Vermont Trappers Association February 2009 Report

President — Randy Barrows, 88 North Road, Milton, VT 05468; phone: 802-893-4258; e-mail:

Co-Vice Presidents— Joe and Deb Epler, P.O. Box 12, Chester, VT 05143; phone: 802-875-4511; e-mail:

Secretary — Deb Epler, P.O. Box 12, Chester, VT 05143; phone: 802-875-451; e-mail:

Treasurer — Jim Calchera, 233 McCaffrey Rdg., Putney, VT 05346

NTA Director — Dave Perrin, 2600 Vt. Rt. 12A, Randolph, VT 05060; phone: 802-728-5935

Membership Director — Paul Ainsworth, P.O. Box 118, Eden, VT 05652; phone: 802-635-7343

Membership Options:
• Individual adult membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Oldtimer (65 & up) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $10
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
VTA, Membership Director
Paul Ainsworth
P.O. Box 118, Eden, VT 05652


Hello Vermont trappers,

As expected, the economy has caught up with the fur trade, or was it the weather? One or the other played a big role at the annual fall fur auction held on Dec. 13, 2008. For the second year in a row, weather was not good for us. This year we got clobbered with an ice storm, which pretty much shut the state down. Most of the trappers I know will not let a little bad weather alter their plans, but glare ice is a different beast. If you do brave the roads, you have to deal with trees down, detours, accidents, etc., which makes hibernation sound attractive.

Lots of furs offered and sold were both record lows for the auction. I know for a fact that my traps were not quite as full as previous years, but I still trapped. I have been around long enough to know that some years the price you get for your furs is good and some years it is bad. My long standing theory has been whatever I get is more than I started with and it is what it is. Sure, it would be nice to get top dollar for every piece of fur you put up, but in reality when would it peak? If any of us got into this sport to become rich with little effort, who are we kidding?

I trap because I understand the need to remove some animals to keep populations healthy. I trap because I love being outdoors matching wits with the animals I pursue. I trap because I love being outdoors period. When it comes to the point where I trap for the money, I will hang my traps up for good.

Regardless, thanks to all who helped out at the auction. You know who you are and your hard work is appreciated. The spring auction will be March 21, 2009, in Bethel, Vermont.
The annual banquet will be March 28, 2009. It will be held in Montpelier, Vermont and is known throughout the Northeast as “THE BANQUET” of the year. Call early as seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hope to see you there.

State lawmakers will be getting back to business soon so keep your ears open. If you hear of any legislation that would effect the trapping community, let someone know. The association is on top of things, but we do not always know all the chatter. Call your local directors with anything you hear.

As trapping winds down, enjoy a little hard-water fishing or get out the calls. Even though it is frigid, there is still a lot to do outside. Be safe with all you do and be sure to bring a kid along.

See ya on the trapline.

— Randy Barrows


The Vermont Trappers Association will hold our annual Spring Fur Auction on March 21, 2009, at the Whitcomb High School in Bethel, VT. Doors open at 6 a.m. Auction at 9 a.m. For info. contact Dan Olstead, PH: 802-464-6344 or Bruce Baroffion, PH: 802-485-4051.

The annual Fall Fur Auction was held at the Whitcomb High School in Bethel, VT on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008. 26 lots of fur were offered to the five buyers present. The following is a breakdown of prices received.

Species, Offered, Sold, Ave., High, Low, $$ Total, N/S

Mink — 40, 40, 14.46, 20.00, 3.00, 578.25

Muskrat — 214, 214, 2.12, 3.00, .74, 454.45

Coyote — 62, 51, 14.60, 25.00, 2.50, 745.00, 11

Red Fox — 39, 39, 18.05, 25.33, 10.00, 704.00   

Grey Fox — 9, 9, 17.44, 18.80, 13.50, 157.00

’Coon — 138, 138, 7.40, 17.50, 2.00, 1,021.00

Fisher — 3, 3, 52.00, 56.00, 50.00, 156.00

Beaver — 55, 55, 16.42, 27.50, 4.00, 903.00

Otter — 4, 4, 44.75, 59.00, 37.00, 179.00

Skunk — 7, 7, 4.43, 4.75, 3.00, 31.00

Weasel — 3, 3, 5.33, 5.33, 5.33, 16.00

Castor — 1 lb., 11 oz., 1 lb., 11 oz., 14.81 lbs., 14.81 lbs., 14.81 lbs., 25.00

Opossum — 3, 3, .77, 1.00, .65, 2.30

Red Squirrel — 7, 7, 1.43, 1.43, 1.43, 10.00

Muskrat Glands — 4 oz., 4 oz., 1.00/oz., 1.00/oz., 1.00/oz., 4.00

TOTAL SALES: $4,986.00

A major ice storm on Friday, in addition to a depressed market undoubtedly kept some trappers home. The 26 lots of fur offered and total sales were both record lows for any VTA Fur Auction.

I would like to thank all those who helped out, especially Dave Perrin, John Abts, Jeff Dudley & son, Jim Calchera, Paul Ainsworth, Mak Keyes and Brent Teillon. Thanks to John Krisher for getting the donation of the eggs and sausage.

A big thanks goes to you, Doreen Perrin, for another wonderful job of managing, getting supplies and keeping the kitchen up and running and to Penny Baroffio for cooking.
The Spring Auction will be held on March 21, 2009, in Bethel. PLEASE NOTE: This is the 3rd Saturday in March!

For more info on this auction, please contact Dan Olmstead at: 802-464-6344 or e-mail:

— Dan Olmstead

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