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46   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

stamped into the hide where it is least valuable. The brand could be registered, and the skin or the live animals thus identified. If such a method be practical, it would have the additional advantage of being undiscoverable by thieves and of rendering it possible to identify the skin on the open market.

The catching and handling of foxes in their pens pre-Catching and sent little difficulty. Expert ranchers will catch and Handling handle them without gloves or instruments, but the ordinary rancher provides himself with a pair of tongs the jaws of which will close to a diameter of two and a half inches. The fox is shut into his nest, when the cover is lifted, is grasped about the neck with the tongs. The fox may then be carried away on the arm and the rancher be in no danger of getting bitten. A catching box is also useful. It is made just large enough to admit the fox and has a slide door at each end. When it is placed at the end of the entrance to a house with one slide door opened, the fox may be driven out of the nest into it. The slide door is closed and the fox is thus trapped in the box. If the catching box be made of stiff wire-mesh sides and top, the fur can be closely examined. In the case of the latter type of construction, how-ever, the fox might not readily enter it unless a blanket was placed over the box to darken it.

When foxes are transported, they are put into a box which is lined with meshed wire so that they cannot escape by gnawing their way out. They can be kept without water or food for days, but are generally fed water biscuits or a bone and are watered, a can being nailed on the interior for that purpose. Express companies are obliged to feed them if food is provided.

When foxes are brought to their pens for the first time, they should be liberated by making a small opening in the box and holding it up to the entrance of the kennel. They will then enter their nest and, after a minute's inspection, will come out into the pen. By this time, the keeper can be away out of sight, and none, or very few, will attempt to climb the wire or rush against it. If pens are provided with cover and built in secluded woodland, the wildest foxes will not climb the wire if the keeper is competent and no strangers are admitted.

No foxes except a few old ones and culls were killed in Slaughtering Prince Edward Island for their pelts in 1910, 1911 or for Fur 1912. The pelt of a fox becomes prime in November, but is not as heavy then as in December. They are killed on Prince Edward Island in the last week of December. An eight months old fox is said to have as full and large a skin as an older one. Some breeders, how-


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