"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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2006 Raw Fur Price Predictions
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Scifres

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 (DFW).

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.

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.

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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