Ready, Set, Trap

Posted on 12/22/2011

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 your traps.

For more information on trapping, visit the Fur Takers of America at

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