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10-2 Report

Things could always be worse. No matter how seemingly poor the fur market, as anything in life, appears it often isn’t that bad. The September NAFA sale from a trapper’s perspective wasn’t as bad as many expected. Personally, I was quite shocked there was as much interest as there was from buyers, especially the Chinese. If China keeps buying this season could be an OK. The raccoon market still looks to be worse than we’ve seen in a couple years. Last week I had a conversation with one of the most connected guys in the fur business. When I asked if the raccoon market was like it was in 1998, he quickly responded that he didn’t think it was that bad yet. For those of you that aren’t familiar with 1998, it was a brutal year for raccoons. Trappers were expecting $20 averages in 1998, and the market collapsed opening at $7 averages with low clearances. So, it seems to me that somewhere there might be a small glimmer of light for the raccoon market. It seems coyotes will still find interest. Muskrats, even if they fall off by a 1/3 of last year’s prices, are still going to be high priced! For years I was thrilled when I averaged over $3 on ‘rats. So if we look at the past few years rats were way over long term averages. This season I predict a lot less trappers will be trapping, so the door of opportunity is open to catch more in order to make up for a little bit lower prices. Which sometimes, the extra space and solitude on the trapline is worth a little off the fur check. We’re just a few weeks away from opening day, now is the time to get your equipment in order and start scouting. - Kyle

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