long do you think it will be before we catch a fox?", I asked. "Maybe not for a week, and maybe not at all, but I tell you boy, if you want to catch a fox you have got to stick to it." You can imagine my delight the next morning on finding a fine red fox tangled up among some huckleberry bushes near by, and you may be sure I thought Granddad the greatest trapper in the world, and myself the next.
I caught two more foxes at the same set before snow came, and will say that I have always found this method one of the surest, but of course very few boys are situated so as to have pastures that foxes cross, and which they can plow furrows in.
Foxes are generally suspicious of a dead bait; however, at a bait which they have been in the habit of visiting, generally some carcass, they are more easily caught than at a freshly placed bait or carcass, and it is a good plan, if you try taking a fox in this way, to put out the carcass or large baits long enough in advance for them to get into the practice of coming to them; then place your traps, if possible, just before a fall of snow, and you are almost certain of catching one. The traps should always be set with care and treated as already described, to cover the scent of iron, as a fox considers the scent of man and iron a dangerous combination, and they undoubtedly know about traps and fear them.
[Illustration: CAUGHT ON HIS OWN FARM.]
style="text-align: justify;">I like to use a live bait for fox and bobcats, and a rabbit is about the best for this purpose, because they are easily secured. They form the principal game of these animals and they are nearly always looking for them. It is, I think, safe to say, that each grown fox or bobcat kill two hundred each on an average every year. The sight or hot scent of any game these animals are accustomed to hunt excites them, and their faculties are at once concentrated on how to capture and get on the outside of said game as soon as possible. Under such conditions, they fall more easy prey to trappers' wiles. Select a point where you know foxes hunt, or not far from some den or ledge which they use. Find a hollow log or some tree that has a hollow butt with an opening; in either case, plug the hollow securely so the rabbit will have to stay up near the opening, put in some carrots, or ears of corn, and cover the hole with woven wire, having about an inch mesh, or some barb wire stapled across will sometimes answer; they may in some cases be afraid of the wire, but I have had excellent success with this method, and my opinion is that the sight of live game makes them reckless (on one occasion I caught a fox in a wooden box about eight inches square and three or four feet long, having a wire door, hinged at the top and slanting in,--a self-setter--the trap had a live rabbit inside and was set along a creek, for the purpose of taking a mink alive and uninjured).
If this method is used as a snow set, brush out all tracks, and whether on snow or bare ground, always make as few tracks and leave as little sign as possible around your traps. When setting for any shy animal, don't cover or handle trap or clog with bare hands. Use gloves and a small wooden spade.