Friday, March 13, 2009

March fur sales results

The results are in!

From Mark Downey, CEO Fur Handlers Auction Inc:

Fur Harvesters Auction's March 11, 2009 wild fur sale held in
Seattle drew a large crowd of international buyers. Results on sable
realized significant increases on northern goods for larger sizes compared
to recent sales. Smaller eastern sables sold at recent market levels. The
demand for wild fur remains positive but the global financial crisis has
placed all buyers and manufacturers on cautious footing. We sold at levels
previously set and held the line on what we felt were reasonable values on
all wild goods. To sell at any level is not our policy as this is not in the
best interest of our shippers and buyers, and is considered irresponsible as
this would only further shatter the confidence of our industry. Our sale
reflects what we believe is a responsible position that protects the value
of the wild fur product. As confidence returns, prices and clearances will
move forward.
We thank the trade and our valued shippers for their unwavering support
during these difficult times.

There ya have it. I'm glad FHA isn't panicking and trying ta sell for anything they could get. The people runnin FHA are also trappers, and know the blood, sweat, and tears we put into our fur harvest.

Coon prices did pretty good for those 20% that sold. Muskrat caught my eye, 85% clearance and a $4.18 (usd) average...not bad! I'll be patchin my waders for the spring!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sugar Time!

It's that time a the year again! Maple sap's startin ta flow, and I saw some geese the other day.
I tap the trees round here, probably have bout 20 pails up. Get enough syrup for the year, and maybe some to give away to family. After we have about 50 gallons or so, we do the burn down. It's rough, sittin outside in the beautiful spring sun, feedin a fire all day! By the evening the sap's boiled down ta bout 5 gallons, and I bring it inside to finish on the stove. Ya really got to keep an eye on it at this stage, or it'll burn. When it gets bout 7 degrees past boilling point, it's ready. I don't usually measure the temp, ya can tell by the way it falls off a spoon. After that, you pour it through a filter, then into jars (prep em just like fer pickles).
Some folks say it'll make a mess of the kitchen, but I don't find that. And what an aroma it leaves!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another close encounter...

Saw this vid over at Huntin Wisconsin:

Talk about a bad angle shot!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mixed results at NAFA's February fur sale...

Some good, some bad results, mainly due to the strong Chinese market and the weakness of the current Russian market.

Good times if yer trappin otter, not so good if yer a coon trapper. I notice the muskrats sold 100%, with almost a $4 average...get out there this spring! Least someones buyin fur...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Look what happens when ya don't take the dogs huntin fer a few days...

Just put a new seat on it too!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Too sick fer school...

But still learnin bout physics, anatomy, geography, biology...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Doggin it!

Nice weather fer hound huntin!

Coons n' bears are all asleep, but the dogs n' me get out pret neer every day. Woods round here are all strung up with tubing fer maple sugarin, and the squirrls play hell with it, chewin it all up. I love these nuisance jobs, keeps the dogs sharp. Juba sniffs em out from up the tree. He's gettin pretty good at it, we get tons a squirrels. It's funny, he has a different bark for squirrels than coons, and he seems ta use his eyes more, always lookin up. Got an old Cooey single shot 16 guage that is perfect fer this kinda shootin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Critters on the move...

That's one thing bout this cold weather-some critters really start movin! Coyotes, wolves, foxes, I guess all k9's, not to mention the weasel family-ermine, mink, martin, fisher, wolverines, everything cept maybe skunks. If it aint hibernatin or dennin, it's gotta move like crazy ta get enough food ta keep alive. Even if ya set out bait piles, they are still on the move (maybe they prefer warm meals...I know I do!).

Course, round here seasons closed fer any mustealid (weasel family), and k9 are starting ta get a little rubbed, though I still hunt em fer population control.

This is the time a year where ya ken really get an education followin all thse tracks. Here's a set that crossed my backyard. Ken ya guess what they are?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A predator in the hand...

Is worth 3 in the bush!

A friend o mine invited me up to his farm fer some predator hunting. Seems the buggers were eatin all his deer, not ta mention his neighbours sheep.
Well, ya don't have ta ask me twice! I pack up and was gone in an hour.
First stand, I set up the foxpro bout 30 yards upwind, and take cover in an old abandoned barn. It's got a bunch a missing wall boards, but cut the wind a little (was round -20 in the wind).
I start off with the "DSG cottontail", and it wasn't 10 minutes that I had a taker. Now, round these parts, there is the odd wolf that will come in, and if this wasn't a wolf, he was the king of coyotes!
At about 75 yards out, he comes to a stop n sits down, nose in the air. He doesn't look too worried, but don't wanna come any closer to that barn. Close enough fer a shot, though, so I switch the caller to "baby cottontail", a kinda coaxer call, and tell my shooter ta go ahead.
Farmer Ed is lookin pretty exited, as he swings up his ancient Winchester 30/30 and lets fly! I suppose he was expectin this wolf to leap 5 feet up, cause that's where the bullet sailed over his back...
After that big boom, I tried some howlin, but no go. I told him the jig was up, n we should change stands. He looked out into that howlin wind, and said he wanted ta head in fer the night. I sez, well, lets try a little while longer, and sure enough, called in a nother. This was much smaller, but still nice. This one hung at bout 150 yards, and no matter what I tried, wasn't gonna come any further. I told Farmer Ed ta go head n shoot, but when he reached fer the old gun leannin against the wall, it was gone.
Now, I know what yer gonna say. Why was the gun leannin on the wall? Well, that's just Farmer Ed style huntin. Least I had convinced him not to light up a smoke on the stand...
After chores the next day we again head out. Temperature is bout the same, but no wind, so we try sittin in a 2 man tree stand, with the caller 50 yards out at a field edge. After bout half n hour of 3 minutes DSG, 5 minutes of silence, a big yote comes boundin across the field. I start the coaxen, and Ed shoulders the rifle, squeezes, and....CLICK! Bugger forgot ta load it! Yote sees the movement and streaks off. I drop the caller remote and swing up my mini 14 ranch rifle n get off a few quick shots, but no hits.
All in all, not bad fer eastern coyote hunting. I got to call a wolf and 2 yotes, and will be able ta razz my buddy fer months ta come!

Monday, January 12, 2009

How close is too close?

Check out this video sent to me with the question "what would you do?"


I guess it depended on what kinda tag was in my pocket...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fur Market moves forward cautiously...

According to Fur Harvesters Auction:

FHA held its first sale of the season on January 9th offering a fresh collection of all items with the exception of sable, lynx and cats. Our attendance mirrored that of last January and although buyers were cautious, support from all buyers in attendance was witnessed.

Considering the economic conditions around the world we were pleased with the prices realized and clearances above our expectations. Raccoon however remains mainly unsold as the trade continues to struggle with the high priced inventories of last season. We held to what we felt was reasonable levels and we are hoping this position allows those holding inventory, time to move their goods before our March auction in Seattle.

The climate in the fur consuming nations of China and Russia is now reflective of winter and coat sales are now moving. We are optimistic that prices will rise as the season progresses.

As always, we thank you for entrusting us with the marketing of your product.

Mark Downey
Fur Harvesters Auction Inc

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fur prices not lookin good...

When ya see articles like this in the city papers:

Animal trappers can't hide from global downturn

Wow. And this was supposed ta be a record year for fur prices! I'm keepin my fingers crossed, though. I think it has more to do with the warm fall in Russia than the economy. In the great depression, fur prices were sky high. Men would leave work crews ta follow fisher tracks in the snow. A fisher pelt would bring in 2 months wages back then. Kinda funny, prices were almost exactly what they are now. Wish the same could be said fer fuel...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Deadly carnivore in the woods!

No, not him...


First fisher of the year!

I love these things. Not only are the pelts valuable, but they are easy to skin n flesh. I like the smell, too. Kinda like skunk (their cousin), but sweeter...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bushman in love...

I'm tellin ya, she sure is sweet! This little Honda, starts one pull (well, maybe 2) every time. Last year, me n the young lads shoveled by hand. No big deal you say? Well, check out these pics. Were talkin bout 12 feet a snow over the winter...

Ya, with this storm front moved in, I haven't seen any critter movement. Even the K9s have hunkered down. A well, least I got the fur shipped. Guess I could get caught up on some chores...naw! With all this fresh snow on the ground, it's the perfect time to scout!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who says ya can't call turkeys in the fall?

Well, some a you smarter guys know you can, but up here I've always been told turkeys won't respond in the fall. Now, I don't have much experience with fall turkey hunting, seein as this is the first year there has been a fall season.
So, there I am, set up in the corner of a swamp wait'n for the big buck ta come to my Foxpro caller doe bleat sound, when I hear some yelps in the timber across a field.
Since I haven't had any action for awhile, I put the caller on "lost hen" and let er go.
After bout 5 minutes a back n forth, them turkeys come right in! They musta come in 400 yards or more, cross an open field, and walk right up to that caller. Were talkin 30-40 hens n jakes.
I had shut the caller down before they reached the far edge of the field, but they still pinpointed that exact spot.
So, I guess next fall turkey season, I'm sleepin in, and huntin late afternoon!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Late 'loader season...

...starts tomorrow. Guess I'd better get ready! Course, I'm always ready for huntin. Just a matter of last minute the huge storm warnin for tonight an tomorrow! Probly a snow day fer the little ones. Guess I'll just have ta pack em all in a ground maybe get em ta drive the woods fer me...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Juba's big day

Well, It's time fer the hound to try and trail a coon that he hasn't seen runnin from him. I set a big ol' boar loose, cleared away the cage, and gave him a good head start.
I walked Juba towards where the coon was released, as if it was just a normal stroll. Right away he let loose! He was on the trail full bore, singin for all he was worth! Max, my airedale cross, and I had to hustle ta keep up.
That coon musta been chased before. It was all over the place! Finally we ended up at an old hunt camp. The dogs just kept circling it, but the coon was nowares in sight. The building was on a pad, so I know he wasn't under it, and the rest looked solid. The dogs started wanderin up and down a cut cornfeild, right beside the cabin. It was almost like he dissapeared at the edge of the field...I came up fer a closer look. Aha! The farmer just sprayed liquid manure. No wonder the coons scent trail disappeared...
I leashed up the dogs and headed across the field. That was fun. Anaways, when we got ta the other side, lil' Juba picked up on a trail. we follered it to a big maple, with a smaller maple leanin on it, half fallen down. Juba just kept circlin the trees, howlin but not tree barkin. He was confused. Old Max was pullin like a demon, so I let him go. Right to the roots stickin up on the leanin tree he went. He started snarlin and tearin at the roots, and tryna dig the frozen ground. Sure enough, there was a hole, with a coon inside! Only problem is Max can only fit his head in the hole...
Now here's a trick that I've used in the past. After pullin the dogs back, I lay on the ground sideways and stuck the .22 in the hole. When the coon lines up, give him a brain shot. When he does his "run ta Jesus", he'll kick himself right outa that hole.
Well, after the dogs had their fun, I took a closer look at that coon. Funny, it somehow turned into a small female...
All's well that ends well I say. Far as the dogs er concerned, they caught their coon. Sides, this one was alot lighter ta carry home...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

O'l Trapper Tip

Got blood on yer fur? No problem- rinse in cold water.

This works better the sooner ya do it, before the blood sets. It ll still work later, but the fur may be tinged.

I've heard peroxide will work for blood that has set, but I've personally never tried it. If ya do it make sure ya rinse that fur good, ya may get a bleached blond...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Foxpro or Foxcrow?

So the neighbour down the road calls this morning saying there is a fox sitting outside her door, and she's scared ta let her dog out. I tell her not ta worry, a fox won't eat a dog (even a little foufou dog like hers...). I grab the new Foxpro I just got in the mail, and have been dyin ta try.

It's been rainin since I got it, and Foxpro doesn't recommend using it in the rain. And wouldn't it be perfect ta call a fox in on it's first time out?

So I set up behind her house (of course the fox is long gone) and put on the only fox sound, the pup distress. No luck, so I give er with the old standby, the sqweelin bunny. no dice.

I'm ready ta pack er in when I notice a bunch a crows in the distance.

Well, I think, lets see if the crows come in. I crank the volume on "crow fight" and "dyin crow".

Well, I'll say it worked! I've never seen so many crows in such a tight group, swirlin and divin at the caller (which I had set bout 50 yards in the pasture). Now I know they flock up this time a year, but this was nuts! The noise was deafening! I turned the caller full blast, but the real crows were blocking the sound. It was surreal.

Course, all I had was my .22, no shotgun er camera...

I'll do it again and try to get a pic. Man ya gotta see it ta believe it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Freezer's full, it's buck time!

Well, I got motivated ta head out in the rain by Othmar , and what a day. Deer were movin everywhere. Was a little worried bout my keepin my powder dry, since I was usin my CVA Wolf smokepole. Nice little break open, and easy on the wallet. With a little lectrical tape, she was sealed tighter than my wallet.
Deer were causing a local landowner some problems with his market garden spread, so I figured id set up there. Wow. Sign everywhere.
Ya know, sometimes that works against you...too much sign, or too many food sources. Where to set up? Well, I found a good lookin inside corner and waited in the rain.
Bout sundown two does approached from downwind. Guess I didn't smell too bad, cause they just kept comin in. Rain can help wash away scent and keep it down. Double lunged her at fifteen yards. Guess that close I can't really brag bout the accuracy of the gun...
So, there it is. Butchered her up, the freezer is filled, and another tag is burnin a hole in my pocket!
Sorry no pics, didn't want my camera ta get all wet!