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The leghold trap is a metal tool used to capture animals. It is made up of a plate, two arched clamps, and a spring. When weight is applied to the plate—in this case an animal’s—the jaws close, trapping the animal. Because of its large size, this trap is used to trap larger animals like bears.

Like firearms, metal traps made it easier to hunt wildlife and contributed to the over-exploitation of animal resources. Many men became coureurs des bois or voyageurs instead of cultivating the land. This situation hindered the settlement’s development and the colony’s economic diversification.


Date: Unknown

Origin: Unknown

Owner: Vieux Moulin—Hydromellerie et miellerie. “Musée de la Neufve-France” private collection. Sainte-Flavie.


Pointe-à-Callière, cité d’archéologie et d’histoire de Montréal. (n.d.). Piège à mâchoire [Foothold trap]. ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://www.archeolab.quebec/recherche/objet/218245

Illustration: Trap