Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hunting Pheasants Method 2: Using Snares

      The figure posted above shows the most effective snare used by the Nepali hunters to trap a pheasant. The red string goes up and is tied to a bent branch, usually small. The string used is normally a cobbler's string of good quality and should be black in color. Cobblers usually use this string to sew the leather; it is strong and thin. 
 First the hunter visits the place where the pheasants are noticed frequently.. Observing the routes of the pheasants, he blocks most of them with thorns so that the pheasant when it has to run, runs only along the route predefined by the hunter. Two strong stakes are driven into the soil, with space cut for the blue sick to be latched. Latched doesn't mean that the blue stick gets fixed there, it has to be adjusted in a such a way that even a slight pressure on it will make the bent branch rush up, tightening the lasso around the fowl's neck or sometimes around the body. The red string is a lasso, when the pheasant tries to run through, it pushes the blue stick and instantly when the bent branch is free from the tension, it shoots upwards. That should be enough for the bird because there is no chance that it will break free from the strong string, it is often noticed that the bird dies while trying to free itself from the lasso. I hope you understand how that works.
 The hunters should be careful not to chase the birds the wrong way, dogs are not allowed. Chasing the birds is not a proper way for this snare to work. We need to make some soft noise and make them feel that they can get away without the need of a sudden flight. The hunters move in a semi-circular pattern towards the snare without trying to get too close to the birds. The birds not startled but smelling the presence of people will try to flee from that place in an unhurried pace. 
The height of the snare is a matter of consideration,  the lasso should be exactly placed as high as a cock's height and wide enough. The stick should be placed in such a height that the bird which usually runs with its head bent low, should push it with its upper part of the body.
 We don't use sticks and strings of some flashy color as that can make the birds wary.
Puja is done for a pheasant caught in a trap too. Some feathers are plucked, some blood dropped on the leaves and the pheasant held around the body is rotated seven times around the newly built shrine of seven feathers and seven leaves. The hunters believe that in doing so they please the deity of the forests and he/she gives more of the game.

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