It’s the time of year when the Nebraska Game and Parks sends out their annual Fur Harvest Survey. It is also the time when we will remind you to fill these out and send them in.
The importance of these surveys can not be stressed enough.
Without numbers and hard facts, wildlife biologists are left to guesswork when making strategic decisions on your trapping and fur harvesting future. We, the fur harvesters of Nebraska, will be providing the decision makers with the data they need to do their jobs and protect our interests. It is also completely anonymous.
One thing of high importance on these surveys is the question about river otters. Nebraska is getting close to having a trapping season of some sort on river otters, but it will never happen unless biologists get hard facts on how many are around.
It takes about 5 minutes of your time, no one will know its you, and it won’t cost you anything for postage.
Let’s all do the responsible thing and send in our surveys!
If you follow wildlife in the news, you can’t escape the stories. Cities in California are struggling trying to manage the problem of cohabitating with wild canines. Coyotes spotted in the park, coyote grabs dog, coyote bites Hastings, Nebraska boy…wait…what?
In a recent story in The Hastings Tribune talks about a 1 year old boy being bitten by a coyote at a fireworks celebration in Hastings, Nebraska. Shay Burke, writer for the Hastings Tribune writes:
“According to the report, the family was lighting fireworks and the coyote came walking up the sidewalk from the south. The coyote allegedly bit the child then ran off to the east between some houses.
“The witnesses, the child’s family, said they are positive it was a small coyote,” Hessler said. “They have hunted them in the past and know what they look like. It was mangy looking, hair was falling out.”
Sgt. Brian Hessler with the Hastings Police Department confirmed Wednesday morning that there was a report filed of a coyote allegedly biting a child in the 500 block of South Boston Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Coyotes aren’t the only wild canines that take up residence in our urban environments. All too often, red fox get pushed out of their
natural habitat into town. Once there, they find abundant food sources such as rabbits, stray cats and garbage. Soon they take up permanent residence. The sight of these creatures makes neighborly conversation and the cute and cuddly pups often earn offerings of table scraps and other food. This is where urban wildlife problems begin. This benevolency of citizens starts the wheels in motion for problem wildlife. A situation that will not end well for the animal or the citizen.
I asked Dave Hastings for his opinion on the matter. Dave is the editor of The Fur Taker Magazine, official magazine of the Fur Takers of America, and a long time fur harvester. ” Well obviously we need to come to our senses and prioritize human and pet safety and health above wild predators. We are not “equal partners in the happy ship earth.” A coyote will eat a child in a heartbeat; not because the coyote is inherently evil, but because the coyote is a wild carnivore, and in his amoral eyes, meat is meat.”
When I asked Dave about what people need to understand about wildlife in urban areas, he had this to say: “First, wildlife is beautiful, admirable, and morally important. But un-threatened populations become dangerous. Raccoons seem cute until a homeowner finds roundworm-infested scat everywhere. Disease, direct threats to people and pets, and ultimately the degenerated health of the animal populations themselves are the result of poor management. People die from this. Children are attacked. Beloved pets are killed and eaten. This is not Disney; this is real.”
For us fur harvesters, this opens up opportunities. Check your plat maps and see who owns the cornfields at the edge of town. Urban areas are usually the hunting grounds, not the residence, so they are coming from somewhere. Check with your local authorities before taking any action against urban wildlife. Above all, be a good example for trappers and hunters everywhere. Practice common sense and obey all regulations.
The Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association members met April 30th, 2017 at the VFW in Seward, Nebraska. President Eric Stane gave out door prizes including dog proof traps, .22 ammo, bait and lure. Shane Claeys of Papio Creek Trapping Supply was there with products for the giveaway also, including his dirt hole augers and hole punches.
The following points are a recap of what was discussed at the meeting:
Discussed the 2017 convention, and what vendors are going to be there and how things are progressing. Discussed the possibility of two demos going on at the same time.
Approved the purchase of a new PA system for use during demos and at the convention.
We are looking for more volunteers to do trappers education presentations. Contact Eric Stane if interested.
Talked about ways we can promote fur by donating a fur jacket, scarf, etc to Miss Nebraska or Miss Rodeo Nebraska.
Discussed a legal defense fund. Also discussed a spring banquet to help fund the legal defense fund. Fund monies would be reserved to help other states in need of trapping defense funds, as well as for our own use if the need arises.
Repairs to the enclosed trailer for hail damage were discussed and approved.
The NFH will become a member of the Sportsman’s Alliance in addition to being affiliate members of the FTA and NTA.
Discussed trapping regulations and what anyone would want to see changed.
Discussed the reduced/no cost hunt, fish, and fur harvest permits offered to veterans. If you are a veteran age 64 or older, a deployed military member, or a disabled vet, please look into getting one of these. This is a great service offered by our game and parks.
If you have any questions or would like more information about volunteering for trappers education, contact Eric Stane at email@example.com
Annually, the Nebraska Game and Parks commission will mail out (or email) surveys to permit holders. These are sent out to holders of fur harvest permits as well as hunting, big game and waterfowl hunting permits.
The surveys are anonymous and the responses provide valuable information to our wildlife biologists. Using this information, they can set season dates, daily bag limits, and keep a handle on populations.
As good stewards of our resources, we take the responsibility of purchasing permits to take part in these activities. We also need to take the responsibility of providing feedback to the commission on our experiences. Remember, the surveys are anonymous.
We are excited to have our Vendor Showcase page created and ready to show. These vendors have put in a lot of hard work, time, and miles to come and support our annual convention and help make it a success. When shopping for supplies or a place to sell your fur, make sure you remember to consider them with your support.
Gary Macke of Macke Fur and Hide, Royal, Nebraska, will again be sponsoring his Kids Fur Raffle.
The raffle is open to all kids ages 16 and under. All they need to do is get a finished fur (or furs) to Gary by February 1st, 2017. Gary is a fur buyer and the NAFA agent for Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming and will be making scheduled rounds around the state (find the schedule here)
All the proceeds from the sale of the fur will be used as prizes. 50% of the money will be paid out to three winners drawn from the pool of contributors. The other 50% of the money will be used to buy prizes to be given to the remaining participants.
If you need help getting a fur finished (skinned, fleshed and dried) you can contact the following people to help you:
Dave Hastings, Lemoyne, Nebraska: (308) 355-2439
Eric Stane, Springfield, Nebraska: (402) 658-8012