Like the dead-fall, the bait stick should point toward the side of the pen, as the turning involved in pulling it toward the front is positively sure to slip it loose from its catches. Be careful to see that the loop is nicely arranged between the arches, and that the top of the pen is covered with a few twigs. If these directions are carefully followed, and if the young trapper has selected a good trapping ground, it will not be a matter of many days before he will discover the upper portion of the arches occupied by some rabbit, muskrat, or other unlucky creature, either standing on its hind legs, or lifted clean off the ground. Coons are frequently secured by this trap, although, as a general thing, they don’t show much enthusiasm over traps of any kind, and seem to prefer to get their food elsewhere, rather than take it off the end of a bait stick.
This most excellent and unique machine is an invention of the author’s, and possesses great advantages, both on account of its durability and of the speedy death which it inflicts.
Procure a board about two feet in length, by five or six in width, and commencing at about nine inches from one end, cut a hole four or more inches square. This may readily be done with a narrow saw, by first boring a series of gimlet holes in which to insert it. There will now be nine inches of board on one side of the hole and eleven on the other. The shorter end constituting the top of the trap. On the upper edge of the hole [Page 117] a row of stout tin teeth should be firmly tacked, as seen in the illustration. On the other side of the cavity, and three inches from it a small auger hole (the size of a lead pencil), should be bored. After which it should be sand-papered and polished on the interior, by rubbing with some smooth, hard tool, inserted inside. A round plug of wood should next be prepared. Let it be about half an inch in length, being afterwards bevelled nearly the whole length of one side, as shown at (b), leaving a little over an eighth of an inch of the wood unwhittled. This little piece of wood is the most important part, of the trap, and should be made very carefully. The remaining end of the board below the auger hole should now be whittled off to a point, in order that it may be driven into the ground. The next requisites consist of two pieces of wood, which are seen at the sides of