Friday, 10 February 2012

18th Century Brass Wire Snares. For Living History & Survival.

1 ¼ pounds of iron and brass wire, both thick and thin.
Ft Pontchartrain 1747.

Let the young trapper supply himself with a small, sharp hatchet, and a stout, keen edged jack-knife,—these being the only tools required. He should also provide himself with a coil of fine brass "sucker wire," or a quantity of horse-hair nooses (which will be described further on), a small ball of tough twine and a pocket full of bait, such as apples, corn, oats and the like, of course depending upon the game he intends to trap. With these, his requirements are complete, and he has the material for a score of capital snares, which will do him much excellent service if properly constructed.
By W. HAMILTON GIBSON. Gutenberg Files.

“made earrings from brass snare wire……..”
Henry the Younger 2:514-517, 532. http://www.northwestjournal.ca/XIII2.htm

Brass wire was sometimes used for snaring and capturing animals.

Using snares was a common trapping method with Eastern woodland Indians. Using the correct size of snare they could trap any size of game from quale up to deer. Cordage, raw hide & sinew snares were used, but brass snare wire obtained through trade was also used.

Original brass wire snare.

Not earlier than 1750
Not later than 1837   Minnesota Historical Society.
MHS Library Catalog

Wire, brass, 24-32 ga. [fine], snare

Wire of all sizes was common; much of it was likely used

for snares, but this cannot be corroborated.

The English Hare Pipe. Only one snare line, from anchoring stake through the pipe, formes a loop, then back into the pipe and secured at the other end of the pipe on a peg. The more the hare pulled, the more the points on the end of the pipe stuck in.

A more humane version could easily be made with a piece of plain pipe with no points. This would also stop the snare from strangling the hare/rabbit. Oridinary brass wire snares do not strangle either, but neck snares have been banned in NSW because of the modern snares using a lock! Another case of the government simply either not caring, or not knowing what they are talking about!
In my opinion ordinary snares are far more humane that 1080 poison which is what the government recommends! You can't of course use the meat from a poisoned animal. This 1080 is also responsible for the killing of many native animals.

Poachers in England would have used snares and hare pipes, so many who travelled to the New World were not devoid of survival skills. They were already good woodsmen and hunters.

Hunting was largely performed with a bow, although snares and pit traps were sometimes used. Wood described deer traps in Massachusetts “which are springes made of young trees, and smoote wrought coards; so strong as it will tosse a horse if hee be caught in it”.
  Archaeology of the Puncheon Run Site (7K-C-51) Volume II: Technical Appendices


Gorges Smythe said...

I guess I wouldn't have thought of brass holding up well enough.

Le Loup said...

Yes I know what you mean, but brass wire is ideal, much better to use than steel/iron wire. I have a large game copper snare too.

hoboknitter said...

Everywhere I go on the internet, I find you :-) twokniveskate

Le Loup said...

hoboknitter, I will give you a tip. Whenever you post a comment on another blog, type in your blog url. It will elevate your ratings, & bring you more followers.
Regards, Keith.

twokniveskatie said...

Thanks Keith. My blog will begin to get busier soon. I am missing the 18th century. I am beginning my search for a place there again, this time with something more authentic than the cobbled together non-personna I had before. I don't know what that will be yet.

Le Loup said...

Katie, I really don't know you well enough to advise on a persona, but from what I feel about you, I would have thought you would go for a woodswoman like Mrs Pentry, or maybe even Mad Ann Bailey. Not these personas per se, but that type of person. You strike me as more of a Mrs Pentry type.
Regards, Keith.