[Illustration: Method No. 4]
One of the simplest as well as surest of “Twitch-up” traps forms the subject of our next illustration. Like the foregoing varieties it is of course to be surrounded by its pen, and supplied with a circular opening or arch at one side, in which to hang the noose. It is constructed of three twigs. A simple crotch (a) should be firmly inserted in the ground at [Page 48] the back part of the pen; (b) the bait stick, consists of a straight twig, five or six inches in length, and should be attached to the draw-string at about half an inch from the large end; (c) is another forked stick with unequal arms, the long one being driven into the ground near the opening of the pen and a little to one side, letting the remaining arm point directly towards the crotch-stick at the back of the pen. The noose having been attached to the draw-string, the trap may now be set. Lower the bait stick and pass the large end under the crotch at the back of the pen, catching the baited end underneath the tip of the forked stick near the pen’s opening. Arrange the noose in front of the entrance, and the thing is done. A mere touch on the bait will suffice to throw the pieces asunder. It is an excellent plan to sharpen the point of the forked stick (c) where it comes in contact with the bait stick, in order to make the bearing more slight, and consequently more easily thrown from its balance.
[Illustration: Method No. 5]
Our next example represents one of the oldest and best snares in existence,—simple in construction, and almost infallible in its operations. It is the one in most common use among the poachers of England, hence its name. The pieces are three in number, and may be cut from pine wood, affording easy and profitable employment for the jack-knife during odd hours and rainy days, when time hangs heavily.
The pieces are so simple in form and easy of construction that a sufficient number for fifty traps might be whittled in less than two hours, by any smart boy, who is at all “handy” with his jack-knife.
If a few good broad shingles can be found, the work is even much easier,—mere splitting and notching being then all that is necessary. The bait stick should be about eight inches long, pointed at one end, and supplied with a notch in the other at about half an inch [Page 49] from the tip. The upright stick should be considerably shorter than the bait stick, and have a length of about ten inches, one end being nicely pointed, and the broad side of the other extremity supplied with a notch similar to the bait stick. About four inches from the blunt end, and on the narrow side of the stick, a square notch should be cut, sufficiently large to admit the bait stick loosely. The catch piece now remains. This should be about two and a-half inches in width, and bevelled off at each end into a flat edge. The shapes of the different pieces, together with their setting, will be readily understood by a look at our illustration.