Muskrat trapping tips

Find a log with some recent droppings of the muskrat on it, a notch is cut in the log for the trap, an inch or two under the water. The trap is fastened to a spring pole. If on the land, among weeds and bushes, he will not unfrequently twist off his leg and escape. The traps are also placed in the runs, on bogs and old muskrat houses, and wherever there are recent indications that the muskrats come to feed. Where the game is scarce, the traps are sometimes baited, but otherwise this is not necessary. Carrots, parsnips, apples, potatoes, or a piece of the flesh of muskrat can be used for bait. A stick is stuck in the ground, slanting in such a manner that the end shall be 6 or 8 inches above the treadle of the trap. The bait is stuck on the end of the stick, and in this way, if there are any rats in the vicinity, you are pretty sure to catch them. Sometimes the traps are covered with an inch or two of weeds; and some trappers put a drop or two of the oil, found in the glands of the muskrat, on or near the traps. Equal, if not better than a steel trap, is an old barrel. Sink it near the bank of the ditch, where there are evidences of the presence of the animals, to the level of the ground, and half fill it with water. Put in a couple of shingles, or light strips of board, to float on the water. Place sweet apples or carrots cut in small bits in the runs of the muskrats, and toll them to the barrel. Put several pieces upon the floats, inside. The rats will jump in after their food, and will not be able to get out. Where they are plenty, several muskrats may be taken in a night by this simple trap, it costs nothing but labor, can be visited at one's convenience, and there is plenty of room in it for a dozen or more at once.

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