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What I do when I'm not shooting

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Model Number 12, May 19, 2011.

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  1. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

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    What I do when I

    Here's my first batch of beavers ready for the fur buyer
    [​IMG]
     
  2. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    can you rotate the image 90 degrees counterclockwise?
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I assume you trap them? When i was a kid my dad and i ran traps. It was alot of fun getting up before school and running a couple sets real quick to see what we got. I was too small to actually make the sets but he would always act like i was helping(probably in the way). Anyway nice stack of stretched furs. good hobby too. I still have an attic full of leg holds. No conibears left though.
     
  4. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    What's a prime pelt bring these days? My grampa made decent money back in the day. UP. of MI.
     
  5. Unsingle

    Unsingle Member

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    Wow, from being an old trapper, I know one thing, that is a lot of work!!!
     
  6. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

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    I trap all my beavers in conibears. They are effective and you don't have to spend extra time rigging up a drowning set-up, which you must do with footholds (unless they're set under the ice). I've never trapped where it is legal to snare them so I can't speak for that method.

    Fur value for beavers right now is pretty low, about $30.00 for the blankets and $5.00 or so drops in grades. The castor is worth $35 per pound, well worth saving.

    A good friend, who's also an outstanding trapper, sold his catch of beavers in 1967 for $3,000. He used this money as a down payment for his home which was on 27 acres of land. He told me that the price for the property was $9,000.

    Times change. I've trapped 75 cent muskrats and $200 fisher; it's not the money that motivates me to do it even though lately beaver damage control trapping has made me popular.
     
  7. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Damn .74 cent rats? Thats a shame. I remember taking the fur to the buyer. Mink, muskrat and coon were quite profitable back then. The buyer was Zanders(well known wholesale gun dealer now). Dad would turn around and spend it on shot and wads. My first 870 Wingmaster was bought from trapping procedes from Zanders. I understand you doing it for the love of it. It gets in your blood and the thrill of not knowing what will be in the trap is addicting. I only know a few guys that still trap and they view it much as you do. Its a shame the fur market went to heck in a handbag or i may have got back into it.
     
  8. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

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    grntitan--I'm familiar with the name of T. Zander and Son. Are they still in the fur business? I haven't seen their advertisement lately.

    The raw fur market has always been like a roller coaster. The highs and lows I've seen for the same skins over the years is amazing. Overall, raw fur prices have not kept up with inflation. For example: I have a receipt for 20 muskrats that I sold for $9.00 each in 1980. The most recent price I'm aware of for muskrats (this week) is $6.50 and that's iffy from what I'm told. I've known some past mink trappers that have told me about $40 male mink back in the late 1950's and early 60's. They said that this was nearly a weeks wages for 1 skin. Needless to say, the competition was fierce and theft was a problem. I've also been told by some of these trappers about catching trap and fur thieves, but that's another thread.
     
  9. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    I remember the late 70's and early 80's in my area and the rewarding sums paid for hide. Later seen it drop to almost worthlessness. Coyotes would bring upwards of $55 at one time to in more recent times in my area of being worthless. Coon brought similar and now a fraction of that. Heck we even got $3 and $4 for opossum.

    Model12, sometime we may have to discuss punishment for trap thieves. There was an unique justice with swift sentencing in my parts. But not all of my buds were civilized back then :)
     
  10. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Model 12---Zanders was actually a family buisness. I'm not sure if the add you saw was them or not. Back then it was located in Baldwin, IL. they have since moved. There were a couple of brothers and a daughter or two if my memory serves me correctly. At the time they were a resale buisness for guns, ammo, etc. etc. but their bread and butter was fur trading/buying. The old man(Wesly sounds right) would grade your furs(on his rough scale) and then they would drop them down a chute in the floor to what looked like slaves in the bottom of a pirate ship to a young boy. Tickets were always scribbled in pencil and subject to arguement. In the basement were several people sorting and working on prepping the hides. My dad always skinned and stretched his own as it payed better. It was a rough crowd but then trappers tended to fit that bill. I'll never forget the old man would lick his pencil lead before writing(blood and fat residue and all). Good memories for a young boy raised around guns and hunting. After the arguements of grading his furs we would go into their store and spend the majority on hunting and trapping supplies. he could easily match his weekly pay and he had a good utilities company job.

    I believe one of the brothers or sons still buys furs. One of them was busted quite a few years ago with some furs he shouldn't have had according to the IDNR that raided his freezers. Zanders is now a very large wholesale gun dealer with a huge warehouse here in my hometown. You can no longer walk in and talk to the family as it once was. As i stated i have an attic full of leg holds. Never could get myself to sell dads traps. His trapping basket finally fell apart about 5 years ago. I can still picture my dad wading in those creeks with some coon and muskrats hanging out the top of his trapping basket on his back. Minks as you mentioned were the homerun. My dad would let out a yell when we had one in a trap.

    They paid every bit of $40 if not more back then. Heck i can remember big coons getting almost $30. My dad could skin the hide off a coon or muskrat in nothing flat. He would try and teach me that art from time to time but it always resulted in me cutting thru in spots and dad yelling about getting docked for that. LOL I always thought it looked like a kid taking his shirt off. He would throw the coon carcus' in a box and take them to the local colored tavern. They would pay a $1 or $2 each if the feet were left on so they knew it was a coon and not a housecat. Stuff seemed much simpler back then. Standing in the front seat(no seatbelts) by dad going from creek to creek. I always begged not to have to go to school so i could finish running the traps with him.

    I'm glad guys like you are keeping the sport alive.

    All this is at the best of my memory. This was over 30 years ago though. Good memories. I hope my sons latch onto memories like that. I'm trying.--Matt
     
  11. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Nice to see real Trappers still exist.I did it as a teen in late sixties,was a way my father introduced us to country living when we left the suburbs.Best I got was for a Black rat hide ($5.00),I thought it was a ripoff since standard browns were giving ($4.00).Father would take hides to a friend who was a game warden and supposedly could get better prices.Now,Not saying the two of them were dipping into my profits,but I did always wonder why prices seemed so low.With two middle men in the way,I always doubted.

    Doug H.
     
  12. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine bought furs back in the 70's and once and a while a black guy would stop by and buy some "marsh squirrels" to eat.
     
  13. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Wow, this brings back memories.

    When I was in Junior High School I had a little stream & pond trapline close enough to home that I could quickly run it before catching the schoolbus. One glorious November morning every single trap on my line had a catch in it (eight traps, I believe). My targets were muskrat and racoon, but that day I even caught a GIANT mink. Before school that day, I had earned more money that than my teachers would make! Anyway, when I took that huge mink pelt to the buyer, he gave me what seemed like a small fortune at the time - forty some dollars. But he took some of the joy away by telling me he would have given me a lot more if I had brought the mink in whole so his taxidermist could have mounted it.

    Side note about that mink -- I was just a young kid and had never seen a mink before, much less skinned one. My dad didn't want me to ruin the pelt so he helped me skin it down in our basement. But he wasn't an expert either and while skinning it we accidentally nicked a musk gland right beneath the mink's tail. Let me tell you, the incredibly noxious odor that came out of that gland made skunk spray seem like fine perfume. Our little metal-framed basement windows were rusted shut and I frantically tried to get them open. After about ten seconds I gave up and sprinted upstairs, struggling not to vomit and sh!t my pants at the same time. My mom wasn't too happy. She had a wringer washer in the basement, but I don't think she did laundry for a week after my biological blunder. For the first few hours she wanted to burn the house down.

    -Gary
     
  14. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    I use to trap fox and raccons. I left the beavers and rats alone not enough time in the day. Anyway when I was trapping, fox was any where from $50.00 to $75.00 per pelt. ood money at the time. Then the market dropped like a rock to $5.00 a pelt. Not worth my time. I have not trapped for about 20 years. It was fun and exciting. I was like a kid at Christmas the night before wonding what I might have in the traps the next day.

    What are fox bringing now adays? Red and Grays?
     
  15. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

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    The value of foxes depends alot on when and where they're caught. Some of the nicest red foxes I've seen have come from Maine. They are a uniform deep cherry red and fluffy as pillows. On the other hand, red foxes from Cape Cod were a yellowish red color and had a lot of frosted rumps. Greys from New England are more uniform and the time of year seems to determine the quality. Current markets for both depend on where you look or ask. Some reports are saying $25-$30 for prime reds and greys are maybe $20.

    Gary, your 8 for 8 story reminded me of a similar tale of mine. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving back around 1970 I went out after school and set 10 traps. The following days check I had 5 muskrats and my first mink, a male caught in a Number 1 longspring in an old flooded gravel pit. There were a bunch of us schoolboy trappers then and I was the first to catch a mink. Within 10 years my first otter, beaver, fisher, red and grey fox would also come. I can remember each one and exactly where they were caught.
     
  16. colonel klink

    colonel klink Active Member

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    Hey grntitan, I believe the older Zanders name was Glenn Zanders. Wesley Zanders was a relative & also bought furs. You turned to his place in Baldwin just before you got to the Baldwin Road. The daughter you mentioned skinning those hides way back then was Glenda (quite a good trap shooter). She is part owner of Zander's now & also has a business on the Stringtown Road. Do you remember when Zanders first started in the late 60's & they were behind the Power plant lake at the old homestead & had a trap range there by the store.
    Those were the days. Then they moved because the State bought them out & moved up to the Highway location. Now they moved again to Sparta. Man, has that business grown. Colonel
     
  17. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Colonel--You are so right. Glenn. I couldn't pull those names out of my memory bank. LOL I could picture it all but just couldn't get the names to come out. Yeah Glenda is quite the Trap shooter and has taken a trophy from me on more than one occasion. I don't remember the old place because that was a little before my time. I just remeber the place on the curve where their house is. One thing i can remember is dad buying gun powder by the pound. They had it in a big barrel and you told them what you needed and they would scoop it out. Try that today. LOL Heck i even have the can from dads Herco. See if this pic rings any bells. Thanks for the corrections. My memory aint what she used to be.
    [​IMG]
     
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