Muskrat Catching Cabbage
The hunter Mikhail Alexandrovich Ponomarev, a resident of the Kurgan Region, Kurgan Region, the village of Zaikovo, in 45 days of fishing by freeze-up, extracted 1,500 muskrats.
By its structure, the trap it made looks like a pear. The average size of the trap is 65 by 60 cm. It is made of willow rods with a thickness of 5 to 8 mm. The rods should fit snugly together so that there is as little clearance as possible between them.
A trap is woven, starting from the inside of it, that is, from the so-called child. The size of the child at the beginning is 9–10 cm in diameter with a gradual increase to 32–40 cm. For strength, the beginning of the child is wound with copper wire (2–3 first rods). The widest part of the trap is on average 60 cm. The hole of the trap from which the muskrat is taken is 7-8 cm.
Two to three sticks are inserted into this outlet, preferably pine, since the muskrat gnaws fresh willow branches, then it is caulked with hay or brooms from reeds.
Getting into the trap through the child, the muskrat, not finding a hole, goes into its wide front part and remains there. The muskrat gnaws a trap only if its rods do not fit snugly together. The trap is attached in the front part of the wire to a long pole, which is stuck in the bottom of the reservoir so that the trap was under the ice on the muskrat in 1-1.5 m from the hut. The trap, being under the ice, may freeze to him, therefore, it is necessary to put it a little below the ice.
The progress of the muskrat is determined by the eye or by knocking ice around the hut.
On the move of the muskrat the ice is usually much thinner. Having identified it, the hunter grinds a hole in the ice, sufficient to allow the trap to pass under the ice. In addition to the ice pick, the hunter must have a spatula to eject ice from the hole and a wooden pole to determine the depth and clutter between the trap and the hut. Traps can also be placed not on the muskrat, but near them.
The muskrat, coming out of the hut, finds a foreign object, examines it and enters it, as if in a hole.
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Making such a trap is available for every hunter. She is very mined – at a time, up to 15 muskrats fall into one trap, in most cases the whole family is caught, regardless of whether a trap is set up at the nesting or aft hut.
With this method of fishing, a complete reduction of muskrat losses is achieved, which are quite significant in the trap fishing. So, for example, the hunter Ponomarev in 1955 caught 400 muskrats with traps, and 97 muskrats left without paws.
Using such a trap, the hunter does not need to do laborious work in the huts – cut through them, look for the course, freeze their hands in icy water. The time spent on fishing is significantly reduced. Using this method, you can successfully extract the muskrat at a later date, which will lead to an improvement in the quality of its skin.
In the early autumn fishery, many muskrat cubs fall, so it is advisable to establish a later fishing period.
The advantages of such a trap over traps are undoubtedly in reservoirs, except very shallow ones, where it cannot be put.
The hunter M.A. Ponomarev, who used this trap for the first time, is no longer using traps for the muskrat industry. This method of producing muskrats increases the productivity of hunters.