Category Archives: Nebraska Fur Harvesters News

News pertaining primarily to the Nebraska Fur Harvesters and its members.

River Otter Delisted In Nebraska

In a textbook example of management by science – not emotion, The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved removing river otters from the threatened and endangered species list in the state.

It was determined that the population of otters in the state would support being removed from the threatened and endangered species list.  Nebraska trappers are still hopeful that someday there will be a season on otters in some form, and this action paves the way to that goal.

You can read the full article on the Lincoln Journal Star Website here.

You can also read a little bit about a study that UNL did on the abundance of river otters in Nebraska by clicking this link.

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

We are proud to announce the induction of two of our long time members and friends to the Nebraska Trappers Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Don Miller and Jim Cronin to the NFH Hall of Fame.  Both of these guys are stand up guys and friends of trapping.  They have both put in many years of service to Nebraska trappers and to the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association.

Don’t pass up an opportunity to talk trapping with either of these guys.  Neither one will pass up an opportunity to talk about their trapping adventures with you.  Their experience is immeasurable.

Thank you for your service to us trappers.

NFH Logo Contest!

The Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association is looking for a new logo that will better identify the organization. In order to engage our current members, and attract new members, we announce competition to design a new logo.

The new logo should identify the organization and what we are all about.

If you are interested in submitting a logo, send it as an attachment to Jessica Power at

Submissions must include the full name(s) of the person(s) who designed the logo, name, email address, postal address, and telephone number. One or more submissions per person is acceptable. Each submission must be sent in a separate e-mail.

The prize for the winning entry is “first release” of the new logo on one hoodie, one t-shirt, one hat, one coffee cup, and one decal. In addition to four years free membership to the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association, with twenty-four issues of the Trapper’s Post, and $ 100.00 cash. This prize remains the same regardless of the size of the team submitting the winning entry.

Contest ends September 21, 2019. There is no fee to enter the contest.

Please see below for the official contest rules and details.

Looking forward to seeing all the submissions!


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  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.

NTA Alert — New Mexico Ant-Trapping Bill to be heard this week.

**NTA Alert – Opposed to HB366 **


Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 8:00 A.M. – Room 317

The Anti-Trapping bill will be heard!!

We need to pack the room!! Please arrive in ROOM 317 by 7:00 a.m. to secure a seat. This will be the only bill heard that day and is expected to have a lengthy discussion.

If you attend:

Park in the free parking garage on the west side of the capitol.

Arrive at 7:00 a.m.

Be prepared to be present for 2-3 hours

Call and take 5 friends

Call and email all legislators everyday leading to Thursday!!!!

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person please send emails and make phone calls to all the legislators in House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee.

HB366 Wildlife Protection & Public Safety Act (Anti-Trapping Bill) “view bill here”

If passed, this bill will directly impact the welfare of hardworking men and women of the middle class who rely on the sale of furs. Trappers also contribute to the growth of game species by helping regulate the numbers of predator species.

Contact the following legislators and STRONGLY OPPOSE HB366! When emailing, type “Opposed to HB366” in the Subject line. Please be respectful when contacting legislators.

House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee

Representatives Emails:

Representatives Phone Numbers:

McQueen (505) 986-4423
Rubio (505) 986-4227
Akhil (505) 986-4464
Anderson (505) 986-4450
Ferrary (505) 986-4338
Montoya (505) 986-4758
Romero (505) 986-4254
Sarinana (505) 986-4227
Scott (505) 986-4450
Small (505) 986-4438
Stansbury (505) 986-4336
Strickler (505) 986-4220
Townsend (505) 986-4758