Modern Day Fur Trappers




When the world seems to be going upside down, where the squeakiest wheel receives the oil while living in a fantasy world, and the polls say that only about 1/3 of U.S. Americans identify as conservative, where are the fur trappers? And how do they make their money? The Pew Research Center reports that most conservative people live in the U.S. Midwest. I dare say that most conservatives live in a rural setting.

What Can a Fur Trapper Expect in the 21st Century?

Fur trapping instrumentally spurred on the exploration of the U.S. and Canadian American West from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. The fur trapping industry in the Americas began with fashion’s demand for beaver hats and coats in Western Europe. At first, the European men wanting to sell furs to Europe traded with Native Americans for furs. Then, they decided to trap themselves, which led to bloody conflicts with Indian tribes and each other.

Trapping season gets going in the fall. Trappers harvest a large percentage of fur in fall and winter, then sell pelts the next spring and summer. It is hard to predict what the fur market looks like in terms of sales of pelts. There is less demand for fur these days, but fur trapping is still a vital business. 

Fur harvesters today do not get the prices they believe are reasonable for their efforts. China, Greece, Italy, Korea, and Russia, not North America, are the fur-buying customers for American fur trappers. Fur apparel is fashionable in those countries. China and Russia are the biggest customers for fur. The pandemic affected the fur market. China had more stringent lockdowns than Russia, which affected the Chinese fur market in 2022. The war in Russia and Ukraine affected the Russian fur market the same year.

Even so, the Anchorage Daily News reported that fur prices are expected to improve during the 2022-2023 season. Today, most fur trappers do not skin their harvest. The buyer purchases the animal whole, skins the pelts, and then sends the fur to an auction house. There, international buyers bid on what they want for apparel and trim. According to Statista, North America is the second largest clothing market in the world.

Of the top ten clothing manufacturers in North America, thomasnet.com reports only one is in New York, one is in Arkansas, one is in California, one is in Florida, one is in Maryland, one is in Oklahoma, one is in Rhode Island, and three are in North Carolina. Thomasnet.com reports only eight fur clothing manufacturers in North America. Seven of them are in Canada, and one is in Beckville, Texas.

One unreliable website reports 28 well-known clothing manufacturers worldwide are producing fur garments. It is a far-left website. There is evidence that China is farming fur-bearing animals living in horrific conditions. In North America, we are still trapping fur the old-timey way. The primary animals harvested for fur are beavers, coyotes, foxes, minks, possums, rabbits, raccoons, sables, seals, wolves, and even cats and dogs.

What About Animal Activists?

There is no doubt that organizations like PETA have influenced the fur market and sales of animal pelts. These organizations are shoving vegan fashion down the throats of Europeans and Americans. Vegan fashion comprises clothes made of synthetics, which are made from oils. Cotton is king with vegan fashion, but these companies also produce garments made from linen, hemp, cork and rubber, and lesser known plants like banana leaves, coffee grounds, mushrooms, and ramie.

Animal activists do not seem to realize that cotton is a water thirsty plant, yet they seem to care about water shortages worldwide. TruthAboutFur.com is on the forefront of helping people to understand about “sustainable consumption choices…educating them about the environmental benefits of natural fur over fast fashion that relies on synthetics”.

An Ontario company owns the TruthAboutFur.com website. It strives to connect leading fur authorities in Canada and the U.S. Truth About Fur lists many fur trapping organizations, like, “Fur Commission USA is a non-profit trade association representing farming families working on 245 farms in 22 states. The FCUSA is dedicated to ensuring superior standards of animal husbandry and consumer education.

“The Fur Council of Canada is a national non-profit association representing people working in every sector of the Canadian fur trade. The Fur Council’s corporative values are based on respect for people, land, animals, and the diversity of humane culture. The FCC’s mission is to promote, defend, and enhance the professional, economic, social, and moral interests of our members.

“Fur Harvesters Auction (FHA) Inc., located in North Bay (Ontario) is trapper owned and operated, with ownership evenly divided between native and non-native trappers. FHA is known for fine North American wild fur, graded to impeccable standards. FHA is also the exclusive source for Genuine Mackenzie Valley Furs™ (Northwest Territories) and Nature’s Edge™ (Nunavut) wild furs.” (1) There are more fur-supporting websites listed on their website.

So, despite the push of animal activists to shame people into believing that fur trapping is a brutal business, in reality, at least in North America, fur trapping laws strictly regulate the industry in a humane manner. Activists say fur is no longer a modern fashion, but many North Americans and its fur trapping organizations vehemently disagree, and especially the commercial fur trappers and hunters who keep their animal skins for private ownership.

How Do Fur Trappers Trap in the 21st Century?

Approximately 270,000 families in Canada and the United States pull part of their income from fur trapping. The Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association (TTFHA) established itself in 1980 and works alongside state and federal agencies and private citizens to conserve Texas wildlife though sound wildlife management practices.

The majority of fur trappers today trap part-time. Trapping began thousands of years ago with native and aboriginal populations. There are four primary types of traps that come in various brands, makes, and models. Trappers carry a trapping bag that includes all the other tools needed for successful fur trapping.

Some of these tools are a  long-handled trowel, a three-pound hammer, dry, pre-sifted dirt and a sifter, a catch pole, stakes, lures and bait, rubber gloves, a .22-caliber firearm, and pliers. Every trapper has what he or she considers necessary for their trapping bag. As trappers gain more experience, they figure out what tools and traps work best for them.

Trappers use the foothold trap most often. These traps look like toothless versions of the of the older bear traps with gigantic teeth. Foothold traps employ a pan in the middle that the animal steps on, which triggers spring-tensioned jaws to bite the animal’s paw. Manufacturers build this trap to hold the foot, but not to injure the animal. Sometimes, the wrong species of animal ends up in this trap, even some pets.

Trappers used snare traps since the beginning of trapping history. Usually composed of a wire loop that the animal enters into head first, and the snare is supposed to tighten around the animal’s neck, like a collar, until the trapper comes to check his catch.

For water animals like beavers, minks, and muskrats, trappers use body-gripping or conibear traps. Conibear traps employ hinged metal frames, which are set off by two torsion springs. When an animal places its head between the frames, it kills the animal immediately by setting off a scissor-like mechanism.

Trappers use cage or live traps near homes most often. They trap animals live. Live traps employ a door to the cage that a trigger in the back of the trap springs into action. Professional nuisance animal removal companies commonly use these traps to relocate wild nuisance animals. (2)

If you want to know more about fur trapping regulations in Oklahoma and Texas you can go here in Oklahoma:

 

And here in Texas:

 

Sources

1. TruthAboutFur.com

2. https://www.grit.com/animals/wildlife/how-to-trap-fur-animals-zm0z1811zcoo/

 




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