Trapping Conservation and Self-Reliance News

Though not a lucrative undertaking, some trapping enthusiasm endures
Nov 5, 2023 16:14 ET

[Reprinted from original]
Trapping for fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, mink and muskrat legally commences Nov. 10.

Based on the frequency of garbage-can diving and attic prowling, citizens of the suburbs might conclude Ohio holds more than enough raccoons.

Other furry critters not so much. Opossums and skunks generally keep a lower profile, while foxes, weasels, minks and muskrats tend to operate in a world apart.

All of the above, despite differences in lineage, appearance and habitat preference, get piled into the furbearer basket.

That’s because through the ages their pelts, particularly when grown thicker and oftentimes luxurious for the cold of winter, have proved useful to human beings in need of covering their own inherited climatic deficiencies.

Fur arguably isn’t required to ward off cold during an era when pajama bottoms can be considered de rigueur for the Christmas shopper. What’s more, fur spotted during frigid treks through snowy parking lot to store entrance most likely sprouts faux from ladies’ boot uppers.

At any rate, some trapping enthusiasm endures, though trappers are hardly in it because of demand.

Trapping, which for fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, mink and muskrat legally commences Nov. 10, requires diligence, expertise and effort. The remunerative awards almost assuredly are not commensurate.

The prices quoted during the Ohio State Trappers Association fur auction in March would be unlikely to bring much action drawn from the loot-laden vaults of private equity.

The 22 opossum pelts fetched, for instance, an average of $1.57, slightly less than the $2 average commanded by two detached weasel wrappings. The 3,294 muskrats brought an average of $3.63, the 1,273 raccoons an average of $4.64, the 299 minks an average of $5.22, the 44 skunks an average of $11.93, the 33 red foxes an average of $18.17 and the seven gray foxes an average of $25.58.

The required purchase of a $15 fur taker’s permit and a $19 hunting license mandates that a trapper check active traps and remove captured animals every calendar day. A lengthy list of additional do’s and don’ts is detailed in the booklet "Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2023-24."

Hunting for fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum and weasel, which also requires a fur taker’s permit, commences Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 31, same as trapping for those species.

Trapping for mink and muskrat runs through Feb. 29 in most of the state. Trapping for beavers and river otters opens Dec. 26 and runs through Feb. 29.

A once-lucrative enterprise, trapping played a part in the opening of North America to European settlement. The settled, however, no longer show overwhelming interest.

Fur taker permit sales from March 2021 through February 2022 totaled 12,271, considerably fewer than the 68,603 turkey permits and 404,787 deer permits sold.

Deer workshop
A free workshop on deer processing conducted by Ohio Division of Wildlife staff is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Wildlife District 1 Office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215.

Professionals, conducting the hands-on class both indoors and outdoors, will offer training in field dressing, skinning and butchering. Equipment will be provided, so leave yours at home.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited. For details, contact Travis Runnels at Register at the, by scrolling down the page and clicking on the link marked Exploring Deer Processing, Nov. 8.

Parting shots
Two dads were shot in separate incidents by their elementary-school-age daughters during Minnesota’s recent youth deer hunt. … Chase Cominsky, who was caught cheating a year ago with his fishing partner during a Lake Erie walleye tournament based in Cleveland, has been charged with numerous deer hunting violations in his home state of Pennsylvania.