Requisites Of A Good Steel Trap
Categories: STEEL TRAPS AND THE ART OF TRAPPING.
1. The jaws should not be too thin nor sharp cornered. In the
cheaper class of steel traps the jaws approach to the thinness
of sheet-iron, and the result is that the thin edges often sever
the leg of their would-be captive in a single stroke. At other
times the leg is so deeply cut as to easily enable the animal to
gnaw or twist it off. This is the common mode of escape, with many
The pan should not be too large. This is a very common fault
with many steel traps and often defeats its very object. Where the
pan is small, the foot of the animal in pressing it, will be directly
in the centre of the snap of the jaw, and he is thus firmly secured
far up on the leg. On the other hand, a large pan nearly filling
the space between the jaws as the trap is set, may be sprung by a
touch on its extreme edge, and the animal's toe is thus likely to
get slightly pinched, if indeed the paw is not thrown off altogether
by the forcible snap of the jaw.
3. The springs should be strong, scientifically tempered, and
proportioned. The strength of a perfectly tempered spring will
always remain the same, whether in winter or summer, never losing
its elasticity. The best of tempering, however, is useless in a
spring badly formed or clumsily tapered.
4. The jaws should be so curved as to give the bow of the spring
a proper sweep to work upon. The jaws should lie flat when open,
and should always work easily on their hinges.
5. Every trap should be furnished with a strong chain with ring and
swivel attached, and in every case the swivel should turn easily.
The celebrated Newhouse Trap embodies all the above requisites,
and has deservedly won a reputation for excellence second to no
other in this or any other country.
They are made in eight sizes, as follows:
This is the smallest size and is known as the RAT TRAP. It has a
single spring, and the jaws spread three and a half inches when
This size is called the MUSKRAT TRAP, and the jaws spread four
inches. It is especially designed for the capture of the mink, marten,
and animals of similar size.
This is known in the trade as the MINK TRAP, and the jaws spread
nearly five inches. It is adapted for the fox, raccoon, or fisher.
This size is called the FOX TRAP. The spread of the jaws is the
same as in the foregoing, but the trap is provided with two springs,
and consequently has double the power. It is strong enough for
the otter, and is generally used for the capture of the fox and
No.3 goes by the name of the OTTER TRAP. The jaws spread five and
a half inches, and the powerful double springs do excellent service
in the capture of the beaver, fox, badger, opossum, wild cat, and
animals of like size.
Commonly called the BEAVER TRAP. Jaws spread six and a half inches.
This size is especially adapted to the wolf, lynx or wolverine. It
may also be set for deer, and extra sets of jaws are made expressly
for this purpose, being easily inserted in the place of the ordinary
jaws, when desired.
This is known as the GREAT BEAR TAMER, and is a most formidable
weapon. The jaws spread sixteen inches, and the weight of the machine
is forty-two pounds. It is extensively used in the capture of the
moose and grizzly bear, and is the largest and most powerful steel
trap made in this or any other country. The springs possess most
tremendous power, and require to be set by a lever, as the weight
of an ordinary man has not the slightest effect upon them. This
lever may be easily applied, as follows: Have at hand four stout
straps, supplied with buckles. These should always be carried by
the trapper, where the larger double-spring traps are used. To
adjust the lever, cut four heavy sticks about three feet long.
Take two of them and secure their ends together, side by side,
with one of the straps. Now insert the spring of the trap between
them, near the strap. Bear down heavily on the other extremity of
the lever, and the spring will be found to yield easily, after
which the remaining ends of the levers should be secured by a second
strap. The other spring should now be treated in the same way,
after which the jaws should be spread and the pan adjusted. The
removal of the straps and levers is now an easy matter, after which
the trap is set. The stoutest spring is easily made to yield by such
The SMALL BEAR TRAP. The jaws of this size spread nearly a foot,
and the weight of the trap is seventeen pounds. It is used in the
capture of the black bear, puma, and animals of similar size.
All of the foregoing are supplied with swivels and chains.