Trapping Foxes in Basking Ridge

When my brother Stuart ‘Budge’ Booth (1939- 2002) was a kid in the early 1950s, he used to go across Maple Avenue and set traps over towards the Great Swamp.  We lived on South Finley Avenue.  In the morning before school he would check his traps, and if there was a fox caught, he would dispatch it and cut off its ears.

He would take the ears to the Health Department in the Brick Academy and redeem them for money (I don’t know how much – a dollar maybe).  Foxes were a menace to chickens and other farm animals, so this was a public service.  Both ears had to be brought in (not just one) to get the bounty.  If you brought in one only, then you might bring in the other on the next day for another claim. 

The Brick Academy (seen here around 1948) in Basking Ridge housed (1924-1975) the Bernards Township municipal offices including the Health Department.


  1. In the early 1950 I did fox trapping in the great swamp area behind maple ave. Then I took the fox into brick academy, they notched the nose and I received $4.

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