Warm weather around Western New York had little to do with fur sales so far this season.
Ron Schroder, lots coordinator and trapping expert, noted that perhaps cold weather in Europe and Asia and/or depleted stockpiles of fur supplies in U.S. markets contributed to some remarkable gains in fur lots during the first Genesee Valley Trappers Association auction held Dec. 18 in Honeoye.
Schroder pointed to mink, muskrat and raccoon showing great gains in both average and high prices when compared with totals for the 2009-10 season.
Mink lots averaged $22 with a high of $26.50 at the first auction; the 2010 season ended with an average of $10.38 and a high of $15. Muskrat averages jumped from $6.81 last year to $9.15 on Dec. 18, with highs going from $8.50 to $15 this year. Both raccoon numbers moved up as well. Many species saw gains in either average or high prices.
GVTA will hold auctions again this season Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and March 18. For details on the association's activities, go to geneseevalleytrappers.com.
The Erie County Trappers Association will present a Fur Handling Seminar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 7 in the Collins Conservation Club.
Beginning and expert trappers can learn better techniques for pelting, fleshing, stretching, drying, sizing, and the overall process of preparing pelts for display and sale.
Several stations will be set up and a fur buyer will be available after the various demonstrations. Admission is free and open to all interested in fur handling and preparing.
ECTA will hold a Region 9 Fur Auction at S&S Taxidermy and Archery Pro Shop on Route 19 in Springville on Feb. 11. Check-ins start at 8 a.m., with bids beginning at 10. Graders will be on hand to put pelts in lots.
The next ECTA monthly meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Hamburg Rod & Gun Club. For details on the seminar, auction and all ECTA activities, call 337-2556.
Carle's Dog and Gun Supply at 1840 Pinetavern Road (Route 39), Leicester, has manufacturer reps on hand to assess and buy furs on Fridays to mid-February. For more information, call (585) 237-3738.