TRAPPING — MONOPOLIZING TERRITORY
TRAPPING — MONOPOLIZING TERRITORY—Has a man who has trapped a certain country for a few seasons the right to monopolize that country and exclude all others?
If he owns the land, or if he has the land leased, as a matter of law, yes. But no one has a moral right to monopolize hunting, trapping or fishing, anywhere, except it is to stop all hunting, fishing, trapping, including his own so that game, fish and fur may be increased for future sport and profit. Under certain conditions, however, a trapper has a right to his country; in Canada, for example, where cabins are built, lines laid out, and large territory occupied, other trappers recognize his claim year after year. The labor needed to build the cabins, the industry that is shown in the work, must have its, return, and trappers yield the territory, recognizing the economic law that where ore would profit, two would lose. If a man does not build cabins, extend his lines and otherwise give unusual toil, he has no economic claim. Moreover, if it is in a settled or partly settled country, and the woods are free—or not posted lands—no man has a right to stop the trapping, one must not set a trap beside a fellow trapper’s trap; or on the same small brook or pond or woods, but when a man claims everything over country that is as much mine as his, I should trap, too, if I wanted to.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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