The Seventh of Chapters_
Double and Web Jaw Traps_
No trapper should go into the woods without providing himself with an outfit of traps to meet any of the varying emergencies that are likely arise. For instance, along a deep stream it is generally easy to arrange a common trap so that by drowning the animal it will answer every purpose, but in a very small or shallow stream this is sometimes a difficult thing to accomplish. In such a case if the trapper has provided himself with a Webbed or Double Jawed Trap his chances of finding the game awaiting him on his return will be greatly increased.
For a dry land set, especially on skunk, the Double Jaw will be found very effective. The fact that it catches very high up and also entirely prevents self-amputation is greatly in its favor.
For foxes, which are often taken by the dry land method, the Double Jawed of a size corresponding to the regular No. 1 1/2 is getting to be a very popular trap.
So, as we said before, each trapper, tho relying mainly on the old and well tried lines, should provide himself with a few of these odd styles and thus add greatly to his versatility of resources, that he may compete successfully with the ever increasing cunning of the many four-footed fur bearers of stream and forest.
Trappers for years have contended that certain animals would gnaw out of traps, especially where the bone was broken by the jaws and the flesh had become numb from the pressure or from cold.
It is known that skunks especially will gnaw at that portion of the foot or leg below jaws of trap. Where trappers have a long line of traps and cannot visit them every day they thus lose a number of animals.
The Webbed and Double Jaw prevent the gnawing out from the fact that the animal can only gnaw to the lower jaw or web and is not able to get at the flesh between the jaws or under the web.
Another animal that these traps are especially adapted for is the muskrat. This animal's legs especially the front ones, are very tender (both bone and flesh). A trap that breaks the bone, (unless the animal is soon drowned) may escape by the flesh of the leg twisting off in its endeavors to get free. Muskrats do not gnaw off their feet as some suppose.
This, the Webbed Jaw, known as No. 81 has spread of Jaws of four inches. This is one of the Newhouse makes and corresponds in size to the regular No. 1 Newhouse.
If trappers will observe the cross section of the jaws, as illustrated at the left, it is plain the animal can only gnaw off its leg at a point quite a distance below the meeting edges of the jaws. The flesh above the jaws as well as below will swell making it impossible for the animal to pull the leg stump out of the trap.
This, the Double Jaw, is manufactured in two sizes; namely, 91 with spread of jaws of 5 1/4 inches; No. 91 1/2 with spread of jaws of 6 1/4 inches. The No. 91 correspondent in size to the regular No. 1 Newhouse, while the No. 91 1/2 corresponds to the regular No. 1 1/2 Newhouse with the exception of the jaws.
The Double Jaw traps are so constructed that they catch the animal high up on the leg. It is no uncommon occurrence for the trapper to find mink and other small animals dead when caught in this trap by the fore foot. It is supposed that the circulation of blood thus retarded stops the action of the heart.
These traps are set the same as other steel traps, and directions given elsewhere apply to these as well.
While the Webbed and Double Jaw traps were little known prior to 1905, trappers have been quick to see the advantage derived from using them. The Double Jaw has taken even better than the Webbed Jaw.
The manufacturers had expected skunk trappers largely to be the buyers and this would include roughly speaking the section east of the Rocky Mountains, south of Manitoba and Quebec and north of the States bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. But the demand sprung up from all parts of America. This shows that trappers are finding these traps good ones for other animals than skunks and muskrats for which they were especially designed.
The fact that trappers found out about these traps so quickly is due largely to that up-to-date trappers' magazine — Hunter-Trader-Trapper, published at Columbus, Ohio, and which reaches trappers in all parts of America. The Oneida Community, Ltd., Oneida, N. Y., manufacturers of these traps were and are liberal users of advertising space in the Hunter-Trader-Trapper to let trappers know of improvements in the trap line that are of value to them.
If you have never tried any of the No. 81, which is the Webbed Jaw, or Nos. 91 or 91 1/2, the Double Jaw, we feel sure that you are not familiar with traps that will increase your catch. We believe that all trappers should have at least a few of these traps.
The Eighth of Chapters_
Victor and Hawley & Norton Traps_
In the Victor is a good trap considering the cheap price at which it is sold and as the manufacturers say: "Is the most popular trap in the world."
While professional trappers use largely the Newhouse, yet in thickly settled sections and where trappers are constantly bothered by trap "lifters," the Victor is much used. While the trap is sold at a very low price, yet it is the best trap manufactured in the regular or long spring trap, with the exception of Newhouse, or H. & N.
The Victor is manufactured in six sizes and each is adapted to the following use: No. 0, rat or gopher; No. 1, muskrat; No. 1 1/2, mink; No. 2, fox; No. 3, otter; No. 4, beaver. The Nos. 0, 1 and 1 1/2 are single spring; Nos. 2, 3 and 4, double. The illustration showing No. 1 represents also Nos. 0 and 1 1/2 as they are different only in size. The illustration showing No. 4 represents Nos. 2 and 3 also as they are different only in size.
These traps are not so strong in any part as the Newhouse and trappers should bear this in mind when setting for the various animals.
The No. 1 1/2 known as the mink trap is also a splendid muskrat trap, having greater spread of jaws than the No. 1 and being heavier than the No. 1 is just right to catch and drown rats.
The Nos. 2, 3 and 4 are all double spring and made for fox, otter and beaver and while trappers catch large numbers of these animals in Victor traps, yet the more experienced ones prefer the Newhouse traps even at the advanced price.
The Victor is used largely for taking the smaller fur bearers. It is sold in large quantities in all parts of the United States and Canada.
The Hawley & Norton is made only in six sizes: Nos. 0, 1 and 1 1/2 single spring; Nos. 2, 3, and 4, double spring.
A lighter grade of stock is used in manufacturing these traps so that they can be made somewhat cheaper than the Newhouse and altho not as strong, they are a good reliable trap.
The Ninth of Chapters_
While the Jump Trap has been in use in the Eastern part of the United States for upwards of fifty years, principally in the New England and Sea Coast States, the use of these traps in all parts of the country did not become general until a few years ago.
The trap derives its name "Jump" from the fact that the spring is so arranged that when the trap is touched off or sprung by an animal or otherwise, it "Jumps", thus catching the animal high up on the leg. Trappers that have not used these traps express doubts of their "Jumping" and catching high on the animal's leg, but hundreds of letters received by the manufacturers from trappers and also published in the Hunter-Trader-Trapper prove that they do "Jump."
The manufacturers claim these points in their favor. They are somewhat lighter than the regular form of double spring traps and the trapper going far into the woods can carry a greater number; they set much flatter; can be set in smaller space; springs are out of the way as no spring extends beyond the jaws; pans are large so that no animal can step between the jaws without springing the trap. The traps are set much the same as other steel traps.
The B. & L. trap is manufactured in six sizes, viz; Nos. 0, 1 and 2, single spring; Nos. 2 1/2, 3 and 4 double spring.
Some years ago the Oneida Community, Ltd., Oneida, N. Y., began manufacturing a "Jump" trap which is known as the "Oneida Jump". This trap has a new style of jaws. The old style was made of thin steel whereas these have full, wide-faced jaws, so that the chances of breaking the bone in the leg are lessened.
This trap has a chain attachment, fastening at the end of the jaw opposite the spring, so that when the animal is caught and struggles to get free the foot is only gripped the tighter. The trapper, however, can fasten the chain on the end of the crossbar, opposite dog, as there is a hole drilled there for that purpose.
The "Oneida Jump" is manufactured in nine sizes. This illustration shows a No. 1. It is a single spring as are also No. 0 and 2; the other sizes have double springs.
These sizes, No. 0 to No. 4, are adapted to catching the various animals with the exception of timber wolves and bears, altho the larger sizes are used for taking the coyote and small wolf.
The sizes adapted for the various animals are: No. 0, rat and gopher; No. 1, muskrat; No. 2, mink; No. 2 1/2, coon or skunk; No. 12 1/2, same as 2 1/2, with teeth; No. 3, fox or otter; No. 13, same as No. 3, with teeth; No. 4, otter or wild cat; No. 14, same as No. 4, with teeth.
The No. 2 is a splendid mink trap from the fact that it takes little room and can be set in many places where the end spring cannot be placed to advantage. The No. 2 for mink and the No. 2 1/2 for coon are much used at log sets as they lie so flat that but little cutting is required.
The No. 2 is also coming into use as a marten trap especially for log and notched tree sets.
The arrangement of the springs is such that the ends only extend about an inch beyond the jaws so that the double spring sizes even, do not take nearly as much room to set as the regular or end spring trap.
It makes no difference what kind of a set is to be made — water, land or snow, the fact that this make of trap takes but little room and lies very flat, should not be lost sight of. This sometimes is quite an advantage.
The most successful trappers are those who use some of the various styles of traps for there are certain sets where each can be used to the best advantage.
The "Jump Traps" are moderate priced and being light and strong for their size, trappers are taking to them, finding that for certain sets they have no equal. No trapper should start out for the season without some "Jumps."