One string, at least 10 feet long (but the longer the better)
One stick (8 inches to 1 foot in length)
One guitar case
Bait- marshmallows work well because you can break them up and stick the pieces where you want, though fresh green pine cones are great too. Anything you discover they like (I’d love to see a node about that).
A (or some) squirrel(s).
This is basically the classic box-propped-up-with-a-stick trap.
The guitar case works well because the lid is heavy enough to remain shut with a squirrel inside it.
First, place the guitar case at the edge of the woods or near some bush. It’s fine if you leave it there (lid down) while making other preparations (the squirrels may become more comfortable around it in their environment).
Take your handy-dandy stick and tie the rope around it at about half-point. Place the stick next to the guitar case and lead the rope back to where you plan to spend your time waiting, preferably somewhere where you can clearly see you guitar case, far enough away so as to not scare the squirrels away or make them leery about investigating the area. If you are going to be in the sun, wear sunscreen: time flies when trying to catch a squirrel, and you don’t want a burn.
Now it is time to set your bait. You must, no matter what bait you use, create a trail leading up to the guitar case. Don’t leave copious amounts of bait lying around or your squirrel will not see the point in venturing into the guitar case for more. The trick is to leave only a few pieces; each piece should increase in proximity to the case. Have lots of bait with you. You can always lay more bait if need be.
Grab that wonderful newspaper. Line your guitar case with it. Do not worry if, at this point, your laid out bait is being stolen by rodentia. This is good; it means the squirrels are waiting for you to vacate the premises for to get at more food.
Prop the guitar case lip up with the stick. Put about half a dozen bait bits in the center. This ‘in the center’ business is important; your quarry must have to actually jump down into the case to get at the bait. Be sure to test the stick, pulling on the sting to see if it can be pulled away easily. Find the best way to place you stick: loose enough to be easily pulled away, but not so fragile that it will fall if a breeze (or a squirrel) brushes past it.
Please note: Squirrels have sharp claws and can dig their teeth very far into human flesh in a single bite.
Go over to you waiting spot. Sit down. Get comfortable. Get a good book. Look like you’re interested in anything else but that guitar case and those squirrels. If you have other people around you, talk to them. This will create the illusion that you are just a preoccupied bystander and not a being intent on capturing squirrels (squirrels generally do not like these individuals). I found it was much more amusing to use my guitar to entertain myself, singing observationally about the squirrels and other things around me (My ballad: Major key: “I’m a squirrel, what shall I do today? I think I’ll go over and see what’s in that guitar case over there. Mmm, food, I should jump in and get it!” Minor key: “I’m an evil villain, intent on capturing myself a squirrel!” etc.). This passes the time and entertains.
They will come. Wait. It takes patience. Wait some more. Do not pull the string until a squirrel is entirely in the case. Wait for it. I don’t care if it looks like it’s going to jump in, or if it’s perched indecisively on the rim and is going to jump in; if it’s not in, it’s not in. The moment the squirrel jumps in (the first hint of all four feet being out of contact with the case) pull the string.
If all has been done properly, you will have a squirrel inside a closed (and newspaper lined) guitar case. Ta-da!
Also, I may node more on this, following up on what to do after you’ve caught your squirrel. But right now, I don’t care.
Maybe soon to come: What Squirrels Will and Will Not Eat, How To Relocate a Squirrel, How to Keep a Squirrel as a Pet, and How to Cook Squirrel.