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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   63

for the fox business. This house is divided into three rooms, in the larger of which is a vat for freshening salt meat or fish. The other rooms are designated as trapping and examination rooms, respectively. The cage adjoins the trapping room. All food set out for foxes is placed in the cage, the door being always open. Week after week before trapping begins the foxes feed in this trap, and of course have no fear of it.

"When trapping time arrives, food is placed in the trap as usual and 8 or 10 men repair to the fox house. The door of the wire cage is adjusted and the man who operates it is stationed in the trapping room, in a position to observe what is going on in the cage; and when a sufficient number of foxes have entered, he closes the door by pulling a small rope. He then goes into the cage and drives the animals into the trapping room, where two men with large leather mittens pick the foxes up and pass them, one at a time, into the hands of others waiting in the examination room.

"When foxes are numerous in the trapping room, they run between the legs of the men attempting to catch them, climb up their bodies and jump from their shoulders, but very seldom bite except when they are taken hold of. If they get a good hold of a man's hand they hang on with bull-dog tenacity until their jaws are pried apart. They seem to realize their inability to bite through the mittens, and with few exceptions are easily handled. Major Clark reports one last year as lying inert in the native's arms, making no struggle whatever, and apparently enjoying the smoothing it received.

"The Government Agent is stationed in the examination Selecting room, and when a fox is passed in he decides whether it the Breeders shall be killed, or branded and dismissed as a breeder.

The elements on which his decision is based are the colour and quality of the fur, the age, length of brush, and live weight of the animal. All white foxes, runts, those off colour, crippled, bob-tailed, in poor condition physically, suffering from mange, or otherwise unfit to be left as breeders, are dispatched at once. All animals left as breeders must be in good physical condition, of good colour, and either young or in the prime of life; males must weigh at least 10 pounds, and females at least 7i pounds.

"The age is determined by a dental examination which is made by opening the animal's mouth with a soft gag, and inspecting the teeth.

"In taking the live weight, a strap two inches wide is looped around the animal's tail and the other end of the strap attached to a spring


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