A practical joke in which a supposed fight between a dog and a badger is set up and the victim is induced to drag the “badger”—actually a chamber pot—out of a box or barrel; hence n badger season see quot 1961.
1881 Galveston Daily News (TX) 19 Aug /6 (newspaperarchive.com) cTX, Blackburn steps forward with a bow and a smile, and says: Gentlemen, I never saw a badger fight or even a badger, but I love a fair thing, and I’ll manage him the best I can. . . The signal was given, a man slipped away the plank and stone from the front of the badger’s box, and Blackburn jerked out—a piece of chamber crockery. 1898 Plumbers Trade Jrl. 24.108 Boston MA, The signal was given and Rothfuss yanked the rope, bringing into view the badger made famous by our San Antonio friends. To anyone who has seen the badger fight no explanation is necessary, but the crowd went wild when they saw attached to the string, not a vicious animal, but a fine specimen of embossed crockery filled to overflowing with sausages and beer. 1913 Dental Digest 19.310 TX, They have a regular routine programme in store for all “up-State folks” who come to Texas. . . Good-naturedly, I tried to perform the stunts demanded of me, such as “Pulling the Badger,” “Riding the Unbroken Broncho,” and several other things, which we will call “State Secrets” and show you when you come. 1923 Santa Fe Employes’ Mag. 17.5.86 nwOK, At noon on February 10 an exciting badger fight took place. . . Blacksmith Helper Wiley was the victim who pulled the ferocious badger from its lair. Sam says he will never pull anything from under a barrel again without first investigating. 1929 Dobie Vaquero 180, We stopped at Las Animas long enough to see a badger fight, but as this institution of practical Western jokers is, like the song, too “technical” to be expounded in polite print, we’ll let it pass. 1961 Adams Old-Time Cowhand 320 TX, The loafin’ months in the winter came to be knowed as “snipe-huntin’ season” and “badger season.” 1967 DARE Tape TX43, Well, the procedure of a badger fight—in the early days this town had twenty-three saloons, and there were only about forty, fifty bedding houses all told, so you see, almost half of ’em was saloons. And the prized pleasure that the cowboys or the city dudes had was to catch a tenderfoot. . . And they’d buy him a few drinks, and they’d all get as congenial as could be and all be buddy-buddy. Some guy’d get to bragging about his dog and what a wonderful badger dog he was. And they’d arrange to get a badger fight. . . Some would bet on the badger, some bet on the dog. And they’d get this thing all rigged up . . and go down to the livery stable. . . Somebody would beat him [=the tenderfoot] down there and take an old piss-pot, put it under a tub out there, or a box, and tie a rope to it, let the rope come out about five or six feet. And when they got ready to pull the badger fight, they had to ask somebody to pull that rope, and they’d always get this guy: “Mr. So-and-so . . you’re not interested one way or another, you pull the badger.” And course when the gun shot, somebody turned that barrel and that guy jerked this—it was really embarrassing. [FW:] Oh yes I, I suspect it was.