of the simplest and easiest ways for developing a patch of woods for
terrier hunting & training is to make what we call a "Kwik-Lair."
The idea is an old one adapted from the "cubby" that fur-trappers make
good use of. In this case it is nothing more than a couple of boards or
pieces of plywood that are secured along a common edge to make an
A-frame or a box. The pieces for this can be strapped to a back pack or
just hand-carried into the woods. Assemble your "lair" and set it right
on the ground. Then pile forest debris all over it until it is
completely hidden from view. The bigger the brush pile the better. Try
to arrange some sticks and things to help develop a tunnel in and out of
this brush pile.Its not tricky or hard to do.
The Kwik-Lair is now complete and will serve your interests for years.Mice
will move in within days and shortly after that the small predators of
the area will begin to investigate it too. When they discover that inner
chamber they'll remember it and there will often be one or more
critters of some kind in there. This will be especially true during
bouts of harsh weather. These animals may not actually live there but
will often just use it as a relatively safe and dry place to rest during
the day. It will be cool in the summer and relatively warm during the
winter.They work better in the north where winters are very harsh at
times and snow is typically deep. All animals appreciate a place to
sleep where they can be dry and out of the wind.Be
sure to understand that there are no real rules about what that inner
chamber has to be made of. It just has to provide reasonable shelter
during periods of wet or freezing weather. Once you grasp the concept it
is only your imagination that limits you. These can be placed all
around a property and can be as close as 100 meters from each other
These pictures show what a recent Kwik-Lair looked like as it got installed.
First, cut-and-fit a few pieces at home. Here (above) are a couple ideas.
Then dis-assemble them and strap 'em to a pack and ...
head out to the woods. Any woods will do.
in the woods you've got to choose a site. On the side of a gentle slope
is a good idea.
Other than that you'll have to live and learn.
Re-assemble the lair set it on the ground. In this case the big vine will help protect it.
Now the preliminary covering of debris.
Its "preliminary" because you'll add more debris every time you visit.
just leave it alone for a few months. Its a good hunting site for other
game too and we'll add more debris whenever we're on this location.
is a well-established Kwik-Lair that has been in place for a little
over 2 years. We add forest debris to it every time we visit.
To date we have gotten 2 'possums out of it and had a fox bolt from it.
We think harsh weather increases likelihood of finding a beast within.
This is a close-up of that primary entrance. It looks tight but even a big 25-lb dog can get in there and smaller dogs have no trouble at all getting into such places.
Always approach these places carefully as the inhabitants are pretty likely to bolt. About half the time we see possums climb right up out the top of these brush-piles. The opossum is by far the most frequently found vermin in these setups but they're a good critter for young dogs to get experience from. Be ready!
A helpful hint: If you set these up 50 to 100 yds from where you regularly clean deer or fish you can expect to find possums in there with some regularity.