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34063 investing calculator online

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Seeing that there was no other way to do, I left him and started for help. It was now dark. My way was over a road of about twelve miles and nearly all the way through a thick woods and part of the way without a road other than a path. When I reached the cabin I stopped long enough to build a fire so that the cabin would be warm when my companion got there if he did get there at all, which I doubted.

I took a lunch in my hand and started for help. I would take a trot whenever the woods were sufficiently open to let in light enough so that I could see my way. I got to my companion's home about midnight and we were soon on the way back with a team and wagon while my companion's father went after a doctor to have him there when we got back with the patient.

We drove with the wagon as far as the road would allow, then we left the wagon and rode the horses to the camp. When we reached the cabin, contrary to expectations, we found my companion there but very sick. We lost no time in getting him onto a horse and starting for the wagon where we had a bed for the patient to lie down on. We got home about eight o'clock in the morning.

The doctor was waiting for us and he said as soon as he looked at the man that it was a bad case of typhoid fever. He was right, for it took many weeks before my friend was able to be out again. When game began to get scarce, that is when game was no longer found plenty right at the door, I began to look for parts where game was plentiful and accordingly, with three companions, I arranged to hunt and trap on Thunder Bay River in Michigan, where deer and all kinds of game, we had been told, were plenty and also lots of fur bearers.

This we found to be quite true but the state had passed a law forbidding the shipment of deer. We did not know this when we left home and two of the boys soon got discouraged and returned. It was while hunting here that I had another trip of twenty miles through the woods over rough corduroy tote road in the night after a team to take my companion Vanater by name out to Alpena to have a broken leg set.

He was carrying a deer on his shoulder and when near camp it was necessary to cross a small stream to get to the cabin. We had felled a small tree across the creek for the purpose of crossing. There was three or four inches of snow on the log and after my companion was across the creek and just as he was about to step from the log he slipped and fell, striking his leg across the log in some manner so that it broke between the knee and ankle.

After getting my companion to camp and making him as comfortable as possible, I took a lunch in my knapsack and with an old tin lantern with a tallow candle in it, which gave about as much light as a lightning bug, I started over the longest and roughest twenty miles of road that I ever traveled in the night. Sometimes I would trip on some stick or log and fall and put out my light but I would get up, light the candle in the lantern again and hurry on all the faster to make up for lost time.

I made the journey all right and was back to camp the next day before noon where we found my companion doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. We got my companion out to Alpena where the doctor set the leg and in the course of two or three weeks he was so far recovered that he was able to return to camp and keep me company until he was able to again take up the trap line and trail.

Some years later I again went back to Michigan and hunted deer and trapped on the Manistee, Boardman and Rapid Rivers, but I found game and furs had become somewhat scarce in that part so I next went with a partner to upper Michigan. At that time there was no railroad in Upper Michigan and but few settlers, after leaving the Straits, until near Lake Superior and near the copper and iron mines.

I have tried my luck in three of the states west of the Rocky Mountains. In the Clear Water regions of Idaho there was a fair showing of big game, with a good sprinkling of the fur bearers, including a bunch of beaver here and there. Beaver protected. I heard men tell of there being plenty of grizzly and silver tip bear but I saw no signs of them. In California a trapper told, me of a large grizzly coming to his shack in the night.

He said that he was cooking venison and that he had the fresh meat of a deer in the shack and he thought that the bear smelled the meat was what brought him there. The man said the bear smelled around the shack awhile and then began to dig at one corner of the shack and soon pulled out the bottom log.

The man kept quiet until the bear pulled out the next log and put his head in through the hole when he put a ball between the bear's eyes that fixed Bruin too quick. A bad case of nightmare. I think it doubtful if there is a grizzly bear or at least very few now to be found south of the British Columbia line.

My best catch of bear in one season with a partner was eleven. Years ago I caught from three to six bear each season but late years I have not caught more than one to three. I think that of late the heavy lumbering going on through Northern Pennsylvania had something to do with the catch of bear. The timber in Pennsylvania is largely cut away now leaving bark slashings which make fine shelter for bear and wildcats and both animals were apparently quite plenty I would judge from the number caught in this section, fall of Deer are very scarce in this state, perhaps the most to be found are in Pike County.

I can lay claim to one thing that but few hunters and trappers can do, that is for forty years I lost only two seasons from the trap line and the trail and each time I was detained by rheumatism. Once being taken down with sciatica while in the camp trapping and hunting, and it held me to my bed for several months hard and tight.

I still have the greater part of my trapping and hunting outfit, and am still in hopes to be able to get out on the line and pinch a few more toes. Early Experiences. As I promised to write something of my early experience at trapping and hunting, I will begin by saying that I am now living within one mile of where I was born sixty years ago this was written in , and that I began my trapping career by first trapping rats in my father's grist mill with the old figure four squat trap.

I well remember the many war dances that I had when I could not make the trap stay set; but I did not trap long inside the mill for father also ran a blacksmith shop and always kept a good man to do the work in the shop. I was soon coaxing the smith to make me a steel trap, which he did.

I now began catching muskrats along the tail race and about the mill dam, but the spring on my trap was so stiff that when I found the trap sprung or found game in it, I was obliged to bring the trap to the house and have some one older than I to set it. Then I would carry it back to the creek and set it.

Well this was slow work and I was continually begging the blacksmith to make me more traps with weaker springs so I could set them myself. After much coaxing he made me three more which I was able to set and then the muskrats began to suffer. Let me say at that time a muskrat skin was worth more than a mink skin. Boys, I was like a man in public office, the more of it they have, the more they want. So it was with me in regard to the traps, but I could not coax the blacksmith to make any more.

An older brother came to my aid in this way: he told me to go to town and see the blacksmith there and see if I could not sell some charcoal to him for traps, and he, my brother would help me burn the coal. Now this burning the coal was done by gathering hemlock knots from old rotten logs and piling them up and covering them like potato holes, leaving a hole open at the bottom to start the fire.

After the fire was well started the hole was closed and the knots smoldered for several days. Well, the plan worked and by the operation I became the possessor of five more traps. By this time the vicinity of the mill dam and race was no longer large enough to furnish trapping grounds, and I ventured farther up and down the stream and took in the coon and mink along with the muskrat. We had a neighbor, Washburn by name, who was considered a great trapper, for he could now and then catch a fox.

As time passed by, I began to have a great desire to get on an equal with Mr. Washburn and catch a fox. I began to urge him to allow me to go with him to see how he set his trap, and after a long time coaxing, he granted my request. I found what everyone of today knows of the chaff bed set. You may now know that it was not long before I had a bed made near a barn that stood well back in the field, and after much worry and many wakeful nights I caught a fox and I thought myself Lord Jonathan.

As time went by, and by chance I learned that by mixing a goodly part of hen manure with plenty of feathers in it, and mixing it with the chaff, it was a great improvement on chaff alone. Next I learned of the well known water set. However, I perhaps set different from the most of trappers in making this set.

Well as all trappers learn from long years of experience, so have I, and those old-fashioned sets are like the squat traps, not up-to-date. I will now drop the trapping question for a time and tell you how I killed my first deer.

Just outside of the clearing on father's farm and not more than fifty rods from the house was a wet place, such as are known to these parts as a "bear wallow. It was not an uncommon thing for my older brother to kill a deer at this lick any morning or evening, but that was not making a nimrod of me. I would beg father to let me take the gun which was an old double barreled flintlock shot gun and watch the lick.

As I was only nine years old, they would not allow me to have the gun, so I was obliged to steal it out when no one was in sight, carry it to the barn and then watch my opportunity and "skipper" from the barn to the lick. All worked smoothly and I got to the lick all right. It was toward sundown and I had scarcely poked the gun through the hole in the blind and looked out when I saw two or three deer coming toward the lick.

I cocked the old gun and made ready but about this time I was taken with the worst chill that any boy ever had and I shook so that I could scarcely hold the gun to the peep hole. It was only a moment when two of the deer stepped into the lick, and I took the best aim I could under the condition, and pulled the trigger. Well of all the bawling a deer ever made, I think this one did the worst, but I did not stop to see what I had done but took across the field to the house at a lively gait, leaving the gun in the blind.

The folks heard the shot and saw me running for the house at break-neck speed this of course was the first that they knew I was out with the gun. My older brother came to meet me and see what the trouble was. When I told him what I had done, he went with me to the lick and there we found a fair-sized buck wallowing in the lick with his back broken, one buck shot or rather one slug, for the gun was loaded with pieces cut from a bar of lead ; one slug had struck and broken the spine and this was the cause of the deer bawling so loud as this was the only one that hit.

The old shotgun was now taken from its usual corner in the kitchen and hung up over the mantle piece above the big fire place and well out of my reach. This did not stop my hunting. We had a neighbor who had two or three guns and he would lend me one of them. I would hide away hen eggs and take them to the grocery and trade them for powder and shot. Of course the man who owned the gun got the game, when I chanced to kill any, for I did not dare to carry it home. It was not long until father found that I was borrowing Mr.

Abbott's gun, and he thought that if hunt I would, it would be better that I use our own and then he would know when I was out with it. He took the old flintlock to the gunsmith and had it fixed over into a cap lock, and now I was rigged out with both gun and traps. I will now tell you about the first bear that I killed. I was about thirteen years old, and it was not so common a thing for one to kill a bear in those days as it is now , for strange as it may seem, bears are far more plentiful here today than they were at that time.

Two of my brothers and three or four of the neighbors went into the woods about twelve miles and bought fifty acres of land. There was no one living within six or seven miles of the place. They cleared off four or five acres and built a good log fence around it. They also built a small barn and cabin. Each spring they would drive their young cattle out to this place, stay a few days and plant a few potatoes, and some corn.

About once a month it was customary to go over to this clearing and hunt up the cattle and bring them to the clearing and salt them, then have a day or two of trout fishing, watch licks and kill a deer or two, jerk the meat and have a general good time. I was allowed to go on one of these expeditions, and the first night the men watched one or two licks and one of the men killed a deer, but I had to stay in camp that night with a promise that I should watch the second night.

During the first night we heard wolves howl away upon the hills. The next morning the men talked very mysteriously about the wolves and said that it would not be safe to watch the licks that night, that no deer would come to the licks as long as the wolves were around. I took it all in and said nothing, but was determined to watch a lick that night.

Finally one of the men, John Duell by name, said that I could watch the lick that he had and he would stay in camp. The one that I was to watch was only a short distance from the clearing. When the sun was about one-half hour high, I took the old shot gun, this time loaded with genuine buck shot and climbed the Indian ladder to the scaffold which was built about twenty feet from the ground in a hemlock tree.

I sat quiet until sundown and no deer came. I thought I would tie the gun in the notches in the limbs, which brought the gun in proper range to kill the deer in the lick, should it come after dark. I got one string tied around the barrel and the limb when a slight noise to my left caused me to look in that direction and I saw a dark object standing in the edge of the little thicket, which I took to be a black creature I had seen down near the clearing when I came to the lick.

My thoughts were that I would tie the breech of the gun fast to the limb, and then I would climb down and stone the animal away, so I went on tying the gun fast. On looking up I saw that the supposedly black heifer had turned out to be a black bear, and that it was going to go above the lick and not into it. My knife was out in an instant and the next moment I had the strings that held the gun cut.

I raised it carefully to my face and about this time the bear stopped, turned his head around and looked back in the direction he had come. This was my chance, and I fired both barrels at his head and shoulders, and immediately there was a snorting, snarling, rolling and tumbling of the bear, but the maneuvers of the bear was no comparison to the screams and shouts that came from me.

I was still making more noise than a band of Indians when Mr. Duell arrived on the scene and took in the situation. The other men who were watching other licks thought I had surely been attacked by the wolves by the unearthly yell I was making and the whole party were soon on the ground.

The bear was soon dressed and the men gave me the cognomen of the "The Great Hunter of Kentucky" and so ended the killing of my first bear. I am still in hopes to take the pelts from one or two this fall and winter and later, I will tell of some of the incidents I have seen and experienced while trapping and hunting among them. Perhaps, how a brother of mine got a tenderfoot to ride the carcass of a deer down a steep and hard frozen mountain when there was about two inches of snow on would be interesting.

My First Real Trapping Experience. Lathrop had suggested me as a suitable party to go with him to the region known as Black Forest. This section extends through four counties, the southern part of Potter and Tioga counties, and northern part of Clinton and Lycoming counties, Pa. Every reader knows or has heard of the Black Forest region.

This section was and is still known as a good bear country. I thought it strange that Mr. Lathrop, a man of much note as a hunter, would recommend me, merely a boy, to go with Mr. Harris and into a region like the Black Forest. As Mr. Lathrop lived about four miles from our place I lost no time in going there to learn who this Mr. Harris was. I was informed that he was an old hunter and trapper about eighty years old and that he wanted a partner more for a companion than a hunter or trapper.

Lathrop had met Mr. Harris while on a fishing tour on the Sinnamahoning waters during the summer and said that he knew nothing of Mr. Harris otherwise than what he saw of him at this meeting and to all appearances he was a fine old gentleman. I showed the letter to father and asked what I should do about it and he replied that he thought I could spend my time to a better advantage in school, but he did not say that I could not go with Mr.

I therefore wrote him that I would be ready at the time mentioned which was the twentieth of October. Goodsil, the gunsmith in town, had been at work for some time on a new gun for me. Now that I was going into the woods to hunt in earnest, I was at the gun shop nearly every day, urging Mr.

Goodsil to finish my gun which he did and in plenty of time. After I got my gun the days seemed like weeks and the weeks like months. I was constantly in fear that Mr. Harris would not come. But promptly at the time set, in the evening just before sundown, a man with a one horse wagon loaded with bear traps and other traps of smaller size and with one of the worst old rack-of-bones of a horse that I had ever seen, drove up to father's place, stopped and inquired if Mr.

Woodcock lived there. I immediately asked if he was Mr. Harris, as I had already guessed who the man was. He replied that he was and said that he took it that I was the lad who was going with him. Harris said that "often an old horse and a colt" worked well together and that we would make a good team.

While we were putting his horses away I asked him what he intended to do with the old horse and he replied that he brought him along so that if we got stuck he could hitch him on and help out. The other horse was a fine horse and I was at a loss to know what Mr. Harris meant. During the evening I thought father and Mr. Harris talked on every other subject rather than hunting but I managed to put in a few questions now and again as to what we were to do when we arrived at the great Black Forest.

Harris was a tall, broad-shouldered man with a long beard nearly as white as snow. We were up early the next morning and on our way before daylight. Our route was over the road known as the Jersey Shore turnpike but after the first four miles we went through an unbroken wilderness for twenty miles, save only one house, then known as the Edcomb Place, now called Cherry Springs. The next place, ten miles farther on, was a group of four or five shacks called Carter Camp, but known now as Newbergen.

This was in the year and the conditions over this road are the same today only the large timber has been mostly cut away and there is no one living at Cherry Springs. Five miles farther on we came to Oleana, where there was a hotel and store, owned by Henry Anderson, a Norwegian, who came to this country as the private secretary of Ole Bull, the great violinist, and it was here where the much talked of Ole Bull Castle was built.

Beg pardon, I guess I am getting off the trap line. We stopped at the hotel for the night and the next morning purchased supplies sufficient to last during the entire campaign, consisting of lard, pork, flour, corn meal, tea, coffee, rice, beans, sugar and the necessary salt, pepper, etc. I remember well when Mr. Harris ordered fifty pounds of beans and asked me if I thought that would do? I replied that I thought it would. In my mind I wondered what we would do with all those beans.

But now I wish to say to the man going into camp on a long hunting and trapping campaign, don't forget the beans as they are bread and meat. We are now within about ten or twelve miles of where we intended to camp, which was at the junction of the Bailey and Nebo Branches of Young Woman's Creek. It was about the middle of the afternoon of the second day we were out and Mr. Harris said that here would be a good place to build the camp.

We got the horses out as soon as we could and Mr. Harris picked out a large rock; one side had a straight, smooth side and was high and broad enough for one end of the shanty and there was a fine spring close by. Harris pointed to the rock and said that there we had one end of our camp already as well as a good start towards the fire place. He told me to begin the cutting of logs for the other two sides and the other end.

We cut the logs a suitable size to handle well and about twelve and fourteen feet long. Harris did the planning while I did the heavy part of the work. That night we slept under a hemlock tree and were up the next morning and had breakfast before daylight and ready for the day's work. We could see scuds of clouds away off in the southwest which Mr.

Harris said did not show well for us. He had brought a good crosscut saw and it was not long until we had logs enough cut to put up the sides, about four feet high and logs for one end. We hauled the logs all up with the horse so they would be handy. Then we began the work of notching and putting up the logs. About noon a drizzling rain started and kept it up all the afternoon. We covered our provisions and blankets the best we could to keep them dry and continued to work on the camp.

We got the body up, the rafters and a part of the roof on. We put up a ridge roof as Mr. Harris said it would not be necessary to have the sides quite so high with a steep ridge roof. We got our supplies under shelter and had a dry place to sleep that night. It was still raining in the morning but we continued to work on the camp like beavers all day and we got shakes split from a pine stub to finish the roof and chinking blocks to chink between the logs.

The next morning Mr. Harris said that he would go and take the horse out to a farm house that was about six miles out the turnpike, known as the Widow Herod Place, or better known as Aunt Bettie. Harris said he would go while there was food enough to last the old horse a day or two until we were ready to use him.

Then I knew that the old horse was doomed to be used for bear bait. When Mr. Harris started away with the horse he cautioned me not to go off hunting, but to stick to work on the shanty which I did like a "nailer. Harris returned I had the roof on, the chinking all in and the gable end boarded up with shakes and all ready to begin calking and mudding.

It was some time in the afternoon when he got back and after looking over the shack to see what I had done he said that he thought I had done so well that I was entitled to a play spell and suggested that we take our guns and go down along the side of the hill and see if we could kill a deer, remarking that we could use a little venison if we had it.

He told me to go up onto the bench near the top of the hill while he would take the lower bench and he would hunt the side hill along down the stream until dark. Harris had a single barrel gun with a barrel three or four feet long which he called Sudden Death, and it weighed twelve or fourteen pounds. As for me I had my new double barrel gun which I have mentioned before.

We had not gone far until I heard the report of a gun below me and soon I heard Mr. Harris "ho-ho-hoa," and I hurried to where the howling came from and found him already taking the entrails out of a small doe. I suggested to Mr. Harris that we take the deer down to the creek before we dressed it and that by so doing we probably could catch a mink or coon with the entrails.

He consented to do so and after we had taken out the entrails Mr. Harris noticed a fine place to catch a fox or some other animal and pointed to a large tree that had fallen across the stream. The tree had broken in two at the bank, on the side of the stream where we were. The water had swung the trunk of the tree down the stream until there was a space of three or four feet between the end of the tree and the bank.

Harris took a part of the offal from the deer and carried it across to the opposite bank and placed the remainder on the side where we were. He then placed an old limb for a drag to the trap at the place where he wanted to set the trap. As we had no traps with us we went to camp and early the next morning we took two traps and went to this place and set them.

We put in that day finishing the camp, putting in the door and fixing the chimney to the fireplace and calking all the cracks between the logs and mudded tight between the logs and all the joints. Now the camp being completed we began setting the bear traps.

The old horse was taken onto a chestnut ridge and shot, cut up into small pieces suitable for bear bait, and hung up in small saplings such as we could bend down. After the bait was fastened to the tree we let it spring up so as to keep it out of the reach of any animal until we had a trap set. The way Mr. Harris set a bear trap was to build a V shaped pen about three feet long and about the same in height, place the bait in the back end of the pen and set the trap in the entrance.

We had eleven bear traps and after they were all set on different ridges where bears were most likely to travel, we began the work of setting the small traps which was not a long job, as we had only about forty. Harris said that I had better go down and see if the traps we had set had been disturbed and he said that he would rest while I was gone.

When I came in sight of the traps I could see a fox bounding around in one of the traps. I could see on looking at the trap we had placed across the creek that the drag had been moved closer to the log but I could see nothing moving. I cut a stick and killed the fox when I crossed over to see what was in the other trap and to my disgust there was a skunk. I was not particularly in love with skunks in those days, for while they scented just as loud at that time as now they were vastly lacking in the money value.

I took hold of the clog and carefully dragged the skunk to the creek and sank him in the water. I now went back to the other side of the creek and set the fox trap and when I had the trap set the skunk was good and dead. I reset the trap and took the fox and skunk to camp without skinning. When I got to camp I found Mr.

Harris busy making stretching boards of different sizes for different animals from shakes that we had left when covering the roof. Harris laughed and said that he knew that we would need them when I got back. The fox and skunk were skinned, stretched and hung up on the outside of the gable of the shack, and that was the starting point of our catch of the season. After the small steel traps were set we began building a line of deadfalls for marten and fisher.

After the deadfalls were built we divided our time between hunting deer and tending the traps. We caught three bears, two fisher, which were very scarce, as I do not think that fishers were ever very plentiful in this state, a good bunch of marten, foxes, four or five wildcats and killed twenty-two deer. The last days of December Mr. Harris said that we would prepare to go home as the deer season closed the first of January.

Although the law gave until the fifteenth to get your deer we had dragged the most of ours up to the Bailey Mill at various times. We got all those around the mill and sent them to Jersey Shore by freight teams to the railroad, then shipped them to New York. We got 15 cents for saddles and 10 cents for the whole deer. Harris had brought an auger with him so that he could make a sleigh to go home with and from birch saplings we made one and on the thirteenth of January I went and got the horse.

He was as fat as a pig and felt like a colt. We hitched him up to the sleigh and got our stuff up to the Bailey Mill where we loaded the wagon onto the sleigh and piled on the furs and the rest of our outfit and early on the morning of the fourteenth we started for home. This ended my first real experience as a hunter and trapper. I received two or three letters from Mr.

Harris, the last one in which he stated that he was not feeling very well and I never heard from him again. Some Early Experiences. In or I had several bear traps made by our local blacksmith and I started in as a bear trapper and went it alone. After being out with Mr.

Harris I had taken some valuable lessons on trapping bear and other animals. I built a good log camp on the West Branch of Pine Creek and went to trapping and hunting without either partner or companion, but after being in camp the first season I bought a shepherd dog that was a year old and broke him for still hunting and trapping.

I found that a good intelligent dog was not only a companion but also a valuable one. I have noticed that some trappers do not want a dog on the trap line with them, claiming that the dog is a nuisance. This is because the dog was not properly trained. To get back to the bear trapping: In the locality where I was trapping, bear were not very plentiful except in season, when there was a crop of beechnuts, although there was but little other shack, such as chestnuts and acorns.

However, some seasons there would be an abundance of black cherries which the bears are very fond of. I set three traps at the head of a broad basin where there were three or four springs and the next day I set the balance of my bear traps; then I built a few deadfalls for coons and set a few steel traps for fox.

As I had seen several fresh bear tracks crossing the stream, where I had been setting the coon traps, on the morning of the third day after I had set the first three bear traps, I thought that I would go and look after them. They were about a mile and a half from camp and when I came in sight of the first trap I saw that I had a bear.

You may be sure that I again felt like a mighty hunter. I was more pleased over this one bear than I was over the eight bear we had caught when I was with Mr. Harris, because now I was the trapper and not Mr. The bear was a good sized female. She had become fast only a short distance from where the trap was set. I shot and skinned the bear then cut the carcass into quarters, bent down a sapling and hung a quarter of the bear on this.

With a forked pole I raised the sapling up until the meat was out of the way of small animals that might happen along. After hanging up three of the quarters in this manner, leaving one to take to camp, I took the lungs and liver and put them in the bait pen. The bait had all been eaten and I was quite sure it had been done after the bear was caught, as a bear immediately loses its appetite after placing its foot in a good, strong trap.

I really expected to find another bear in one of the other traps as they were not far away, but the other traps were undisturbed. The next morning I thought I would take some bait from camp and bait the trap where I had put the offals from the bear, fearing that should a bear come along it might not eat the bait that was in the pen. You may imagine my surprise when I came in sight of the trap to see another bear fast in the trap.

After killing the bear I removed the entrails and started to carry the bear to camp. It was a cub and I could carry it without cutting it in parts. I was just about to start for camp when I decided I would go to the other traps.

If I was surprised at seeing the first cub, I was doubly so, for there was another cub tangled up in the trap. Do you think I felt gay? Well, that was no name for it. I shot this cub and without waiting to dress it I took a lively gait to the other trap to see if there were any more bears but there was nothing there. The last two bears, I think were the cubs of the old bear that I had caught the night before.

I spent the entire day getting the bears to camp. I did not get any more bear for some time although I had an opportunity to learn a whole lot about them. Some days after I got the old bear and the cubs, I found the bait pen in one of the traps torn down by a bear, which had taken the bait and had not sprung the trap. Right here I will say that I learned a great deal more about the habits of Bruin.

After finding the bait gone I thought that all I would have to do was to make the bait pen a little stronger so Bruin could not tear it down so readily to get at the bait. I did not think that a bear knew anything about "trapology," for the experience I had so far in bear trapping was that bears knew but little more about a trap than a hog, though later I found I was very much mistaken.

The trap was set in a small brook where there were plenty of rocks of all sizes. I rolled several of these rocks, as large as I could handle, up about the bait pen to strengthen it to such an extent that Bruin would not think of tearing it down. I figured the bear by going over the trap would take the bait from the entrance of the pen as a good bear should; though in this I was greatly mistaken.

The second day I went to the trap with full expectation of finding Bruin fast in the trap, but again I was disappointed--Bruin had again gone to the back of the pen and torn the top of the pen off, rolling away some of the stones, taking the bait. Now I saw that if I was to get my friend Bruin, I would have to work a little strategy.

I removed the trap from the clog, leaving the clog undisturbed and making all appear just the same as it did when the trap was set. I was very careful to have the covering of the trap left just the same as when the trap was set. Then I got another clog and set the trap at the back of the pen at the place where the bear had torn off the top of the bait pen. Here I concealed the trap and clog as completely as I knew how and being very careful to make all appear just as before the trap was set, flattering myself that Bruin would surely put his foot in it this time.

I went early the next morning, being sure that I would find Bruin, but no bear had been there. I went again early the next morning with high expectations of finding Bruin waiting for me, but again nothing had been disturbed. Thinking that Bruin had left that locality altogether, or that he would not be back again for several days, I thought I would go and have a team come and take out the furs and game I had, and give Bruin time to get back after more bait.

As I had caught no bear at the other traps, I felt quite certain that Bruin was still somewhere in the neighborhood and would be around again after more bait. When I reached home an old gentleman by the name of Nelson who was a noted hunter and trapper and who lived near us, came to see me.

Let me explain who this Mr. Nelson was, as I shall have more to say of him. Nelson was one of the early settlers in this county, moving here at an early date from Washington County, New York State. He was known here as Uncle Horatio and by many as Squire Nelson, as he was a Justice of the Peace here for thirty years. Nelson would always come to our house as soon as he found that I was at home, to see what luck I had in the way of trapping and hunting.

On this occasion, Mr. Nelson, or Uncle Horatio, as we always called him, was soon over to learn what luck I had and when I told him what sort of a time I had trying to outwit the bear, he said I had better build a deadfall and let the bear kill himself. Uncle said that Bruin would give me much trouble and was likely to leave and I would not get him at all. This idea I did not like, for I had, before this, been put to my wit's end to outwit a cunning old fox, but finally succeeded in catching him and I thought I could outwit such a dumb thing as a bear.

I thought if I could not get the bear in a steel trap, there would be but little use trying to get him in such a clumsy thing as a deadfall--however, Uncle had trapped bear long before I was born and knew what he was talking about. As soon as I got back to camp I went to the bear trap to relieve Bruin of his troubles, but it was not the bear that was in trouble, but myself, for Bruin had been there and torn out a stone at one side of the pen and had taken the bait.

Well, the case was getting desperate, so I got another trap and set it at the side where the bear took the bait the last time, taking all the pains possible in setting the trap, but the result was no better than before. I had made it a habit to hang on a small bait near the bear traps, believing that the bear would be attracted by the scent of the bait hanging up from the ground more than it would from the bait in the pen.

At this trap I had hung up the bait in a bush that extended out from the bank over the brook and each time the bear had taken this bait. I now took one of the traps at the pen, leaving the clog and all appearances as though the trap still remained there.

Getting another clog I concealed it under the edge of the bank and set the trap under the bait that I had hung in the bush. I was certain this time that I would outwit Bruin, but instead, the bear went onto the bank, pulled the bush around, took the bait and went about his business. Now I was getting pretty excited and began to think of the advice of Uncle Horatio but I was not willing to give up yet. Up the brook, fifty or sixty feet from the bait pen, there had fallen a small, bushy hemlock tree which stood on the right hand bank of the spring, and the top of the tree reached nearly over to the opposite bank.

I had noticed that when the bear had come to the trap he had come down the brook and went back the same way. The water was shallow in the brook, barely covering the stones and fallen leaves all over the bed of the brook. Going to the top of the hemlock tree, I saw that the bear had passed between the top of this tree and the bank of the brook.

Here was a fine place to conceal the trap and I said, "Old fellow, here I will surely outwit you. I waited two days and then went to the traps again, wondering all the way what the result would be. Well, it was the same as before. The bear had gone to the bush on the bank, taken the bait, and had also taken the bait from the bait pen as usual.

Now I thought it quite time to try Uncle's plan, though I had but little faith in it. It was several miles to Mr. Haskins', the nearest house, but I lost no time in getting there for I was now feeling desperate. Haskins readily consented to help me build a deadfall. We cut a beech tree that was about fourteen inches through, that stood back in thick undergrowth some rods from the bait pen. We cut a portion about four feet long from the large end of the tree for the bed-piece and placing it against the small tree for one of the stakes.

With levers we placed the tree on top of the bed-piece and with three other good stakes driven at each side of the logs fastened the tops of the stakes together with withes to strengthen them, we soon had a good, strong deadfall made, as every boy who is a reader of the H-T-T, knows how to build. We baited the trap and set it, getting done in time for Mr. Haskins to get home before dark.

I again put bait back in the bait pen and on the bush as before and patiently awaited results. The second day I looked after the traps but there were no signs of bear being about either the deadfall or the steel traps and I feared that I had frightened Bruin out of the country in building the deadfall. I put in three or four days looking after other traps, thinking but little about the bear that had, so far, been beyond my skill. After three or four days, I again went to the deadfall, wondering and imagining all kinds of things.

When I came to the steel traps the bait was still undisturbed and I was now sure that that particular bear was not for me, but when I stepped into the thicket so that I could see the deadfall, there was Bruin, good and dead. When I looked at the bear I found that he had three toes gone from one foot and this I thought to be the cause of his being so over-shy of the steel traps. I learned a lesson that has since served me more than one good turn.

It was of one of these occasions that I will relate. Two young men, named Benson and Hill, had sent me word that they were coming out to my camp and hunt a few days; also to go with me to my bear traps but added that they did not suppose that I would get a bear while they were in camp, even if they would stay all winter. It had been drizzling sort of a rain for several days and every old bear hunter knows that dark, lowery weather is the sort bears like to do their traveling in.

I had set the time to go out on a stream known as the Sunken Branch, to look after some fox traps and also two bear traps that I had in that section the day I got word from Benson and Hill that they would be over to camp the next day. I thought I would put off going to look after the traps in that locality until the boys came over and should I have the luck to find a bear in one of the traps it would come very acceptable to have the help to get the bear to camp for it was some four or five miles to the farthest trap.

The boys came as they said but the next morning after they got there it was raining very hard and they did not want to go out and did not want me to go until it slacked up. Well, the next morning it was raining hard and the boys were in no better mood to go out than the day before.

It had been several days since I had been to the traps, in that direction, and there were some chestnuts in that locality where the bear traps were set. The storm had knocked the chestnuts out and it was probable that bears would be in that locality.

I told the boys I did not like to let the traps go any longer without looking after them and they could stay in camp and I would go to the traps. When I was about ready to start, Hill said that he would go with me, notwithstanding the rain, though Benson tried to persuade us not to go, stating that no bear was fool enough to travel in such a rain and that all we would get would be a good thorough soaking.

I was determined to delay no longer looking at the traps and started off when Hill said, "Well, I'm with you. Hill was continually wishing we would find a bear in one of the traps and that he could shoot it so that he could joke with Benson. Our route took us along the top of a ridge for about three miles when we dropped off to the first trap. When we were still half way up the side of the ridge I saw that Hill had got his wish for I could see a bear rolling and tumbling about down in the hollow and knew that it was fast in the trap.

I tried to point it out to Hill but he could not get his eye on it, so we went farther down the hill when Jim that was Hill's given name could see the bear. He said there was no need of going closer, that he could shoot it from where we were, but I said we must go closer as I did not like to make holes in the body of the skin unnecessarily. We had only taken a few steps farther when Jim said we were plenty close, that he could, shoot it from where we were and that if we should go closer the bear might break out of the trap and escape.

With all my urging I could not get Hill closer so I told him to be sure that he shot the bear in the head and not in the body. I discovered that Hill was very nervous and told him to take all the time necessary to make a sure shot.

When the gun cracked I saw a twig fall that the gun had cut off fully three feet above the bear's head. I urged Hill a few yards closer when he tried again with no better results than the first shot. After making the third shot Hill said he guessed that I had better shoot the bear as he thought something had gone wrong with the sights on his gun. It was raining hard so I killed the bear and took the entrails out, set the trap again and left the bear lying on the ground.

As it was a small bear we concluded to take the bear to camp whole. We hurried on to the next trap which was about a mile farther down the stream. When we got to where the trap was set it was gone, but the way things were torn up we could see that we had a bear this time that was no small one. The bear had worked down the stream, first climbing the hill on one side of the stream until it became entangled in a jam of brush or old logs, then back down the hill and up on the other side until it became discouraged, when it would try the other side again.

The bear was continuously getting the clog fast under the roots of trees or against old logs when it would gnaw the brush and tear them out by the roots. It was also noticed where he would rake the bark on the trees in trying to climb them, in hopes of escaping the drag that was following him. The bear would gnaw and tear old logs to pieces whenever the clog became fast against them.

This was all very interesting and exciting to Hill and he said he would give Benson the laugh when we got to camp. Hill had made me promise not to tell Benson how he had shot three times at the bear's head and missed it. The bear had worked his way down the stream nearly a mile from where the trap was set, when we came upon him and shot him at once. Hill declaring that it was getting too near night and raining too hard for him to practice on shooting bear any more that day.

We skinned the bear, hung up the meat, took the trap and skin and went back up the creek and set the trap in the same place again. Taking the bear skin we started back to where we left the other bear. After carrying the whole bear and bear skin until it was dark, we hung the bear skin up in the crotch of a tree, taking the bear and hurrying to camp at as lively a gait as we were able to make.

Hill said that while we had had a pretty rough day of it he would make it all up in getting the joke on Benson if I would not give him away on shooting the bears, as Hill was to tell Benson all about how he did it. Before we came to camp I said to Hill that if he cared to we would play a joke on Benson.

He wished to know what the plan was. I said that we would fix the bear up in the path that led from the shack to the spring and get Benson to go after a pail of water and run onto the bear. So we planned to have Benson think that we got no bear and after supper was over I was to take the pail and start to the spring after a pail of fresh water when Hill was to interfere and insist that Benson should go for the water as he had been in camp all day and needed exercise.

It was about a hundred feet from the shack to the spring and down quite a steep bank and about half way from the shack to the spring was a beech log across the path. When we got near camp we made no noise and when we came to the spring we washed our hands carefully to remove any blood that might be on them.

Then we took the bear to the log that was across the path and placed the forepaws and shoulders up over the log leaving the hind parts on the ground, then with a small crotched stick placed under the bear's throat to hold up its head we had it fixed up to look as natural as we were able to in the dark. We went into the shack looking as downcast as a motherless colt. It was unnecessary to deny getting any bear for Benson told us almost before we were inside that we should have known that we would get no bear in any such weather as we were having and none but simpletons would have gone out in such rain.

We ate our supper which Benson had waiting for us. We had little to say farther than to talk of what a fearful rain we were having. After supper was over I took the water pail, though it was nearly full of water, and threw the water out the door before Benson had time to object, saying that I would get a pail of fresh water. Hill said that we should let Benson go after the water as he had not been out of the shanty all day and needed some fresh air.

Benson consented to go after another pail of water although he said that he had brought the water that we had thrown out just before we came. I told Benson that I would hold the light at the door so he could see but Benson replied that I need not bother, all that was necessary was to leave the door of the shack open so that he could see his way back.

About the time that Benson reached the log he gave a terrible howl and we heard the water pail go rattling through the brush and when we got to the door Benson was coming on all fours, scrambling as fast as he could and yelling "Bah--bah--bear--bear! We could not conceal our feelings and when Benson found his speech he said, "You think you are mighty cunning; if you got a bear why didn't you say so and not act like two dumb idiots.

Well, after Benson was onto our joke, nothing would do but we must get the bear in and skin out the fore parts so we could have some bear meat cooked before we went to bed. Every time Hill awoke during the night he would burst out laughing while Benson would hurl a few cuss words at him. The next day we brought in the skin and saddles of the other bear, leaving the fore quarters for fox and marten bait. The rain now being about over with and the ground and leaves thoroughly soaked, it was a good time for still hunting deer, so we were all out early the next morning.

We started out together and soon became separated and it so happened that I was the only one to get a deer during the day. When I got to camp I found Benson was not in yet, so I did not tell that I had killed a deer, but thought I would wait until Benson came in and see what luck he had.

If he had not killed anything I would give him the hint and let him have the credit of killing the deer that I got as a sort of off-set on Hill on the bear hunt. I stayed outside gathering dry limbs for wood until I saw Benson coming and I planned to meet him before Hill got to talk to him. I learned that Benson had not killed anything, so I told him where I had killed the deer and that if he cared to he could claim the deer as his game. Benson was much pleased with the idea and as I had told him just where I had killed the deer it was easy for Benson to explain to Hill where the deer was shot.

Hill did not believe that Benson had killed a deer and said he would not believe he Benson had killed one if he did not know that he had been alone and anyway he must see the deer before he would believe it.

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