The proof still will be in performance, but prices
of raw furs for most species appear to be about the same as last year,
says Bruce Plowman, fur-bearer biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife
Mink and muskrat prices are expected to be slightly
higher this year, Plowman says, adding that beaver could be up some, too.
But generally, Plowman notes that prices for the other species will be
about the same.
Those other species include the foxes (red and
gray), coyote, and raccoon.
However, prices on raccoons could be a bit lower,
Plowman says higher prices of ranch mink seems
to be somewhat escalating prices of wild mink and muskrat, but he says
warehouses are loaded with the other long-hair furs and this could tend
to keep prices for these species about the same as last year.
Plowman says North American Fur Auction activities
in Canada toward the middle of the month could bring changes in fur prices.
Trapping seasons on the foxes, raccoons, opossum, weasel, mink and muskrat
will end January 31. The trapping season on coyote and beaver continues
through March 15.
Plowman’s 2004-05 survey of the Indiana fur harvest
and value of pelts sold is, by species, as follows:
Muskrat: 48,986 pelts, $2.50 average price; Raccoon:
129,630, $7.77; Red Fox: 1,923, $12.46; Gray Fox: 530, $13.85; Mink: 2,751,
$11.10; Opossum: 6,214, $1.29; Skunk: 328, $2.82; Beaver: 3,095, $11.21;
Coyote: 4,470, $10.57, and Long-tailed Weasel: 13, $0.94.
The survey indicated 197,940 pelts sold by Hoosiers
brought $1,282,820.35, for an average price per pelt of $6.48.
Plowman maintains a list of fur-buyers in the
state. He can be contacted by telephone: 812-849-4586, by e-mail: bplowman@dnr.IN.gov,
or by U.S. Mail: 526 DNR Road, Mitchell, IN 47446.
If you think you have heard the last of the morbid
deer-pen hunting in the Indiana, just twirl your skullcap and House Bill
(HB)1152 will pop up.
The brainchild of Rep. Eric Gutwein, Rensselaer,
is not a noxious bill in the eyes of conservationists. In simplest terms,
it would prohibit the hunting of exotic animals (presumably including deer)
in high-fence situations.
But conservationists, and other opposed to deer-pen
hunting, are keeping jaundiced eyes on the measure because Gutwein is a
known advocate of deer-pen hunting. He also is chairman of the House of
Representatives Agriculture Committee.
Opponents of deer-pen hunting believe Gutwein
may have changes planned for HB 1152, if it should gain some measure of
acceptance in the legislature.
Still another bill (Senate Bill (SB)157 (backed
by the Department of Natural Resources, DNR) seeks to replace a pair of
advisory groups to the resources agency with a single panel. This is the
baby of DNR Director Kyle Hupfer, who has said publicly that he would prefer
the simple demise of both panels.
The word’s out . . . bass are being taken on a
variety of artificial lures from smaller bodies of standing water that
are free of ice.
Slow-running lures of drab colors have always
served me best at this time of year, but every time I write this bit of
“expertise” some angler scores big with a brightly colored spinnerbait.
The choice of lures is yours.