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Build It – Feral Hog Trap

May 2001
Volume 1, Issue 5

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The design for a semi-portable feral hog trap described here is very effective and capable of capturing multiple hogs. The main parts of the trap are the drop-gate and side panels. The drop-gate is made of wood and the side panels are typically constructed of steel rod mesh. The drop-gate is about 31/2 feet wide and 8 feet high. The side panels are 5 feet high and 8 feet long. We termed the trap “semi-portable” because it can be taken down and moved but it is fairly heavy and the disas­sembly and reassembly takes time.


The drop-gate is a 3 foot wide by 4 foot high piece of 1/2 inch treated plywood. The drop-gate slides in a runner on each side which is made of an 8 foot long 1 X 4 sandwiched between two 8 foot long 2 X 6’s. The side runners are held apart by a 2 X 4 attached to the top and bottom of each side runner. The drop-door frame is made stable with 2 X 6 diagonal braces attached to the front and back of the frame.

The drop-gate is held up by tying a piece of 1/4 inch braided nylon rope to the top of the door and running the rope through the eyebolt at the top of the drop-gate frame. The rope runs over the trap the back where the trigger is located. The trigger is described below.

A gravity latch is attached to the inside of the side runner by a screw mounted off center in the latch. When the latch is pushed out of the way, the door can be lifted to the open position and the latch is held open by the door. When the door drops, the latch clears the top of the closed drop-door and swings by gravity over the top of the door. This prevents the hogs from rooting the door open and escaping.

Side Panels

The best material to make the side panels from are “horse panels.” Typically horse panels are 5 feet high and 16 feet long. One 16 foot panel can be cut in half to yield 2 - 8 foot long panels. They are made of metal rods about 3/8 inch thick welded together. The vertical rods are about 6-8 inches apart and the horizontal rods are about 4 inches apart at the bottom of the panel but increase to 8 inches apart toward the top. The closer mesh at the bottom keeps the little pigs from escaping through the wire.

The panels are attached to 5 foot metal T-posts driven in the ground. A 5 foot metal T-post is really about 7 feet long but 2 feet are underground and 5 feet are exposed. The side panels are tightly wired to the T-post with #10 or 12 wire at the bottom, middle, and top. Wiring the sides to the T-posts holds the side panels upright, and since the T-posts have notches on one side, the wire prevents the panels from being lifted up the posts by rooting hogs. Side panels can be attached to the drop-gate by passing wires through holes in the side runners of the drop-gates. You can use 3 or more side panels with one drop-gate depending on how big you want the trap to be. When wild hogs are approached in traps they try to run away. A smaller trap prevents hogs from building up as much momentum as they can in a large trap.


The trigger is pretty high tech, but what would you expect for a state-of-the-art hog trap. The trigger consists of a stick about 4 feet long and a knot in the end of the rope holding the drop-door up. The door of the drop-gate is lifted to the open position by pulling the rope threaded through the eye­bolt. The rope goes over the top of the trap and over the top of the back panel. The rope is taken down the outside of the back panel about 2 feet and passed under one of the horizontal rods at that point to the inside of the trap. Stick the bottom of the trigger stick into the ground inside the trap and about 3 feet from the back panel. Tie a knot in the rope and put the top of the trigger stick under the knot and against the back panel. The trigger stick pressing against the knot in the rope and the back panel keeps the rope tight and the drop-gate open.

Sour corn scattered in several lines radiating away from the drop-gate as well as all over the ground inside the trap. The hogs will feed on the corn outside the trap and work their way inside as it trap and feed on the corn inside before one will finally make its way to the corn under and around the trigger stick at the rear of the trap. Once a hog hits the trigger stick during its corn feeding frenzy the stick falls and releases the rope which drops the door. Once the door falls it cannot be rooted back open because the gravity latch swings over the top of the drop-door and it can not be lifted up without pushing the latch out of the way.

It is best not to kill the hogs in the trap if you want to try to catch more hogs in the trap at that location. Most hogs shy away from a trap where hogs have been shot.

Click here to view hog trap diagrams.

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