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The Log Coop Trap


This is commonly set for bears, although a deer or a puma becomes

its frequent tenant. As its name implies it consists of a coop of

logs, arranged after the principle of the Coop Trap described on

page 67. The logs should be about eight feet in length, notched

at the ends as described for the Log Cabin, page (244). Lay two

of the logs parallel about seven feet apart. Across their ends in

the notches, lay two others and
continue building up in cob-house

fashion until the height of about six feet is reached. The corners

may be secured as they are laid by spikes, or they may be united

afterward in mass by a rope firmly twisted about them from top to

bottom. Logs should now be laid across the top of the coop and

firmly secured by the spikes or rope knots. There are several ways

of setting the trap. A modification of that described on page 67

works very well, or an arrangement of spindle and bait stick, as

in the Box Trap, page 105, may also be employed. In the latter

case, the bait stick is either inserted between the logs at the

back of the coop, or a hole is bored through one of them for this

purpose. For this mode of setting, the coop should be constructed

beneath some tree. It is set by means of a rope attached to the

upper edge of one of its sides the rope being thrown over a limb

of the tree and the loose end brought down and secured to the bait

stick by a spindle, as described

for the trap on page (195). The limb here acts in place of the

tall end piece of the Box Trap, and by raising the coop up to such

an angle as that it will be nearly poised, the setting may be made

so delicate that a mere touch on the bait stick from the interior

will dislodge the pieces and let fall the enclosure. The simplest

mode of setting the trap is that embodied in the snare method on

page (52). The rope is here provided with a knot, which must pass

easily between the logs, or through the hole at the back of the

coop, the length of rope being so arranged as that the coop shall

be sufficiently raised where the knot projects into the interior. The

introduction of the bait stick beneath the knot will thus prevent

the latter from being drawn back, and thus our trap is set. The

bait stick in any case should be about two feet in length; and with

this leverage but a slight touch will be required to spring the

pieces. In the latter method the limb of the tree is not necessary.

A stout crotched stake driven into the ground about twenty feet,

at the back of the coop, will answer every purpose, and the coop

may be constructed wherever desired. This is a most excellent trap

for large animals. It secures the game alive, and is thus often

productive of most exciting sport. For the bear, the bait should

consist of honey or raw meat. Full directions for baiting all kinds

of American game are given under their respective heads in another

part of this book. The Coop Trap may be constructed of any dimensions,

from the small example on page (67) to the size above described.

There are several other inventions commonly used for the capture

of large animals in various parts of the globe, which would be

of little avail in this country. Such is the African Corrall, or

Hopo, by which whole herds of quaggas, elands, and buffalo are

often destroyed. The trap consists of two hedges in the form of

the letter V, which are very high and thick at the angle. Instead

of the hedges being joined at this point, they are made to form a

lane about two hundred feet in length, at the extremity of which

a giant pit is formed. Trunks of trees are laid across the margins

to prevent the animals from escaping. The opening of this pit is

then covered with light reeds and small green boughs. The hedges

often extend miles in length and are equally as far apart at these

extremities. The tribe of hunters make a circle, three or four

miles around the country adjacent to the opening, and gradually

closing up are almost sure to enclose a large body of game, which,

by shouts and skilfully hurled Javelins, they drive into the narrowing

walls of the Hopo. The affrighted animals rush headlong to the gate

presented at the end of the converging hedges and here plunge pell-mell

into the pit, which is soon filled with a living mass. Some escape by

running over the others; and the natives, wild with excitement,

spear the poor animals with mad delight, while others of the brutes

are smothered and crushed by the weight of their dead and dying

companions. It is a most cruel and inhuman device, and its effects

are sometimes appalling.