For the capture of woodchucks, muskrats and house-rats, the wire noose may also be adapted to good purpose. Many a woodchuck has been secured by the aid of this simple invention. It is only necessary to arrange the loop in the opening of the burrow, securing the wire to a stout stick, firmly driven into the ground. If properly “set” the animal, on emerging from the burrow, will become entangled, and by his efforts to disengage himself will only tighten the loop and thus render escape impossible. For rats, the noose should be attached to a nail, and the wire similarly arranged over the hole.
The slipping-noose thus simply adapted becomes a most effective trap, and is always sure to hold its victim when once within its grasp, as every struggle only tends to draw the noose tighter. They are quick in their action, and produce death without much pain, and for this reason are to be commended.
Our next example of the snare, we imagine, is one which all our boy-readers will immediately recognize; for it would certainly seem that any country boy who does not know the “Twitch-up” must be far behind the times, and live in a locality where there are no rabbits, quail, or even boys, besides himself, to suggest it. This snare is a universal favorite among nearly all country boys, and our illustration will immediately bring it to mind. Its name, “The Twitch-up,” conveys perfectly its method of working. Our illustration represents the trap as it appears when set. It has many varieties, of which we will select the best. They may be divided into two classes—those with upright nooses, and those in which [Page 44] the noose is spread on the ground, the latter of which are commonly called “ground snares.” We will give our attention first to the “upright” style. These are rather entitled to preference on account of the harmless death which they inflict, invariably catching by the neck. Whereas the ground nooses as frequently lift their prey into the air by their feet, and thus prolong their suffering. Twitch-ups are the most successful and sure of any snares, and that, too, without being complicated. The writer, in his younger days, was quite an expert in trapping, and he can truthfully say that he found more enjoyment and had better success with these than with any other kinds of traps he employed.
They are generally set in thickets or woods where either rabbits or partridges are known to abound. Having arrived at his chosen trapping ground, the young trapper should first select some slender, elastic sapling; that of the hickory is the best, and is generally to be found in open woods—if not, some other kind will answer very well. It should be about five or six feet in length, (trimmed of its branches,) and in diameter need be no larger than an axe-handle or a broom-stick. When this is decided, some spot