I decide to take the trap back to the hardware store and ask if it is defective. Turns out, it is not the trap that is defective, but the operator. I wasn’t setting it properly. I take it back home and reset it, properly this time.
Bam! In less than 24 hours, I have Chip in the trap. He (she?) is very small, probably not full adult size–and certainly not as big as the one I have seen near the bird feeder. I take it to the edge of the forest behind where I live, but three streets down, so that it cannot find its way back (hopefully).
I set the trap again. Next morning I check it. No luck. Later, around supper time, Dale is there. About the same size as Chip. I wonder if Chip and Dale are siblings and how many more there might be. I bring Dale to where I released Chip, and she (he?) scampers off into the woods making a very high-pitched chirping noise, which I hope means it is happy. Of course, it occurs to me that I may have trapped Chip twice.
When I return, I set the trap again, but unfortunately forget to set the “lock” that holds the door down once it shuts. When I check it again later, the door is shut, but the bait is gone, and the trap is empty. I put in more apple slices and set the trap correctly this time.
Going out right now to check the trap. I will let you know what I find…stay tuned…