President — Joel Blakeslee (Sherri), 4905 Jackrabbit Rd, Reno, NV 89510; 775-742-1308
Vice President — John Sullivan; 702-493-8342;
Secretary/Treasurer — Judi Curran, 4170 St. Clair Rd., Fallon, NV 89406; 775- 867-2239
Fur Manager — Jim Curran, 4170 St. Clair Rd., Fallon, NV 89406; 775-867-2239
• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Husband & wife with subscription — $22
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $10
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
4170 St. Clair Rd.
Fallon, NV 89406
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Lots of news.
The fur market: not the disaster many were saying. While certainly not the record $660 averages for our cats from the year before, a $420 average is still very good. Other furs such as coyotes and grey fox followed suit. Down about 30% from record highs but somewhat in line with the last five years’ averages. Muskrats were a bright spot with an $8 average. A lot of trappers say this will eliminate much competition for next year. This is probably true but it remains to be seen. I think the suddenness of the down turn and the timing at the end of the season had a lot to do with any feelings of letdown. When people have high expectations and it doesn’t turn out that way, then there is a hurt feeling. Trappers certainly work hard enough to be rewarded for their efforts. But the fur market is dependant on many things other than hard work. Look at beaver trapping for example.
So what happened? Mike Wilhite writes one of the best market reports in the Trappers Post magazine. He called it a Perfect Storm. A combination of a tax evasion crackdown in China, record high temperatures across much of the fur wearing world last fall, and a market resistance to the record high prices paid last year for ranch fur. The good news, he doesn’t think it is a long term trend. He predicts things will bump back up by next year.
Despite a down market, the Fallon sale is always fun. I have seen a trend lately with a handful of trappers who are dedicated to turning out a superior product. Not just doing a good job on their put ups, but a spectacular job. And not the borax treatment which is the norm now, but hand washing, air drying and/or drumming the furs. And boy does it look good. To win a top fur award in any category these days in Fallon is really saying something about fur handling.
Also the sale was superbly organized and run as usual. Kudos to Jim Curran and his staff for putting on a good show. And much thanks to Tracy Truman for the BBQ. Elk steak and more. And last but not least thanks to all the buyers and trappers who choose to show up and support this sale. The commissions earned go a long ways to promote trapping in the state, and fight the battles that have to be won to preserve this heritage.
On to other news. The long drawn out fight with the antis to change our visitation laws is moving to Elko and Reno on March 7 and 8. The Wildlife Commission’s Trapping Committee is holding hearings in those two places. I will have a report in the next edition. Then I think the process will go back to Las Vegas for another hearing there.
I am happy to report that the NVTA is going to have a rendezvous this summer for sure. In White Pine County hosted by Joe Bennett on Aug. 1, 2, and 3. The location is the Ward Mountain Campground. The turnoff is 10 miles west of Ely on Highway 6. You can camp out at the event or stay in Ely and drive ten miles. It is shaping up as one of our best ever. Joe has lots of demonstrations lined up and several vendors have plans to attend. Demos on cage trapping, cat trapping, and fur handling among other things. This will be very kids oriented with activities planned for them as well. For more info or to donate anything for the raffle please contact Joe at 775-289-0417.
That’s it for another season and another edition. — John Sullivan