Tuesday, December 30

2008 is almost done

I think I have a new New Years tradition figured out... see, I have 10 rabbits waiting to be skinned at this moment, and each of them takes about 30 minutes to skin, and 15 to 20 minutes to butcher. What if we got everyone involved and saw who could do the most work with the fewest mistakes. That would be fun! (?)

The MN Trapper's Association midwinter meeting is this weekend. I will let you guys know how that goes. Due to the lack of demand for fur at this time by fur buyers and countries that are our primary consumers of wild fur, mainly Russia and China, and the global economy at this time, I am not going to sell my fur. There are plenty of people selling more than enough fur to cover the current demand, and the more extra unused fur there is, the lower prices will be. I think I would do better to wait to sell fur until things start improving so that the prices will go up again. Until then, I am donating my fur to the Tanned Fur Project in MN to help educate people about trapping and go to scholarships that the MTA gives.

I saw something interesting the other day in a trapping book I got for Christmas. It had fur prices back in 1925 and they look very similar to what most people are getting today. The dollar now has 1/12 of the value it had in 1925. This means that most of the fur has dropped in value to 1/12 or even a smaller fraction of what it was worth back when we had a local market, when we had more people in the United States who were willing to make garments out of American fur, and when there weren't a bunch of bunny huggers crying about the animals as if they were little people in furry little jumpsuits.
Muskrat: $1.50 for large
Skunk: $3.00 for large
Possum: $1.25
Large mink: $10.00
Small mink: $6.00
Raccoon: $7.00
Otter: $30.00
Northern beaver blanket: $20.00
Red Fox: $8 to $12
Gray Fox: $2
Fisher: $75
Marten: $25
Weasel: $1.50
Coyote: $7

Here are fur prices as they were expected for this fall/winter. It turns out most of these prices were wishful thinking as nobody is willing to pay these prices the way the economy is looking.
BEAVER: Best at $45
MUSKRAT: $4 or slightly better.
WILD MINK: $16 to $18
RED FOX: $22 to $24
RACCOON: $22 to $24;
COYOTE: $20 to $24.

Here is what I have observed people getting for the furs not mentioned above.
Skunk: $4
Possum: $1 (although I have heard rumors of them getting up to $60, I don't believe them.)
Otter: $30
Gray fox: $10
Fisher: $35
Marten: $40-$45
Weasel: $3

A lot of those 1925 prices are looking really appealing right about now. I was born a century too late.

I will apply for the MN Conservation Corps this year, and applications are coming out in the next few days so I'm really excited about that. If I go, then I will be busy for 8 weeks of the summer fixing up state parks and things like that. I will be pretty busy when I am finished, but I think I will be able to go to the MN Trapper's Association Rendezvous next summer since it will be around August 14th and hopefully MCC will be out by then.

I'm looking forward to getting my driver's license this year. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to get my license while I am in MCC, so if I want to drive myself to the Rendezvous this summer, I will need to take my tests for that on the first Thursday that I am out of MCC before I go to the Rendezvous, so I will be in a hurry!

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