A hundred of these pieces will make a small bundle, and may be easily carried by the young trapper, together with his other necessaries, as he starts off into the woods. He will thus be supplied with parts for thirty-three traps, all ready to be set, only requiring the stakes for the pens, which may be easily cut in the woods. Having selected a flexible sapling about five feet in length, and having stripped it of its branches, proceed to adjust the pieces. Take one of the upright sticks, and insert it firmly in the ground, with its upper notch facing the sapling, and at about four feet distant from it. Bend down the “springer,” and by its force determine the required length for the draw-string attaching one end to the tip of the sapling, and the other near the end of a catch piece, the latter having its bevelled side uppermost. The wire noose should then be attached to the draw-string about six inches above the catch-piece. The pen should now be constructed as previously directed. Its entrance should be on the side furthest from the springer, and should be so built as that the peg in the ground shall be at the back part of the enclosure. The pen being finished, the trap may be set.
Insert the bait stick with bait attached into the square notch in the side of the upright peg; or, if desired, it may be adjusted by a pivot or nail through both sticks, as seen in our illustration, always letting the baited end project toward the [Page 50] opening. Draw down the catch piece, and fit its ends into the notches in the back of the upright peg and extremity of the bait-stick. By now pulling the latter slightly, and gently withdrawing the hand, the pieces will hold themselves together, only awaiting a lift at the bait to dislodge them. Adjust the wire loop at the opening of the pen, and you may leave the trap with the utmost confidence in its ability to take care of itself, and any unlucky intruder who tries to steal its property.
Most of the snares which we shall describe are constructed from rough twigs, as these are always to be found in the woods, and with a little practice are easily cut and shaped into the desired forms. If desired, however, many of them may be whittled from pine wood like the foregoing, and the pieces carried in a bundle, ready for immediate use. In either case, whether made from the rough twigs or seasoned wood, it is a good plan to have them already prepared, and thus save time at the trapping ground when time is more valuable.
THE PORTABLE SNARE.
This is simply a modification of the snare just described, but possesses decided advantages over it in many respects. In the first place, it requires little or no protection in the shape of an enclosure. It can be set in trees or in swamps, or in short in any place where an upright elastic branch can be found or adjusted. Like the foregoing, it is to be commended for its portability, fifty or sixty of the pieces making but a small parcel, and furnishing material for a score of traps. We call it the “portable snare” partly in order to distinguish it from the one just described, but chiefly because this particular variety is generally called by that name in countries where it is most used.