[Illustration: O]f all the various subjects in the catalogue of sports and pastimes, there is none more sure of arousing the enthusiasm of our American boys generally, than that which forms the title of this book. Traps and Trapping, together with its kindred branches, always have been and always will be subjects of great interest among boys, and particularly so to those who live in the country.
It is a fact to be regretted that we have so few examples of “Boys’ Books” published in this country. There are a few English works of this character, that are very excellent as far as they go, but are nevertheless incomplete and unsatisfactory to the wants of American boys, dwelling largely on sports which are essentially English, and merely touching upon or utterly excluding other topics which are of the utmost interest to boys of this country. In no one of these books, so far as the author of the present volume knows, is the subject of Traps considered to any fair extent, and those examples which are given, represent only the most common and universal varieties already known to the general public.
[Page 4] With these facts in mind, the author has entered with zealous enthusiasm upon the preparation of a work which shall fill this odd and neglected corner in literature, and judging from the reminiscences of his own boyish experiences, he feels certain that in placing such a volume within reach of the public, he supplies a long felt want in the hearts of his boy-friends throughout the land.
Far be it from us in the publication of this volume, to be understood as encouraging the wanton destruction of poor innocent animals. Like all kindred sports, hunting and fishing for example, the sport of Trapping may be perverted and carried to a point where it becomes simple cruelty, as is always the case when pursued for the mere excitement it brings. If the poor victims are to serve no use after their capture, either as food, or in the furnishing of their plumage or skins for useful purposes, the sport becomes heartless cruelty, and we do not wish to be understood as encouraging it under any such circumstances. In its right sense trapping is a delightful, healthful, and legitimate sport, and we commend it to all our boy-readers.
It shall be the object of the author to produce a thoroughly practical volume, presenting as far as possible such examples of the trap kind as any boy, with a moderate degree of ingenuity, could easily construct, and furthermore to illustrate each variety with the utmost plainness, supplemented with the most detailed description.
With the exception of all “clap-trap,” our volume will embrace nearly every known example of the various devices used for the capture of Bird, Beast, or Fowl, in all countries, simplifying such as are impracticable on account of their complicated structure, and modifying others to the peculiar adaptation of the American Trapper.