[Page 151] MUSK.
This substance is a secretion obtained from several different animals, notably the otter and muskrat. The glands which contain it are located similarly to the castor glands of the beaver, and the musk should be discharged into a vial, as previously described. The musk of the female muskrat is said to be the most powerful, and is chiefly used by trappers in the capture of that animal, the otter being chiefly attracted by its own musk.
This foul smelling production seems to have a specially attractive fragrance to many animals, and for general use is much esteemed by trappers. It is a vegetable drug from Persia and the East Indies, and is imported in the form of concrete juice, of a brown color.
This is a vegetable oil obtained from a species of rose, and is quite costly. Its power of attracting animals is surprising, and it is in very common use among trappers.
This is especially useful in the capture of the majority of the fur tribe, and particularly the water animals.
The oil may be bought ready for use, or prepared with little trouble. The common method consists in cutting up fish of any kind, especially eels, into small bits, putting them in a bottle, and setting the latter in the full exposure to the sun. It should thus be left for about two weeks, at the end of which time a rancid oil will have formed. A few drops of this oil will entice many animals from surprising distances, often drawing their attention to a bait which otherwise they might never have scented.
This, the ne plus ultra, or quintessence of diabolical stench, yields the tempting savor which irresistibly attracts many animals to their final doom. It is contained in a pouch beneath the insertion of the tail of the animal, and is spread abroad by the [Page 152] creature with lavish extravagance when circumstances demand, or we might say when occasion permits. It may be taken from the animal and bottled as already described in other instances, chloride of lime being used to eradicate the stench from the hands.
This substance is frequently referred to in the following pages, and is a vegetable product of the amber gum of commerce. The Oil of Ambergris is also sometimes used by trappers, and is likewise known as Amber Oil. The two are thus often confounded, although the former is supposed to be most generally used.
This is strongly recommended by many trappers as a most excellent “universal medicine.” It is a vegetable product, and is obtainable at any drug store.