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January 06, 2014
Survival Skills: The Ojibwa Bird Snare, Part 2 - 0
by Tim MacWelch
After last week’s post about the Ojibwa bird snare, I wanted to follow up with some more details and options for this unusual trap. One of the most fascinating parts of trapping (for me anyway) is the variation that you can employ with your traps. This bird trap is no exception. Change up the “engine” that drives this simple machine, or place it in an unexpected location, and the Ojibwa bird snare can act like a whole new trap. Try out these two options on your next adventure.
Change the Engine
To modify the trap to utilize a spring pole mechanism, first cut a 2- to 3-foot-long flexible sapling or branch. Choose hardwood for its durability and natural springy wood fibers. Select dry wood rather than live wood, as it will spring back even more quickly than the wetter living wood. This spring pole can be finger diameter if you’re using this trap for birds. Cut a spring pole that’s thumb thick if you’re going after larger birds or small game mammals. Whichever you choose, tie the thicker end of your spring pole near the top of the bird staff with strong cordage. I prefer to tie it in two spots instead of one continuous wrapping, as it seems to be more stable. Next, tie the end of your line to the narrower end of the spring pole. You’ll have to experiment a little to get the cord length just right. You’ll still need a knot in this line near the noose, to act as part of the trap trigger. If you can pull the line through the hole in the staff and get a bend on the spring pole while still being able to get the cord knot and perch trigger stick to engage, then you did it right. Make sure you tie the knot (which is part of the trigger) in a position on your snare line that allows the trap to set easily, yet receive the full action of the spring pole.
HANDY TIP: While you’re getting the knot and perch stick trigger system figured out, allow the noose to stay closed, clasping a small stick as a toggle. This will keep your spring pole from sucking your noose through the hole in the staff, and it will save you from having to rethread the noose through the staff.
Change the Set
Have you ever modified or re-invented a trap? Tell us what you tried, and how it worked, in the comments.