Coyote fur numbers, demand snagging more trappers in Saskatchewan
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A healthy coyote population is helping to drive what Saskatchewan fur trappers expect will be another good year for their industry.
Figures from last year show coyote pelts made up the bulk of fur sales in the province that reached a record $4.6 million.
Most of the coyotes were trapped in southern Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Trappers Association says worldwide demand for fur from the Prairies remains strong, especially for coyote.
A Saskatchewan Wild Fur Harvest and Cash Values report says the average price at auction for a coyote pelt last year was $116, while marten pelts went for nearly $82 each.
There is no bag limit or restricted hunting season for coyotes.
“We’ve boasted about having some of the world’s best (coyote pelts) and it has to do with the heaviness of the fur and the size and colour of the coyotes,” said association president Wrangler Hamm.
Overall, the number of trapping licences in Saskatchewan has increased in recent years.
During the 2017-2018 season, there were more than 4,600 licences distributed, not including Indigenous trappers on First Nations land. In 2010, there were just over 2,700 licences issued.
Mike Gollop, fur and problem wildlife specialist with the Ministry of Environment, said licence sales and general interest in trapping tends to be steadier in northern Saskatchewan.
“In the south there are a lot of people that are focused on coyotes, and when coyote prices go up, they jump back into trapping, so that could be a driver that’s increasing licences,” he said.
Saskatchewan fur typically gets shipped out to auction or to private buyers worldwide. Gollop said harvest levels will probably be similar to the last few years, which have been up from the long-term average.
“It’s great to see for the trapping industry and also wildlife management purposes,” said Hamm.
The trapping season typically runs until mid-February. (CKBI)
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2019.