Hard on Musk Rat Catchers
Published Deember 30, 1912

Three Millbrook Men Arrested and Fined $10 and Costs

Law Protects the Rats

Skins Worth Six Dollars Each and Animals Are Much Sought After

Sheriff Henderson Sunday arrested three men at Millbrook on the charge of violating the game laws. They were Earl Sanderson, Albert and Louie Berndt.

Justice Jenkins today fined them $10 and costs, which they paid.

The offenses charged consists of setting traps within musk rat houses. The law provides that traps must not be set within six feet of such houses.

These musk rat houses are built by the muskrats on the lake. They are sometimes as high as five or six feet, and are air tight. The rats live in these houses, during the winter, while they use the lake as a hunting place for food. The houses are so constructed by the rats that even in very severe weather the water inside does not freeze, and the rats get into the water at will to hunt for their food, and then come up through the ice to breathe and rest.

However, when these houses are broken into to set the traps the water freezes over and the rats are unable, after a old spell, to use their homes. Thus unless they can get to the surface somewhere else they soon smother.

As musk rats are valuable, the current price at present being 60 cents for each skin, they are much sought after, and some people do not hesitate to violate the law so long as theycan catch the rat easily.

Fearing wholesale extermination the officers are seeking to enforce the law for the benefit of the dumb creatures.

This is the seond batch of arrests for this sam offense. The first arrests were those of John Aris and John Southwick of Remus, whose hearing was to be held today, but on account of not being able to get the people's witnesses in time it had to be adjourned.