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The Old-fashioned Springle


This is the variety of snare which has been in very common use

for ages, and has always been the one solitary example of a noose

trap which our boys' books have invariably pounced upon for

illustration. For the capture of small birds it works very nicely;

and as without it our list of traps would be incomplete, we will

give an illustration of it as it appears when

set and ready for its work. In constructing the
ffair it is first

necessary to cut a flexible twig of willow or bramble about eighteen

inches in length, and form it into a loop as seen at (a), securing

the tips by a few circuits of string, and allowing the larger end

to project an inch or more beyond the other. This loop, which is

called the spreader, should now be laid down flat; and on the

upper side of the large end and about an inch from its tip, a notch

should be cut as our illustration shows. The spring should next be

procured, and should consist of a pliant, elastic switch, about

four feet in length. A piece of fish line about two feet long,

should now be fastened to the tip of the switch, and the loose

end of the cord attached to a catch piece of the shape shown at

(b). This catch may be about an inch and a half long, and should

be whittled off to an edge on one end, the string being attached at

about its centre. A slipping noose, made from strong horse hair,

or piece of fine wire about two feet long, should now be fastened

to the string about two inches above the catch. Having the switch

thus prepared, it is ready to be inserted in the ground at the place

selected for the trap. When this is done, another small flexible

twig about a foot in length should cut, and being sharpened at

both ends, should be inserted in the ground in the form of an arch

(c), at about three feet distant from the spring, and having its

broad side toward it. Insert the notch of the spreader exactly

under the top of the arc, and note the spot where the curved end

of the former touches the ground. At this point a peg (d) should

be driven leaving a projecting portion of about two inches. The

pieces are now ready to be adjusted. Pass the curved end of the

spreader over the peg, bringing the notched end beneath the arc with

the notch uppermost. Draw down the catch piece, and pass it beneath

the arc from the opposite side letting the bevelled end catch in the

notch in the spreader, the other end resting against the upper part

of the arc. Arrange the slipping noose over the spreader as our

drawing indicates, bringing it inside the peg, as there shown, as

otherwise it would catch upon it when the snare is sprung. Strew the

bait, consisting of berries, bird-seed, or the like, inside the

spreader, and all is ready. Presently a little bird is seen to settle

on the ground in the neighborhood of the trap; he spies the bait and

hopping towards it, gradually makes bold enough to alight upon the

spreader, which by his weight immediately falls, the catch is released,

the switch flies up, and the unlucky bird dangles in the air by the

legs. If the trapper is near he can easily release the struggling

creature before it is at all injured, otherwise it will flutter

itself into a speedy death.