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...