A natomy of the Pai ute Dead fall

BASE~ Thin, flat rock, bark or wood chip

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@ Patrick McShane 1993
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Anatomy of the Paiute Deadfall Construction and Use
General Information Whenever I hiked through the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains or the vast expanses of the High Mountain Deserts of the Pacific Northwest, I carried with me a few PD System Sets (Paiute Deadfall System) in the off chance that I might have to rely upon them to kill a few small game animals for food. The PDS units provided for me several meals of broiled rabbit or squirrel when I was facing hunger. Poor planning was the reason for my lack of food, so I had no one but myself to blame for being in such a poor position. Thanks to my Native American friends, who taught me from a very early age, how to survive in any kind of environmental setting. I am convinced, after hundreds of meals provided for me by the PDS, I am alive today and survived circumstances that might have been the destruction for less trained and experienced woodsmen. I also believe that there is no place in the entire North American continent where small game animals do not abound and can be obtained within a very short period of time. What follows, then, is an extensive description of the construction and Use of the Paiute Deadfall System (PDS). I have been chided into providing these instructions by others who, after reviewing the single illustration ‘Anatomy of the Paiute Deadfall’, insisted that I provide the ‘rest of the story.’ So here it is. This is a compilation of hundreds of sessions with my PDS. I hope that you will not only find it educational but worth knowing and learning how to make and use your own PDS. If you follow these instructions to the letter, Results are Guaranteed. Respect for Nature Before you consider the need of making and using a PDS you must first make certain that you have the proper attitude towards the taking of the life of one of Nature’s small creatures. The PDS is an instrument of death and you must be certain that by using the PDS, death should be as swift and painless as possible. Most Native American tribes report that in their oral tradition when someone, even a youth, killed even a small animal, he would ask permission of the intended victim to take it’s life, and only then because by killing the animal humans would live and prosper. The very Spirit of that animal would come into the body of the PDS user. The Animal Spirit would become part of the Human Spirit. Should you find yourself alone, making this decision is not difficult. If there is no other means to obtain food, then you must make and use a PDS. Should you find yourself in a group of people, making this decision will not be easy. The same rules apply; respect for nature, and a need that can not be met by any other method. There applies the ‘Law of Simple Majority’. Should you find yourself in a group of people containing children, making this

decision will be even more difficult depending upon the age of the children. My rule is, PG-13. Children under the age of thirteen must be shielded from all aspects of the PDS that deal with seeing the animal killed, prepared, etc. They must be encouraged to understand why it is necessary as well as eating some of the broiled meat, but they should never be forced to eat. When they get hungry enough, they will ask for their portion of the meat. If everyone is on the same page then no time should be wasted in making and using your PDS. Step 1 You must answer a few questions before you decide to make and use a PDS. Are there signs (tracks, Burroughs, trees, hiding places, mounds, scat, hair, etc.) that tell of recent small animal activity. Q: Are my surroundings appropriate living conditions for small game animals? A: No, move on. A: Yes, stop wasting time and start gathering the items you will need to make the PDS. Select at least five locations where you believe you have the best chances to be successful with the PDS. These locations should be about three minutes apart and placed in such locations that animals have to see and smell the alluring bait that you are using. Game trails are ideal locations especially where there is a restricted passages that forces the game to pass within a few centimeters of the bait. This will give you a fifteen to twenty minute spread between PSD units. Step 2 Be Prepared. You must know how to construct a PDS before you can…You should have taken the time, well in advance of any excursion into the wilderness, to have made several demonstration models of the PDS and have done so. In fact, if you were thinking ahead, you may even have one of those ‘backup PDS’ with you, just in case you might need one. If not, oh well! Start collecting the items you must have. Knife (Hunting-Whittling-Survival-Personal-Tool) locking blade with a combination serration (3.5mm) and pointed-cutting (5mm) edge of the best and hardest steal. The handle must be of the finest, rot-proof, water proof, indestructible, composite material. The top of the blade must have an angled serrated thumb spot as well as the standard sloping, angled flat, non-cutting surface. No expense should be spared when buying this knife. I spent about $150 for my personal knife and it saw me through many tight spots over a fifty year period. It never failed me and it never dulled, broke, lost a serration, or otherwise failed me when I had to depend upon that knife. I still have that knife and will never part with it even though I am living in a nursing home. Step 3

Collect the Bits & Pieces. The first item to consider and collect is the rock. I give you what I believe to be the best suggestion. You should try to obtain a rock as close to these dimensions before you decide to alter the specifications. Rock Basalt, Granite, or other hard and heavy rock material that will be heavy and strong enough to dispatch an animal of 6 to 12 kilograms, or 3 to 5 pounds. The rock in my illustration was of decomposing granite. Weight is the most important factor when selecting the correct stone. It must kill quickly and efficiently and not destroy a lot of flesh. You do not want a rock that is so heavy that you smash the poor thing to bits. The meat will be tender all by itself without you pulverizing it. My weight rule is the stone must be five times heavier than the weight of the animal you want to kill. My ideal stone was 2 Stone (Irish), 52 kilograms (World), or 24 pounds (US). Dimension is the second most important factor when selecting the correct stone. On average the Length must be 3 times greater than the Width, and it must be ¼ the length in Thickness. It looked like this: 762 mm x 457 mm x 203 mm, or 30 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches. There you have it and on to the wood and cordage materials. Bits & Pieces Cottonwood is best, if available. Any soft and cured wood will work. While hardwood may be better to use, time may be a factor so by using a softer wood you may save some precious time. Collect and carve wood pieces into the following items and sizes: Post Wood. 380 mm, 15 inches long. Diameter 30 mm, 1 ¼ inches thick. Bait Stick 305 mm, 12 inches long. Diameter 20 mm, ¾ inches thick. Base Plate Wood, bark, or flat stone: 100 mm x 50 mm x 20 mm, 4 x 2 x 1 inches in size and 5 mm, ¼ inches thick. The Post sits on top of this piece to prevent the weight of the PDS from driving the Post into the ground, especially if the ground in the area is soft. Lever Wood, bark, or flat stone: 330 mm, 12 inches long. Diameter 10.5 mm, 5/8 inches thick. Trigger Wood, bark, or flat stone: 101 mm, 4 inches long. Diameter 20 mm, ¾ inches thick. This is attached to a piece of cordage. It contains a small concave depression near one end. The Bait Stick is placed into this depression. The cordage is attached, at the other end, to the Lever and tightened so that only a slight tug at the Bait Stick will dislodge the Trigger from the Lever. Cordage

Tough, well constructed cord at least 508 mm, 20 inches in length. You can never have too much, but you can always not have enough. I found that I always carried with me a length of Nylon Cord 3 mm in diameter and 500 mm long. There you have it, all of the Bits & Pieces. On to the next step. Step 4 Now you must carve and assemble the parts. Use your favorite knife to remove all of the bark and rough spots on all of the wood pieces. Cut the various pieces to the desired lengths and set them aside until you have created all of the necessary elements. You must have all of the necessary Bits & Pieces for five PDS. Post Wood. Cut to length and remove bark and all rough spots. Smooth the post using a scraping, drawing motion with the edge of your knife. This is akin to the action of the ‘Draw Knife’ of pioneer days. It was a tool that the frontiersmen could not live without. In one end of the Post carve, then smooth, a concave groove. It must be equal in width and depth sufficient unto holding a part of the Lever. If the Lever is 10.5 mm in diameter, then the concave groove must be 10.5 mm in width. Bait Stick Wood. Cut, scrape, and otherwise fashion a slender, firm stick that is at least 305 mm in length and 2 mm thick. As previously noted, I carried several of the long Smorgasbord Sticks or Skewer Sticks that can be found in any grocery store. If you didn’t think that far ahead then this may take some time, maybe the most, because this Bait Stick must survive a lot of abuse and keep working. Smorgasbord Sticks seem to work perfectly. I used one stick in over 100 PDS and then ended up giving it away to a kid who begged and promised that he would not try it on the family pets or even the neighborhood pets. I lost contact with the lad many years ago and I wonder to this day if he kept his word or whether there were a lot of missing pets around his house. Bait… As long as we are discussing the Bait Stick we should talk about bait. When in the mountains I like to use Pine-nuts. I gather a handful from pinecones in the area and crushing them in my hands rub the oily meal around the pointed end of the Bait Stick. If I am in a desert setting I will first use sage to remove the scent of humans from the PDS and Bait Stick and then put a piece of chocolate or other foodstuff I may be carrying. You will be surprised what you find when you start looking through the things you are carrying. I have always found something attractive enough to lure rabbits and squirrels to the Bait Stick. Just about anything will work, they are not picky eaters. Base Plate I made it easy on myself and did not mess about with trying to use wood. I

used a flat stone the size and shape as described. Why waste time and effort trying to make a wood plate when stone is a better material for that job. Stone is less likely to sink, under a lot of weight, into soft earth or earth soaked with water. Use stone! Lever Wood. Cut to length and remove bark and all rough spots. Smooth the Lever using the same scraping motion that you used while making the Post. This piece of wood must be 330 mm long and 10.5 mm in diameter. It must be flat on the top end (closest to the post) and pointed at the end that must take a solid purchase against the stone. One end of the Cordage is to be tied with a knot that will withstand about 1 kilogram of pull from the tension provided by the Trigger mechanism. This knot should be no more than 20 mm from the top end of the Lever. Trigger Wood. Cut to length and remove bark and all rough spots. Smooth the Trigger using the same scraping motion that you used when making the Post. This piece of wood must be 101 mm in length and 20 mm in diameter. It must be flat at both ends with a concave indentation cut into the last 5 mm of the Trigger. This concave indentation will become the receptacle for the flat end of the Bait Stick. One end of the cordage, opposite from the end tied to the Lever, will be tied to about the middle of the Trigger stick. It must be tied with a knot that will withstand the pressure of about 1 kilogram. Cordage If you have not been prepared for such a problem, you will not have five lengths of nylon cord in your pocket. You will now have to take some time to make cordage from the natural materials that you find around you. If you have taken the time to learn, from a professional, and made cordage for a number of hours, you are in a real jam! You can look forward to spending five, or more, hours making enough cordage of sufficient length and strength, to use in five PDS. I am going to assume that you are as prepared as I have been for many years and assume that you have five lengths of nylon cordage. Nylon cord of 508 mm in length and 5 mm in diameter. All ends must have had their ends melted into hard, black nubs. Note: All of my Demonstration PDS wood parts had holes drilled through the places where it is indicated that the cordage is to be tied. The Post stick had a slight groove carved into the round where the cordage was to pass and be held in place by the Trigger stick. This circular groove helped to keep the cordage in place as tension was applied by the force of the lever and Bait stick. The Trigger stick had a hole drilled into it where it is indicated it is to be tied. The Lever stick had a hole drilled into it where it is indicated it is to be tied. Step 5 It is now time to ask yourself a few more questions: Q: Have I made five PDS and checked that each of them have the correct

number of parts and that these parts appear to work together as designed? A: No, get back to work. A: Yes, remove yourself to the first location where you have previously positioned a stone, and start building your first PDS. Move to the next position and repeat the process until you have built and set all of your PDS. It is time to move away, at least a good five minutes from the first PDS. You must wait, quietly, and patiently for one full hour. Note: All animals are alive in the wildernesses because they know how to survive. You must outsmart them if you ever hope to trap a few for dinner. They have very sharp hearing, can feel vibrations through the earth as humans or other animals pass by them, and they have an acute sense of smell. They also have very good eyesight. You must assume that the animals you have targeted for a meal are a hundred times smarter and alert than you are. If you think that you are smarter or more clever than they are, you are sadly mistaken and you will go very hungry. Assume you are the dunce and they are the masters. You may best an old fella who is just too slow to avoid your wonderful PDS, but don’t be surprised if they not only ‘tripped the trap‘, but got away with your bait. Step 6 After a full hour it is time to check your PDS. Start with the first one that you set and see if it has been tripped. It will not be necessary to run up and lift the stone, should it had been tripped. Approach quietly and slowly and observe the surrounding area for any signs of animal activity. Stop, Look, Listen. If the PDS has been tripped observe the stone for signs of an animal, or animal parts, protruding from under a portion of the stone. It you should see a tail or other part of an animal, identify it and observe long enough to determine whether or not is alive. If it is not moving, step on the protruding body part, gently, and slowly lift the stone off the dead animal. Place the animal aside and reset your PDS. If the animal shows signs of being alive but trapped under the stone, you will have to dispatch the animal as quickly and humanely as possible. I have had to do this several times and found that if I placed my entire body weight upon the stone in a downward motion, the added weight would quickly kill the animal. Proceed to the next PDS after resetting the one you just cleared. Step 7 Once you have collected your kills and reset your PDS it is time to skin, gut, and clean the carcasses. Note: I do not believe that I agreed with you to provide you with instructions on how to prepare wild game for eating. I love to cook, outdoors, but hate to cook inside. I will say that you must keep everything clean and free of contamination. Use plenty of water and cover the meat with a clean cloth, if possible, while preparing your cooking fire. It is expected that everyone who is forced to kill wild animals to survive will do so with respect and you will bury all of the body parts that you will not be eating. Bury them away from where you are cooking and living for soon these decaying parts will attract

larger animals, especially scavengers, and you do not need unwelcome visitors in the middle of the night. You should have started your fire before you started cleaning the animals. You should have some hot water to clean your knife and meat during the preparation process. By the time you have finished cleaning five rabbits or squirrels, 30 minutes at most, the fire should have burned down to hot coals. A roaring fire is not good for broiling the meat. A roaring fire is good if you want burnt bodies. Select and strip five Wood Broiling Sticks or Skewer Sticks about 450 mm in length and 10 mm in diameter. Wash them and secure the caracaras with a Skewer Stick by pushing it through-and-through. Make certain that they are firmly attached before starting to broil the meat. Broil slowly, taking your time. You can broil a cascaras in about 10 minutes. You can destroy a carcass in about 3 minutes. Step 8 Time to eat and enjoy. No, Betty, it does not taste like chicken. Rabbit is rabbit, squirrel is squirrel, and Prairie Dog is Prairie Dog. Each has it’s own distinct taste and texture. All of them, without exception, are wonderful and full of protein. They taste great and do not need salt as they have enough salt within the meat already. There is usually little fat, unless you get a Rock Chuck in late Fall when they have a lot of fat on them. Children, if present, should first be introduced to the wonders of taste by their significant adult. They should never see any of the adults make sour faces, or make disparaging remarks concerning the meat they are about to eat. They should also never observe or hear such things during the time when they are supposed to be enjoying the meat. There should be a group Blessing and Thanksgiving before any of the meat is consumed. None of the meat should ever be thrown away or wasted. If there is anything left over, make certain that it is saved for a late night snack or for the following day. When I was enjoying wild game taken with my PDS I did not have a single morsel left over. Everything was consumed and the bones were sucked dry of their marrow, a great source of red blood cell rejuvenation. I even saved the bones and used them the following day as I boiled some water with the bones within. I quickly had a broth into which I put a number of wild tubers, wild onions, parsnips, wild carrots, sedges, nuts, and a lot of other wonderful soup mix items. Much better than Campbell’s soups. An evening meal of broiled game and Wilderness or Desert Soup for lunch on the following day and I was good to go for at least three days more. I was always satiated after a meal like those I have just described. They were simple, but filling. They were nutritious, never distasteful. I always seemed to gain weight after a few meals like this, and never lost weight. My mental attitude was always refreshed and I seldom felt that I need worry where the next meal would come from. I knew that as long as I respected Mother Nature, she would provide the things I needed to survive in her wildernesses. I knew that should I disrespect Mother Earth, for a single moment, she would turn on me in a flash and destroy me quickly. She would make certain that I would suffer as many Native Americans

suffered throughout the ages, who decided to take without asking, to think that everything belonged to them and them alone. They thought that they could waste whatever and whenever the wished. Mother Earth saw to it that they succumb to the axiom that, “To be Lost in Space and Lost in Time” speaks disaster and destruction for those who go against Mother Earth. They did not survive. They perished while the respectful flourished and prospered. That’s the end of my story. I enjoyed the opportunity to make and use the Paiute Deadfall System. After learning Patience, this skill was easy. Practice was important, but everything before, during, and after the Paiute Deadfall was a pleasure. Enjoy and Prosper, my Brothers.

Patrick McShan e

Digitally signed by Patrick McShane DN: cn=Patrick McShane, o=PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning, ou=Headmaster, email=mcshane.patrick9@ gmail.com, c=US Date: 2009.03.01 18:46:22 -07'00'

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