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 377 pages of information about Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making.
a matter of necessity as well as pleasure and profit.  And unless the trapper thoroughly acquaints himself with the habits of his various game, the sagacity and cunning of his intended victim will often outwit his most shrewd endeavors, much to his chagrin.  The sense of smell, so largely developed in many animals, becomes one of the trappers most serious obstacles, and seems at times to amount almost to positive reason, so perfectly do the creatures baffle the most ingenious attempts of man in his efforts to capture them.  A little insight into the ways of these artful animals, however, and a little experience with their odd tricks soon enables one to cope with them successfully and overcome their whims.  For the benefit of the amateur who has not had the opportunity of studying for himself, the peculiarities of the various game, the author appends a comprehensive chapter on “Practical Natural History,” in which will be found full accounts of the peculiar habits and leading characteristics of all the various animals commonly sought by the trapper, together with detailed directions for trapping each variety, supplemented with a faithful portrait of the animal in nearly every instance.  A careful reading of the above mentioned chapter will do much towards acquainting the novice with the ways of the sly creatures, which he hopes to victimize, and will thus prepare him to contend with them successfully.

In the art of trapping the bait is often entirely dispensed with, the traps being set and carefully concealed in the runways of the various animals.  These by-paths are easily detected by an [Page 149] experienced trapper, and are indicated either by footprints or other evidences of the animal, together with the matted leaves and broken twigs and grasses.

Natural channels, such as hollow logs or crevices between rocks or fallen trees, offer excellent situations for steel traps, and a good trapper is always on the qui vive for such chance advantages, thus often saving much of the time and labor which would otherwise be spent in the building of artificial enclosures, etc.

The most effective baits used in the art of trapping are those which are used to attract the animal through its sense of smell, as distinct from that of its mere appetite for food.  These baits are known in the profession as “medicine,” or scent baits and possess the most remarkable power of attracting the various animals from great distances, and leading them almost irresistibly to any desired spot.  Such is the barks tone or castoreum, of such value in the capture of the beaver, and the oil of anise, so commonly used for the trapping of animals in general.  These various substances will presently be considered under their proper heading.

Many detailed and specific directions on the subject of trapping will be found in the long chapter following; and, in closing our preliminary remarks, we would add just one more word of general caution, which the young trapper should always bear in mind.

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