Was reading through some old posts the other day, and seeing mention of my buddy Eric, and also of my Uncle, Larry Leawood, I was reminded of tailing slips. I think pretty much every young boy has experienced this back home, and likely most continue to do so as long as they can.
For the non Newfoundlander, or perhaps for some of those too, you CFA’s know them as rabbit snares, but they’ll always be rabbit slips to me. Essentially, they are a loop of wire tailed in a rabbit trail used to catch rabbits for eating.
Back in older days, slips were always made out of this…. braided? not sure the right term right now, but was made up of many many filaments, and was nearly impossible, for me anyway, to keep it in a loop shape without it twisting. I still remember buying it, and the newer alunimum? wire at Handy Andy’s back in the day. Part of the fun I think was interacting with Stan and Dennis, but you could buy the wire and the licence nearly anywhere.
I also remember playing with the old filamented wire on the old flashlight batteries, and having the little ends glow red hot, but I digress.
Often times, you could tell who owned a slip in the woods, just by looking at it, as they were often as unique as the person who tailed them. Uncle Larry for example always tied his on with a granny knot, while others made their loops in slightly different ways or shapes. You’d often see them tailed in the same rabbit run year after year, and others you’d see someone make a spot to tow the rabbits, chopping down some tasty young birch and making a run of your own to tail your slip in.
This wasn’t done for fun, though it can be fun too, but rabbits were and are a big addition to the winter food store. And quite tasty to boot, I’d like to have a freezer full right now!