Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making eBook

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.

This is the variety of snare which has been in very common use for ages, and has always been the one solitary example of a noose trap which our “boys’ books” have invariably pounced upon for illustration.  For the capture of small birds it works very nicely; and as without it our list of traps would be incomplete, we will give an illustration of it as it appears when [Page 59] set and ready for its work.  In constructing the affair it is first necessary to cut a flexible twig of willow or bramble about eighteen inches in length, and form it into a loop as seen at (a), securing the tips by a few circuits of string, and allowing the larger end to project an inch or more beyond the other.  This loop, which is called the “spreader,” should now be laid down flat; and on the upper side of the large end and about an inch from its tip, a notch should be cut as our illustration shows.  The spring should next be procured, and should consist of a pliant, elastic switch, about four feet in length.  A piece of fish line about two feet long, should now be fastened to the tip of the switch, and the loose end of the cord attached to a catch piece of the shape shown at (b).  This catch may be about an inch and a half long, and should be whittled off to an edge on one end, the string being attached at about its centre.  A slipping noose, made from strong horse hair, or piece of fine wire about two feet long, should now be fastened to the string about two inches above the catch.  Having the switch thus prepared, it is ready to be inserted in the ground at the place selected for the trap.  When this is done, another small flexible twig about a foot in length should cut, and being sharpened at both ends, should be inserted in the ground in the form of an arch (c), at about three feet distant from the spring, and having its broad side toward it.  Insert the notch of the spreader exactly under the top of the arc, and note the spot where the curved end of the former touches the ground.  At this point a peg (d) should be driven leaving a projecting portion of about two inches.  The [Page 60] pieces are now ready to be adjusted.  Pass the curved end of the spreader over the peg, bringing the notched end beneath the arc with the notch uppermost.  Draw down the catch piece, and pass it beneath the arc from the opposite side letting the bevelled end catch in the notch in the spreader, the other end resting against the upper part of the arc.  Arrange the slipping noose over the spreader as our drawing indicates, bringing it inside the peg, as there shown, as otherwise it would catch upon it when the snare is sprung.  Strew the bait, consisting of berries, bird-seed, or the like, inside the spreader, and all is ready.  Presently a little bird is seen to settle on the ground in the neighborhood of the trap; he spies the bait and hopping towards it, gradually makes bold enough to alight upon the spreader, which by his weight immediately falls, the catch is released, the switch flies up, and the unlucky bird dangles in the air by the legs.  If the trapper is near he can easily release the struggling creature before it is at all injured, otherwise it will flutter itself into a speedy death.

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Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.