Category Archives: Articles

Nebraska Trapper Featured In Local Newspaper

Nebraska’s own Joe Jack was featured in an article that appeared in the Grand Island Independent by author Jeff Bahr.  Here is a link to the story.  I have also reprinted the story below (with permission).  Jeff Bahr can be reached at Jeff.Bahr@theindependent.com.  Joe is a lifetime member of The Nebraska Fur Harvesters.

Wood River man has enjoyed trapping for 70 years

WOOD RIVER — When Joe Jack was 12, his brother-in-law got him started trapping muskrat and mink. Seventy years later, Jack is still trapping.

Jack, who lives in Wood River, worked in education for 40 years. Twenty-seven of those years were at Wood River Rural Schools, where he was a guidance counselor.

Although he spent his education years inside, Jack loves to be outdoors. While he’s out trapping, he enjoys seeing small birds, rabbits, squirrels and wild turkeys.

Through the years of rising and falling fur prices, Jack has never missed a year of trapping.

He has learned a lot about the tendencies of animals. But the education continues. He learns something new about wildlife every year.

A native of Loup City, he graduated from Kearney State College in 1958. While there, he participated in football and track.

When he was in college, he ran mink lines on the Loup and Platte rivers. With the money he earned, he paid almost all of his college expenses.

After he entered the working world, Jack checked his traps before going to school in the morning.

“All my trapping for all those years till I retired was by flashlight in the morning before school,” he said.

On the weekends, he could tend to his traps during daylight hours.

“But otherwise it was getting up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning and running traps before school.”

Jack, 82, traps beaver, muskrat, badgers, fox, coyotes and raccoons.

He sells the pelts through North American Fur Auctions, which is based in Toronto.

“It’s a sport and it’s a challenge,” he said. “A lot of people say that it’s brutal and the animals don’t have a chance. And boy, that’s not true. Coyotes are really smart, and so are fox. You have to be able to fool them to be able to trap them or snare them.”

The toughest animal to trap is the coyote.

“You have to do a number of things right in order to be able to catch foxes.” But to trap a coyote, “you’ve got to do everything right.”

“Coyotes will kill a fox because they’re in competition for food,” he said.

A coyote “usually can’t flat outrun a fox.” But coyotes can often bring down a fox when two of them team up. One coyote will start out chasing a fox, and a second coyote — fresh and ready to run — will take over when the fox tires.

To catch a coyote, you’ve got to dye and wax the trap first, so that the animal won’t detect any human odor.

In addition to trapping, Jack likes to hunt for pheasants, grouse, quail, deer and turtle dove.

Until 1996, he also bought fur from other people.

“I do a lot of snaring nowadays, because it’s very hard for me to get up and down at 82. I don’t just get down on my knees and just pop back up. I’ve got to have something to get ahold of to lean against and get up.”

Before coming to Wood River in the fall of 1971, he taught in Spencer, Farragut, Iowa, and Elm Creek.

Along the way, he got a master’ degree in guidance and counseling.

For 13 years, he was a head football coach. He also coached track and taught driver’s training. In his last five years at Wood River, he coached cross country. He retired in 1998.

Nancy, his wife of 59 years, died in September of 2017.

They had four kids, three of whom are still alive. A son in Omaha, Greg, often comes to hunt and trap with him.

Jack also receives plenty of assistance from his yellow lab, Lady Hunter.

Jack obviously loves trapping.

“A lot of it’s for fun,” he said. “But some years when we had four little kids and one teaching income, trapping money bought all of our Christmas presents and stuff like that.”

Right now, coyotes fetch the best prices.

Some years, when prices are high, Jack makes money at it. But last year and this year won’t be profitable.

Critics thinks trappers “just go out and slaughter” animals, Jack said.

But they don’t know the whole story. Traps have evolved, he said. So much research has been done that traps are more humane than ever.

In addition, regulation is strict. Most traps have to be checked every 24 hours. Trappers have to put their nametags on each device.

Snares, Jack said, have two kinds of locks. There are kill locks and there are relaxing locks.

Jack usually uses relaxing locks because he inadvertently catches a dog once in a while. A relaxing lock makes sure those dogs get out OK. Dogs are accustomed to wearing collars and leashes, so they won’t fight the snare. When the dog stops applying pressure, the snare relaxes, and the dog survives.

Jack does use a kill lock when he’s trapping in remote parts of the Sandhills, where dogs are less likely to turn up.

There are more raccoons, coyotes and fox around now than ever, said Jack, who’s a lifetime member of Nebraska Fur Harvesters, the National Trappers Association and Fur Takers of America.

Most trappers, he said, are upstanding people. They are great conservationists and they love animals, he said.

Money from taxes and licenses goes toward the conservation of wildlife, he said.

Jack loves watching baby foxes and raccoons at play. “I’ve even raised a few baby raccoons.” Eventually, he turned them loose where there was no chance he would trap them.

If certain types of animals become too abundant, their numbers will be curbed by the forces of nature.

When there are too many coyotes around, mange appears. Raccoons might get distemper. The effect on those animals can be brutal. In other words, the overpopulation problem is left up to Mother Nature.

“And what Mother Nature does to them is not pretty — ever,” Jack said.

Why a NFH Membership?

There are various reasons why people do not “join up” for organizations.  Most of these reasons I understand and some I do not.  Some organizations will blast you with email constantly.  Now that they got you, they try to get you to the next level or to purchase additional products or services.  They collect your information such as address and phone number and sell it off to whoever pays money for it.  Soon you have junk mail from every conceivable related business and robo-calls that we all hate.

I would like to think the Nebraska Fur Harvesters is different.  In fact, I know they are different.

Most of your membership money goes to your subscription of The Trapper’s Post.  If you have never seen the ‘Post, then you are missing out on a really good read for trappers.  The post is always full of good information, how to articles and lots of knowledge.

The remaining money from your membership goes into our treasury.  This money is used to rent buildings and facilities for our annual convention and our annual banquet.  Lots of other things come up for our organization, such as printing costs, repair on our trailer, and other numerous things an organization encounters.

Of course you can attend the convention and its festivities without being a member of the NFH.  But only current members can attend the business meeting that takes place at noon on Saturday of the convention.

It is during this meeting where the organization decides where our money will get spent, among many other things.   It is always interesting.  Sometimes we all agree, sometimes we do not,  but there is always laughing and the camaraderie that goes with having a group of like minded people  “talking shop”.

The NFH annual convention is just around the corner.  It has fast become one of those things I look forward to every year.  Kinda like Christmas when I was a little kid.

The membership desk is located as you walk in the convention.  No one will twist your arm or look down on you if you are not a member, but your dollars (our dollars) are appreciated and are always put to good use.  Come out and have some fun, see some good demos, look at some new equipment and sniff some new baits and lures.  Above all, have a good time and enjoy yourself, and remember, we are all on the same team.

-Mark Hajny
NFH Web guy and NTA Representative

 

 

Opening Day

It’s opening day for trapping most furbearers in Nebraska.  We at the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association wish you a season filled with success, pride, enjoyment and education.  We also hope you end up making a little money on top of it, although with prices the way they are, do not set your expectations out of reach.

We would like to to keep the following things in mind this season as you set out to trap:

  • You are setting an example for all trappers, everywhere.  Be the trapper you would want kids to learn from.
  • Take someone with you who has never trapped before.  Show them a few sets, harvest a few animals and show them how it’s done.
  • Be humane.
  • Be respectful of landowner’s property and do not trespass.  Ask permission on private ground.
  • If trapping on public ground, please be aware of the fact that other people (and their dogs) will be using the property as well, and place your sets accordingly.
  • Work hard.
  • Don’t be afraid to release animals that look too small or do not look primed up.  There is no shame in releasing a sub-par animal.
  • Help another trapper/outdoorsman if he needs it.
  • Share advice with a beginner.  We were all there at one time.
  • Take time to learn something new.
  • Stop and take in all that the outdoors has to offer.
  • Obey all your state laws.

Thank you and have a good season!
-The Nebraska Fur Harvesters

Fur Harvest Surveys

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.

Free Postage. If there is one thing trappers can agree on, its that free is good.

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!

 

The Urban Coyote – Coming To A Town Near You

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

Another common resident in our urban areas is the red fox.

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.

-Mark Hajny
Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association

 

 

Summer School – Part 2

In the last article I talked about some of my favorite trapping dvds.  Now I would like to talk about some of my favorite books.  I am a self proclaimed bookworm, and if I am interested in a topic, I will read anything I can get my hands on about it.

Trapping books vary widely in subject matter.  One of my all time favorite predator books is Ray Milligan’s Coyote Fever.  Ray knows the coyote like few do.  The book is very much to the point and goes through the equipment and sets you need to be successful.

Other predator books worth mentioning are the ones by Charles Dobbins.  Anyone who is familiar with the late Charles Dobbins, knows that anything he has written is worth reading.  My two favorites are The Dirt Hole and its Variations, and Variations of the Flat Set.   Not only are these entertaining to read, but I also use these books as reference manuals.  When things get slow on the line, I can always find a new set to use from these books.  The print is small in these books and Dobbins packs a massive amount of content in them.

When it comes to coons and water trapping, there are also many choices.  One of my personal favorite authors on the subject is Mike “Red” O’Hern.  If you have not met Red, you owe it to yourself to do so.   He is quite a character, and very interesting to read and to listen to.  Red wrote Coon Trapping – the Untold Story and Mink Trapping – The Quest For Prime Mink.  If you want to become a better coon and mink trapper, this is a good start.

If you are looking for something a bit more modern, don’t pass up Trapline Principles, 8 Keys To Success by Kellen Kaatz.  Not only is Kellen a super helpful guy, but he is also a very knowledgeable trapper and lure maker.  Upon finishing this book, you will understand what Kellen believes is the 8 biggest things you need to work at to be a good trapper.  An excellent book for making yourself a better trapper.

Last but not least, I wanted to mention another favorite of mine.  Chronicles of a Longliner by Gary Jepson.  This isn’t a “how to make a dirthole” book, but rather a book full of Gary’s experiences on and off the trapline since the 1950’s.  Gary talks of the hardships faced on his ranch, and the good years during the fur boom.  Gary documents his travels to conventions, his lure making adventures, and battling the harsh winters in North Dakota through the years.

Go out and pick up a book or two.  You are almost guaranteed to learn something, and you will most definitely be entertained in the process!

My next article will talk about some of the youtubers I have found to be helpful in gaining some more knowledge of the craft!

 

Summer School

When I was a kid the thought of having to go to summer school was enough to make me do my math homework.  After all, summer was time for swimming, baseball and catching bullheads.  It was definitely not for doing school work.

But fast forward to modern times.  For us trappers, the summer is our “off season”.  But is it really?  Even if you don’t do any animal damage control work, there are still things to be done in the summer.  Remember those dog proofs you put away that were all crusted up from bait?  How about those 1 1/2s still packed with mud and grass, and those Bridger #3’s with the bent dogs and the chains all tangled in corn husks?  Not to mention the bucket of “miscellaneous snare parts” that always gets put away for a rainy day.

Forget all of that stuff for now.  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is catch up on all those books and DVD’s I bought during the year.  I am the type of person that retains information better if I take notes.  My system of learning from a DVD involves watching them at least three times.  The first time I watch the DVD I watch it for the entertainment value only.  I like to watch the guy making sets, seeing the scenery and just watching one of my favorite activities being done by someone knowledgeable.  The second time I watch the DVD I will come prepared with a notebook.  I stop, start, rewind, fast forward and try to take in and write down tips and information the instructor is offering.  The third time I will watch again with my notebook, going over my notes as they are talked about in the DVD and picking up the new information I missed in the last viewing.  After all this, if it is a good DVD, it will still get watched again.  Books are kind of the same way.

Some of my favorites

Like anyone else, I have my favorites when it comes to dvds.  One of my all time favorites is Coyote Trapping with Mark June.  This is one I watch at the beginning of the season every year.  Mark is a high energy guy and understands both trapping and the coyote itself.  This dvd was filmed in Nebraska as well which makes it close to home.

Another of my favorites is Trapping the Elusive Coyote by Gary Jepson.  Gary is a cowboy from North Dakota and his trapping experience is vast.  Gary is a man of few words, but when he talks, one is inclined to listen.  The first 10 minutes or so of that dvd, Gary talks about family units and habits of the coyote, and the information presented there is well worth the price of the dvd.

A couple other favorites of mine are Lesel Reuwsaat Professional Farmland Trapping Methods and Ed Schneider’s Fall and Winter Coyote Trapping, both of which were filmed in Kansas, or otherwise close to home.

 

 

 

In the next article I will talk about some of my favorite books, some awesome youtubers you should be watching, and some water trapping dvd’s.

-Mark Hajny, Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association

 

 

Spring Trapping Part 2 – Beaver

The largest rodent found in North America is also the animal that started the North American fur trade.  Countless entrepreneurs have made and lost fortunes on it’s pelt  throughout history.  Native Americans knew it for it’s warm fur and meat.

Today the beaver has lost some of it’s luster but still remains a staple furbearer in some parts of the country.  In Nebraska, we have the added advantage of trapping them an extra month compared to some of the other furbearers.  The equipment used and the methods of take vary as widely as the pursuers of this classic animal.  We will take a look at what it takes to trap beaver in Nebraska.

Being considerably larger than the muskrat, beaver trapping equipment is proportionally larger, bulkier and more expensive.  Yet some of your existing equipment can be used for beaver trapping.  A number 3 coil spring or long spring trap can be utilized in some sets.   A better choice would be a #4 or larger, since beaver have extremely large back feet.   If you go the body grip route for beaver, the 330 conibear is the best body grip to use.

The sets you make for beaver can also vary widely.  A couple of  my favorites are the castor mound and “dam break” set.  The castor mound set involves digging up some mud and plopping it on the bank

The castor mound set. Courtesy of www.trappersline.com

of a creek, pond or river.  On this mound, place a dab of castor based beaver lure.  Beavers make castor mounds to mark their territory and your mound will signal them that an intruder is in the area. The beaver will naturally attempt to put more mud on your mound, and top it with his own castor, showing you he’s the boss.  Be prepared for him by placing a trap (or two) where you suspect he will come out of the water.

The dam break set capitalizes on the beaver’s ingenuity and dam building skills.  Use your shovel, a stick, or your foot to break away part of the beaver dam and place a trap near this break.  The beaver will be caught in the process of attempting to rebuild what you have broken.  This also doubles as a good way to determine if there are still beaver in the area.  Be cautious of where you place your trap or you may find after the the beaver has finished it’s repair job, your trap has become part of the dam!

Bob Miers of Sandy’s Fur Buying gives the following advice on beaver sets:  “Spring is a time they travel as the young are kicked out and made to move on so to speak.

Bob Miers with his fur ready for auction.

Even if you have little or no sign in your area on a river or creek, make a few scent mound sets and you will probably catch any passing beaver. I give an area 5 days and move on no matter how many I catch.  I use scent mounds the most, some blind sets, and if there is a dam I use the broken dam set, and runs and trails what some guys call slides.”

Getting around with all this heavy equipment can be another challenge.  Dave Hastings, Fur Takers Of America College Instructor, overcomes this challenge by using a boat.  “I use a 6.5 horse Mud Buddy motor on my 12′ narrow John boat. I almost never get a “boat ramp” to launch or pick up, so the small motor makes it possible to drag it,  or remove the motor and carry to launch most anywhere.

Dave Hastings pilots his boat and trapping equipment up the river.

If there is snow, I can generally drag the unloaded boat down to the water by hand, and in the pull out, I have strung rope and chain for a long ways, using the bumper hitch to drag the boat up to a “loadabale” point. Before that, I ran a 17′ aluminum canoe. It was more pleasing, but I found I had to skin on the river when the catch is good, because of the weight and maneuverability issues of the canoe, and heavy beaver.”  Dave also offers the following advice on spring beaver sets:  “Beaver interest in castor lure is very high at this time. Generally I select active set locations (feed piles, bank den/lodge combinations, etc.) but I generally set the downstream end of most

A castor based lure is essential for targeting spring beaver.

good sized islands, even without sign. Dispersing 2 and 3 year olds are out looking for other beaver, and the point at the bottom of an island for beaver is like the fire hydrant at the park for dogs.  I almost always make at least two, sometimes 4 sets if I stop. I try to use a

castor based lure on one, and a food based lure (no castor) on the other. For the first two catches, it won’t matter, but I think beaver can get wise to a particular smell.”

An array of castor based lures available from Minnesota Trapline Supplies

Some other points to remember on beaver trapping pertain to equipment.  One way sliding drowner cables should be used whenever possible.  Anything heavy can be used as a weight at the end.  To cut down on carrying weight, bring empty feed sacks and fill them with rocks and gravel at the set site.  Empty feed sacks can be had for cheap at most feed stores.  If you use 330’s, remember that Nebraska law states that body gripping traps with a jaw spread over 8″ must be placed under water.  Also make sure you obtain permission on any private land and water.  In Nebraska, if a river runs through the property, you must obtain permission from the landowner.  You must also have landowner permission to trap under bridges that are in the county road right-of-way. (This can vary by county in Nebraska, check with your local game warden if in doubt).

Once you have caught your beaver, you can skin them yourself or

Putting up beaver requires a different skinning technique and special equipment.

take them to a fur buyer whole.  There are many useful parts on a beaver other than the fur.  The meat,  oil sacks, and castor glands have value to lure makers.  The tails do as well, and the tails can also be skinned and processed like leather.  Many people also eat the meat, saying it is akin to venison.

Last but not least, is the aspect of safety.  Being on a river this time (or any time) of year can be hazardous.  Dave Hastings has the following advice on safety:  “If you are just starting out, you will need to experiment to see how long a line you should put in. Being on a shallow river after dark, when it is cold, is a very dangerous activity (don’t ask how I know, or how many times that lesson was taught…).   Carry “dry bags” for extra clothes, flashlights, and first aid.  Buy a cell phone waterproof kit/bag. (Cabelas, even Walmart.) A wet phone is immediately useless. And bear in mind that you likely will often be out of cell service. Be sure someone knows generally where you are and generally when you should be back.  Don’t kid yourself. You may only be a few miles from a road or farmhouse, but if a catastrophe occurs, you might as well be on the moon. Consider, plan–think through decisions with safety in mind. Bad cuts, hypothermia, injuries, other health issues–all can be deadly.”

Don’t put those traps away just because spring is starting!  We still have some time left.  Get out there and enjoy what we have to offer in Nebraska.

-Mark Hajny, NFH member.  Bob Miers is the NFH Secretary and owner of Sandy’s Fur Buying of Seward, Nebraska.  Dave Hastings is an avid trapper, the editor of the Furtaker, (official magazine of the FTA) and instructs at the Furtaker’s College in the fall. 

 

Spring Trapping Part 1 – The Muskrat

For some trappers, when the winter is winding down and the coon and coyote pelts are starting to show their wear, it means only one thing…beaver and muskrat trapping!

The season on most furbearers in Nebraska comes to an end on February 28th.  For muskrat and beaver, however, the season extends another month to March 31st.  The pelts on these two furbearers remain prime through this time and for many reasons it is a good time to go after them.

If you are a trapper, the muskrat will provide fun for all ages!  Muskrats can be found in marshes, rivers, small creeks and some farm ponds.  Back in my early days (nineteen eighty something…) You could drive by any public waterfowl area and see “muskrat huts”.  These were large piles of sticks and reeds and other vegetation that muskrats used as homes and feeding areas.  I haven’t seen a muskrat hut in several years.  Muskrat numbers have declined in the past years and they can be hard to find.

The equipment used for muskrat trapping is small, lighter weight and relatively less expensive than most traps and equipment.  Size 1 foot holds (coil or long spring) and 110 body grip traps are effective tools against the ‘rat.  Bob Miers of Sandy’s Fur Buying gives the following advice on equipment for muskrat trapping:  “If you use leg holds make sure to use one way drowners and have deep enough water or you will find legs and not rats.  If shallow water, use sureholds, conibear and colony traps work great in places as well.”

The Duke brand guard trap. Also known as “sure-hold” or “stop-loss” by other manufacturers.

To trap them, find where it appears they are entering their dens at the waters edge.  This can be a partially submerged hole that looks used, or get your waders on,  get in the water and feel around with your foot to find the “runs”.  These are channels down in the mud that muskrats use to travel to and from their dens, much like a land animal uses a trail.  A 110 or foot trap placed in the run or mouth of the hole is your best bet.  These runs are also good places for colony traps.

Shane Claeys of Papio Creek Trap Supply manufactures and sells the Magnum Power Clip conversion kit

Magnum Power Clip from Papio Creek Trapping Supplies attached to rod.

which allows you to attach your 110’s to a rod, such as an electric fence post, and allows you to hold steady and adjust the height of your 110.  This is an effective way to cover den holes in the bank.  There is a link to Papio Creek trap supply on our vendor showcase page.

 

Muskrat floats are another fun way to target this furbearer.  This is simply a raft made of wood, floating on the water, with some bait on it and a trap or two.

Muskrat float, sold by Minnesota Trapline Supplies.

For bait, muskrats are especially fond of carrots, apples, and parsnips.  Don’t forget to anchor your trap to the float and employ some method to keep your float from floating away! The designs of floats and methods of use are numerous.  You can buy them pre-made or make your own.  A google search will turn up numerous options on making a muskrat float.

If you skin your own catch, don’t throw away those carcasses.  Muskrats have glands that are used in some lures, and their meat also makes good predator bait.  The carcasses also make good mink bait when used whole or cut in smaller chunks.

Since muskrat numbers are down, it is good advice to not completely trap-out an area.  Leave some of the numbers for “seed”, so you can have some breeding stock for next year.

In part 2, we will talk about beaver and the equipment and methods used.

-Mark Hajny – NFH Member.  Bob Miers is the NFH Treasurer and owner of Sandy’s Fur Buying of Seward, Nebraska.

 

 

Fur Season Is Upon Us, But The Experts Say Not So Fast

The famous line used by ESPN College Football analyst Lee Corso could be applied to fur season, “Not so fast, my friend”.

Even though the Nebraska fur harvest season officially starts November 1st for most furbearers, the experts are saying hold off and use some restraint.

In a facebook post from October 27th, 2016, Greg Petska of Petska fur, says “Coon market very Weak yet. We are only going to buy better colors and better sizes from better sections for between $1-4. Don’t want any coon taken before thanksgiving.

Fur primes up based on the amount of daylight and some say it is affected by the temperature.  If such is the case, the unseasonably warm October temperatures have not helped it any.

According to information posted on Groenewold Fur and Wool Company’s website, prices are flat for raccoon, beaver and muskrats.  In a nutshell it looks like not a lot has changed from last year.

Be selective and start later.  Get a catch pole and learn to use it.  The warm temperatures offer a good opportunity to go out and do some extra scouting.  Take your shotgun with you and take advantage of our rebounding upland game bird populations.

It will be here before you know it.