Marin was quite familiar with archery from his past. Rather, he was somewhat of a hunting enthusiast. Ever since China banned guns, Marin was forced to learn and perfect his archery skills.
Moreover, Marin had once personally crafted an English longbow. Regrettably, the arrows had to be made by a specialized craftsman. With the bow, he went into the mountains and started hunting birds and rabbits.
Of course, in the Middle Ages, bows and arrows were very important weapons. Their price being very expensive. As for the production of an English longbow, putting aside the specialized wood and other materials, just the crafting of the bow would take two or three months. The present Marin had no time to make one. Nor would he have the money to buy the bowstaves.
But, Marin also knew an important hunting skill – trapping…
As long as the camouflage was cleverly laid, even the most sensitive of animals can be deceived. Because animals are animals, they often pay attention to the movement around them. A useful survival trait when its predators are fast and nimble. Hence, they concentrate on seeing and listening to their surroundings. Leaving them susceptible to the trap underneath their feet. So, if the trap is arranged realistically, it can basically catch most animals. Of course, the premise is that animals happen to walk onto the trap.
Marin started to look around him. He was in a forest near the German Rhine. There was a stream running next to the road, a good source of water for animals.
Having watched “Animal Planet” quite often, Marin figured out that many animals, especially herbivores, will travel to the local water source in the mornings. Making it the optimum time for him to catch something.
There were no tigers or lions in Europe; the fiercest wild beast being a wolf. However, wolves infest the forest at night but don’t generally appear in the mornings. So, venturing to the river on the mornings is nothing too dangerous.
Marin was riding along the small stream back and forth a few times. Repeatedly dismounting and squatting on the ground to observe the animal footprints and feces. Finally, he narrowed down the three most trafficked areas.
As for the three places, the terrain was all relatively flat, with virtually no trees to speak of. Probably the reason herbivores would choose this area because it’s convenient for a hasty escape. Even if something wants to ambush them, it would be next to impossible as there is no dense vegetative cover.
Having chosen a good location, next was the layout of the trap. A sad reminder for Marin was that he didn’t have anything to dig the pit. Strictly speaking, Western Europe at this time had not fully adopted iron tools. In many estates such as the Hoffman Manor, the serfs used wooden tools. Only in Italy, England, or some other affluent areas where metallurgy has developed enough are they widely used. As for the lack of copper and bronze, it’s mainly due to its scarcity. The availability of European copper will only rise when mines are established in Sweden. Copper will also come from the East from sources such as Thailand or Japan. But without these sources, its value sustained an exchange ratio of 15 silver to 1 copper. Much too expensive for commoners and even lower nobility to use casually.
Since Marin’s money was cheated away, he, of course, had no money for metal tools. He was forced to find a tree and use his dagger to cut a branch off of it. Forming a small wooden pick. Using that, he finally started to dig his traps.
Digging with wooden tools truly required much more effort. Fortunately, as it was next to a stream, the soil was quite soft. Otherwise, the wooden pick would stand no chance. As for the soil that was moved, it was just thrown into the water.
After digging a pit, it became time to cover it. The disguise must be very natural. If not, then animals won’t be fooled. Marin hurried off into the forest to collect lots of dead, brittle branches. Then finally carefully covered it with the branches and dead foliage.
After a half hour, Marin finally finished with the first trap. Running around and finding no flaws, he could only nod in satisfaction. Then, the plan is to use the same process to arrange two more pit traps.
After a few more hours, Marin looking at the gradually darkening sky. Any commoner in the area could tell you that around this time of the year, wolves would be even more numerous than usual. Furthermore, with more wolves and less food, they become particularly aggressive. If Marin stayed overnight in the forest then maybe he and Karl would become supper for the wolves.
So, Marin found a small nearby town. In nearly every town, there was a church. A relatively good place for sleeping outside. So, he tied Karl and fell asleep beside the horse.
The spring weather is still very cold, Marin carried neither a quilt or blanket. For the sake of warmth, Marin changed his location. Behind the church was a stack of firewood. Beside it was a pile of hay. Luckily, summer had not yet started. Or else, the hay would be teeming with snakes. In his previous life, back when Marin was a child, he was playing hide and seek with some other children. Opening a haystack, he saw dozens of snakes coiling together. The mere sight would make people’s scalps tingle. During spring, the snakes were usually still hiding in their deep dirt holes.
The next morning, Marin was awakened by the sun that arced a bit over the horizon. In fact, the members of the church had undoubtedly found him. Rather, no one dared to disturb him because of his dress, which signified him as a wandering knight. In this era, wandering knights were not something commoners could mess with. If the church had their own guard then naturally they would not fear one or two wandering knights. However, this was only a small church in a small town. Wandering knights generally had a reputation of being potential thugs, leaving others afraid to provoke their wrath.
Waking up, Marin threw off the wheat straw that he piled atop himself. Grabbing his horse, he traveled to the stream where he washed his face and gathered some water. Riding into the forest, he dug up some more grassroots and ate them as breakfast. Luckily, this body was used to drinking cold water in the mornings. If it were his old body then there would be a good chance of developing diarrhea by drinking cold water so early in the morning. It was important to note that diarrhea in the medieval times was a very serious issue…
Marin was hopeful that he would catch something. So, he rode his horse and checked the traps laid down yesterday afternoon.
The first trap, had nothing. Obviously, no animals had set foot on it. Marin dejectedly shook his head, continuing onwards to the second trap. Approaching the second trap, Marin was pleasantly surprised to find that the grass cover was broken. However, what made him even more depressed was that it was empty. Probably, an animal mistakenly stepped in but escaped before they fell in.
“Ugh, how can I have such bad luck!” Marin shouted to the sky. Now onto the final trap.
Walking up, Marin was surprised that the third trap was also triggered.
What could it be? Marin was careful to take his lance and leaned over the rim. Looking into the pit, he finally saw the animal – a male red deer.
As to why he could tell it was a buck? Very simple, as it was nearing summer, bucks would start to grow antlers. This particular deer was quite big, about in the prime of its life.
With a visual inspection, Marin found it to be about approximately 130 cm tall, 180 cm long, about 180 kilograms.
Such a tall and vigorous deer, only place Marin could see one was at the zoo. To catch such a large one, it made him overjoyed.
[MD: This series will be on a hiatus until I finish with my main series. I promise I’ll try to translate during this period and get a head start once I come back to this series. This series just requires too much research that quality will drop if it’s rushed. Hope to see you later.]