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Shooting And Poisoning


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

sheds easily.

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.