Trapper Survives Four Days Stuck Under ATV
January 29, 2008
An Alberta trapper survived for four days after a trapline accident left him pinned under his ATV with nothing to eat but rotting beaver meat and with hungry coyotes threatening his life. He was rescued when a hiker came upon him on the trail and went to get help.
Division Among Hunters and Trappers Weakens Sportsmen
January 28, 2008
Unity among hunting, fishing and trapping groups is a very important aspect of preserving the outdoor heritage enjoyed by participants in these activities. Being a hunter, fisherman and trapper myself, I find it hard to understand why trappers and hound hunters can’t seem to get along in many areas.
I hate to pick on any one state in particular, but Michigan has recently been the battleground for heated debate between trappers and houndsmen. As far as I can understand, houndsmen don’t like trappers because their dogs occasionally get caught in traps. Trappers counter that hounds are often on private land where their owners don’t have permission to be hunting. Now obviously houndsmen often can’t control precisely where their dogs will end up, and trappers can’t prevent certain types of traps from capturing hounds. Maybe if each group were a bit more understanding of the other, there would be room enough for both to engage in their preferred activities.
Unfortunately, trappers and houndsmen continue to fight. In 2004, the Michigan DNR proposed a bobcat trapping season in the Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, and were taken to court by bear hunters, claiming that negative affects on the bobcat population were not considered. Now do you really think the hunters suing the DNR really thought the bobcat population was in trouble? How such an argument can be made with a straight face is puzzling to me, considering that the same hunters who target bears in the northern Lower also hunt bobcats in January and February.
After a judge ruled in favor of bear hunters and stopped the trapping season in 2006, the ruling was challenged and a higher court overturned the decision. Looks like bobcat trapping will once again be legal in the northern Lower.
While all of this fighting is going on between hound hunters, trappers and the DNR, I bet the animal rights groups are sitting back and smiling, knowing that division among sporting groups makes their goal of ending all forms of hunting and fishing much easier to achieve.
In an ideal situation, trappers would support hunting groups and hunters would support trapping interests. United, both groups could come together as a stronger opposition to those aiming to destroy both.
Wisconsin Trapper Encounters Cougar, DNR Investigates
January 28, 2008
Trapper Kevin Edwardson came face to face with a cougar in a Wisconsin barn last week, in what could be the first confirmed cougar siting in the state in 100 years. The animal fled from Edwardson after he followed its tracks into the old barn and spotted it in the hayloft. Its tracks measured 3 1/2″ across and it had a running stride of 12 feet.
Many cougar sightings have been reported in the state, but none have been confirmed over the past century or so. DNR Wildlife Biologist Doug Fendry took urine and blood samples from the area, which will be tested to determine the genetics of the cat. This may allow the state to determine whether this cougar was a captive animal or came from a wild population.
Trapper Catches Heat for Selling Meat
January 27, 2008
A New Jersey trapper was recently contacted by his County Health Department and forced to remove a sign advertising the sale of muskrat meat from animals he legally captured. The call from the Health Department came after an earlier news article about he and another local trapper, which mentioned the popularity of muskrat as a food item.
While there is a growing demand for an affordable and healthy alternative to store-bought sources of meat, New Jersey law does not allow retail sale of meat unless it comes from a state-approved facility. Many outdoorsmen believe that restrictive laws like this are unreasonable, while the state argues for the importance of protecting the public from the consumption of potentially unsafe food.
Trapping is An Important Part of Northwest Territories Economy
January 24, 2008
Demand for high quality fur plays an important role in the economy of Canada’s Northwest Territories, where many people supplement their income by running a trapline. For some, trapping is their sole source of income throughout the winter. In the NWT, the prime target species are marten and lynx, and prices for those two species are in great shape this year. Read about NWT fur prices in this article from the Northern News Service Online.
Harvesting ‘Coons For More Than Just Their Fur
January 23, 2008
In Illinois, hunters and trappers can sell the carcasses of raccoons that they capture for fur. This gives trappers a better return for their effort, allows residents to acquire a healthy source of protein at a very low cost, and helps control the population of critters that abound in suburban areas throughout the state. Most people who buy the ‘coons are those who grew up in the South where raccoons are eaten regularly, but this food source is also attracting new consumers as well.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Well….maybe not the animal rights folks, but that’s another story. Bottom line, raccoon populations are healthy (overpopulation can often causes rabies outbreaks), the economy is better off, and the entire animal is utilized. The fur is sold to foreign and domestic markets to produce articles of clothing and the meat provides healthy meals for local families. Sounds like something other states should really consider allowing.
Pennsylvania Considers Fisher, Otter Trapping Seasons
January 22, 2008
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is considering the possibility opening a season for the limited trapping of fisher, and potentially otter sometime in the future.
Both species have very healthy populations in parts of the state, and experts believe that they can withstand limited harvest.
Northeast Region biologist Tom Hardisky had this to say:
“When it comes to trapping otters and even fishers in Pennsylvania, there’s no problem with harvesting them. It just has to be done the right way.”
Harvest of the species would likely fall under a permit system similar to the one in place for bobcat harvest in the state.
The opening of fisher and otter trapping seasons in the state would be a huge step in the right direction for the Game Commission and for trappers in Pennsylvania, who support wildlife management by releasing nontarget animals and cooperating with the wildlife management agency.
Mink Page Added
January 19, 2008
Check out the new mink species page recently added to the site. The page highlights some general mink biology and habits, as well as some mink trapping information. Access the page by clicking on the Furbearers link at the top of this page, and then clicking on the text link below the mink picture. You can also view the page by clicking here. Enjoy!
January Fur Auction Results Are In
January 12, 2008
Raccoon was the only item that really looked good in both auctions, generally averaging over $20, and selling at around 100%. The supply of raccoons is short and demand is high. I would guess that raccoons will sell at equal or higher levels in the spring sales.
Beaver sold at similar prices to last year, averaging around $20.
Muskrats continue to be a real dissapointment. After selling at very high levels early last year and crashing in the March sales, this item remains partially unsold and at very low levels, somewhere around less than half of last year’s prices. Prices averaged around $2.50-$3.50 apiece. With only about 50% of muskrats sold, NAFA plans to sell all of its muskrat inventory during the March auction with no reserve prices. This means that if demand doesn’t increase soon, these ‘rats could sell at extremely low levels, being a great dissapointment for many trappers, myself included.
Coyotes continued to average similar to levels in previous years, but lower than last year’s prices.
Fisher sold very well at FHA, and marten sold at lower prices than before, but demand remains strong.
Most other items have not experienced much change and continue to sell at expected prices. Otters remain a dissapointment due to lack of a strong Chinese market.
While many of these prices may be a dissapointment to those expecting higher fur values, changes haven’t been too significant, and many of the prices that have come down aren’t much lower than what they were 5 or 6 years ago. So sell your ‘coons while they’re hot, and you might want to hold on to those muskrat pelts or find another use for them. But by all means, keep on trapping!
See the links below for auction results.
Minnesota Woman Holds Beaver Skinning Title
January 9, 2008
Minnesota woman Kay Bachman has skinned more than 150,000 beavers in her lifetime, and holds the title for fastest beaver skinner in the land! Got your attention yet trappers?