From Mink Trapping (1906) written by Arthur Robert Harding on page 88 to 94:

We can hardly approve of some of the methods herein described, but they will doubtless continue to be employed so long as they are not prohibited by law. Occasionally too, there might be circumstances to justify resorting to the most objectionable of them, writes a trapper and hunter of Maine.   The first of those I shall speak of requires a good dog, one that will follow the mink's track and drive him to hole. Nearly any intelligent dog, with a fair amount of the hunting instinct, can soon be trained to do this by allowing him to smell a few mink carcasses while skinning, and calling his attention at every opportunity to the trails of the animals along the streams, following them up and making an effort to bag the mink, with his help, as often as possible. The first snows afford good conditions for the rudimentary training, as the trail can then be plainly seen by the trapper (or rather hunter as he should be styled in this case) while a good scent is left for the dog.   Having qualified the dog for tracking, the next requisite is a partner. This, of course, means a division of the profits, but is unavoidable, as the work cannot be performed satisfactory by one alone. Indeed, it will more often be found convenient to have yet a third hand, which may be a boy to manage the dog and assist generally.   A meadow brook, not too large, with low, spongy banks, can be worked to best advantage. Look the ground well over in advance, acquainting yourself with the haunts of the game, and all the holes and other places in which a mink is likely to take refuge when pursued. For an outfit you need at least a crowbar and shovel (sometimes a sharp pointed, hardwood stick can be made to answer for the former) and each man should have a gun.   Go to the brook in the early morning, before the scent has had time ta cool. Allow the dog to hunt along the borders and under the banks, and when he picks up a track, work along with him until he has the game in hiding. You will find it necessary to assist him considerably, as mink by no means always travel on land. When one takes to the water, as they usually do at short intervals, the trail is broken beyond the ability of the strongest nosed dog to follow at such times as this, that is when Mr. Mink takes the brook for it, one should go ahead with the dog and find where he resumed dryfooting. It will probably not be far, for he is in and out every few yards or so, and if you go far without striking the trail  you had better turn back, for he is most likely hiding in the bank somewhere behind you.   After locating the hole where he is hiding, let the dog dig him out while a man stands a little distance up and down the brook respectively, with gun ready cocked for him when he conies along. If the hole extends some distance back into the bank, the rear end may usually be reached, after a few trials, by thrusting the bar down from overhead, which will have the effect to send the hunted animal forth in a hurry. Often, however, the spade will have to be brought into requisition and used freely before the object is accomplished.   At first he will probably forsake one hole only to take refuge in another, but when he finds that you are really after him, and that there is, moreover, a dog in the racket, he will try the dodge of swimming under water. Then is your time. Watch for him at the shallow places, where he will prove an easy mark. Have guns loaded light and aim to have charge strike a little to one side of body. The concussion will be sufficient to stop him, and the fur will not be injured as in firing point blank. It is exciting sport for the mink is like "greased lightning" in his movements, and if given the least chance will outwit both dog and man and escape.   An old New Hampshire gunner told us that he and his partner once got sixteen mink this way in one week, the best of which brought them twelve to fifteen dollars a skin. He knew absolutely nothing about trapping so resorted to this method instead. We have mentioned spade, bar and guns as comprising the necessary oufit, but of course various other implements of one's own invention and manufacture can often be used to advantage. Some make great account of a piece of wire with a sharp hook at one end for thrusting into the hole and drawing the mink to the light, as a trout from the water. Others use a long handled spear to thrust under banks, or to

pinion the game when going through shallows. A truly barbarous practice besides the further objections of greatly damaging the pelt of the animals taken thus.   Another mode of capturing the mink is to lie about the streams on wet and foggy days and shoot him. They travel a great deal in such weather. By selecting a spot where you can keep well hidden, yet commanding a long stretch of beach under some overhanging bank, you stand a good chance to secure a shot if you have plenty of patience. Of course you would not be apt to get many in a day, but one mink represents a pretty good day's work at the price they are selling now.   One characteristic of the animal should be borne in mind when pursuing this method of hunting him, and that is his persistency in going whichever way he wishes to go. If a mink starts to go up a brook he's going up before he gets through with it, or lose his life trying; and down the same. The more anybody or anything tries to prevent him, the more desperate and reckless he grows in his efforts to accomplish his aim. So if one sees you and turns back startled don't follow him, but just crouch down in a convenient hiding place and wait for him. - The chances are ninety to one that he will soon be back again.   I have known trappers to have good success taking mink with a common box trap such as isused in catching rats about the house and barn, and I am inclined to think that aside from its bulkiness this is a pretty good sort of trap. Some use poison as for the wolf, but the use of this on animals was always repugnant to me.   Perhaps the queerest method of which I ever heard was that mentioned by a gentleman in Illinois. He claimed to have caught mink with an ordinary fish hook, baited, and attached to a piece of wire.  I do not believe, however, that any of the methods mentioned in this article are equal for effectiveness and true sport to the regular way with steel trap or deadfall. Some of them, it seems to me, I could not be induced to make use of on any account. And yet, as already stated, one might find himself in circumstances that would justify their adoption.

From the same source on page 17:

There has been a great deal said about mink climbing trees, many being under the impression that they could not or did not unless leaning trees. This is a mistake however, as trappers have tracked them in thes now up straight and good sized trees. They will also occasionally tree when close pressed by dogs.

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