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.

For skinning the skunk, see Beaver, Otter and Fox.

[Page 199] THE WOLVERINE.

This, one of the most ferocious as well as detestable of American animals, is principally found in British America and the upper portion of the United States.  It has won a world wide reputation for its fierceness and voracity, and on this account is popularly known as the Glutton.  It is not confined to America, but is also found in Siberia and Northern Europe.

[Illustration]

The general appearance of this animal, ugly in disposition as in appearance, is truthfully given in our illustration.  It is not unlike a small bear in looks, and was formerly classed among that genus.

The general color of the wolverine is dark brown.  The muzzle, as far back as the eye-brows, is black, and the immense paws partake of the same hue.  The claws of the animal are [Page 200] long and almost white, forming a singular contrast to the jetty fur of the feet.  So large are the feet of this animal, and so powerful the claws, that a mere look at them will tell the story of their death dealing qualities, a single stroke from one of them often being sufficient for a mortal wound.  Although the wolverine is not as large as the bear, its foot prints in the snow are often mistaken for those of that creature, being nearly of the same size.

The glutton feeds largely on the smaller quadrupeds, and is a most determined foe to the beaver during the summer months; the ice-hardened walls of their houses serving as a perfect protection against his attacks in the winter time.

To the trapper of the north the wolverine is a most detested enemy, following the rounds of the traps and either detaching the baits or tearing away the dead animals which have fallen a prey to them.  The trapper’s entire circuit will be thus followed in a single night, and where the veritable “glutton” does not care to devour its victim it will satisfy its ferocious instinct by scratching it in pieces, leaving the mutilated remains to tell the story of its nocturnal visit.

The wolverine is a dangerous foe to many animals larger than itself, and by the professional hunter it is looked upon as an ugly and dangerous customer.

There are several methods of trapping this horrid creature, and in many localities successful trapping of other animals will be impossible without first ridding the neighborhood of the wolverines.  Dead-falls of large size will be found to work successfully, baiting with the body of some small animal, such as a rat or squirrel.  A piece of cat, beaver or muskrat flesh is also excellent, and by slightly scenting with castoreum success will be made sure.  Several of these traps may be set at intervals, and a trail made by dragging a piece of smoked beaver meat between them.  The gun trap, as described on page 20, will also do good service in exterminating this useless and troublesome animal.

Steel traps of size No. 3 or 4 are commonly used to good purpose.  They may be arranged in any of the various methods already described, the plan of the enclosure, page 143, being particularly desirable.  In all cases the trap should be covered with leaves, moss or the like, and the bait slightly scented with castoreum.  Like all voracious animals, the perpetual greed of the wolverine completely overbalances its caution, and thus renders its capture an easy task.

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