Shooting And Poisoning
Categories: CAMPAIGN LIFE IN THE WILDERNESS.
Until the introduction of the steel-trap, shooting was a common
method of taking fur bearing animals, and even to the present day
it is quite prevalent in some localities. Anyone who has had any
experience with the fur trade must have learned that furs which
are shot, are much affected in value. Some furriers will not
purchase such skins at any price; and they never meet with any
but a very low offer. Trapped furs and
hot furs are terms of
considerable significance in the fur trade, and anyone who wishes
to realize from a profitable sale of his furs, should use his gun
as little as possible. A shot grazing through the fur of an animal
cuts the hairs as if with a knife, and a single such furrow is
often enough to spoil a skin. It is these oblique grazing shots
which particularly damage the fur, and an animal killed with a
shot gun is seldom worth skinning for the value of its pelt. If
firearms are used, the rifle is preferable. If the animal chances
to be hit broadside or by a direct penetrating bullet, the two
small holes thus made may not particularly effect the value of its
skin, although even then the chances are rather slight.
Trapped furs are of the greatest value.
The use of poison is objectionable as a means of capture in animals
especially desired for their fur. Strychnine is the substance generally
employed, and unless its victim is skinned immediately after
death the pelt becomes considerably injured by the absorption of
the poison. It has the effect of loosening the fur and the hair
The poison is principally used in the capture of Wolves and animals
considered in the light of vermin. For a wolf or fox, the poison
is mixed with lard or tallow and spread on pieces of meat, or a
small amount of the powder is inclosed in an incision in the bait.
The amount sufficient for a single dose may be easily held on the
point of a knife blade, and death ensues in a a very few moments
after the bait is taken. For a Bear the dose should be a half
thimbleful, and it should be deposited in the centre of a piece
of honey comb, the cells being emptied of their honey for that
Other animals may be taken by proportionate quantities of the poison,
but for general purposes we discourage its use.