HUNTING AND TRAPPING IN MINNESOTA
The fur-bearing animals in this part of Northern Minnesota are getting very scarce, there are muskrats, mink, weasel, wolves and an occasional lynx and bobcat. I have only caught a few weasels yet and one bobcat. I caught it only a few rods from our barn in a small piece of woods where it had been feeding from the entrails of a deer. Bobcats are not hard to catch as they will even sometimes walk into an uncovered trap. I set my trap right on top of the entrails and hung a large piece of meat about three feet above the trap and he was fast in my trap next morning. The muskrats are about all gone as I did not get any last fall, there were a few in the lake near by but the lake froze over before the season opened December 1. Then, too, I did not want to start trapping before that time as furs had but little value before. I think that fur-bearing animals will increase a great deal by the season opening December 1 instead of November 15. The season ought to close the first of April as muskrats taken after that time contain young so you see that it would decrease the animals a great deal. This part of Minnesota was a fine place for deer last fall, you could go out into the woods anytime before the season opened and run across deer anywhere.
There were many hunters, too, in season. There was a party that came to stay at our place for the season and so it was my job to take him out and help him get his deer but we had poor luck from the start as they were not used to tramping around in the woods; if one is expected to get a shot at a deer one has to be very careful not to make too much noise as the deer have very good sense of hearing and smell. I have decided to start fur farming next summer. I think I will get a pair of red foxes for a start and see if I can do anything with them. I have planned to make the yard for them about 28 feet wide by 50 feet long with wire netting 72 inches high and 2 feet in the ground, also three feet in hang. I saw in one of the back numbers of the H-T-T a description of the sheds; would they be all right? What do you think would be best to feed them? Has anybody had experience with raising foxes. I would like information on the subject. I believe the climate of Northern Minnesota would be all right for fox raising if one would get stock from some ranch nearby. I am also enclosing picture of a few deer hunters with their game. I was only thirteen years old at that time when I got that deer, which was my first one. I am standing farthest down by the big buck, also, my dog sitting down in the picture.
The other hunters are reading from left to right: Magnus Westerlund, Jonas Westerlund, brothers, E. J. Westerlund, and Alfred Hansen. We have our relatives coming up to our place every summer for their vacation and have a good time for about a month. They would put up their tents down on the shore of some lake where the fishing is good and catch fish for every meal. The fishing is good in the nearby lakes so it would not be very hard to get fish anytime for them. My brother and I used to go to a little lake about four miles from here on our bicycles and catch such as black bass, crappies, muskellunge weighing up to thirty pounds. That lake goes right straight down from the shores, so one could stand on shore and cast if one wanted to. Well, boys, 1 must be going as I guess I am taking up too much room.
Itasca Co., Minn
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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