BC-03-M-02 | 2001-2010

Born in British Columbia, the lynx travelled more than 2,000 km to finally make it back home

An interesting story of a lynx that was translocated into Colorado from B.C. only to return there 8 years later. I don’t think, however, that the lynx really “wanted to die close to home”

BC-03-M-02 | 2001-2010
by Kate Lunau – Macleans.ca

184 Responses to “BC-03-M-02 | 2001-2010”

  1. Tilly Says:

    Yes, that line was insulting. He wanted to LIVE at home. Another sad example of why trapping needs to be reigned in and phased out.

  2. Nancy Says:

    A very sad ending, brought about by a species that continues to have little or no regard for another species’s right to exist. I have to wonder if his pelt ended up in some foreign fur salon showroom, after the data on his life and incredible journey, was gathered.

    • Mike Says:

      Truly disgusting for such a magnificent creature to make that journey, only to end up in some hick’s trap.

  3. Mike Says:

    How sad.

    Maybe one day man will evolve fully beyond such barbaric pursuits.

    Embarrassing behavior on all levels. This isn’t 1876.

    • william huard Says:

      To hunters and trappers it may very well be 1876, and they defend their right to torture animals because it is legal. The laws need to change, starting with public lands. These degenerates are always talking about conservation- blah blah blah- meanwhile most states don’t even have a mandatory trap check policy. The culture of trapping is in a time warp circa 1876- they just don’t know any better. We are not talking the creme of the crop from society- The hunter gatherer mentality has long since past, and the sport trappers are just sadists who get their kicks from the torture and domination of another creature. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the modern coyote is smarter than the average trapper.

    • Ryan Says:

      William or Mike,

      Do either of you actually know any trappers, or are you content to run your mouths based on perceptions?

    • Elk275 Says:

      The anti trappers cannot even get enough signatures to get the ant trapping public lands initiative on the ballot in Montana. Maybe, the majority of voters wants to continue to allow trapping. That is what is called a democracy

    • jon Says:

      What does knowing any trappers have to do with anything Ryan? People like William know why they trap. Is talking to a trapper going to change William’s opinion of them somehow? I cannot stand trappers myself. Trapping should not be allowed to public lands. #1 it is a danger to the public and their pets as well as other wildlife. There is no denying this and there is no excuse you can make on behalf of trappers that ignores this fact, The fact is that lynxs and wolverines are trapped and skinned for their fur and you think by talking to these people, we are going to suddenly change our opinions of them? Trappers unnecessarily kill animals for the stupidest reasons and please, spare me with the they do it for population control nonsense. This is barbaric.

    • Jeff B. Says:

      Oh yes by all means after modern man has been a hunter gatherer for thousands of years they should suddenly be expected to become something other than the animal we are.

      AS for: “The anti trappers cannot even get enough signatures to get the ant trapping public lands initiative on the ballot in Montana. Maybe, the majority of voters wants to continue to allow trapping. That is what is called a democracy”
      haven’t you been paying attention? the anti’s don’t believe in democracy, that’s why they fund special interest groups, PACS, and huge law suits. If all these issues came up for vote they’d never win. They capitalize on the fact that most folks won’t protest their anti-mosteverything protests.

      That’s not to say they haven’t done some good things, they have. Just so few impact so many negetively and that’s not the democratic way.

  4. Jeff N. Says:

    Amazing. We humans are responsible for more death on this planet, including our own species, yet we piss ourselves in fear when a cougar shows up in someones backyard or when a wolf howls close to some paranoid fools’ camp. What a backward ass species we are.

    What a miserable way to die for such a magnificent animal.

    • Carl Says:

      To All, the animal was legally taken. Where in the article does it state the animal suffered? It may have been killed instantly in a coniber trap, we don’t no. I guess you all would rather see coats made from wool or synthetic products such as oil since those products have no impact on wildlife or habitat!!!!

    • jon Says:

      We humans kill far more animals than wolves and yet, we blame them for killing elk and we accuse them killing for sport when we do the same thing and in much higher #s. The hypocrisy that comes out of a homosapien’s mouth never ceases to amaze me.

    • Evan Says:

      Jeff, for clarification (and to play devil’s advocate) what sort of death WOULD have been suitable for this magnificent animal? I’ve always wondered what the better alternatives for mortality that folks have in mind when they say such things. The only realistic ‘natural’ options I could think of were: Starvation? Predated by bear, wolf, cougar, etc? Killed by another lynx while trying to establish a territory? Avalanche. Maybe. Curious as a lynx…

    • Jeff N. Says:

      Evan,

      Your trying to make the argument that “what is the better way for this lynx to die” and I’m saying why did it have to die for a reason as worthless as the value of its pelt. Seriously, you can justify this…in the year 2010?

      Let’s pretend you have a full head of hair that your next door neighbor finds attractive and can sell to some bald guy….and he kills you for it

    • Jeff N. Says:

      Carl…you are an idiot and your argument is not worth addressing…..just wanted to point out that you are an idiot.

    • Evan Says:

      Jeff, I’m saying that the lynx was bound to die relatively soon as it was nearing the end of wild lynx life expectancy (as stated in the article.). I would agree that a snare, coniber or foot trap is rather ignoble end for the animal, although they are legal and the first two methods usually kill very quickly (not an option in starvation, especially when brought about by old age or injury). But it also seems to me that there are very few ways of dying for any creature that aren’t “miserable”. I was asking if you had any in mind.

      I would also argue that dying with a purpose, or “for a reason”, is an extremely subjective situation that only humans are capable of labeling and/or accomplishing, so far as we know. I doubt the trapper kept this lynx from triumphantly hoisting a Canadian flag on top of the next hill before it passed quietly on its front porch, dreaming of hares. If the trapper made and checked his sets ethically and legally, then this end is no more miserable than any other way for the lynx to die. Contending that Nature consists of everything except humans, therefore anything we ‘do to the animals’ is wrong is a mirror image of the Nature is yours to subjugate mentality taught by the Old Testament (a mentality it seems most of us on here dislike very much). Both outlooks keep us from truly connecting with other forms of Life, truly considering our species as a viable, necessary piece of our ecosystems and truly effecting actual change and sustainability.

      Let’s pretend you answered the question after giving it some thought.

    • jon Says:

      Evan. a NATURAL death would have been suitable for this magnificent animal. This animal was killed for a frigging pelt.

  5. william huard Says:

    Ryan
    When I was about thirty years old I was walking my scotty on the outskirts of my property when I almost stepped on a trap. I left a sign for the trapper telling him to get his trap off my property. A week past and the trap was still there so I confiscated it and threw it in the lake. That’s why I hate trappers- because they think they are entitled to do whatever the hell they want wherever the hell they want and who am I to question the motives of someone using my property to “Harvest” an animal. Trappers are degenerates!

    • Ryan Says:

      William,

      So let me get this straight you didn’t talk to the trapper, had one issue, and made up your mind that all trappers are evil arrogant sadistic assholes based on one “expirience”. If I replaced “trapper” with homosexual, person of color, differing religion etc, and used your logic for hating them. I could only imagine the outrage. You sound like the typical angry liberal that goes off half cocked without a clue what they are talking about because it fits an idealolgy that you like.

    • Jeff N. Says:

      No Ryan…I believe he is saying that the trapping of wild animals for a pelt is barbaric and inhumane and this trapper has no regard for what it is trapping and injuring whether it be a fox, dog, or a human. Trapping is cruel and involves suffering.. and as humans we should be able to realize this. Do you disagree?

    • Save bears Says:

      Jeff N.

      As I said, if there is no market, then there will be little or no trapping, right now, despite what was posted about the trapping back east, people can still make a damn good living trapping and will continue to do so as long as it is legal and there is a demand…

  6. Tilly Says:

    Anybody know the status of the Montana trapping initiative? Is it coming onto the ballot soon?
    Maybe we should all donate in memory of this lynx who traveled years to get home only to get trapped on the last leg of his journey.

  7. Nancy Says:

    “What a backward ass species we are”

    Could not agree more, when it comes to that statement Jeff

  8. Evan Says:

    The lynx’ behavior is very interesting and he would’ve been an intriguing animal to study, but I’m disappointed there wasn’t an assumption of the lynx’ favorite color or which of his kittens was his favorite… The article is over the top in anthropomorphizing the subject. Tagged as an obituary? There are some good facts mixed in as well, though. I didn’t realize pine martens (weasels though?) were a threat to lynx kittens. Does anyone here have info on the CO reintroduction in general? I’d be interested to learn what sorts of studies are coinciding with the reintro program.

  9. WM Says:

    Truly sad ending for this lynx.

    I don’t want to sound dense – and these are honest questions. What is the motivation for trapping these days in the US or Canada? Is there a market for pelts and can anyone give an estimate of price ranges that can be expected (wholesale – trapper to buyer) for different species (lynx, ermine, bear, beaver, fox, coyote, wolf, rabbit, whatever)? Who is buying the finished pelt products and for what purpose?

    • Jeff B. Says:

      About 5 minutes of googling would provide you huge amounts of data. That said, there’s still a huge market for fur. Remember, many around the world don’t subscribe to the values of some in the western world.

      Many feel this is more natural than our alternative methods. Everything comes at a cost. most of the plastics and of course faux fur come from oil. Those that think alternative products don’t come at a cost, just look at the gulf today. That oil isn’t just pumped for use in autos, it’s in a huge amount of the products in our lives. Research the ecological impact of the computer you are working on and you’d be shocked. But not nearly as much as the damage caused in creating all the battery products used for electric and hybrid cars. Everything comes at a cost, fossil fuels are staring us in the face today and our grand children will have to deal with the decisions we’re now making. Think about the impact if even 25% of us were to convert to electric hybrid. What about poping up wind farms everywhere without regard for the impact on wildlife, let alone the visual impact. That’s happeing now and at an alarming rate. It’s trendy and corporations are jumping on it as fast as possible before people wise up and start requiring impact studies. There’s money to be made you know!

      ok, I’m sure you all get the idea.

  10. Nancy Says:

    Carl said: Where in the article does it state the animal suffered?

    He was found DEAD in a trap Carl, at what point would it take to you realize the tremendous stress most animals must go thru when trapped? Some will chew a leg off, and many just suffer a slow death til the asshole who set them, finally gets around to checking his traplines.

    • Carl Says:

      Nancy, your right it does say that he was found dead but how do you know this trapper wasn’t using a coniber trap? That would have killed the animal instantly.

    • Ryan Says:

      Nancy,

      He was found snared, that is a realtively quick deate >2 minutes. Try a little reading comprehension. Leghold trap I’d possibly agree with you.. Snare, nope.

    • jon Says:

      These trappers have no regard for the lives of animals. Killing a deer for food is one thing, but trapping an animal like a lynx or a wolverine or a wolf only to kill it for its fur or pelt is a senseless death and it shows a total lack of regard for the animal’s life.

    • Ryan Says:

      “Late on the evening of Jan. 28, Brian Anger, a fur trapper in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., set out to the trapline to check his snares”

  11. Nancy Says:

    FYI WM,
    Interesting that the the ones closed to endangered, are worth the most.

    http://footloosemontana.org/pdf/Pelt%20Prices%202007-08.pdf

  12. Nancy Says:

    2 minutes Ryan? Set your egg timer if you own one and realize you’re gonna be dead when the timer goes off, if you’re lucky enough to be caught in a “snare” trap.

  13. Elk275 Says:

    Read the book: The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness
    By Campbell James,

    Heimo Korth left for Alaska in 1975 and married a native women and they have 2 daughters and are the only people allowed to live year around in the Arctic National Wildlife Refugee. He traps all winter and the bulk of his catch is wolf, wolverines and lynx. This book gives a very good insight to a modern day trapper and substance hunter lifestyle and thinking. For all of you wildlife watchers where he traps in the winter no one would ever be there in the summer watching wildlife.

    Trapping is legal and it is not going to change on a local or state level in the foreseeable future.

    • jon Says:

      Trapping is inhumane elk and it doesn’t belong on public lands. I don’t care what kind of trap is used. Some of these trappers don’t check their traps for days. The trapped animals have no way of getting away or defending themselves against bigger predators that come along. Not only that, but these animals are dying for the stupidest reasons, for their fur. This is barbaric.

    • Mike Says:

      ++Heimo Korth left for Alaska in 1975 and married a native women and they have 2 daughters and are the only people allowed to live year around in the Arctic National Wildlife Refugee. He traps all winter and the bulk of his catch is wolf, wolverines and lynx. This book gives a very good insight to a modern day trapper and substance hunter lifestyle and thinking. ++

      Sad.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Mike read the book. Heimo lives the life that you would love to live except you would replace his traps with your camera, but one has to make a living doing what they do best.

      The book is only $4.95 on Amazon. Com

    • JB Says:

      “Trapping is legal and it is not going to change on a local or state level in the foreseeable future.”

      Actually, that depends upon the state; and, in fact, it HAS changed in the recent past in a number of states (e.g. Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, etc.).

      Personally, I think trapping can be a very useful wildlife management tool, and in fact, so few people trap it is of little or no impact to MOST wildlife populations. However, it is not an activity that I care to engage in.

    • Mike Says:

      ++Mike read the book. Heimo lives the life that you would love to live except you would replace his traps with your camera, but one has to make a living doing what they do best.++

      I would not want to be a hermit that relies on killing predators, Elk.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Mike, a hermit lives alone, he lives with his wife and two daughters. He has made a choice.

    • jdubya Says:

      Wouldn’t a hermit have to live alone? If he is there with wife and kids I think that voids the “hermit” tag. Maybe simply “isolated”.

    • WM Says:

      ……….or a “recluse,” but not a hermit.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Or maybe a lifestyle choice. I beats what most of us do day to day.

  14. Mike Says:

    It’s becoming clear to me that the best thing for the planet would be $20 a gallon gas.

    • Elk275 Says:

      What does that have to do with lynx and trapping. Maybe it would cost the trappers so much money for gas that he would cease trapping. Two years ago $4.50 a gallon stopped me from antelope hunting in Eastern Montana.

    • Ryan Says:

      Its becoming clear to me that people who are urbanites and people who live in rural america will never see eye to eye and the social strife will only increase.

    • jon Says:

      Ryan, you do realize there are people in rural America that do not like trapping and think it’s inhumane and barbaric right? You are mistaken in your belief that anti trappers only live in cities.

    • Mike Says:

      ++What does that have to do with lynx and trapping. ++

      Because $20 a gallon gas would force the riff raft back to the cities where the worst they could do would be a few pigeons or rats.

    • Cobra Says:

      Mike,
      Most who live out and about wouldn’t care if gas was $ 100.00 a gallon, we’ll just stay here and you can have your citiy. Might keep some of you from the city from coming out here though.

    • Save bears Says:

      Where I live, the price of gas effects me very little, I go to town every couple of weeks to pick up a few things and gas for the generator, but still the price has no bearing on it, now if I lived in a city, I could see it being a problem, that would be expensive to get to the great outdoors for a weekend field trip…

    • Save bears Says:

      One thing I will add, is we have been working on a still so we can convert vegetable matter to ethanol to run the generator, so gas might become even less important in the future… One of these days, I swear I am going to be completely off the grid!

    • Elk275 Says:

      Save Bears

      I hope you have cash to pay for your residents, because a bank will not lend on homes off the grid. If and when you sell the buyer will have a difficult time getting financing and the interest rate will be higher and the offering price will be lower. I work with this every day.

    • Save bears Says:

      Elk,

      I seriously doubt we will sell outside the family, and it will either be a cash deal or a personal mortgage depending on who in the family actually steps up to the plate, I paid cash for the place and have never had a mortgage payment, but we have considered what you are bringing up..

    • Save bears Says:

      As I said, my home in Montana is remote and the place I am staying and working in Idaho is remote as well, and I am aware of the problems as well as the satisfactions, so we should be okay..

  15. Linda Hunter Says:

    At the top of my page there is a tag that says Hunting. . I clicked on it and there is a stand on hunting put forth by the blog that is very interesting. If people who hunt and those who don’t continue to argue we won’t get anywhere in protecting animals. Trapping and hunting are not my cup of tea either, but I do respect another person’s lifestyle and on top of having to learn a good deal about animals to do either, those people who do hunt and trap could be great allies for those who want to preserve wildlife. It is too easy to get emotional over animals and on the other side: personal rights . . if we don’t manage to come to some middle ground we won’t have animals to protect or hunt. Even though it was trapped, this is an amazingly interesting story. . imagine what the lynx had to move through to travel that far. I would rather see people encouraging their neighbors to make their land, however big or small, more friendly for animal passage. For instance, we have a creek in our backyard in town and animals use it to get to the Columbia river because we don’t keep big dogs and we have left natural cover there for them to do so. What if all the hunters and all the people who love animals but don’t hunt got together and did a concerted effort to talk to people in your community about leaving animal corridors?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Think of it this way. What if that animal was not trapped and die a natural lynx death a year later. We would have never known it’s partial story. To bad it did not have a GPS as we would have all love to have known its route.

    • Carl Says:

      Linda,

      I agree with you 100%. In the area I live we have a group of us who support both sides but we have come together to protect an enhance wildlife habitat and put our differences aside.

    • Mike Says:

      ++Think of it this way. What if that animal was not trapped and die a natural lynx death a year later. We would have never known it’s partial story. ++

      I’d rather have the lynx die naturally and keep the story to itself. Nature holds many secrets that she never tells.

    • Save bears Says:

      Linda,

      I have mentioned that link several times over the last few weeks, it seems most want to ignore the owners wishes..

    • Save bears Says:

      Elk,

      I agree, with the size of some of the private land holdings in Montana, there should be some private management going on and they should have the ability to issue hunting rights, I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t want to see it end up like Texas where virtually everything is controlled by the land owner and not the state game agency…

    • Elk275 Says:

      Save Bears

      Cancer starts out small and then spreads to other organs eventually killing the host. If it ever starts, it will end up in like Texas, I am not for it. If a person is going to hunt a large private ranch then they should draw like everyone else. This has been the way it has been and does not need to change.

      It would be like the medical marihuana law in Montana. It was a voter passed initiative with the idea that terminally ill patients would be able to use medical marihuana and that only several hundred people would need a medical marihuana card. Today they are thousands of medical marihuana patients and a few thousand less caregivers and hundreds of growers. I have a lady friend who is in the business and she said that they have a “strain for every pain” and if you have a hard time sleeping “I make the best brownies”

    • Save bears Says:

      Elk,

      As a home owner in Montana, I have paid attention to the MM issue, man it has been really prostituted!, of course I wish I had thought of the Cannabis caravan, that guy is raking in the money! he even admits he has made over 2 million in less than a year, really that guy is a genius, talk about a way to make a bunch of bucks real quick!!

      LOL

    • Angela Says:

      well put Linda. I have often thought about how much more wildlife could be supported if as little native vegetation as possible was removed when homes and developments were built. Or if people planted native plants or at least plants that provided food, cover, and nesting substrate rather than lawns. I plant native plants on my property every year and enjoy making other changes that help wildlife. It’s interesting you bring up dogs. I don’t have dogs, so I have lots of wildlife on my small acre and a half property. I wonder how much land is rendered unsuitable to wildlife because of domestic dogs and cats. I love dogs, but that is one of the main reasons I don’t have one.

  16. Nancy Says:

    For all of you wildlife watchers where he traps in the winter no one would ever be there in the summer watching wildlife.

    So that should somehow be a justification for taking out wildlfe at will, Elk?

    • jon Says:

      I would think ethical hunters would be against trapping animals for their fur. That doesn’t seem to be the case for elk. He seems to defend trapping.

    • Elk275 Says:

      He is allowed to trap because of the law, if you do not like the law do not trap. If you do not like abortion, do not have an abortion.
      If you do not like the law, then change it, until then you can voice your opinion and he will trap. Nothing will change.

  17. Virginia Says:

    In my opinion, any person who defends trapping, because it is legal or for any other reason, has no soul…. Legal does not necessarily go along with moral, humane, merciful or courageous.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Virginia

      Are you now god.

    • Save bears Says:

      Virginia,

      Do you have some pipeline to god, to let you know who has a soul?

      I am not taking sides on this particular thread, but folks, this didn’t happen in The US, it happened in Canada, if you want change, then petition the Canadian Government to change their laws…

  18. Carl Says:

    Jon, when this animal was origanally trapped to be released in Colorado what kind of trap do you think they used? What kind did they use for the wolves that were moved to Idaho and Yellowstone?

    • jon Says:

      They didn’t trap the animal to kill it for its fur Carl.

    • Elk275 Says:

      No one would trap an animal for it’s fur, if there was no market for that fur.

      The drug problems in Mexico, Columbia and Peru would cease if there was no America or European demand the same with fur.

    • Carl Says:

      Jon,
      The point is that they use padded steel jawed traps to catch most of canivores that have been re-introduced. Quite often they purchase these animals from trappers. So your not concerned if animals that are going to be re-introduced struggle, suffer, get killed by a passing predator?

    • jon Says:

      Their intention was to trap wolves and transport them to another place, not to kill them for their fur. Trapping in that instance was the only way to do it. I am talking about purposely trapping animals to just simply kill them for their fur. I do not care if this kind of trapping is legal or not, it is wrong.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      As long as there is a demand for fur, there will be trappers going out and getting that fur, you want to stop trapping, then work legally to stop the demand for fur, pretty simple answer, you will never stop anything as long as you focus you anger in the wrong place, there is nothing in this world that is taken, killed, harvested, etc. without demand by the populace demanding it and willing to pay for it..

    • jon Says:

      I can’t, there will always be a demand for it. Just like with the tiger skins in India, they are being killed for their skins as well when they are very close to extinction.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      If you can’t, then why spend time bitching about it, if your not willing to change something, then you not accomplishing anything..myself, when I run into a situation that I dislike, continue to work as long and as hard as I can to change it, I don’t ever give up, which is why I have worked on the Bison issue for 20 years now..

    • jon Says:

      It is going to take many people to change something like that sb. I will complain about it because I feel it is wrong. You see people today complaining about the feds and Obama and what they are doing to this country. Sometimes, all we have is our voices even though we at times feel we can’t do anything about it. Just because I myself aren’t able to stop it, does not mean I won’t stop complaining and voicing my opinions about it. Sometimes, that is all we have sb.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      That is not all you have, as you said, many are bitching about Obama, we have a little over two years with our voices and our votes to change that, I don’t accept or understand people who spend their time bitching and are willing to accept defeat so easy..

      We all have the power to change the things we don’t like, you tell one, then they tell one, then they tell one, it takes work, but if you don’t like it, you can change it, but it will take a heck of a lot more work, than posting on this blog..make calls, write letter on paper, do opt eds, etc. You do have the power to change what you don’t like..

  19. Tilly Says:

    Elk has a point that it’s legal, and if we don’t like it, we should change it instead of just complain. Let’s put our money where our mouth is and give some dough to the Montana anti-trapping initiative going on the Nov. 2010 ballot.

    http://www.mttrapfree.org/

    http://footloosemontana.org/

    • jon Says:

      That is what they are trying to do in Montana.

    • Save bears Says:

      It does not even look like they will get the required signatures to get it on the ballot, should go to show, that the people don’t want it to stop…supply and demand, is what drives the market folks..

    • jon Says:

      trappers may trap all year long and kill as much wildlife as they wish. Only four furbearer species—bobcat, marten, river otter and wolverine—are subject to quotas. Every other animal in Montana—even endangered species—may be killed 365 days a year as by-catch in recreational trapping. Always keep you pet within your sight when recreating on public lands.

      How many wolverines are in MT? Does anyone know? I only thought they were a couple.

  20. Nancy Says:

    In my opinion, any person who defends trapping, because it is legal or for any other reason, has no soul…. Legal does not necessarily go along with moral, humane, merciful or courageous.

    Elk, read Virginia’s comment again and again and again, until it sinks in……….

    • Elk275 Says:

      I will not trap and I do not trap, but I will support a person’s right to trap.

  21. jon Says:

    A wolverine pelt can bring upwards of 350 dollars to a trapper sb.

    The same factors that have removed wolverines from much of their range – overharvesting and human encroachment into their habitat – continue to plague them. Wolverines suffer from unsustainable hunting and trapping in 21% of BC’s population units. A 2005 study in western Montana found that licensed trapping largely contributed to wolverine population declines of 30% a year in four mountain ranges.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Melting+snowpack+thins+wolverine+population+study/2518369/story.html

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      Your not telling me anything new, what is your point, I have read all of the studies, and the news articles, but you just said “I Can’t” which I am sorry, if your an activist, is just not in the vocabulary..you can’t what?

      Until you start saying, you CAN, I won’t take you serious on any subject you post on…

    • jon Says:

      sb, it takes many people to change something. I could tell myself I can, but I wouldn’t be realistic with myself. I am one person. One person is not going to ban inhumane trapping and killing of animals for their fur. All we have is our opinions and although us speaking our opinions might not change anything, atleast it lets others know how we feel.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      Ok, accept defeat, I know I won’t and I have given a hell of a lot up for the issues I believe in and I will go to my grave, working on those issues, I won’t give up, in fact I can’t give up, it is part of my soul, my being and my daily routine…

    • jon Says:

      sb, it is not necessarily accepting defeat although some may indeed see it that way and I can understand that. Sometimes you just have to face the obvious. Do you honestly think trapping will ever be banned? I don’t. Sometimes, you have to be realistic about certain things. That is how I see it.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I think one time in the future, that trapping will be banned, despite what side of the issue I am on, I also, believe there will be a day, that the Montana Dept of Livestock will not slaughter bison and will continue to believe that until the day I die..

    • Save bears Says:

      When it comes to issues of this type, I don’t think there is any reality and everything could change in the next election cycle or the next legislative session and on the issue I work on, I will continue to work to that goal..

    • jon Says:

      sb, I wish for a lot of things to change, but the fact is, some of them won’t, than again, maybe they will, who really knows. It’s anybody’s guess. I myself can’t see trapping ever being banned although some want it banned and see it as cruel and inhumane, but as you said, supply and demand. Same thing with tiger skins. Tigers are on the verge of extinction and they are still not doing a dam thing from stopping poachers from killing tigers for their skins. The Montana dept of livestock slaughter bison has a better chance of being done with than trapping. That is something I can see being done with in the future. Maybe in the upcoming years, something will finally be done to stop these things people like me and you and others see as cruel. We can only hope things will change in the future, but as of now, I just don’t see it personally.

  22. Moose Says:

    From the Minn Trappers website:

    Muskrats- averages have gone over $6.00 in some cases for under ice, stretched rats

    Raccoon- started slowly, a low catch has created small price increases. Most averages of stretched coon have been into the low teens for prime goods, early pelts are discounted

    Beaver-may again be worth trapping, especially with the castor market being quite high. Southern Minnesota beaver may top out around $15.00, northern furs will bring more. Save the castor.

    Wild mink- started low and have not really improved, averages in the single digits.

    Red fox and coyotes are both cheap, especially coyotes. Any damaged or rubbed coyote is not worth skinning right now.

    Bobcat- ran in the $40.00-$70.00 area

    Otter- saw slight increases, up to around $30.00 tops

    Fisher and marten- both saw slight increases, and moved in the $30.00-$35.00 area

    • WM Says:

      Thanks Moose & Nancy,

      I am amazed at how low trapped animal pelt prices actually are, considering the time involved in setting traps, checking them and processing the pelts. Not even sure if there is much of market in the US for most species. Wolverine seems to get a pretty good price, but the only application of which I am aware is the hair is used for trim on the hoods of severe cold climate parkas. Beaver castoreum for perfume, and pelts for hats.

      Fur for coats, etc. seems to be long out of fashion.

      I have no clue, but guess some of these pelts go to Europe and Asia?

      Is part of the trapper psychology, something along the lines of getting something for essentially nothing but your time, or the expectation/suprise at what you get (kind of like gambling)? I don’t think trappers are likely to get rich at this, but maybe it is a winter recreation activity for some.

    • Save bears Says:

      WM,

      I saw a picture somewhere last year of a young man that had all of his trapping take laid out and he made somewhere over 50K for a trapping season worth of work, I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty good chunk of change..

    • WM Says:

      SB,

      As I said, I know little of the endeavor. That is a healthy chunk of change. I wonder if the $50K is representative of most trappers, or just those with high skill levels, lots of energy and a bit of luck. I expect there are cash sales/no reported income, notwithstanding the tagging, etc. in some states, so that could make it even more lucrative.

      I did first see trapped beaver at the age of 6 when I went out with a WA game department trapper. The smell of castor stays with you a long time.

    • Save bears Says:

      I really don’t know, because I don’t participate, but I do, know that furs are a pretty big business in Montana as well as Wyoming as are antlers, there is not a shop in Montana or Wyoming you can’t go into that don’t sell furs or antlers and for some pretty amazing prices, I saw a bison hide that sold for about 2K and a fox hide that they were asking $200 for, I asked the shop owner if he ever sold the fox hide and he told me, he sold on average about 20-30 a year.. even a whitetail deer hide goes for over $100 dollars, so somebody is buying these…

  23. Si'vet Says:

    Jon, with regards to bison, if they aren’t hunted, how do propose there numbers will be maintained at a level to which the habitat can sustain them.

    • Save bears Says:

      Si’vet,

      I am just hoping that eventually there will be a legitimate hunting season for them, first thing that needs to be done, is to declare them a game animal and put management under the Fish Wildlife and Parks, instead of the Montana Dept of Livestock, that would go a long ways to calming the situation that is currently going on..they are a wild animal and the dept of livestock has no business being the one in charge of them.

      In fact, it has gone so far now, that there is a bill being proposed to put elk in the state of Montana under the control of the dept of livestock!!!

    • jon Says:

      I was not that aware of that situation going on with bison until sb told me about it. I remember a while back it might have been me or someone else that posted an article about the livestock industry wanting to manage wildlife. I believe this was about Montana. Does anyone remember that article and if they got that way, could you imagine how really messed up things would be?

    • jon Says:

      Nevermind, I just read sb’s comment on the bison. Bison should be classified as a game animal like sb said. sb, do you remember an article posted about the livestock industry I believe in Montana wanting to control elk #s?

    • Elk275 Says:

      That is the reason that hunters are your most important ally. Without them it would be very easy for the big game to be under the department of livestock and property of the landowner. I call tell you one thing the “wildlife watchers” do not have any political power in the tri-state region, never have and never, well, never is a long time.

    • jon Says:

      Here is the link, it is gone though.

      https://wolves.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/future-of-elk-hunting-in-montana-is-in-jeopardy/

      Hunters may need to be a little worried about the livestock industry. You never know, they might try to take hunting elk away from you guys so that they could control the elk for their own benefit.

    • Save bears Says:

      The bill putting elk and “other animals” under the control of the Dept of Livestock will not come up for vote until the next legislative session, which does not start until next January, and believe me, the hunters in the state of Montana are already pitching a bitch big time about this proposed bill, I don’t think it has much chance of passing, but time will tell, Montana takes their hunting heritage very seriously an will fight against all odds to keep it viable..

    • jon Says:

      Ok sb, say if it did pass, what would happen exactly? The livestock industry will just slaughter as many elk as then want if the elk poses a risk to their livelihoods like they do to the bison? Would hunting elk opportunities for hunters be greatly reduced? What group has more power and influence in Montana, the livestock industry or the hunters sb?

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      As Elk said, in reality, hunters are the most important people that you and others can work with, to ensure the livestock industry does not take over management of wildlife, if Montana were to pass a law turning over Elk management to the DOL, what chance do you think any other animal would have? Wolves, gone, Bears, drastically reduced, all out war including germ warfare against coyotes, prairie dogs, wiped from the face of the earth, these types of power grabs, should concern everybody who watches and hunts as well as cares about wildlife..the majority of us hunters are not the enemy…the government is…

    • Save bears Says:

      And to add, the majority of hunters I know and it is a lot, pay attention every single day, to the proposed changes that are trying to be pushed through, and it is scary how many different agencies are trying to gut the wildlife successes in this country..again, we are not the enemy…

    • Elk275 Says:

      The current governor would veto the bill. It will never get anywhere and it would be foolish for Debbie Barrett to introduce it. In fact Debbie Barrett should just say no because a lot of Republicans in the Dillion area are avid elk hunters and she could find herself a defeated incumbent.

    • jon Says:

      sb, you may have answered it before, but does this bill have even the slightest chance of passing? Is anyone talking about this bill today? Meaning would you say that a lot of hunters know about ut? Is this a bill they are still trying to push thru? Does the livestock industry have more power and influence than the hunters in Montana? I know Montana is considered cattle country. If this bill ever did pass, it would be an all out war with the hunters vs. the livestock industry.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon, if it were to pass, I can see a day, when there would be no elk hunting, or very and I mean very limited chances to hunt elk, the premise for this bill is the brucellosis transmission probability, which I am an expert on, that is the area I worked on when I was with FWP and yes, there is suspected transmission between elk and cows, but no definitive proof it was actually elk and there is no way it was bison. This is simply another power grab by the livestock industry, to take away that hunting heritage in Montana by claiming there is to much risk to let the Fish Wildlife and Parks manage them, and if successful, they won’t stop with elk, the will go after deer, because of the threat of CWD and of course other diseases…

      You think wolves are under fire, wait and see if DOL gets control of Elk or any other classified game animal, hunting as known in the state of Montana will end!

    • jon Says:

      Maybe I am wrong, but I always thought that the livestock industry has more power and influence over the hunting industry. Maybe I am wrong.

    • Save bears Says:

      As Elk said, I don’t think it will ever make it to the floor to be considered, and if it did, it would be political suicide…Barrett is just puffing herself up bigger than a grouse in heat, Brian would veto the bill if it ever hit his desk, I know Brian, and although I am not happy with some of the things he has done, Namely the Bison situation, But I can say, he don’t like bullshit and this bill is exactly that, bullshit..

    • Save bears Says:

      The livestock industry has a lot of power, but when you start screwing with those who built these herd and reclaimed the land that we ALL enjoy the power structure will change..as I said, we are not the enemy, the majority of us are pro-wildlife managed properly, and that includes wolves…

    • Elk275 Says:

      I see it a bit different than Save Bears. What I see is that if the Department of Livestock controlled the elk the brucellosis transmission issue would quickly fade. The Department of Livestock would then issue the landowners elk tags which would be sold on the open market. Elk would no longer be a problem but an income producing resource.

      This is what I see is wrong with certain people wanting the federal government to control wildlife on federal lands. If the feds control wildlife on their lands then shouldn’t the private land owners have the same privilege.
      Whether one likes it or not the states have done an excellent job managing the resident wildlife and if a species such as wolves come up short so be it.

    • Save bears Says:

      Where Elk and I disagree, is I currently don’t see elk as a problem and they are an income producing resource in the state of Montana, I think the issue of brucellosis is so blown out of proportion that no one looks at the facts…but I do agree that the states have done a good job of managing resident wildlife and we would not have what we have with out state level management..

    • jon Says:

      sb, check out this recent article and give me your thoughts on it.
      Sen. Debby Barrett, R-Dillon, has requested a draft bill, LC0029, to “Expand the bison management plan to include other wildlife.”

      The bill has yet to be written, but Barrett says expanding the Interagency Wildlife Management Plan—a 10-year-old pact among the National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Montana Department of Livestock (DOL)—could give Montana’s livestock industry influence over elk management in the state.

      Barrett says that under her proposal the DOL wouldn’t manage elk, per se, but it would manage brucellosis, giving the agency influence over FWP’s elk management.

      “Diseases in wildlife are detrimental to livestock, wildlife and humans and they have to be addressed,” Barrett says, “especially in Montana where we have a constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment—and that means everyone, even livestock producers.”

      http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/brucellosis/Content?oid=1247857

    • jon Says:

      sb, you brought up Barrett, but here is what one person had to say about her.

      Debbie Barrett will only be happy when every elk and every wild bison and every bit of wildlife is dead. Ms. Barrett is an insult to Republicans that believe that Theodore Roosevelt was one of our nation’s greatest presidents and the person the coined the word “conservation” with George Bird Grinnell who was the man that helped create Glacier National Park. All of us need to send messages via e-mail to newspapers and statewide radio shows criticizing Barrett’s outrageous hatred of wildlife throughout Montana and especially in and around Yellowstone National Park.

    • Elk275 Says:

      “I currently don’t see elk as a problem and they are an income producing resource in the state of Montana”. I totally agree and elk are not a problem, but the large landowners want to have and be able to sell and issue elk and deer hunting rights.

      Look at the number of illegal guide services and landowners that are in touble every year for illegal hunts. The cause of the illegal hunts is the lack of proper licenses for there out of state hunters.

    • jon Says:

      sb, based on what I am reading on this Barrett lady, she seems to be anti-wildlife and cares more for cows.

      Senator should leave state’s wildlife alone
      Story
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      Posted: Saturday, May 15, 2010 12:00 am | (7) Comments
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      Sen. Debby Barrett from Dillon is just another typical conservative. She cries about government, then wants government to fix her problems. She is too lazy to separate her cows from elk, so her solution is Senate Bill Draft LC0029. This bill would bankrupt Fish, Wildlife and Parks, raid the general fund and raise our taxes. In addition, our hunting license fees would go up, our block management would no longer be funded, and our game herds would be rounded up and slaughtered to make room for Barrett’s cows. Most livestock producers know there is a balance between wildlife needs and producer needs, but some powerful livestock interests know no limits to greed.
      This bill has very dire implications for hunting in Montana and only to benefit a few well connected livestock producers. The solution is very simple; vaccinate cows, keep cows separate from wildlife during the short birthing period and leave the game be. If there are too many elk on your ranch, get a few extra hunters out there. That will keep the elk away and qualify a producer for damage hunts.
      As for producer costs, what Barrett will never tell you, all extra livestock testing related to loss-of-brucellosis-free-status is paid for with a transfer from the general fund. Any infected cows that are destroyed are also reimbursed for by APHIS. Either way, Barrett has her expenses subsidized by Montana taxpayers, but now she wants our game herds, too. Tell her to leave our wildlife alone.
      Alex Russell

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I know exactly what her proposal is, and yes, she hates anything that she perceives as a threat to livestock, note the proposal says “Other wildlife” I don’t and many other don’t think it would stop with elk, with the term “Other Wildlife” it pretty much gives the DOL free reign over wildlife and authorizes them to manage as they see fit…it won’t pass as I said, I would be surprised to even see it introduced…if this bill were introduced and passed it would gut wildlife management in the state of Montana, this is actually one of the worst threats that wildlife have faced in the state in the history of FWP

  24. Ryan Says:

    Jon,

    20.00 a gallon gas would cripple most rural residents, people who live in cities have no clue what life is like without public transport, high density housing, etc. Hence the rift, it doesn’t have a thing to do with wolves or trapping.

    • Moose Says:

      And if I was a city folk I’d say people who live in rural areas have no clue how much of the coveniences they take for granted every day are the result of taxes paid by those “clueless” people in cities. So Ryan, where does that leave us?

    • Save bears Says:

      Moose,

      Seems to me, even us in rural areas pay taxes as well, at least I get a bill every year

    • JB Says:

      Save Bears:

      Rural infrastructure is largely subsidized by residents in higher density areas. That’s why I find it ironic that farmers and rural residents tend to vote republican. It seems the groups that benefit most from the government teat are the least supportive of government.

      Ryan:

      I live in a metropolitan area with more than a million people, so I suppose I qualify as city folk. However, I can assure you I know what life is like without public transit (at least, effective public transit) and high-density housing. While I would certainly agree that many urban residents don’t understand rural life, I think it is equally true that rural residents don’t understand urban life.

    • Save bears Says:

      Ok JB,

      I concede, that rural lives off urban, I figured as soon as I posted it, someone would come along and remind us of that…my only point was those that live in the rural environment pay taxes as well..

      One thing, and I have lived in both an urban as well as rural environment, most that live in the rural environment don’t want to experience the urban environment and after living in both, I don’t blame them one bit..I hope, I never have to live in a urban environment again…

    • Ryan Says:

      Moose,

      I’d disagree with you on the supposition that urban pays for Rural. I would like to see a study of what the tax base would look like based on basic services, not luxuries like public transportation, homless shelters, musems, arts programs, inner city after school programs, etc and base it just on basic cost benefit analysis and see what the actual tax base would support based on both rural and urban.

  25. Si'vet Says:

    Sb, saw the bill posted here. I don’t want any wildlife under the direction of a private entity. What is the status of thee bill today, surely it died, or will die.

    • Elk275 Says:

      First we got to elected the new representatives and senators for the up and coming session. Then bills will be introduced, debated, rejected in committee or voted on. If passed either signed by the governor or vetoed. This is just political pandering by Ms Barrett, which is good so that the voters know what to ask the candidates this fall. There was a young Republican that came to the door the other day and I ask him about this proposed bill; he had no clue.

  26. Elk275 Says:

    jon

    When Conrad Burns was elected to the US senate in 1988, he was the cattleman’s association poster boy. At First. Slowly the hook and bullet crowd took notice and gently put a halter on him. This halter restrained him, but did not stop him. Then the hook and bullet crowd put a halter on with a high port bit; he could run but the hook and bullet could pull back on that high port bit and had some control. He learn the that hunters and fisherman voted and could and did vote him out of office.

    • Save bears Says:

      I worked very hard on that campaign, you would be amazed at some of the emails I got from his campaign manager!

  27. Mike Says:

    More on the “$20 a gallon comment”:

    This would severely cut down on the use of 4×4’s, SUV’s, quads and snowmobiles. Most poachers and wildlife abusers/exploiters rely on these vehicles to get deep into the backcountry to check trap lines or poach. With such high gas prices, they would be forced to use more fuel efficient vehicles that could not climb mountains.

    While yes, it would negatively effect many people(myself included), it would be an amazing plus for wildlife and wild places.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Mike

      ++While yes, it would negatively effect many people(myself included), it would be an amazing plus for wildlife and wild places.++

      I think that only about .000000001% of the America people support that statement being a plus for wildlife. Your mind is a little different.

    • Mike Says:

      Really? Because the internal combustion engine along with roads has by far been the biggest enemy of wildlife.

    • Save bears Says:

      Mike,

      please cite your source for that claim? And I don’t mean personal opinion, but some studies to back it up.

    • Mike Says:

      Save Bears –

      Are you joking?

    • Save bears Says:

      Mike,

      I don’t joke about wildlife issues, if I was joking, I would not have asked the question, do you have anything to back up what your claiming…I would really be interested in reading.

      Remember I do work in the business, and I have never read any study alluding to what you are claiming including during my time studying to get my Masters…

    • Save bears Says:

      I have however read studies about White Europeans coming to North America being the most detrimental event in regards to the destruction of wildlife and I have also read studies that say once we became aware, being one of the best recovery stories in the world concerning wildlife, but again, never have I ever read a study citing that roads and cars are the worst thing to happen to wildlife..

      Mike I will definitely say, you have some very different ideas about wildlife, so much so, that I have never heard or read anybody claim some of the stuff you do…

    • WM Says:

      SB,

      I would generally tend to agree with Mike’s speculation.

      Pretty sure studies have been done that generally look at increased gas prices compared to miles driven for work or recreation. I think I even saw some statistics a few years back on a national park master plan update (Yosemite?) that projected park visitation would be reduced with substantial increase in gas prices. And, it is not a big jump to conclude fewer miles driven = fewer chance collisions with wildlife on that dense matrix of roads (even secondary and gravel) that crosses America.

      As for specifically reducing wildland access with low gas mileage vehicles (SUV, ATV’s etc), if the price of gas is 6X its present cost, I bet it would reduce the number of trips people would take, including hunting etc. For illustrative purpose for each 100 miles travelled (just for SUV 100/15 mpg = 6.7 gal gas). At $3/gal that is $20; at $20/gal it is $134. I think for many people, urban or rural, that will make a huge difference in how many miles you travel – HUGE. Remember the days when diesel was much cheaper than gas – those days are gone, and these transportation cost increases will result in more train transport of non-perishable goods going by rail than semi if gas prices climb – fewer semis on the freeways are also good for wildlife.

      Will we get to $20 gas in the near foreseeable future? Probably not, but $10 wouldn’t be a big stretch, and still have impacts on miles driven, probably quite a bit.

    • Save bears Says:

      WM,

      You may generally agree with him, I am sorry, I don’t, there have been other situations that are far bigger enemy’s to wildlife, namely habitat destruction, expanding populations and housing developments..you can raise the price of gas all you want, and yes, it will cut down on the amount of traffic, reducing animal hits, but your not going tear down developments and restore habitat, it will only continue to get worse.

    • WM Says:

      SB,

      I think the areas of disagreement are merely another case of not putting side rails on the topic being debated. Without wheeled transport – roads or railroads, we wouldn’t have development across this great country. There would not be that matrix of gravel, pavement and steel rail, and the underlying built up road beds and bridges, which were costly and consumed resources, land and rock quaries to build. Roads and rights of way mostly decrease wildlife habitat, and I bet if you calculated the square miles of various types of roads that eliminated wildlife habitat permanantly you would be astounded at the figure.

      Next time you drive into town think about every mile you drive from the bare area in your driveway and the dirt road from your cabin to the supermarket parking lot. Look at an aerial photo of an area that has been logged for the logging roads, or the county roads that usually run along section lines in the agricultural heartland of America, and then there are the cities and suburban developments across this country. Everywhere a road so wheeled, petroleum powered vehicles can travel. And then there is the pollution generated by those vehicles. The internal combustion engine has already been mentioned. Ever wonder what happens to all that rubber on the tires you need to replace on the pick-up every 30,000 miles or so? How about those culverts that stop salmon migration? Those roads which are not impervious also create runoff of whatever is on them – nonpoint source pollution from runoff whether rural or urban -storm runoff- is a huge problem that defies easy, cost-effective solutions.

      Road, because of the impervious characteristics of many, increase the magnitude of storm events. They destroy fish habitat. Think of all the roads that run up valley bottoms, mere feet away from stream channels which have sometimes been straightened to accomadate roads from being washed out, where riparian vegetation that could cool water and attenuate stream flows have been stripped.

      Roads provide access.

      And then, think of wildlife trying to navigate these roadways, some with high barriers and fences redefining travel routes year round without getting hit.

      I could go on for many more paragraphs, listing out the negative impacts of roads on wildlife in the past, present and future. I think you get what I am saying.

      Forgot to mention, …. without those railroad (subset of road in my discussion) providing access to the West and ways of transporting hides the buffalo might still be around in larger numbers.

    • Save bears Says:

      WM,

      I would concede the point to you, now if Mike would take the time to actually explain his position, he would not be questioned, he has a tendency to throw something out then degenerate to innuendo and such when someone questions him.

      But that has laready been discussed at great length in the last go around..

    • Mike Says:

      ++You may generally agree with him, I am sorry, I don’t, there have been other situations that are far bigger enemy’s to wildlife, namely habitat destruction, expanding populations and housing developments..++

      Huh? That’s caused by the internal combustion engine and roads.

      ++ I don’t joke about wildlife issues, if I was joking, I would not have asked the question, do you have anything to back up what your claiming…I would really be interested in reading. ++

      I don’t need to cite a source when I claim that engines and roads are the reason for diminished wildlife. That’s just common sense.

    • Save bears Says:

      See, what did I say, WM, Mike has a different drummer he beats to!

  28. Si'vet Says:

    Refering back to the lynx, and letting go of trapping. I found it interesting no one brought up the point, that the trapper, instead of disabling the collar and hanging it on the wall or pitching it in the river or fire. He called the proper authority’s so they could collect the collar, and document the distance and movements of this cat for future study’s.

    • TC Says:

      Agreed. Otherwise it’s a complete data sink and the animal was collared for no good reason. Unfortunately this is not the norm in my experience – I lose more than a few collars even when people harvest animals legally – they must get nervous that they’ve done some wrong, when they haven’t, and in essence thousands of dollars, a lot of hard work, and that animal’s contribution to conservation fly out the window.

  29. jburnham Says:

    Amazing journey. It’s interesting to consider whether or not the lynx knew where it was going. Did it just point itself north or was it searching for home?

  30. Elk275 Says:

    It has been fun this evening and now it is 23:00 hour and time to go to bed. No, I am not eating a MM brownie before bedtime.

  31. SEAK Mossback Says:

    WM –
    I believe most of the furs are bought by foreigners through big auction houses in eastern Canada. Here are reports on recent auctions that give you some idea what the main countries are: Greece, Italy, Russia, China, Turkey, France, etc. Those may not all be end points but in some cases just where fur garments are manufactured for sale elsewhere.
    http://www.nafa.ca/auction/archive/NAFA_2010-03-13_WF.pdf
    http://www.nafa.ca/auction/archive/NAFA_2010-03-14_WF.pdf
    As far as prices, by far the most valuable animal (selling for up to $800 and averaging $350 at this auction) is western “Lynx Cat” which is actually bobcat from the northern Rockies, mostly Montana and Idaho I think (worth considerably more that actual Lynx found across much of Canada and Alaska). I’ve heard most wolverines are sold to a taxidermy market where they bring considerably more than shown here. I agree that it seems like an awful lot of work for the prices, particularly in more southern regions with raccoon, oppossum, etc. Price per fur is decieving because by far the most important animal in actual trapping income over most of Alaska is the marten (marketed as sable) which usually averages over $60 and frequently around $100. I have a friend who lives most of the year in a remote area and he typically takes 30-40 marten in a month or 6 weeks (Dec-Jan) using conibear traps very locally near his home with minimal expense for income of about $3,000-$3,500. It pretty much covers his living expenses for the 9 months he’s at home and not off working a seasonal job. The shorelines around here are absolutely loaded with mink at levels that would astonish anyone from an inland area. They live in and near the beach logs that are washed up and move down the beaches for rich foraging when the tide is out, mainly at night. Despite the abundance, I think a lot of trappers don’t bother setting for them because of more preparation work for a far lower price ($10-20) than marten.

  32. WM Says:

    SEAK,

    Apparently the high fashion garment business in other countries is still the largest consumer, and nearly 100% of what might term exotic furs sold. For those interested in boycotting it will not be effective until all countries partcipate and that appears to be aways off. Much more difficult, I suspect, than an ivory boycott.

    Also interesting to see the “timber wolf” falls in second or third in highest prices behind the lynx. I guess the next question would be what is the overall volume of these various species killed (harvested), and is this a signficant export for Canada or US (wonder if any US furs come to this trade exchange, too or whether there are others in the US, and does AK have its own – seems most efficient to sell to bulk buyers in AK)?

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      WM –
      I think there are receiving agents at several locations in Alaska take furs from trappers and deal with getting them to the auction houses in Canada. As far as boycotting, I think you are right – not likely to be effective, particularly in a place like Russia where people love furs and there is a rising upper class. However, that’s not 100% true. There has long been a huge market in China for otter which they make into coats. I never see photos of Chinese walking around in otter coats, but apparently most of it is actually Tibetans, which aren’t known for having massive disposable income. A few years ago, the market for otters got really hot and prices got up to about $200 which increased interest in trapping for them substantially in SE Alaska. However, while North American otter populations are generally very healthy and expanding, the increasing value was putting serious pressure on rare Asian otters through illegal harvest, apparently threatening one or more species with extinction. All of a sudden the price of otters crashed to about $40-50 and word was that Dalai Llama was concerned about what was happening to Asian otters and had put out the word to Tibetans not to buy otter. The Chinese government apparently also took some action short-term action restricting imports about that time which they have apparently lifted, but the price has remained low and will apparently remain so as long as the Dalai Llama says so or until other markets develop.

      In interior Alaska, Lynx are often secondary to marten and can be very abundant at times but closely follow snowshoe hare cycles. I think wolves are hard to catch and are probably an awful lot of work to care for, for the money – mostly not the main target species. I believe the price varies considerably and is highest for pale gray Arctic wolves around $300-400. There was huge uproar a few years ago, because about 10 natives in northern Saskatchewan were annually chartering a big plane and hauling fuel and snow machines up into southern NWT where they were somehow able to catch 400-600 of these highest value wolves annually in short order in a wintering area in the tundra-forest transition zone where two big caribou herds intermingle. Nobody had ever heard of that kind of wolf density and there was some research done and it turned out packs from a vast area of the arctic follow the herds into that area, apparently without bothering to fight much over territory. The conclusion was that the harvest appeared sustainable, but the guys were finally busted for shooting caribou for bait and other violations.

      Overall, I don’t think the wild fur industry is very large in dollar value – would hardly measure against the commercial fishing industry in this state – but is certainly important as at least a supplemental income source to quite a few people.

    • Evan Says:

      SEAK, thanks for the insight into an important chunk of the trapping industry. The interweaving of cultures and economies and the resulting (or causative) commercial actions such as fur-trapping are pretty damn interesting, imho. Even better, the resulting studies brought about by wondering how the native trappers had so much success up there. That would’ve been an outstanding scientific opportunity to be in on. Do you happen to have any links or names I could search to get more info on that?

      WM – Kudos for being one of the more consistently enlightening commenters on this site. I appreciate the thought and substance of your posts, whether I always agree or not. The broad knowledge base of this blog’s readership is what keeps it WELL above the local papers’ comment section, and what makes it a worthwhile read for folks looking to learn and improve their own knowledge and outlook.

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      Evan –
      Here’s one of the news reports in the year when it came to public attention (1998).
      http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/info/archieve/newspapers/snowmobile.html
      It apparently involved mostly chasing down wolves on snowmobiles, at least initially. I can’t imagine they could have been very effective snaring and trapping in the midst of ½ million caribou but remember reading later that they were charged with killing caribou for bait.

      As far as the research project through the University of Calgary, I’m sure there is more but much of it is described in the issues of NWT Wolf Notes Newsletter:
      http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/Our_wildlife_Publications.aspx

      Here is an abstract that describes some of their findings (see bottom of page 44). In 1998, this particular hunting group apparently accounted for 633 wolves and, I assume the total harvest estimate of 750 wolves includes other take in the general area. It looks like they estimated the overall wolf population associated with the kill at about 2,700 which appeared sustainable from a reproductive standpoint.
      http://www.carnivoreconservation.org/files/meetings/wolf_2004_banff.pdf
      However, it ended up not being sustained from a prey standpoint because the caribou herds have since been in major declines, with the Bathurst herd dropping from 128,000 to 31,900 just during just the past 3 years, resulting even in severe curtailment of even subsistence hunting. Apparently, wolves have also declined a great deal and I suspect the wolf kill as well.
      http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/documents/documentManagerUpload/Survey_Confirms_Continued_Decline_in_Bathurst_Caribou.pdf
      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/06/01/nwt-tlicho-bathurst-caribou.html
      The most current synopsis after the research and in light of the caribou declines appears unavailable on-line but was just published in a book. It’s got me interested enough that I ordered a copy:
      Cluff, H.D., Paquet, P.C., Walton, L.R. and M. Musiani (2010) Wolf ecology and management in Northern Canada. Perspectives from the Rennie Lake wolf hunt. Pages 135-163 in The World of Wolves: new perspectives on ecology, behaviour and management. Musiani, Boitani, Paquet, editors. University of Calgary Press, Calgary, AB.

    • Evan Says:

      SEAK – Thanks a bunch for the links and info! Looks to be some good reading. Now the quest for some spare time to dig into it…

  33. Si'vet Says:

    TC, I didn’t even note the fear factor on my post. Didn’t know if many would even understand that aspect. I can gurantee the first thing the trapper thought was holy s—t did I do something wrong. Then once his nerves settled, he did the right thing and reported it. So whether you support trapping or not, the data was recorded for future reference.

  34. Nancy Says:

    Is it just my server perhaps or are some of the comments bouncing all over the place, time wise here? Last night I gave up trying to follow this discussion because the site went down. Now comments from today are buried in the middle of yesterday’s discussion.

    Wanted to say last night (regarding trapping) that if many here were highly offended by the drugging and disgusting attempts to retrieve sperm from those bull buffalo recently outside of Yellowstone, they really should take the time and watch the movie Earthlings and see how some trappers and fur farms, execute animals so there’s little damage to the pelt.
    Out of sight, out of mind?…………..Or do some humans continue to pander to those who have no problem torturing other species to death, as long as its still regarded as “legal” somewhere out there?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Nancy

      I had the same problem last night, something was preventing me from accessing the site. I know that the cost to maintain this site is high but it would be nice to have the last 25 posts listed instead of the last 5 posts.

  35. Si'vet Says:

    JB, been a while since we went the rounds, city taxes vs rural taxes. Lets see ambulance service and fire service in 10 sq. miles 5000 people with no industrial tax base, vs 10 sq. with a lot more folks andindustry. Example: property taxes in Vancouver Wa. on a 250,000$$$,taxes,1800.00 at the time. Property tax on 270,000$$ home in my little corner of Idaho 2900.00. Where I work value 70,000,000$$ assement, yearly taxes, 800,000$$, Portland facility 120,000, 000 $$ assesment 600,000$$, and your point is. My point is rural folks, choose to live where they live despite the $$ diadvantages..

    • Save bears Says:

      And what is amazing, is those of us who live rural, really have no expectation of service! If I call 911 for anything, I know it will be at least 30-45 minutes before anyone shows up, no bitch just reality, try that in an urban area and the lawyers would be screaming for blood, so we willing pay and still know service is far and few… Lets have a snow storm in a urban area and see how long it takes before someone start bitching because the road is not plowed and we willingly accept it may be a day or two..now how about power…the power goes out, and we deal with it, urban setting, 5 minutes and everyone is griping groaning and threatening lawsuits..

    • JB Says:

      That’s the problem with anecdotes Si’vet, you miss the larger trend. You see, I paid nearly what you pay in Idaho on a $200,000 home (2 bedrooms, 1 bath) in Minneapolis and I pay $4,431.22 (I checked) on a $279,000 home here in Columbus. And taxes are higher in the first ring suburb (which, by any definition, are considered urban). And don’t even get me started on the SF Bay area…

      There are certainly economic disadvantages to living in rural areas, but taxes are not among them.

    • Save bears Says:

      JB,

      How are your services compared to those of us that actually live rural? Do the cops show up when you call them, how about the fire dept..what happens if you have a heat attack? I know if I have a heart attack, I will die, plain and simple, because they won’t get here in time, which is why I have a defibrillator here at the house..what happens when you have a forest fire?

      But it is a moot argument, we all choose to live where we do for a reason, and I will continue to pay my share which by the way, is about $2500 per year and I have 5 acres, and then another $500 on the mobile home each year, they consider mobile homes personal property, so I pay again…

      Like I said, it is a moot point, we all pay enough to live where we choose to live and accept the pluses and minuses that go along with it..

    • JB Says:

      My services? Well we don’t have side walks, they don’t plow the roads in the winter (or do much to repair them in the summer). But my gas, water, and power are pretty solid. Fortunately, I’ve never had to call a fire truck or ambulance, but I live three blocks from the fire house and 1.2 miles from the hospital, so unless I’d probably just drive. Then again, we pay for those services with LOCAL tax. Last time I checked, rural people were angry about taxes collected by the federal government. Idaho (and rural people in general) do quite well in that regard.

      I don’t have a problem with the choices I’ve made, but I do get sick of listening to rural Westerners complain about the federal government when they get more from the federal system then they put in.

      Good night.

    • Save bears Says:

      JB,

      I guess we are on different pages, because I was not even talking about the Federal Government, I guess I got lost some where along the road and now am in the ditch!

      I don’t take anything out of the Feds at all!

      Good night to you as well!

      Christ, talking about arguing over two different subjects!

  36. Si'vet Says:

    250,000 $$ home.

  37. Si'vet Says:

    SB, I have the best made by Mr. Swarovski, and I can’t see one bit of susidized housing from my deck, how many in an urban enviroment can make that claim, just hundreds of acres of taxable base. So whose’s supporting who? remind me just once more how idaho ranks among states, with the lowest debt. How about it Calif, any more free advice.

    • Save bears Says:

      Si’vet,

      I know I don’t mind paying, because I get to play so much…but it always amazes me when the “who pays” argument comes up..

  38. Si'vet Says:

    JB, my point, you have a lot of subsidized property, you have to cover right. That $$ includes sewer, water, garbage, and more indegent care. How about coporate taxes, since they directly affect what a corporation can pay in wages, when they measure, cost per unit of sales etc. I can already tell you if I was willing to move into your neck of the woods my income would be increased close to 20%. What I do to grind out a living is pretty popular in that region.

  39. Si'vet Says:

    SB, quality of life, it just doesn’t get any better. All the talk about fuel prices, by Mike, even if fuel costs were 20.00 I would still be able to have a better life than most. last bobby cat I called in and photographed was 5 miles from my house, cute little shit, I’m at my computer desk, I’m looking out the window at my mule deer hunting spot. For elk, we eat potatoe soup for a couple of months, I take the 4 runner at 20 miles per gallon at 55 mph and I’m still hunting. As long as it’s still legal I’m hunting, and if that priveledge/right get’s taken away, then I’m sitting in a jail cell awaiting my fate.

  40. Si'vet Says:

    jB more than half of the states recieve more federal funding than Idaho in 2005. I’ve seen this 2005 dispersment, before, what I haven’t seen is anything more recent. It does take a lot of federal funding to carve roads in to the forests so there is lumber enough to build homes in the other states, as well as power and minerals that other states so desperately need. Almost forgot about the INL for another billion.

  41. Si'vet Says:

    PotatoE soup, holy crap “Dan Quayle”. I meant “tater soup”. Hanging offense in these parts!!!!!!1

  42. Si'vet Says:

    JB, forgot to add, what % of Idaho is federal lands, and what’s the cost to manage and maintain those lands and water ways for the public?

  43. Si'vet Says:

    JB, last time I checked, everyone was bitchin, and moaning on how much they pay in taxes, whether it’s local, state or federal, no matter where they lived. Not just out west, the only difference, we aren’t constantly complaining about where we live. Trying to remember the last last time I heard someone say, I wish, I could live in Cleveland.

  44. JB Says:

    Sivet:

    (1) Idaho ranked 20th in funds received (out of 50 states).
    (2) I don’t know what the cost is to maintain federal lands, but I do know that those of you that live in the West get to visit them a hell of a lot more than the rest of us, so what ever the cost, you might actually think of being thankful that we’re all flipping the bill.
    (2b) Alternatively, you might think not to complain when us city folk from far away assert that our voices should be heard when making federal land management decisions.
    (3) Everyone complains about taxes; but it takes a hypocrite to complain about taxes when they get more from the system then they put in.
    (4) Who is complaining about where they live. I’ve enjoyed living in Logan, Oakland, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Minneapolis, and many other places. They all have different benefits. By the way, I’ve never lived in Cleveland but they have one of the best urban park systems in the world (including a relatively large national park, i.e. Cuyahoga Valley), access to Lake Erie (which has the best walleye fishing anywhere in the US), and its tributaries (which have some of the best catch/hour rates of steelhead), and who can forget the rock and roll hall of fame! By the way, the also have a decent coyote and black bear population in the metro area (and nobody bitches that they are killing all the deer). Well, almost nobody, anyway.😉

    • Save bears Says:

      JB,

      What the hell are you talking about? And I thought you said Good Night…Cripes, talking about having a burr up your butt tonight!

      I can tell you 100% your not flipping my bill!

    • JB Says:

      SB:

      “What the hell are you talking about?”

      –Read Si’vet’s prior posts and then my post and you’ll understand.

      “And I thought you said Good Night…Cripes, talking about having a burr up your butt tonight!”

      –Logged on one last time before bed. I wasn’t trying to sneak one by you.😉

      “I can tell you 100% your not flipping my bill!”

      –Actually, I wrote, “…you might actually think of being thankful that we’re all flipping the bill.”

      Note: I did not say “I” was flipping your bill, I specifically used the word “all” as in all of the residents of the United States of America who pay federal taxes. Good grief.

    • Save bears Says:

      JB,

      I would agree, all of us who pay federal taxes foot the bill, including me and many others who live in the west, you guys contribute more, just based on population density, heck you live in a city with more than a million people….

      Montana still has a population of less than a million and Idaho only has about 1.5 million.

  45. Si'vet Says:

    JB, have lots to reply to, but, bon fire in the hood, beer and Idaho hoo, haa. it’s an Idaho redneck thing. talk later

  46. Elk275 Says:

    Home does one go from a ldead ynx to property taxes? Enquiring minds want to know.

  47. Elk275 Says:

    “How does one go from a dead lynx”

    • Save bears Says:

      Just one of those nights I guess Elk, and I sure as hell don’t want to go back through over 175 messages!

      LOL


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