[Page 110] THE SELF SETTING TRAP.
One of the oldest known principles ever embodied in the form of a trap is that which forms the subject of the accompanying illustration. It is very simple in construction, sure in its action; and as its name implies, resets itself after each intruder has been captured.
It is well adapted for Rabbits and Coons and when made on a small scale, may be successfully employed in taking rats and mice. It is also extensively used in the capture of the Mink and Muskrat, being set beneath the water, near the haunts of the animals and weighted by a large stone. Of course the size of the box will be governed by the dimensions of the game for which it is to be set. Its general proportions should resemble those of the illustration, both ends being open. A small gate, consisting of a square piece of wood supplied with a few stiff wires is then pivoted inside each opening, so as to work freely and fall easily when raised. The bait is fastened inside at the centre of the box. The animal, in quest of the bait, finds an easy entrance, as the wires lift at a slight pressure, but the exit after the gate has closed is so difficult that escape is almost beyond the question.
The wires should be so stiff as to preclude the possibility of them being bent by struggles of the imprisoned creature in his [Page 111] efforts to escape, and to insure further strength it is advisable to connect the lower ends of the wires by a cross piece of finer wire, twisted about each.
The simultaneous capture of two rabbits in a trap of this kind is a common occurrence.
In strolling through the woods and on the banks of streams in the country, it is not an uncommon thing to stumble against a contrivance resembling in general appearance our next illustration. Throughout New England, the “dead-fall,” as this is called, has always been a most popular favorite among trappers, young and old; and there is really no better rough and ready trap for large game. To entrap a fox by any device is no easy matter; but the writer remembers one case where Reynard was outwitted, and the heavy log of the “dead-fall” put a