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TopCat's Trapping Tales


Being quite new to the forums I haven't had time to fully look around, still kinda getting my beareings. So some of these tales (lets call them tales) may have been told before? - but I think they will appeal to the Hunters/Shooters/Fishing members.

We have all had a go at trapping birds in the garden when we were kids? Your dads old garden riddle propped up on a stick, a trail of breadcrumbs leading under it  
All manner of traps have been used over the years for trapping game/fowel/fish - Nets - Gin traps - snares - poisons. Some are more complex than others, yet some are so simple they defy belief! but they all work.

So lets ease you into this gently. We'll start with a commen house hold problem! The wee cowrin timorous beastie - The House Mouse.

The Simple Mouse trap.
Have you a mouse problem? Not after tonight. Dont go running off buying those snappy - nip your finger end off mouse traps, not when youv'e got everything to hand in your kitchen.
What you'll need
A tallish glass jar. A pencil. A piece of cheese and several cookbooks?
First of give the inside your jar a good clean/polish with a cloth. Next arrange your books in a U shape with a gap big enough for the jar. Your jar needs to be propped up at an angle quite high on the front of the U, shuffle your books in so the jar cant roll off/away. Now quarter fill the jar with water, next firmly stick the cheese on the end of the pencil and insert into the jar - making sure that the cheese is just above the water level.
Now retire for the evening.
What will happen during the night. The mouse will come out and start foraging for food, it'll smell the cheese and make its way up the book staircase and into the jar. Having polished the jar (you did polish the jar?) it'll now be to slippy for the mouse to climb out. Eventually the mouse will tire and fall to the bottom of the jar and drown.

Telling of this mouse trap has reminded me of an old mouse joke!
Guy goes into the patent office and says "I want to take out a patent on my new mouse trap." Patent officer behind the desk tells him that the mousetrap has already been invented. Not like mine says the guy. Ok lets have a look at it says the the patent officer. Guy takes a small flight of stairs out of a shoebox. Patent officer asks "How does it work then?".
Well says the man "You place a razorblade at the top of the stairs and a piece of cheese behind the razorblade. The mouse smells the cheese, runs up the stairs and pops its head over the razor blade to get the cheese, in turn chopping its head off." Thats brilliant says the patent officer. I'll need to give it a few test runs, I'll give you a call next week.
A week goes by and the guy gets a call - "Im afraid to say your traps not working? It worked for a couple of days but the mice have got wise to it and dont stick there head over the blade". I'll fix it says the guy.
Next day the guys back in the patent office. Iv'e fixed it he says as he takes the small flight of stairs out of the box. What have you done to it asks the patent officer?
Well says the guy, iv'e swapped the razorblade for a hacksaw blade and done away with the cheese. How does that solve the problem asks the patent officer. Aha says the guy - what happens now is the mouse comes out runs up the stairs pops its head over the hacksaw blade, looks left & right and says - What no cheese  

I'll get me coat.

Ok, you paying attention at the back? Then we'll move onto the big stuff.

Most if not all of the following are classed as illegal and fall under whatever law/country you happen to live in - Pouching - Trespassing etc etc. I dont want to start splitting hairs with anyone about laws so im classing them all as ILLEGAL.
These are just tales that tell of how pouchers would trap game back in the 50's and 60's.

I dont know how old this method is but I have used it myself once or twice.

To trap a duck (on a pond) you'll need -
A stick/post about 3ft. One end a sharpe point the other end flat.(you could sharpen one end of a 2in X 2in)
A large flat heavyish rock. (House brick would do).
A 2ft length of fishing line with treble hook attached. (this needs to be tied to a rock so you may need a longer piece?)
A piece of polystyrene cup or something similar that floats.
A piece of bread.

Dig your sharpened stick/post into the soil under the water until none of it is showing. The flat top of your stick needs to be about 6 to 10in under the water.
Next tie your fishing line to the large rock and balance the rock ontop of your stick/post.
Next bait up the treble hook with a crust of bread and a small piece of the polystyrene cup -( the piece of polystyrene cup is used to keep the bread & hook afloat).
Now place a marker of some type on the shore so you'll know where you set the trap?

You can leave this set overnight or return in a few hours to check?

What will happen is the duck will paddle along and see the bread. When the duck takes the bread it'll be hooked? As it trys to get away the duck will pull the heavy rock off the top of the stick and be pulled under and drown.

All you need do to check your trap is find your shore marker and feel under the water for your stick/post. If there aint any rock there then you've got something, be it duck - coot - swan? Jack pike have also been known to far pray to this method.

My dad often used to tell me how he and his mates use to come home with bagfulls of geese? Living in Alloa by the river Forth he and his mates used to make there way over to Alloa Inch (Swim or pinch a loan of a boat)

during the day with bags full of rice. They would scatter the rice around and then return home and wait till night. Any geese landing on the inch would be presented with a free feed of rice. Once fed they would settle down for the night. All my dad & his mates had to do was return to the inch and pick them up.
How was this done your probably wondering?
Simple. The geese would gorge themself on the rice which would swell up inside them bloting them up making them unable to fly.
Another similar way was to soak a bag of grain over night in Rawgut-(so called if you drank it it would give you a rawgut ) -Hootch-Moonshine. this would be scattered around the same way and the team would return in the dead of night to collect the druken geese.  


Technique 1.
First of you'll need to know where pheasant roost for the night and there should be a slight breeze blowing. Arm yourself with an old shoepolish tin full of sulphur.
Now head for the woods and stay downwind of the roosters. Light the sulphur tin and wait?
What your waiting for is the sound of dead birds falling out of the trees due to being poisoned by the sulphur fumes. Send the dog in to find them or try hunting them out yourself.

Technique 2.
No illegal stuff used in this method but you'll be on someone's land, and you know what they say!  If its on my land it belongs to me.

Find an area where the birds feed and scatter around a good free feed of seed/grain, also scatter in some of your magic seeds/grain?
What are those magic seeds/grain you ask?
Well there seeds/grain that you have prepared before hand. Seeds/grain with a tiny hole in them made with a pin, through which you tie a horses tailhair or you may use very thin fishing line. Make around a dozen.

What happens is the birds feed on your free seed/grain until they eat one of the horsehair seeds then the panic sets in?
The bird will claw at its beak trying to remove the horsehair/fishingline until its exausted. Even after that bird has recovered it will go at it again trying to remove the line. Just trot up and nab the tuckered out bird(s)

Technique 3.

The use of birdlime is illegal but here's one way it was used along with a bit of paper/card to trap a pheasant.

Also known as Fools-Caps for Crows

Find an area where the pheasants have been feeding. Next dig a small hole in that area and scatter some type of seed/grain around the hole. Now make a small cone with the paper/card and place in the hole you made, making sure that the top rim of your cone is level with the ground. Next place some seed/grain in your cone. The last step is to smear the top rim of the cone with birdlime - (remember this stuffs illegal).

Retreat to your hide and wait for the fun.
What will happen once the birds return to feed. is they'll eat all the free feed you scattered around, then one curious bird will dip its head in your cone to get the seed/grain and hey presto you are now wetting yourself with laughter at a pheasant running around a field wearing a little hat that it cant get off its head. Now go catch that party hatted pheasant.

I dont think this technique would work with Turkeys as they dont like christmas and refuse to wear hats  

Well there you have it just a few of ye olde ways of trapping game. I hope some of you find it interesting?

Next time I'll tell you how to find water in the african desert plains - and yes there's a trap involved? Now thats got you thinking  

Till then


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