Monday, October 30, 2006

Bobcat trapping up in Idaho this year

Not only is it the hunting season, but some folks forget that it's also trapping season.

In wild files, it's an adventure to see the life of a trapper.

Trapping has always been a big part of Idaho's history,

"When it comes to trapping in Idaho, that's the reason the first folks came here."

In the case of catching this beaver, the trappers used a live trap, meant to help move the beaver elsewhere, look at it's big tail and hind webbed feet.

Gregg Losinski, Idaho Fish and Game Department says "Trapping is an age old art today. We do it sometimes to relocate animals who are endangered. In the case of Idaho in the wolf reintroduction, it was done by the Federal Government. Those wolves were trapped by trappers in Canada and then brought to Idaho."

But some traps are used to kill for the fur.

To catch a critter like a Pine Martin, Fish and Game helps trappers put rotted meat into this can and then they set a trap in the tree. And after spraying fish juice on the tree, the trap is ready.

"Trapping has been around since man has been around as far as a way to get food and clothing," said Losinski.

Trapping products are still used today, not only to make fur coats, but everyday items like cowboy hats. And that cowboy hat's felt was made of beaver fur.

"In Idaho, we have a lot of different fur bearers. Some of the more common ones would be the beaver, the pine martin, the muskrat, and the bobcat."

Since the price of fur is going up, more than 1,000 people are licensed trappers in Idaho. That number is up from last year. And this year some trappers are going for the valuable bobcat.

"This year, bobcats are up. Right now the average price for a bobcat is $400 dollars per cat."

But this trapper is trying to catch a muskrat, not so lucky this time, his trap with a carrot as bait is empty.

When traps are empty and trappers want to move them they have to be very careful. They poke around with a stick so they don't get their own foot.

"You'd want to keep your dog or kids away from this trap so they don't get hurt," warned Losinski.

If you are interested in learning more about trapping look for fish and game doing trapping seminars next year.

Story Created: Oct 29, 2006 at 7:39 PM MST
Story Updated: Oct 29, 2006 at 11:13 PM MST

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