This is one of the most ingenious and effective devices used in the art of trapping; and the principle is so simple and universal in its application to traps in general as to become a matter of great value to all who are at all interested in the subject. There is scarcely a trap of any kind which could not be set with the knotted string and bait stick, at the expense of a little thought and ingenuity. The principle is easily understood by a look at our engraving, which probably represents the simplest twitch-up it is possible to construct. A stout wooden peg, having a hole the size of a lead pencil near the top, is driven firmly into the [Page 53] ground. The “knot” is made on the end of the raw-string, and passed through the hole in the peg from behind, being secured in place by the insertion of the bait stick in front. The latter should be about four inches long, and should be inserted very lightly,—merely enough to prevent the knot from slipping back. The noose should be fastened to the draw-string six or seven inches from the knot, and arranged in front of the bait at the opening of the pen, which should be constructed as previously directed. The peg should be about six inches long and the hole should be made with a 1-3 inch auger. Dozens of these pegs may be carried without inconvenience, and utilized in the same number of snares, in a very short time. We have already described the so-called “portable snare;” but, for portability, there is no noose-trap to be compared with the above. We give also a few other applications of the same principle.
[Illustration: Method No. 1]
In the second example, a horizontal stick is used instead of the peg, the hole being made in its centre. Its ends are caught in notches in opposite sticks at the back part of the pen, and the noose arranged at the opening.
[Illustration: Method No. 2]
Again, by a third method (see engraving next page), these notched sticks may be driven into the ground first, and a row of twigs continued on them on both sides, thus leaving a passageway between as represented in the illustration. A noose may then be set at each opening, with the bait in the middle; so that, at whichever side it is approached, the result is the same, besides affording a chance of securing two birds at the same time.
That quails are sociable in their habits, and that they run together in broods in search of their food, is a fact well known [Page 54] to all sportsmen. A most excellent opportunity is thus afforded the hunter to secure several at one shot, and the same advantage may be gained by the trapper by specially arranging for it. For this purpose there is no invention more desirable or effective than the snare we next illustrate; and on account of the companionable habits of the quail, it is just as sure to catch six birds as one. The principle on which the trap works, is the same as in the three foregoing.