty = 12: Berkshire Cable Stakes
Qty = 12: 6 Gauge J-Hooks to connect the trap to the cable stakes
NOTE: The baits and lures in this package are subject to change based on availability, as is the narrow blade trowel. A wide blade trowel will be used instead in those cases.
**Larger Coyote might be better caught with #3 or larger Coil Spring (Leg Hold) traps.
The Bridger #2 Off Set Trapping Package has a high quality thick chain with a solid base and two solid swivels that have smooth action. This trap has a jaw spread of 5.125". Beware of some competitor traps that are flimsy in comparison to the exceptional quality Bridger traps.
What Is Laminating A Trap?
Laminating a trap is simply welding on lamination strips, bar stock, wire or rod to increase the width of the jaws. This makes the trap more humane for the animal and provides more grip to hold the animal. Lamination strips for most brands of traps and sizes can be purchased through trap suppliers that were already mentioned or you can make your own.
Again that‘s another subject. You can use flat bar stock, #9 wire or 3/16” or ¼” cold roll rod. We prefer the #9 wire or cold roll rod but the method to add them to your trap jaws is basically the same. See the first three videos below for a better explanation and demonstration of lamination and other coil spring trap modifications.
Bridger #3 Dogless Off Set Trapping Package
Sample Amazon Feedback For Bridger Coil Spring Traps - (click to expand)
"Great Traps. very sturdy made coil spring traps. steel jaws are thick and solid. for me, the most impressive thing about these traps is the chain and swivels. most traps have a cheap dog chain type chain. not this trap, it has a high quality thick chain. swivels are solid and move smooth. the pan and dog are solid and latch nice and clean. trapping season has ended here so i will not get a chance to actually use these traps until next year. i am just commenting on the construction and feel of the traps. i will update review in the winter after more use. Update: i used these traps for a full season and i'm still impressed. high quality traps that are good for animals up to and including coyotes. excellent chains and a nice crisp fire. very good springs as well. 5 stars"
"Sturdy little trap. These are a bit small for the mountain lion I wanted to cull and stop the killing of our goats. I was unsure on which size to get, these would be great for coyote, bobcat, fox, raccoon, etc size predators"
"Caught him. Very well made."
Cleaning, Dying and Waxing Traps
If you have old rusted up traps, you have skipped an step before dying them, because you need your traps to be rusty. If you have brand new traps take them to a car wash and pressure wash them real good. Then bring them home, put them in a 5 gallon bucket of water for a day or two, then pull them out and let them rust. The more rust the better as the dye will take better with more rust.
To preserve your Leg Hold traps and keep them in good working order for perhaps 20 years, it's a good idea to dye them. If you are going to trap on land, after dying the traps, waxing them is another good idea.
Waxing Leg Hold traps is a good idea for trapping on land when the traps may be buried for weeks. The wax preserves the traps and makes them lightening fast. Do not wax your water traps. The jaws will be too slippery, and coons will set off your traps because they will be attracted to grab the shiny jaws (they need to step on the pan to get caught and they will set off the trap but not get caught if they grab the jaws).
See the recommended accessories below for dye and wax, and watch the video further down on dying and waxing traps.
The following video is an explanation of differences in coil spring traps and their modifications.
The following video demonstrates how to laminate a coil spring trap.
The following video shows how to make modifications to a Bridger #2 Coil Spring Trap.
The following video demonstrates how to clean, dye, and wax your traps.
The following video is an Educational/Instructional video for beginner trappers on how to properly trap and dispatch animals. Lots of good tips on making a trap set where an animal will naturally step right on your trap, even predicting which foot will step on the trap. WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO. If you're offended by trapping and/or dispatching scenes do not watch.
The following video is a demonstration of making a dirt hole set to catch coyote. Dirt Hole Sets are the best method for catching predators with coil spring / leg hold traps.
The following video is a demonstration of creating a Flat Set in grass to trap coyote.
The following video is a demonstration of setting a coil spring trap to catch beaver.
The following video is another demonstration of making a dirt hole set in hopes of catching a fox or coyote. He is using an offset Bridger #2 coilspring trap with an 18" homemade rebar stake.
The following video is a review, demo, & comparison for the Bridger No. 1.65 Coil Spring Trap.
See this link for additional information on Dakotaline Snares plus snaring animals including how to use snare support wires, staking, and "tangling" your critter, along with what size snare loops to set and how high to position them off the ground to catch specific animals. Dakotaline snares are tension loaded for quicker closure and preventing the animal backing out which results in higher percentage success rates. Start snaring animals like rabbits, foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, beavers, bobcats, and more.
Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web page is for information only. TopSurvivalPreps.com and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including this Bridger No. 2 Off Set Coil Spring Trap and the other models shown above. Coil spring traps are dangerous, especially when used improperly or when they are set in locations where people, children, pets, or any animals (that you do not want harmed) will be in the vicinity of these traps. Making modifications to Coil Spring Traps can also be dangerous so any modifications that you make are at your own risk.
Return to Top Survival Preps
Share This Page On Social Media!