West Virginia Trappers Association March 2009 Report

President — Janet Hodge, P. O. Box 787, Union, WV 24938; phone: 304-772-5586; e-mail: hawkmtn@hawkmtn.com

Vice President/Field Editor — Bill Healy, P. O. Box 187, Smithville, WV 26178; phone: 304-477-3301; e-mail: healybg@hotmail.com

Secretary/Treasurer — Gloria Stutler, HC 70 Box 140, Creston, WV 26141; phone: 304-354-9038;
e-mail: buttercup26141@yahoo.com

State Organizer — Scott Whytsell, 448 Hattie Run Rd., Grantsville, WV 26147; phone: 304-354-6965; e-mail: swhtsell@frontiernet.net

NTA Director — John Thomas, HC 70 Box 43K, Sugar Grove, WV 26815; phone: 304-249-5690; e-mail: john52766@hardynet.com

FTA Director
— Brian Casto, 6198 Parkersburg Rd., Sandyville, WV 25275; phone: 304-273-3055;
e-mail: wvtrapper71@hotmail.com

Membership Options:

• Adult membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Adult membership with newsletter only — $15
• Junior (under 16) with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $16.50
• Lifetime membership — $300

Complete membership application on first page of association section and mail dues to:
WVTA Secretary
Gloria Stutler
HC 70 Box 140, Creston, WV 26141
http://www.wvtrappers.com

FIELD EDITOR’S REPORT

Highlights of the January 2009 Fur Auction:

This was one of the smallest fur sales we have held. The usual buyers attended, but bidding was conservative. Prices were considerably lower than the March 2008 fur sale. For example, 295 raccoon pelts offered in January 2009 averaged $6.06 per pelt. In contrast, 1,018 raccoon pelts auctioned in the previous January averaged $11.09 per pelt. The results of the auction are summarized below.

Summary of Fur Auction, Jan. 4, 2009, Glenville, WV. Prices are per hide; details of past fur and root sales can be found on our Web site (www.wvtrappers.com).

Species, Quantity, Average, High
Skunk, 5, $4.50, $4.50
Opossum, 80, 1.34, 2
Muskrat, 90, 2.77, 3.20
Beaver, 38, 12.45, 27.50
Coyote, 18, 9.11, 13
Grey Fox, 31, 15.68, 18.50
Red Fox, 24, 10.04, 14.50
Bobcat, 9, 29.11, 44
Raccoon, 295, 6.06, 18

The West Virginia Trappers Association remains one of the few state fur auctions in which fur is graded instead of being sold in seller’s lots. Due to questions from trappers and state trapper associations, we felt an explanation of our sale process might be in order. Fur sales are held in January and March of each year, and the schedule remains the same for all auctions. The consignment table is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Each person wishing to consign fur completes the consignment sheet (name, address, hunting license number), and you must be a WVTA member to sell fur, (membership costs can be deducted from your fur check or you can pay dues prior to consigning fur).

Fur is graded on a first-come-first-served basis (the exception is dealer lots, which are graded at the end of each day). One of the graders will call your name and everything you wish to consign is then brought to the grading table. For both Friday and Saturday consignments, this means finished fur (fleshed and dry), deer antlers, roots and herbs. Each grader has his own secretary who records the species and grade of each item consigned. The items are then placed into lots. As an example, all Large I and II red foxes are sold together at the auction as one lot, likewise with XXX Raccoon (32-35 inches), and so on.

Once you consign the fur to auction, you do not have the option of accepting or rejecting the final bid. On Sunday morning, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., green fur (skinned and thawed, frozen on the carcass, etc.) is accepted for consignment. The green lots of fur are not graded, and each consignor’s lot of fur is sold “as is” for one price. For example, a seller might have three raccoons, one muskrat, two bobcats and one coyote. These are bundled together, ungraded and sold as one item. The consignment fee for selling through the WVTA auction is 6 percent for fur and 5 percent for roots.

Buyers may examine all lots of fur prior to the auction and those wishing to bid on fur must make a deposit (cash, certified check or bank letter of credit) and receive a buyer’s number before the 1 p.m. Sunday auction. An Order of Sale sheet is available for each buyer and the general public. The sheet details all lots, grades and counts of fur to be sold. All fur buyers must have a valid WV Fur Dealer’s License.

Personnel from the WV-Division of Natural Resources are available throughout the auction weekend to provide game checking tags for beaver, bobcat, and fisher. They also apply CITES seals on all bobcats. All ginseng sold through our auction is certified by the WV Division of Forestry prior to the auction.

Ginseng buyers do not need to have a WV Ginseng Dealer’s Permit unless they plan to divide the certified lot before reselling the ginseng. During the auction, we generally have over 15 fur buyers on hand, and each lot is sold to the highest bidder. At the end of the auction (which generally takes about one to one and a half hours), each buyer is assigned a WVTA assistant who helps ensure the buyer’s item count is correct and he has all items he has purchased. The buyer’s fee is 1.5 percent and fur shipping tags are provided to out-of-state buyers. Depending upon the number of people consigning fur, it takes from one to two weeks to receive your fur check after the auction.

All game laws are strictly enforced. Season limits on fisher (one) and bobcat (three) are monitored, and all fur reports are submitted to the WV-DNR. All this is accomplished by the hard work and dedication of the WVTA Fur Committee. These volunteers work nearly non-stop from early Friday morning through Sunday evening to provide the state’s best and most widely attended fur auctions. If you would like additional information about our fur auctions, call 304-772-5586 or e-mail info@wvtrappers.com.

Calendar of Events: March 6-8, 2009. Fur auction and Board meeting at the Gilmer County Recreation Center, Glenville. Board meeting 7 p.m. Friday; finished fur consigned Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; raw fur only Sunday 9 to 11 a.m.

Sept. 18-20, 2009: Annual Convention, Gilmer County Recreation Center, Glenville.

— Bill Healy

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