Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making eBook

William Hamilton Gibson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making.
consists of anything in any way eatable.  Snails, worms, rats, mice and moles, seem to have a particular attraction for him; and he seems to take especial delight in unearthing the stores of the wild bees, devouring honey, wax and grubs together, and caring as little for the stings of the [Page 176] angry bees as he would of the bills of so many mosquitoes, the thick coating of fur forming a perfect protection against his winged antagonists.  The badger is very susceptible to human influence, and can be effectually tamed with but little trouble.  Although his general appearance would not indicate it, he is a sly and cunning animal, and not easily captured in a trap of any kind.  He has been known to set at defiance all the traps that were set for him, and to devour the baits without suffering for his audacity.  He will sometimes overturn a trap and spring it from the under side, before attempting to remove the bait.  Although not quite as crafty as the fox, it is necessary to use much of the same caution in trapping the badger, as a bare trap seldom wins more than a look of contempt from the wary animal.

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The usual mode of catching the creature is to set the trap size No. 3 at the mouth of its burrow, carefully covering it with loose earth and securing it by a chain to a stake.  Any of the methods used in trapping the fox will also be found to work admirably.  The dead-fall or garrote will also do good service.  Bait with a rat, mouse, or with whatever else the animal is especially fond, and scent with Oil of Anise or Musk.  In early spring, while the ground is still hard, badgers are easily captured by flooding their burrows.  After being satisfied that the animal is in its hole, proceed to pour in pailful after pailful of water at the entrance. [Page 177] He will not long be able to stand this sort of thing, and he may be secured as he makes his exit at the opening of the burrow.

The skin should be removed whole, as in the case of the fox, or as described for the beaver, and stretched as therein indicated.

THE BEAVER.

The Beaver of North America has now a world-wide reputation for its wonderful instinct and sagacity.  The general appearance of this animal is that of a very large muskrat with a broad flattened tail, and the habits of both these animals are in many respects alike.  The beaver is an amphibious creature and social in its habits of living, large numbers congregating together and forming little villages, and erecting their dome-like huts like little Esquimaux.  The muskrat has this same propensity, but the habitation of the beaver is on a much more extensive scale.  These huts or “Beaver lodges,” are generally made in rivers and brooks; although sometimes in lakes or large ponds.  They are chiefly composed of branches, moss, grass and mud, and are large enough to accommodate a family of five or six.  The form of the “lodges”

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Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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