Trappers doing their part to keep sport alive
[Reprinted from original]
HOLMESVILLE — The Ohio State Trappers Association held its Region B (eastern Ohio) Fall Meet on Oct. 17 at the Killbuck Valley Sportsman's Club, where vendors sold trapping supplies, swapped stories and OSTA members gave talks on the different aspects of trapping.
The industry, or hobby, has experienced a decline, but the diehards of the OSTA are trying to keep the sport alive.
"Fur prices are down, but trappers are trappers, and they're going to do what they do. And trapping is what they do," said Keith Jones, the OSTA Region B director.
Jones noted trapping is an important tool in wildlife management, especially when it comes to raccoons.
"Coons can be a nuisance," he said. "A lot of farmers depend on trappers to thin them out. We need these trappers to help manage the population.
"Because of hunters, trappers and the Division of Wildlife, we have more animals now than in Daniel Boone's time."
A raccoon pelt only brings $2 in today's market, a good muskrat maybe $4, a red fox $10, and the same for beaver. In fact, selling the glands of the beaver are more profitable than the hide.
"We don't do any of it for the money," said Kris May, who along with Mike Crow, owns a nuisance trapping business called Kritter Getters. "You've got to trap because you love it."
Crow says raccoon trapping is their "bread and butter" both in the business and during trapping season, when they take two weeks of vacation to run trap lines. "Raccoons just have so much personality," Crow said.
Crow and May will do a trapping seminar Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 t the Salt Fork Wildlife Area that is open to all. Call Kritter Getters at 330-987-4965 to register.
The trapping workshop, as well as the event at the Killbuck Valley Sportsman's Club put on by the OSTA, are both activities intended to promote the trapping industry.
"It's a challenge," admitted Jones. "We're definitely not against technology, but it's getting harder and harder to get the kids off the couch. We want people to enjoy the outdoors, and trapping is one way to do that.
"We need to get moms and dads interested in hunting, fishing and trapping, and if mom and dad get interested, the kids will follow," Jones continued. "We've tried targeting the kids and that didn't work. If things don't change, there's going to be a generation of no trappers."
Jones thanked the Killbuck Valley Sportsman's Club members for their hospitality in hosting the event, noting it was perfect timing considering trapping season opens Nov. 10.
"Trappers are buying and selling right now," Jones said. "This is the place to come to learn how to set traps, learn proper techniques, skin and flesh and put up furs, and to make contacts."