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Ready, Set, Trap
Trapping continues to be a hot topic in some regions, and a target for
anti-trapping organizations everywhere. The robust fur markets in some
regions of the country today are proof that trapping is here to stay for
a long, long time. Trapping is definitely an important hobby, outdoors
pursuit, and vital tool for wildlife managers.
If you need more reason to get outdoors, or want to improve the odds of
survival for some popular and huntable animal species like rabbits,
waterfowl, or wild turkeys, then take up trapping.
Traps can also help take and control problem species, like beavers, that
inflict millions of dollars of damage to property or crops each year.
These damages range from ruined timber, to flooded crops, to holes dug
in dikes and dams. Then there’s the growing problem of missing pets—with
coyotes being the culprits.
For example, one damage control specialist in Illinois recently reported
that he had requests to trap and check the stomach contents of coyotes
that were thought to have eaten pet dogs and prized cats in one region.
In one case a coyote apparently ate a cat that was wearing a custom
diamond encrusted collar.
There’s also the “smelly” issue of skunks. Anyone who has ever had a dog
sprayed by a skunk wants trapping of the black and white creatures to
begin immediately! It is also a fact that trapping helps prevent rabies
and other threats to public health and safety brought on by a sharp rise
in furbearer populations.
These include diseases spread by—or contracted by—foxes and raccoons.
There are far more of these nuisance critters out in the fields and
forests than the average citizen realizes. All you need to do to get a
fractional estimate of the local population is look on and along the
highways for road kill animals. You’ll probably see lots of raccoons,
some foxes and a few coyotes, and in some places beavers, and the
occasional bobcat. Raccoons have become very common in some areas and
have caused homeowner problems by raiding bird feeders, trash cans, and
pet food dishes.
The good news is that trapping supplies today are generally inexpensive
and so are many resident trapping licenses. Fur prices, however, remain
generally low partly because of the weak economy. With high gas prices
on top of those, there may be critters and opportunities for you and for
For more information on trapping, visit the Fur Takers of America at www.furtakersofamerica.com