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 IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON

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Cameron2



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Join date : 2009-05-27

PostSubject: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:49 am

With all the pessimistic news about the fur market, and with the current lackluster global economy generally, many trappers have decided to sit out the upcoming year and not trap. That may prove to be a wise decision. I certainly have no crystal ball about the fur market’s future, and like everyone else, I listen anytime a fur buyer or a garment manufacturer talks about the fur trade.

However, some trappers have decided to get out and set some traps this year. We may be sorry we did, or we may be pleasantly surprised when it comes time to sell fur. Who knows?? Some trappers will focus on a few select species, and others will probably do what they always do and hope that by year’s end, the market has turned around.

I recently had a 12 hour drive to make in the middle of the night so in order to occupy my thoughts, I tried to wrap my head around this issue and came up with a few ideas if you do decide to get out and trap this year.

First, efficiency is key. Like any business manager, trappers should take a look at both their equipment, and their operation as a whole, and try to find ways that cut costs without sacrificing production (i.e. your catch of fur). Some ideas along these lines:
• Avoid dead end canyons and make loops instead. I know some canyons are just too good to pass up, and only you know which ones will make you money, but if you can catch more fur in a shorter time by making a loop, you are better off. Also, know when its time to quit and go to greener pastures. I'm the worst guy I know for saying, "I just feel like there is one more cat to catch in that canyon (even though its been 4 weeks since I caught one there)." When its time to leave, go. Have enough good ground scouted in advance that you have other places to go where there is fur.
• Configure your vehicle and equipment to run faster, better, less expensive. On one of my lines, simply replacing my pickup with the ATV saved me money, time and fur. I can travel faster, access far more places, and run cheaper than in the Toyota.
• Scale back on equipment that you never use, particularly lure and bait. We all like to experiment with new or different equipment, and I’m the worst at buying a handful of new lures or baits to try every year. This is not the year to experiment – get what has ALWAYS worked in the past and stick to that. This may be the year to sell some of the equipment you never use.
• Use every part of every animal; consider alternative markets. Selling critters, particularly so-called “non-target” critters to taxidermists makes me a lot of extra money every year. Ringtails, for example, fetch about $8-10 in Fallon every year. Taxidermists are willing to pay $50-60 for good specimens. Same with Kit fox, badgers, and others. Lure makers will buy all the glands I can collect every year. I also sell all the skulls I can get my hands on. Bobcat, beaver and muskrat meat has a ready market; castor and oil sac values may exceed fur for the same animal; most lure makers will kill for good mink glands. Do a little research and keep an open mind before the season and you will be amazed at what people are willing to buy. I know, the amount paid for glands, skulls, feet, urine, penis bones, teeth, etc. may seem small, but when you add it up at the end of the year, you will be surprised. It is found money in my book.
• Carefully consider your target animals and make a plan to maximize that animal. If you have a good coyote (i.e. Elko-White Pine counties), you may make more money by targeting those animals in the fall and early winter, and forget trapping cats until later. Coyotes and fox prime early and are often on the down side before cats even get to their peak primeness. Get used to the idea of bobcat fur being worth only slightly more than a coyote. Ask your fur buyer BEFORE the season when is the best time to sell your particular animal. For canines, it may before Christmas.
• Think about non-target animals in a different light. The animals you are avoiding or driving past, may be more valuable than you think. For example, this year I plan to run a small line of cage traps for kit fox in October (because our season for them starts earlier than everything else). I can get $60+ for every fox, there are nearby populations, and I plan to run several lines I can check while going to and from my deer hunting area.

Anyway, some of you probably have far better ideas about how to make the most of a potentially bad situation. These were just the ideas of a partially-awake driver in the middle of the night somewhere in northern White Pine county.
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prariewolf

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Join date : 2015-01-14

PostSubject: Re: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:21 pm

Great Post ! Like you I've decided to trap.. Is it ND, for Coyotes.. ? Hit the hard all season and forget the Cats ? Or go to Maine where I can harvest Coyotes , Bobcats , Fisher and some Otter....? Short Season..? or Stay Here in Wyoming and go for Coyotes and Cats ? Have a decent Cat area .. Coyotes are a toss up with Calling Contests, County Trappers and " The Feds " waging war on them..24/7 ..365..... ? Oh the decisions in a Trappers life..
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moneyspots

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Join date : 2014-09-14
Location : The Silver State

PostSubject: Re: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:08 pm

Those are great thoughts Tracy. I have some hunting to do but plan on still trapping as much as I can. As long as I can break even at the end of the season financially, this season will still be a priceless gain for me in experience and memories. Efficiency is certainly a huge player in the game of profit and I will never get better at it if I stay home this season.
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nevadaagteacher

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Join date : 2013-12-09
Age : 48
Location : Nevada

PostSubject: Re: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:16 am

Tracy, what a great post. I've read it about five times and finally had a few minutes to chime in. I am trapping this year for sure, mostly to spend quality time with my two kids on the trap line. I remember my dad letting me skip school in junior high every Wednesday in January and February to run my cat line with him and those are the memories I want my kids to have. I'm a teacher, but when i retire and run a line all fall and winter, you can bet my son and daughter will be "sick" a lot of Wednesdays! I really took to heart the "know when to move on" comment, I am terrible about that and it always bites me in the butt with fuel costs. George K told me last year the best time to catch coyotes is Thanksgiving to Christmas, but not to be afraid to trap earlier or later than that because the pelts would still be salable. I've also told myself that I'm going to skin all the badgers that I catch, because an additional seven or eight pelts will help buy fuel. Selling the skulls will make the return even better! Once again thanks for the comments; it made me rethink a few things and I'm counting down the days to lay down some iron!!

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moneyspots

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Join date : 2014-09-14
Location : The Silver State

PostSubject: Re: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:55 am

Interesting comment from George. I sold my coyotes to George last season and he asked me a few questions about them. The first was where did they come from? Because he was surprised by the quality. The second was when did I catch them? I told him and he acted like I was lying to him. I caught them in early to mid November. I talked to another trapper from the same area I'm from just the other day and he asked me what I averaged on my coyotes. I told him and he asked me if I caught them early. I told him when I caught them and he said that he caught his in December and the fur buyers told him the long guard hairs were broken off and he averaged about $20 less per pelt then me. So the only thing I can add with certainty is I am going to try and go catch some again starting in about a month. George acted puzzled by my answers and I really have no experience with grading coyotes. I just put up what I caught and sold them. He was really happy with the put up and asked who taught me how to put them up like that since it was my first time? I told him I've put up cats but not coyotes before. It was nothing special in my opinion but hey it worked out for me. To me they were just smelly old coyotes but he seemed to like them.
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nevadaagteacher

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Age : 48
Location : Nevada

PostSubject: Re: IDEAS TO MAKE MORE MONEY THIS SEASON   Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:30 am

I caught three coyotes the second week of January that I thought were starting to break and rub, George told me they were fine. I even asked him if he thought they were rubbed; he had them in the same graded stack as my early December dogs. This year I'm going to start coyotes earlier and trap into early January if weather permits, we will see how it goes? Coyotes are starting to fur up in our neck of the woods, maybe it's sign of a hard winter.
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