Trapping the Ermine or Weasel
The weasel and ermine kill indiscriminately for food and pleasure such birds and animals as it can master: chief amongst them are mice, rats, rabbits, ground and chirping squirrels and nearly all birds and fowls, both wild and domestic. Both of these diminutive monsters, in their ceaseless quest for food and to satisfy their individual irresistible craving for blood, dart from one opening into another, whether that be a hollow log, burrow, stone pile or crevice of a rock. Upon exploration, should the abode be unoccupied, the animalís stay is a momentary one, and it will immediately decamp, taking the shortest route to the next opening; if inhabited, a general tumult follows. The weasel and ermine are more beneficial than detrimental in farming communities and should only be killed when continued losses of poultry occur. The animalís favorite hold is upon the neck, and it quenches its insatiable vampire-like thirst by lapping the blood of its victim.
If the animalís capture is desired, it can be accomplished by steel traps placed in their runways, holes, crevices, burrows, etc. In most cases, the animal is taken in traps originally set for mink or marten. The same methods as are applied to mink and marten should be followed in the capture of these two animals. A good place to set the steel trap is in a hollow tree, hollow log, abandoned hole or abode of other animals, and in the front or rear of small openings through which the animal enters. Wire traps can be used advantageously, so can tree traps; the latter can be utilized in various places. Bait is unnecessary when the traps are set in their habitual run-ways; at other places a piece of meat hung over the trap, or a head of a chicken or rabbit, placed within the abode, will answer admirably.
The skins should be handled similarly to mink or marten skins; the fur part can be on the out or inside. A three-piece stretcher is recommended; the skin is very tender, and great care must be exercised in stretching and removing the skin from the stretcher not to tear or burst it. Only white-furred skins should be marketed as the brown skins have no commercial value, but should one of the latter species be captured, it is a useless waste of time to skin the animal and stretch the skin, other than practice.
Traps can be baited with bits of meat, hung over the trap. A good place to set the trap is in a hollow tree, hollow log, abandoned holes or abodes of other animals. Bait should be used.
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