Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-4 : Species and Subjects

Type of trap used: 
The WISCONSIN DEER TL.Ai, we believe, introduoes an entirely 
new Irdv in the trapping of wild deer. This new principle consists 
of trappin  the deer in their sipping crates, therely avoiding 
unnecessary handling. The use of such traps largely eliminates 
"cowboy methods" which have led to frequent failures in handling
in the past. 
The WISCONSIN DE  TRAP is a wooden box trap, 54 inches long, 
42 inches high, and 24 inches wide, (outside measurements) with a 
drop door in front released by a trigger attached to a raised treadlj 
in the back end of the trap. The trap is padded 6n the insid 
with hay covered by canvas. 
The trap was developed by combining ideas in use by the United 
States Forest Service on the Kaibab Forest in Arizona, and with the 
advice of Ur. Vernon Bailey, Chief Field Natutist for the United 
States "Bureau of Biological Survey. The forest service was using 
canvas padding" (consiting of taut canvas without any hay body) in 
shipped crates. They evidently have never trapped deer in box traps, 
their system being to trap the animals (mule deer) in enclosed fields. 
The biological survey suggested the approximate specifications of the 
trap, although Mr. Baileyls idea was to use a wire trap. The trigger 
and treadle arrangement we not original, since they are in common use 
in small anJma_ traps. 1he WISCONSIN DEER TRAP, however, is made of 
wood framework, has a dark interior, is sollapsible and does represent 
several new developments. It weighs approximately 125 pounds. The cost 
of each trap is about $iI.XO., 
Use of the trap: 
Our method of using the traps was to transport them into the 
woods on mleighs, and also separately on stoneboats, by horsepower. 
No doubt tw men could get a trap into remote woods by the use of a 
toboggan sled. 
In locating the traps we naturally picked out places where deer 
were feedir getensively. The traps were invariably located close 
by deer trails. We covered each trap over with brush, poles, balsam, 
and cedar boughs and even camouflaged one trap as a pile of cordwood. 
Plenty of browse was left on and in the traps so that the deer got 
the habit of feeding all around the trap. 
For bait we used sliced apples, whole oats, bran, salt, hay and 
the twigs of balsam and cedar. Apples and oats, however, seemed to be 
most desired, although we wish to experiment further with the use of 
salt, especially in the snow-less periods of the year. Undoubtedly 
salt-baited traps can be successfully operated in the spring and 

Results:           No. traps in use.           Develpments 
February 15         2 traps               One trap entered by doe. 
16         2                     One trap entered and apple 
bait entirely gone. Deer 
tracks (doe) plainly seen 
in middleO rap. 
17         2                     Captured the doe. 
The other trap was visited 
by a big buck. He had 
nibbled a little with his 
head in the trap and had 
eaten most of the twigs 
which concealed the trap. 
.          9                     One trap was sprung by a 
deer. No ether traps had 
been entered although deer 
had fed around fou of the' 
The traps were all newly 
19         8  "                  Two traps entered. Deer 
did not go far enough 
back to spring the treadle. 
One fine fawn caught in the 
barn trap. 
20         9  "                  Four other traps entered 
but none sprung. The deer 
can stretch their necks 
ehut to reach all the fee( 
in the trap while they still 
stand in front of the tread] 
21         8  "                  Five traps had been entered 
Deer had fed around and 
about six of the traps. MucT 
of the bait gone. 
22         7                      ad a fine fawn in the 
first trap we set, the 
one concealed by cordwood. 
A big buck had entered 
another trap and had left 
his footprint in the middle 
of the trap. 
Two other traps had been 
23         7                     One trap had been sprung by 
a buck. Two other traps had 
been entered and several 
had been visited. 
24         All traps left open but sprung so that deer can 
enter the traps to feed but cannot be captured.