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 377 pages of information about Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making.


Squirrels, although resembling each other much as regards [Page 213] their general habits, differ considerably in the size and color of the different species.

The principal varieties found on our continent are:—­

The large grey squirrel, which is common in the Eastern and Middle States, and which is about two feet in length, including the tail.  The common red squirrel, or chicaree, smaller than the foregoing, and found more or less all through the United States.  The black squirrel, which is about the size of the grey, and found in the north-eastern part of the United States, near the great lakes.  In the Southern States there is a variety known as the fox squirrel, about the size of the red squirrel, and quite variable in color.  The Middle States furnishes a species called the cat squirrel, rather smaller than the preceding.  Its tail is very broad, and its color varies from very light to very dark grey.

The ground squirrel, or chipmuck, with its prettily striped sides, is common to most of our readers, its general color being red and the stripes being black and white.

Another burrowing species, known as the Oregon or downy squirrel, is found in the Territory from which it takes its name, and also northward in British America.  In size it resembles the chipmuck, and its color is light red above, pure white beneath, and silver grey at the sides.

The beautiful silky variety, known as the flying squirrel, with its grey chinchilla-like fur and loose skin, is found throughout the United States east of the Mississippi.

Louisiana and Texas furnish the golden-bellied squirrel, which is about twenty inches in length, with tail golden yellow beneath, and golden grey above.  The sooty squirrel is also found in this locality, being about the same size as the last mentioned, and black above and brownish red beneath.

There are other varieties in California known as the woolly, soft-haired, and weasel squirrels; and in the Western States we find the large red-tailed squirrels, which are about the size of the large grey variety of the Eastern and Middle States.

Squirrels, as a tribe, are much sought for as pets, and most of the species are easily tamed.

Box traps of various kinds are used in taking them alive.  The varieties on pages 103, 106 and 110 are especially adapted for this purpose, and should be set either in the trees or on the ground, and baited with an apple, a portion of an ear of corn, or of whatever the animal is particularly fond.

When the animals exist in such numbers as to become a destructive [Page 214] nuisance to the farm, the small-sized steel trap, No. 0, arranged with bait hung above it, will work to good advantage.  Twitch-ups are also successful, and we might also recommend the traps on pages 107, 116 and 128 as worthy of trial when the animal is not desired to be captured alive.

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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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