candyland of enforced glee (pussinboots) wrote in little_details,
candyland of enforced glee

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Historical seal hunting methods

What I'm looking for: specific, step-by-step methods for acquiring seal pelts with 18th and 19th century technology. Definitely pre-steamship. Photos of equipment or diagrams and formations are a plus. (This site is on the right track, but the information is scarce.) I want methods for killing adults as well as pups.

What I've already found: Endless pages of people bitching about Prada and Versace buying seal pelts from Greenland. Several descriptions of seal clubbing, especially the young "whitecoats." A passing mention that sometimes an iron spike in the skull was used, but no description of where you stick it, how much force that would take, or how many tries.

Why I want it: I need to discover the ways my shipboard characters could potentially haul in about fifty or so seal pelts. They only have a few hours in which to set up any traps, and they need to be able to leave really fast--they're poaching.

Ideally I want to learn ways seals could be killed from the ship--nets, gaffs, harpoons? Would baiting the nets with a barrel of fish work, or will they only chase live fish?
Tags: 1700s (no decades given), 1800s (no decades given), history (misc), ~hunting

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