Arkansas Trappers Association April-May 2010 Report

President — Gary Helms, 1092 Vanderbilt Rd., Texarkana, AR 71854; phone: 870-772-3834; e-mail: Arkansastrappers@aol.com

Vice President — Aaron Hitchcock, 9331 Sister Ln., Mulberry, AR 72947; phone: 479-997-8401

Secretary/Treasurer — Karen Davis, 1350 Hwy 70 E, DeQueen, AR 71832; phone: 870-642-3674

NTA Director — Mike Fischer, 13823 Masoner Rd., Lonsdale, AR 72087; phone: 501-939-2325

Editor — Bill Fields, 543 Riverbend Rd., Mammoth Spring, AR 72554; phone: 870-625-7457; e-mail: bcfields@ortrackm.missouri.org

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription — $25

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:

ATA, Secretary/Treasurer
Karen Davis
1350 Hwy 70 E, DeQueen, AR 71832

www.arkansastrappers.org

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Our annual fur sale was held Feb. 20 at the Fairgrounds in Russellville. It was a great day weatherwise — cool and cloudy all day. The sale ran smoothly for the most part. Randy Davis found us a new auctioneer. It was his first fur auction, and I thought he did a fine job. Karen’s new computer program seemed to work well. It looked like it sped things up over at her table. We had lots of good help. The directors all pitched in and helped wherever they were needed, and I saw several other members doing their share of the work as well.

The youngsters that hauled the fur to the buyers’ tables all day did an outstanding job of keeping up, which helped to keep the sale moving along smoothly. Set-up before the sale and take-down and cleanup after the sale also went well thanks to the volunteers that came up a day early and those that stayed late after it was over. Our association is full of hard workers, and I appreciate every one of you that pitched in and helped make it a great fur sale! THANK YOU!

As most of you are aware, there are many factors that determine the price of our hard-earned fur. It seemed as though things fell into place for us this year. Nobody at the start of the season expected prices to end up where they did. Our averages were certainly up from last year’s sale. I’ve posted the results below. If you want to compare them with last year’s results, visit our Web site at www.arkansastrappers.org and click on the “Fur Sale” link.

2010 Fur Sale Results

Listed by Type, Number Offered; Number Sold; Percent Sold; Average; High; Low and Total

DRY

Beaver — 159; 159; 100%; $14.72; $22.50; $4; $2,340

Castor — 58.25; 37.25; 63.9%; $27.99; $35; $10; $1,042.75

Bobcat — 35; 34; 97.1%; $19.53; $30; $4; $664

Coyote — 16; 16; 100%; $8.53; $13; $4; $136.50

Fox-gray — 36; 36; 100%; $15.42; $20; $3; $555

Fox-red — 1; 1; 100%; $8; $8; $8; $8

Mink — 6; 6; 100%; $9; $12; $6; $54

Muskrat — 5; 5; 100%; $6.25; $7.25; $6; $31.25

Nutria — 1; 1; 100%; $1; $1; $1; $1

Opossum — 79; 79; 100%; $2.07; $3; $1; $163.50

Otter — 16; 16; 100%; $48.69; $57.50; $45; $779

Raccoon — 373; 365; 97.9%; $10.56; $22.50; $0.50; $3,854.75

Skunk — 19; 19; 100%; $2.12; $3; $1.50; $40.25

Dry TOTAL — $9,670

GREEN

Badger — 1; 1; 100%; $12; $12; $12; $12

Beaver — 627; 626; 99.8%; $11.65; $18; $2; $7,295.50

Castor — 144.5; 144.5; 100%; $23.62; $35; $15; $3,413.75

Bobcat — 157; 157; 100%; $26.19; $115; $2; $4,112.50

Coyote — 36; 35; 97.2%; $9.83; $15; $2; $344

Fox-gray — 107; 106; 99.1%; $13.26; $20; $4; $1,406

Fox-red — 9; 9; 100%; $15.11; $17; $6; $136

Mink — 19; 19; 100%; $10.92; $13.50; $2; $207.50

Muskrat — 43; 43; 100%; $7.63; $9; $5.75; $328.25

Nutria — 4; 4; 100%; $2; $2; $2; $8

Opossum — 136; 136; 100%; $1.01; $1.50; $0.25; $137.25

Otter — 171; 170; 99.4%; $47.17; $59; $20; $8,018.50

Raccoon — 972; 972; 100%; $7.07; $22; $0.10; $6,872.90

Sq Tails — 669; 669; 100%; $0.08; $0.10; $0.08; $54

Sq Hides — 84; 84; 100%; $0.89; $1; $0.50; $74.50

Green TOTAL — $32,420.65

TOTAL SALES — $42,090.65

Until next month!

— Gary Helms

EDITOR’S REPORT

The trapping season has wound down for the most part and, as usual, I have enjoyed it immensely. I hope that the rest of you have had as much enjoyment out of the season as I have. I must admit that I find myself already looking forward to next season. I have to admit also that I didn’t put as much effort into it as I normally do, thus feeling more relaxed in the evenings. I did put a little extra effort in processing the fur that I did harvest and that in itself makes a trapper feel better about himself, at least it does to me. Every year, it seems I plan on getting a better fleshing knife and then, every year, I find myself using the same old “cheapy” that has been in my possession for umpteen years. I have made due so to speak and have numerous top-lot certificates from NAFA to show for my efforts. As for beavers though, especially working up those blankets and supers, it sure would help to be in possession of a better grade of knife.

I have been cranking out this report for a little over 10 years now. For the first two or three of those years, it was done on a typewriter before purchasing a PC. Hopefully, my writing has improved with all that practice. It really makes me proud when I attend National Conventions and have folks come up to me and tell me how much they enjoy my articles and the stories that I have written. I have even had trappers from other states tell me that they read my report before they read their own state’s report. This really puts a smile on my face. Thus far, I have been published in four different magazines and have sent a story to another that hopefully will be accepted.

I simply love writing and love having people tell me that they like what I am putting out. Any time any of you have info that needs to be brought to attention, give me a call or e-mail — phone: 870-625-7457 or e mail: www.fieldshouse@centurytel.net.

I did not make it to our Fur Sale on Feb. 20. I simply could not afford it. Charley Bass called to tell me that it was a really good sale with improving prices on most items. That is certainly good news and hopefully furnishing a hint for better things to come. For some of us, trapping is more of a sport than a business, however, it feels better to not go in an economy-hole because we love to do it. For most of us, we are probably lucky if we make a dollar an hour for time spent trapping and then processing the fur. I can guarantee, and I repeat, I can guarantee that we, or anybody else, would not work so hard at any other job for that low of a wage. Enough said on this.

As the season was coming to a close, I only had five traps out, trying to capture one more muskrat. A no-good rascal lifted four of those traps and took them home with him. I place him as being lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon track. It is really a shame that we have individuals like this. I don’t see how they can sleep at night. The worst hurting of this is that one of those traps was a #280 Conibear. My only consolation from this is that, one day, this person might get to feel Hell’s Fire. Other than this, it was a good season.

— Bill Fields

 

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