Sunday, November 1, 2009
SO, this semester I chose an object at the museum to explore and learn about. I came across the Athabaskan exhibit and I had to choose the "fish trap". You know, the long basket style net with the cone shaped opening? The ones that are hung up at random places in huge buildings? Yeah, THOSE things.. Anyways, this sparked my interests in other clever, insidious traps that have been used by the native people of Alaska. Upon doing some research for the fish trap, a "dead fall trap" came up. It's a pretty simple contraption and is quite effective for catching wolves, martin, and basically anything that doesn't weigh over 100 pounds. Dead fall traps are much like the ones you see in cartoons ( the box with a stick with a string attached holding one side up with some cheese or something under it). This is basically the same concept, except the dead fall trap uses heavy logs instead of a box with cheese under it.
The picture above shows the stakes in the ground in sort of a circle pattern. The two horizontal logs are the ones that catch the eager animals head. So basically, the animal comes along, smells some bate and bites it. The bate is attached to a string that connects to a sensitive stick holding a heavy log. The heavy log is resting on the horizontal piece and comes down on the animals neck or head, very quickly. This is a very smart and simple contraption just like the fish trap, it basically works for itself. The only work that needs to be done with these traps in collecting the catch!