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 313 pages of information about Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making.
or wood ashes.  Let the bed be three feet in diameter, and an inch and a half in depth.  To insure success it is the best plan to bait the bed itself for several days with scraps of beef or cheese strewn upon, and near it.  If the fox once visits the place, discovers the tempting morsels and enjoys a good meal unmolested, he will be sure to revisit the spot so long as he finds a “free lunch” awaiting him.  When he is found to come regularly and take the bait, he is as good as caught, provided our instructions are carefully followed.  Take the trap, previously prepared as already described, chain it securely to a small log of wood about two feet long.  Dig a hole in the earth in the centre of the bed, large enough to receive the trap, with its log, and chain.  Set the traps, supporting the pan by pushing some of the chaff beneath it.  Now lay a piece of paper over the pan and sprinkle the chaff over it evenly and smoothly, until every trace of the trap and its appendages is obliterated.  Endeavor to make the bed look as it has previously done, and bait it with the same materials.  Avoid treading much about the bed and step in the same tracks as far as possible.  Touch nothing with the naked hands.  Cover up all the footprints as much as possible, and leave the trap to take care of itself and any intruder.  If our directions have been accurately followed, and due care has been exercised on the part of the young trapper, there is every probability that the next morning will reward him with his fox.  But if a day or two elapse without success, it is well to resort to the “scent baits” described on page 149.  Take the trap out of the bed, and with a feather smear it with melted beeswax, or rub it with a little Oil of Rhodium, Assafoetida, or Musk.  Oil of Amber, and Lavender water are also used for the same [Page 157] purpose by many professional trappers.  These are not always necessary but are often used as a last resort, and will most always insure success.

Another method of baiting is shown in our page illustration opposite, and consists in suspending the bait by a stick in such a position that the fox will be obliged to step upon the trap in order to reach it.  The bed should be baited in this way several times before the trap is set.  This method is very commonly employed.

Another still, is to bury the dead body of a rabbit or bird in loose earth, covering the whole with chaff.  Sprinkle a few drops of Musk, or Oil of Amber over the bed.  After the fox has taken the bait, the place should be rebaited and the trap inserted in the mound and covered with the chaff, being scented as before.

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