Friday, January 11, 2008

Trapping on the rise in Oregon

According to a couple of news outlets, including Portland Indy Media, trapping is on the rise in Oregon due to higher fur prices. There is a lot of uproar about it on the internet, as you might imagine. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it myself. I don't have any problem hunting any non-endangered furbearing animal, but I'm not so sure about killing animals non-selectively or over long periods of time (up to 48 hours), as is the case with trapping.

For more background, pro and against see the ODFW trapping backgrounder and

Thoughts on trapping anybody?


Anonymous said...

and in this corner, taking the unpopular stance -------> I believe in farmed fur, not trapping. Trapping should be reserved for animal control / conservation vice fashion. Any pelts taken for the above reason should be donated to the local humane society which uses the swatches in cages as a 'calming influence'

just my two cents.

Kathryn said...

Trapping is on the rise because people are starting to see through the propaganda. It's a fun hobby, it gets you in the outdoors, & even on the days you catch nothing, odds are you see an eagle or something else amazing. Yes there are videos of animals hurt in traps, but the traps were modified by the unscrupulous filmmakers to intentionally damage the animals. People are starting to realize those videos were staged.

The fur prices for Oregon animals are not on the rise. In fact they are very depressed. Oregon mink have low quality fur ($4-8 for them,) the $1-4 nutria have destroyed the muskrat populations, and muskrat pelts are at $1-3 anyway. Otter are severely depressed and not selling at auction, period. Beaver take hours of work to process, and only sell for $15-20. It's like making $5 per hour. Every single coyote I've seen this season had either had mange or poor quality fur. Bobcat prices in general are up, but the cats west of the Cascades are too red to be worth much, around $35-65 if you can find them. They are difficult to trap. One is lucky to take 4 in a season. East of the Cascades cats look better, but they have a limit of 6. Our weasel's don't turn white, and sell for $1-2. Marten prices are up, but there's a limit of 10, and they are only found at high altitude. Fisher prices are up, but they are off-limits. Wolverine prices are up, but they are off-limits as well. Opposum are plentiful, but they are $1-3 and very hard to flesh, they are not worth the time and usually let go. Raccoons here are only "coat" quality, ranging from $10-16. Places like Michigan enjoy $20-25 coon prices. Rocky mountain cats fetch $300+. We are not so fortunate.

(You can make decent money selling skunk essence, but few want to deal with skunks.)

Trapping is on the rise, but because people enjoy the excitement and anticipation of it, and the primeval feeling of elation that is as old as time when you bring home the catch. With the price of gas, breaking even would be cause for celebration.

Once you apply for the trapper's education manuals, you realize that you are helping to prevent the spread of disease when you reduce the population of furbearers. Trapping is part of Oregon's strategy to keep animal populations healthy. Some individuals lose their lives but the species benefit as a whole.

-Kathy, biology student

Bpaul said...

I can't get behind slow death of an animal, period. I know when animals kill animals there is often lots of pain involved, and some folks use that as an argument, but unless a kill is immediate, I personally can't get behind it.

I am all for trapping of nutria, for instance, if it can make a humane kill. I know hunting them is humane but totally inefficient, due to their habits.

I'm just not comfortable with a trap's ability to make humane kills. All the trapping I've read, and all the trappers I've talked to carry clubs and pistols to dispatch animals that are caught in traps with broken limbs, waiting for hours or days. I can't get behind that, period.

Also a biology student.

P.S. I eat meat, and I've killed plenty of my own meat, but always in a way that was humane. I'm not a peta-card-carrying vegetarian urbanite. Just to clarify.

matt_stansberry said...

Wow... these are the most intelligent comments I've ever gotten on any post. Thank you.

Mike Nelson said...

I am a 3rd generation trapper and I think everybody has the right to their opinions. I have to say that if a trapper is responsible in his ways and using the right equipment an animal is rarely injured and suffering when found in a trap. As for the dispatch comment I feel that shoting an animal in such a way that it is dead immediately is more humane than shoting a deer, elk, etc. from hundreds of yards away hoping to kill it then searching through the woods trying to locate the possibly still alive animal and shoting it again to dispatch it. I love to see the animals running around the woods as much as I like to see them in my traps. Trapping allows me to teach my sons values about how to survive, be responsible and respectful of all of the worlds creatures animals and humans alike.

Anonymous said...

As far as a slow death and injured animals.The slow death just dont happen when an animal is caught in a foot hold trap it remains alive until dispatched by the trapper or if its a non target animal it is released.You should watch this video it will dispell a lot of untruths, also we as trappers are providing a service of keeping animal populations at healthy levels,do some research on mange in coyote and fox if you want to see a miserable death.

Bpaul said...

Although I'm sure it's glossing over some ugly facts, that video definitely shows the spring traps in a different light. Thanks for posting it, I always like knowing when I'm not completely informed.

Now, I never did see a trapper go "these are so harmless I'll stick my finger in there to show you." Nor did they talk about the animals that will chew off their feet to escape (pain or not).

However, even the clips they did show were very very different from my view of these traps and therefore quite informative.


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