This plant is commonly cultivated all over the United States, and the seeds are often powdered and used as a scent bait. The Oil of Fennel is preferable, however, and may be had at almost any drug store.
This is another plant, somewhat resembling the former, and, like it, cultivated for its seeds. It has an aromatic taste, and its strong pungent odor renders it of great value to the trapper. The seeds may be powdered and thus used, or the oil of the plant may be easily procured. The latter is preferable.
Like the two foregoing this plant is valuable for its seeds, which are used for medicinal purposes. The oil or bruised seeds may be used.
This is another aromatic plant, the oil of which, either pure or diluted with alcohol, is much used in the trapper’s art.
[Page 153] COMPOUND.
For ordinary use, a mixture of Assafoetida, Musk, Oil of Anise, and Fish Oil, together with a few drops of the Oil of Rhodium, is especially recommended by our most skilled trappers. This preparation contains the various substances which are known to attract the different fur bearing animals, and its use often insures success where anyone of the simple substances would be ineffectual.
The object of the “trail” consists in offering a leading scent which, when followed, will bring the animal to the various traps, and when properly made will be the means of drawing large numbers of game from all quarters and from great distances, whereas without it the traps might remain undiscovered.
Trails are sometimes made to connect a line of traps, as when set along the banks of streams for mink, etc., at other times, as in trapping the fox, for instance, they should extend from the trap on all sides, like the spokes of a wheel from the hub, thus covering considerable area, and rendering success more certain than it would be without this precaution.
The combination “medicine” just described is excellent for the purposes of a trail for minks, otter, muskrat, and many other animals.
Soak a piece of meat, or piece of wood in the preparation, and drag it along the ground between the traps. A dead fish smeared with the fluid will also answer the same purpose. The soles of the boots may also be smeared with the “medicine” and the trail thus accomplished. Trails of various kinds are considered under their respective and appropriate heads in the chapters on animals, all of which will be found useful and effective.
In the following pages will be found full and ample directions for the trapping of all our leading game, together with detailed descriptions of peculiar habits of each species. The various articles contain careful descriptions, whereby the species may be readily recognized, and, in nearly every case, are accompanied by faithful illustrations. We add also valuable directions for the best manner of removing the skin of each animal, this being a matter of considerable importance, as affecting their pecuniary value.