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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.
on each side, directly on a line with the sides of the enclosure.  Another log, or tree trunk, of the same diameter, and about fifteen or twenty feet in length, should next be procured.  Having this in readiness, we will now proceed to the construction of the other pieces.  In order to understand the arrangement of these, we present a separate drawing of the parts as they appear when the trap is set. (a), An upright post, is supplied at the upper end with a notch, having its flat face on the lower side.  This post should be driven into the ground in the left hand back corner of the pen, and should be three feet or more in height.  Another post (b) of similar dimensions, is provided with a notch at its upper end, the notch being reversed, i. e., having its flat side uppermost.  This post should be set in the ground, outside of the pen, on the right hand side and on a line with the first.  A third post (c), is provided with a crotch on its upper end.  This should be planted outside of the pen on the right hand side, and on a line with the front.  The treadle piece consists of a forked branch, about three feet [Page 19] in length, supplied with a square board secured across its ends.  At the junction of the forks, an augur hole is bored, into which a stiff stick about three feet in length is inserted.  This is shown at (h).  Two poles, (d) and (e), should next be procured, each about four feet in length.  These complete the number of pieces, and the trap may then be set.  Pass the pole (d) between the stakes of the pen, laying one end in the notch in the post (a), and holding the other beneath the notch in the upright (b).  The second pole (e) should then be adjusted, one end being placed in the crotch post (c), and the other caught beneath the projecting end of the pole (d), as is fully illustrated in the engraving.  The dead-log should then be rested on the front extremity of the pole last adjusted, thus effecting an equilibrium.


The treadle-piece should now be placed in position over a short stick of wood (f), with its platform raised in front, and the upright stick at the back secured beneath the edge of the latch pole (d).

The best bait consists of honey, for which Bears have a remarkable fondness.  It may be placed on the ground at the back part of the enclosure, or smeared on a piece of meat hung at the end of the pen.  The dead-log should now be weighted by resting heavy timbers against its elevated end, as seen in the main drawing, after which the machine is ready for its deadly work.

A Bear will never hesitate to risk his life where a feast of honey is in view, and the odd arrangement of timbers has no fears for him after that tempting bait has once been discovered.  Passing beneath the suspended log, his heavy paw encounters the broad board on the treadle-piece, which immediately sinks with his weight.  The upright pole at the back of the treadle is thus raised, forcing the latch-piece from the notch:  this in turn sets free the side pole, and the heavy log is released falling with a crushing weight over the back of hapless Bruin.

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