When I was young we lived for a few years in the county. Across the gravel road was an abandoned farm and we had permission to set box traps on the farm to catch rabbits. Box traps like the ones we used, or tried to use, this week are just boxes with a trigger in the back that causes a door to shut behind the animal. No harm done at all. In fact, if you've never seen a box trap they are like the one the chihauhua uses to try to catch the lee-zard in the Taco Bell commercials. There's a reference for you!
Anyhow, I remember checking the traps with my dad and sister. I remember catching quail once. We had no idea why they would have entered the box, but there they were never the less. And, I remember catching an opossum once. The back of my dad's traps had wire mesh so you could see in them and the opossum clung to the wire with its opposable thumbs and wouldn't let go. Finally, we shook him out of the box and when he landed at our feet, he played dead. I remember thinking 1. so they really do play dead and 2. that is the silliest thing I've ever seen since we were just eyeball to eyeball with the opossum trying to get him out of the trap a mere moment before. After a few seconds, he must have realized his playing dead trick was too ridiculous, too, because he gave us a quick look, flipped over and scurried off.
That's one great thing about hunting. It helps you get a much better understanding of wildlife and their behaviors.
I also remember Dad pulling a rabbit out of the box trap once and watching him turn around to discretely bop it in the head. The down side of a box trap is that the animal has to meet its demise by your hand. I remember watching Dad and thinking that part of eating was a bit too realistic for me. It still would be very difficult for me to do, although I have been very quick to do the deed when animal is severely injured and in pain.
Hunting with Fred was so much fun this weekend. I realized, after I shot the rabbit, that it was the first time I've ever hunted with him. I've gone with him numerous times to keep him company and get out, but never to do the act of hunting, and I know I've never shot an animal with him. There was something so partner-like in Fred hopefully and excitingly saying, "Get him, Annie!" as the rabbit ran by me. And, both of us pointing our barrels at a rabbit, me with a shotgun in case it gets away from Fred's .22, is a crazy neat experience, too.