Mr. O. G. Wells, formerly a Minnesota trapper, now located in Canada, writes us as follows: "The best deep water set for otter that I know of, is to take a live crawfish, tie a coarse thread to each arm close to its body but not in the joint. Tie both threads together under its body, and then fasten to pan of trap, permitting the fish to move about, but not to get off the pan. Now take a forked stick or pole, slip spring of trap under fork, let cross bar of trap rest on end of fork; now lower trap to bottom of water and remove the pole. The short chain of the trap should be attached to some object of sufficient weight, either a stone or piece of iron. Wide jaw traps are the best for this purpose, as occasionally the otter is caught by the head.
"Crawfish is the favorite food for otter, raccoon and fish and quite often fish will bother the set and spring the trap. Should you find that fish disturb this set, then make another set, using the same kind of trap and place this near by. This method has been very successful, and I know positively that mink, otter and raccoon frequently visit these sets as I have seen their droppings in the immediate vicinity. When the otter is in search of food he goes to the bottom of the river and moves slowly, keeping a sharp lookout for food. Their movements are sometimes so slow and noiseless, that a school of minnows remains undisturbed. The otter can see everything around him, but while under the water is unable to smell, consequently sets of this kind are not suspicious and here is where the secret of success lies in my deep water set. Bait as used in the above must be kept alive.
"My other method of capturing otter in deep water is as follows: "I choose their playground and place my trap in a convenient location. Upon the pan I place a bright, mirror-like object, either of gold or silver. This glistening object attracts the otter; he will play in the immediate vicinity and will dive for the object and with one of his feet spring the trap and be captured."
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