TRAPPING WILD TURKEYS
 NOW was come the season when wild turkeys were
plentiful, if one was willing to seek them at some
considerable distance from the town, and because of
our people's being so busy with their building, they
could not spend very much time hunting; therefore
turkeys, or any kind of game, were in good, demand
at a fair price, such as a sixpence for a plump bird
of twenty pounds or more.
Some of our Indian friends had told us how to
make a turkey trap, and Jethro and I had laid our
plans to go far into the forest on the morning after
the day of buying the land, starting at the first gleam
of day, to build it. Therefore it stood us in hand to
get to bed early, otherwise we should not be in best
condition for the work.
In case you have never trapped wild turkeys, I
can tell you how to set about it in the simplest and
best manner, for we caught many a big gobbler during
that fall, before the winter snows came to put an end
to the sport, and, with the money thus earned, sent
to England for two pairs of the best skates.
Of course you must first find a place where the
turkeys are in the habit of roosting, and once
having found it, not let the birds see or hear you
 more than is absolutely necessary while building the trap.
Therefore it is that your work should be begun after
the turkeys have scattered to pick up their breakfast,
and finished before they come back to roost at night.
What you want is a square cage built stoutly of
saplings, with brushwood woven in on the top and sides
in such manner that the biggest of the birds cannot
force their way out after having been caught. Make
the cage at least six feet square on the ground, and four
feet high. On each side form a door of twigs, twelve
inches wide and twice as high, made to swing from
the top, and fastened open with a trigger and string,
as if you were building a rabbit trap.
When all this has been done, and a covering of
brushwood thrown around to hide, so far as possible,
the work of your hands, scatter corn inside the trap,
and make trails of it from the thickets up to each door.
Now the story of it is that the turkey, walking home
to roost, for he does not fly to his sleeping place, comes
across the trail of corn, and, like the greedy fellow he
is, rushes forward, pecking here and there, always
looking for a greater quantity, until he gets inside your
trap. There he may or may not come upon the
trigger that shuts the door; but some of those who
follow him are certain to do so, and, what has always
seemed to me strange, they do not have sense enough
to walk out of one of the doors even when it is open.
 You can safely count on getting at least four birds
every night, and on more than one morning Jethro
and I have found
as many as ten big,
fat fellows for
whom we could get
It may puzzle
you to know how
we could get them
out, without tearing the trap to
pieces; but it was
simple enough. In
the top we left two
or three of the
saplings in such manner that they could be taken
partly off, and through the hole thus made by removing
them, we regularly fished for the birds with a
slipnoose, catching them by the necks, after which it
was only necessary to carry the game into town in
order to get your sixpences.