The Figure Four Trap
Categories: MISCELLANEOUS TRAPS.
One of the most useful as well as the most ancient inventions in
the way of traps is the common Figure Four Trap, which forms
the subject of our next illustration. It is a very ingenious
contrivance, and the mechanism, consists merely of three sticks.
It possesses great advantages in the fact that it may be used in
a variety of ways, and a number of the machines may be carried by
the young trapper with very little inco
venience. Our illustration
shows the trap already set, only awaiting for a slight touch at
the bait to bring the heavy stone to the ground. A box may be
substituted for the stone, and the animal may thus be
captured alive. The three sticks are represented separate at a.
b. and c. Of course, there is no regular size for them, as this
would greatly depend upon the purpose for which they are designed
to be used. If for rabbits, the following proportions will answer
very well. The sticks should all be square, and about half an inch
in thickness. The bait-stick, (a) should be about nine or ten
inches in length, one end being pointed and the other furnished
with a notch, as indicated. The upright stick, (b) should be
a little shorter, one end being whittled to a rather sharp edge.
At about three or four inches from the other end, and on the side
next to that whittled, a square notch should be cut. This should
be about a third of an inch in depth and half an inch in width,
being so cut as exactly to receive the bait-stick without holding
it fast. The remaining stick (c) should have a length of about
seven or eight inches, one end being whittled, as in the last,
to an edge, and the other end furnished with a notch on the same
side of the stick.
When these are finished, the trap may be set in the following manner:
Place the upright stick, (b) with its pointed end uppermost.
Rest the notch of the slanting stick, (c) on the summit of the
upright stick, placing the stone upon its end, and holding the
stick in position with the hand. By now hooking the notch in the
bait-stick on the sharpened edge of the slanting stick and fitting
it into the square notch in the upright, it may easily be made to
catch and hold itself in position. The bait should always project
beneath the stone. In case a box is used instead of a stone, the
trap may be set either inside of it or beneath its edge. Where the
ground is very soft, it would be well to rest the upright stick
on a chip or small flat stone, as otherwise it is apt to sink into
the earth by degrees and spring by itself.
When properly made, it is a very sure and sensitive trap, and the
bait, generally an apple, or nub of corn is seldom more than
touched when the stone falls.