A Simpler Net Trap

Much ingenuity has been displayed in the construction of bird traps

of various kinds, but often the ingenuity has been misplaced, and

the result has been so complicated as to mar its usefulness for

practical purposes. The examples of net traps presented in this

volume are so simple that the merest tyro can readily understand

them. What can be more so than the present example, and yet it

is as sure in its effect, and su
er than those other varieties

of more complicated construction. One necessary element in a trap

of any kind is, that the bearings are slight and that they spring

easily. To obtain this requisite it is necessary to overcome friction

as much as possible, using only a small number of pieces, and having

as few joints and hinges only as are absolutely necessary. The present

variety possesses advantages on this account. It is constructed

somewhat on the principle of the ordinary steel trap, and also

resembles in other respects the one we have just described, although

much simpler. We give only a section drawing, as this will be

sufficient. The long side of a flat board of about eight by sixteen

inches is shown at (a); (b) indicates the loops of a bent wire,

to which the netting is attached, as in the trap just described,

the loops being fastened to the board as in the other variety;

(g) consists of a small bit of wood an inch or so in length and

half an inch in width. It should be tacked on to the middle of

the one end of the board and project about a half inch above the

surface. To the top of this the spindle (c) should be attached

by a leather or staple hinge. The spindle should be of light pine,

five inches in length and a quarter of an inch square, bevelled;

on the under side of one end (d) is the catch or bait piece,

and should be whittled out of a shingle or pine stick of the shape

shown, the width being about a half an inch or less. One side should

be supplied with a slight notch for the reception of the spindle,

and the other should project out two or three inches, being covered

on the top with a little platform of pasteboard, tin, or thin wood

either glued or tacked in place. To attach this piece to the main

board, two small wire staples may be used, one being inserted into

the bottom end of the piece and the other being hooked through

it, and afterward tacked to the bottom of the trap, thus forming

a loop hinge. Another method is to make a hole through the lower

tip of the bait piece by the aid of a red-hot wire, as seen at

(d), afterwards inserting a pin and overlapping its ends with

two staples driven into the bottom board, as shown at (e). In

our last mentioned net trap the spring power consisted of rubber

elastic, and the same may be used in this case, if desired, but by

way of variety we here introduce another form of spring which may

be successfully employed in the construction of traps of various

kinds. It is shown at (o) and consists merely of a piece of tempered

hoop iron, so bent as to act with an upward pressure. It should be

about three inches long by half an inch wide. About three-quarters

of an inch should be allowed for the two screws by which it is to

be attached to the board. The rest should be bent upward and thus

tempered by first heating almost to redness, and then cooling in

cold water.

One of these springs should be fastened to the board on each side,

directly under the wire and quite near the hinge, in the position

shown in the main drawing. Now draw back the net, lower the spindle

and catch its extremity in the notch of the bait piece, and the trap

is set as in our illustration. Sprinkle the bait on the platform,

and lay the machine on the ground where birds are known to frequent;

and it is only a matter of a few hours or perhaps minutes, before it

will prove its efficacy. In order to prevent the bird from raising

the wire and thereby escaping, it is well to fasten a little tin

catch (f) at the end of the board. This will spring over the wire

and hold it in its place.