HOW TO BAIT THE FOX BEFORE SETTING THE TRAP
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HOW TO BAIT THE FOX BEFORE SETTING THE TRAP

HOW TO BAIT THE FOX BEFORE SETTING THE TRAP




      

HOW TO BAIT THE FOX BEFORE SETTING THE TRAP


HOW TO BAIT THE FOX BEFORE SETTING THE TRAP

Go into the field some distance from the house or barn, and make what you call a bed, three feet in diameter, or thereabout. Wood ashes will do, but hay chaff is best. Oat chaff is good, wheat chaff is better, and buckwheat chaff better still. Make it deep enough to cover the trap, and have some under the trap to keep it off of the ground or snow. Make it smooth and level, and put some beef scraps on it and throw some around it. This will induce the fox to come up to the bed, and after a few trials he will step into it and pick up the scraps, and perhaps turn it bottom side up to see what there is in it. When you have got him coming regularly and taking the bait, wash your trap clean in weak lye, grease it, and rub off all the rust and dirt. Then hold it in the smoke of burning hen's feathers until it is well smoked. Chain it fast to a piece of wood about two feet long, and as big as your arm. Now take the trap, chain, and clog, open a hole in the bed, and bury them neatly in the chaff, having a piece of wood under the trap to keep it steady, and a sheet of paper over it so that the chaff will not prevent its working easily. Cover everything up neatly, and sprinkle the bait as usual upon the bed.

Approach the bed only from one side, stepping always in the same tracks, and leave as little sign as possible that you have been there. If snow has fallen since the fox was last there, take a meal sieve and sift a little snow over the heap and over your own footprints for some distance back from the bed. Now I expect you will catch him, but if he smells the trap and wont come to the bed while it is there, take it out and clean it better, and melt some beeswax, and with a feather smear it all over the trap and chain. Now put it in the bed again, and you will be quite sure of the fox.

The following is the plan of a great Canadian hunter, Mr. Philemon Pennock. He says : — Select a rise of ground in a back field, make a bed of ashes or mould large enough to receive your steel trap level with the surface. Bait with cheese or scraps from lard. When the fox takes the bait, set your trap as follows: turn the springs toward the jaw that holds up the pan of the trap. Put the trap low enough when covered to be level with the surface. Put hay chaff inside of the jaws level with the pan. Then put a paper over the pan reaching to the inside of the jaws. Then cover with ashes or mould, and make the bed look as it did before the trap was set. Bait with cheese or scraps, or fresh meat of any kind.

Another way is to bury the entrails of sheep or other animals in mellow ground, making a little hill over them. Set your trap just at the edge of the hill in the dirt, always using the chaff and paper, and keep your trap clean from rust. Scent with musk or lavender water.

Here is another from an old trapper in the State of Ohio: —First prepare the trap, then hold it in the smoke of burning oat straw until it begins to sweat. Then dry it off with a woolen cloth, and throw it into spring water for one or two hours. After that, dry it off without letting it rust. Make the bed with clover or" buckwheat chaff, making it as hard as possible with the hand, except a hole in the center for the trap, which set in and cover lightly with chaff. After the trap is set, take a feather and sprinkle a little oil of amber very lightly over the bed.

Another common-sense way of catching the fox is to bfiit him as usual, and clean your trap as clean as possible, not only from rust and dirt (these should not be in your trap any way), but of all human scent, such as it would get by handling with your naked hands, or in any way touching your body. This is what the fox becomes cunning about; but a trap washed out in ashes and water, laid by until it is dry, and then handled with a pair of clean gloves, will no more scare a fox than would so much stone covered up. Don't spit about the bed, nor trade about it, and when you have caught a fox, don't handle the trap with your bare hands, and you may catch a dozen without more cleaning.

Thrasher, Halsey. The Hunter and Trapper. New York: Orange Judd and Company, 1808.

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