The Sliding Pole
The first impulse with almost every aquatic animal when caught in
a trap, is to plunge headlong into deep water. With the smaller
animals, such as the mink and muskrat, this is all that is desired by
the trapper, as the weight of the trap with the chain is sufficient
to drown its victim. But with larger animals, the beaver and otter
for instance, an additional precaution, in the shape of the sliding
pole, is necessary.
This consists of a pole about ten feet long,
smoothly trimmed of its branches, excepting at the tip, where a
few stubs should be left. Insert this end obliquely into the bed
of the stream, where the water is
deep, and secure the large end to the bank by means of a hooked
stick, as seen in our illustration. The ring of the chain should
be large enough to slide easily down the entire length of the pole.
When the trap is set, the ring should be slipped on the large end
of the pole, and held in place by resting a stick against it. The
animal, when caught, plunges off into deep water, and guided by
the pole, is led to the bottom of the river. The ring slides down
to the bed of the stream, and there holds its victim until drowned.