I would agree that the hype of increased prices pulls the worst from the woodwork. Competition increases, stolen traps increase, stolen full...all offspring from these forecasts. Now, with some sales behind us we can see that the prices remain stagnent, with the possible exception of red fox. We saw averages actualy drop on the coons as far as averages go. I'm figuring out these forecasts....early in the year everything looks good, with increases forcasted for several species, then by fall reality sets in and the prices don't change perhaps even dropping. It sucks to see old traits like trap theft spurred by falce hopes of increased prices.
didn't have a problem this year...but saw more competition
I think that I saw more trappers out this year than I have in quite a while. Prices were up a bit around here, but local buyer wasn't paying that much more and 1/2 way through 2nd week of season he cut his averages in half. Was first time I saw adds in local paper for "raw fur wanted" where agents pass through and buy from back of their pickups, etc. Hadn't seen those in a long, long time around here.
I quite bridge trapping a long time ago, myself. Enjoy the walking now and gives me a chance to shed some pounds. Park off the road, hike back in to the middle of the section. Action has been pretty good off the beaten path, but you lose time walking and first few days you swear you may have a heart-attack from carrying all of the equipment, and who knows when they may find you. See a lot of animals when I am alone, on foot, too. Seems to make the journey interesting sometimes.
Anyway, this was how I started dealing with theft and johnny sneakum years ago...I just forced myself to go where there wasn't as much activity. Not easy in farmland-pheasant/deer hunting areas of SE Nebraska, but seems like private land and areas that you can't see from the road or access easily were somewhat more "private" for me. I still lose a few now and then, but not nearly like I did when I kept things closer to the road and nearer to the general human population access.
I also keep a couple of bent-up, destroyed traps hanging in my garage as a constant reminder of what happens when I make an "iffy" set that may be visible to others passing by. Seems like if they can't pull that earth anchor out of the ground, and don't have a pair of cutters to snip the cable, then next best option must be to run over the trap several times with their four-wheel drive. Made me wish I had scattered a handfull of roofing nails around those two sets after I made them. Then both of us would have shared some expenses out of their antics. :evil:
In some states it is against the law to interfer with a trapper who is legally trapping on land that he/she has permission to be on.
What about a camera such as they sell for spotting deer? Might that help you find out who is stealing the traps?
Just an idea!
By the way. Our trapping up here in AK has been poor this year. No snow and some people have lines that run 30-35 miles that have to be checked by snow machine. Most areas don't have any or enough snow this year. It has also not been cold enough for the rivers to freeze so that they can be safely crossed. Here in Valdez we average 500+ inches a year and so far we have had 2".
After catching a theif last year I take all precautions now . I dont trust anybody that is just milling around where I got traps set ,. I take license numbers and try to get a look at the person . The theif I caught was poking aroun the bank with a stick looking for traps . Mallard lost a couple to this woman also earlier that year . My advice would be to watch that person till they either find and take your trap or leave . Once they pull your trap you have them , then call the law if you carry a cell phone and follow them to tell the law where to find them . Here in Mi. we have a hunter harrassment law that protects us from those people , and if they get caught , they pay . My theif was fined $500.00 plus $25 court costs . Second offense is I think $1500.00 plus jail time . Good luck to ya .
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