stefansson-wrangel-09-29-018

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like Wrangell the snow is light and dry, and the wind will pack it into and over
a trap set without a cover. Even when a thin cover of snow is used, the location
has to be carefully chosen to prevent more snow piling on top and making the
cover so thick that the light feet of a fox can go over instead of breaking
through to be caught. Although there were a good many foxes actually captured,
they were evidently only a small fraction of the numbers that could have been
secured. From the point of view of the safety of the expedition and its success,
this was really of no consequence. The meat of foxes amounts to little. One
bear is worth a hundred foxes. For showing the value of the island, the obser-
vations of the men while trapping (about tracks and other signs) were as valuable
as the skins actually secured, for what we wanted was really only the information
as to the abundance of animals that are commercially valuable. We wanted to
secure evidence of the value of the island; the value itself we were not so
particular to secure.

On November 7th: "Galle went to his traps and found two gone
(they had evidently been badly fastened and the foxes caught had carried them
off). He got one fox. Coming home in the dark he got temporarily lost and saw
a bear while wandering around trying to find his way home. He did not shoot it
although we are rather short of dog feed. He says that he did not know where he
was, so he let the bear go." This was evidently felt by the whole party as a
misfortune, for the bears seen were much fewer now than they had been earlier
in the year. They were at last beginning to be conscious of the importance of
getting and saving any meat that came their way.

Since the party had decided not to kill until there was ample
snow for hauling the meat home, the exceptionally late season was a misfortune
to them. Apart from that, their preparations for the winter seem to have gone
smoothly and much according to plan. The outer house with the tent inside proved
to be a comfortable dwelling and there was plenty of dry wood for fuel, a

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