It may be only a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but raw
fur prices seem to be a bit higher this year, at both local and national
We won't really know how things went in our neck of the woods until
fur-bearer biologist Bruce Plowman has a chance to digest data he is currently
collecting from Indiana fur buyers on fur prices from seasons just past.
However, Bob Phares, a Hoosier fur buyer for many years, and results
of the February auction of North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) indicate
that prices on the past seasons' catch were up a bit.
NAFA capsuled results of its February sale as follows:
February 24, 2004
"NAFA concluded its February auction with a very strong Wild Fur
sale. Lynx and Lynx Cats were sold under spirited competition to all the
major markets, with Italy and Greece dominating. Raccoons sold very well,
with Greece taking the majority of goods. Demand for Musquash (muskrat)
was evident by the increase in prices levels with strong interest from
many markets, including Russia. Throughout the sale it was clear that many
of our Wild Fur products are destined for the Russian market.
"All the other Wild Fur articles sold 100% at advancing prices levels
compared to last year, with the exception of Otters."
Phares could not be specific about prices the fur-bearers were bringing
on Hoosier markets, but he thought prices of the fur-bearers of Indiana
were from $1 to $2 higher for pelts taken in the past seasons.
Plowman's report on raw fur prices of major species for the 2002-2003
seasons was by species as follows:
Plowman's report on the 2002-2003 fur harvest counted 167,341 pelts, down
20 percent from the preceding year. Average price per pelt was $6.23 (down
3 percent) and total value was $1,035,910.77 (down 23).
Raccoon--99,945 pelts, down 30 percent from the previous year, $7.29 average,
down 1 percent.
Muskrat--48,372 pelts, down 8 percent from the previous year, $2.58 average
price, down 19 percent.
Opossum, 5,153, down 71 percent, $1.31 average price, up slightly.
Coyote--4,152 pelts, up 109 percent, $12.60 average price, up 63 percent.
Mink--2,818, up 7 percent, $9.13 average price, up 5 percent.
Red Fox--2,776, up 36 percent, $20.32 average price, up 5 percent.
Gray Fox--1,099, up 197 percent, $1024 average price, up 20 percent.
Beaver--2,633, down 2 percent, $10.80 average price, down 2 percent. (Note:
The 2003-04 beaver-trapping season closes March 15. Hunting-trapping seasons
on all other species are closed, However, landowners having problems with
coyote may kill them any time.)
Skunk--287, up 11 percent, $3.57 average price, up 29 percent.
Long-tailed Weasel--6, up 50 percent, $2 average price, down 50 percent.
Figures by species for the NAFA's February 24, 2004 sale were:
Raccoon--249,199 pelts, $14.29
average price, $23.00 high price.
Muskrat--183,920 pelts, $3.10
average price, $7.00 high.
Beaver--82,927 pelts, $21.84 average
price, $110 high.
Coyote--37,613 pelts, $27.31 average
price, $42.00 high.
Red Fox--33,661 pelts, $22,37
average price, $60 high.
Mink--32,882 pelts, $15.33 average,
Gray Fox--7,251 pelts, $16.79
average, $28.00 high.