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The Badger


The American Badger is mostly confined to the Northwestern parts

of the United States, and it is a curious little animal. In size

its body is slightly smaller than the fox. Its general color is

grey, approaching to black on the head and legs. There is a white

streak extending from the tip of the animal's long nose over the

top of the head and fading off near the shoulders. The cheeks are

also white, and a broad and def
nitely marked black line extends

from the snout back around the eyes ending at the neck. The grey

of this animal is produced from the mixture of the varied tints

of its fur, each hair presenting a succession of shades. At the

root it is of a deep grey; this fades into a tawny yellow, and

is followed by a black, the hair being finally tipped with white.

The fur is much used in the manufacture of fine paint brushes, a

good Badger blender being a most useful accessory in the painter's

art. The badger is slow and clumsy in its actions, except when

engaged in digging, his capacities in this direction being so great

as to enable him to sink himself into the ground with marvellous

rapidity. The nest of the animal is made in the burrow, and the

young are three or four in number. His diet is as variable and

extensive as that of the coon, and consists of anything in any

way eatable. Snails, worms, rats, mice and moles, seem to have

a particular attraction for him; and he seems to take especial

delight in unearthing the stores of the wild bees, devouring honey,

wax and grubs together, and caring as little for the stings of the

angry bees as he would of the bills of so many mosquitoes, the thick

coating of fur forming a perfect protection against his winged

antagonists. The badger is very susceptible to human influence, and

can be effectually tamed with but little trouble. Although his general

appearance would not indicate it, he is a sly and cunning animal, and

not easily captured in a trap of any kind. He has been known to set

at defiance all the traps that were set for him, and to devour

the baits without suffering for his audacity. He will sometimes

overturn a trap and spring it from the under side, before attempting

to remove the bait. Although not quite as crafty as the fox, it is

necessary to use much of the same caution in trapping the badger,

as a bare trap seldom wins more than a look of contempt from the

wary animal.

The usual mode of catching the creature is to set the trap size

No. 3 at the mouth of its burrow, carefully covering it with loose

earth and securing it by a chain to a stake. Any of the methods

used in trapping the fox will also be found to work admirably.

The dead-fall or garrote will also do good service. Bait with a

rat, mouse, or with whatever else the animal is especially fond,

and scent with Oil of Anise or Musk. In early spring, while the

ground is still hard, badgers are easily captured by flooding their

burrows. After being satisfied that the animal is in its hole,

proceed to pour in pailful after pailful of water at the entrance.

He will not long be able to stand this sort of thing, and he may

be secured as he makes his exit at the opening of the burrow.

The skin should be removed whole, as in the case of the fox, or

as described for the beaver, and stretched as therein indicated.