Conservation and Trapping Science

Escanaba Welcomes Back Annual Trappers Convention for Summer 2021
Jun 3, 2021 17:32 ET

[Reprinted from original]

Fur trappers from across the Midwest will descend on the small, northern Michigan town of Escanaba in July for the 59th Annual Trappers Convention and Expo, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

One of the largest regional conventions in the country, the expo will feature fur-trapping experts, including Iowan Red O’Hearn who can skin a beaver in seven minutes. O’Hearn, who said trapping is “in his blood” will be giving a live demonstration.

“We are pleased to have Red returning to Escanaba,” said Bob Steinmetz, member of U.P. Trappers and National Trappers Association Director for the Upper Peninsula, in a news release. “He does a great job of teaching his methods, techniques and tips. He also willingly engages the audience with dialog and Q and A. Those attending his demo are sure to learn a lot."

Fur trapping has been part of life in Michigan for as long as people have inhabited the space, dating back to Indigenous practices. It was later a hot-market item in trading with European settlers.

Many Michiganders still feel it is part of their heritage.

Fur trapping in the wild is something of a controversial subject. The Humane Society International writes on its website, “Traps (in the wild) inflict great pain and anguish, both to the target animals and to unintended victims such as pets and endangered species.”

However, trappers are proud of what they do and maintain that it helps preserve balance in nature.

With more than two building's worth of vendors selling inventive devices and gear, education sessions, and a Friday Night Fish Fry to boot, the association says there is something for everyone.

The convention will take place at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 9 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 10.