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Recent Pelt Preparation demonstration day in North Idaho left folks ready to hit the woods this winter with traps in tow

Nearly 75 people participated in a recent Pelt Preparation demonstration day in North Idaho. The day was hosted by the Intermountain Fur Harvesters at the Farragut Shooting Range Center, and it was just in time for trapping seasons. With the exception of bobcat (opens Dec. 14), trapping seasons are in full swing in the Panhandle.

Participants in the class met other trappers and learned to skin, flesh and stretch a variety of pelts. They got to watch live demonstrations as seasoned trappers worked on pelts from coyote, muskrat, bobcat, pine marten, skunk, beaver, elk and more.

Beyond learning the skinning, fleshing and stretching basics from the pros, conversation abounded on all other topics related to trapping. Seasoned trappers generously shared their knowledge and experiences with anyone who asked, underscoring their passion for trapping and their desire to pass on that passion and legacy to those around them.

One participant had completed the mandatory trapper education class a few weeks earlier, and this trapping season is his first. 

When asked why he was attending the event, he said, “Well I’ve never trapped before, so I hoped I could learn from a few veteran trappers today. That has definitely been the case!” He went on to say, “You never know what the future holds. I want to trap so I can get the materials I need to make my own clothing and take care of myself, if the need arises.”

Trapping can be traced back to the early roots of America, and people continue trapping today for a variety of reasons. For some it comes as naturally as walking; it’s simply a way of life. For others it’s an opportunity to participate in wildlife management and perhaps address property damage or reduce losses to livestock. 

Regardless of the reason, the result can be a collection of fur for clothing or crafts. Many furs are sold at fur sales to buyers who produce clothing and crafts commercially. 

In fact, there are typically four fur sales each year in Idaho. The Intermountain Fur Harvesters hosts a sale in mid-March, the Idaho Trappers Association hosts a sale Jan. and another in March and the Upper Snake River Trappers of Idaho hosts a sale in March.

Trapping is regulated in Idaho, and just like hunters, trappers must take a mandatory certification course to show they know how to legally trap and follow best practices. If you are interested in trapping, make sure to check our schedule for upcoming trapper education classes.

Make sure to also check out any upcoming outdoor skills workshops we might be hosting, as some of them have to do with advanced trapping skills.

Make sure to check the 2020-21 Idaho Upland Game, Turkey and Fubearer Seasons and Rules so you are in the know – the regulated trapping rules start on page 31. New rules are in place for 2021.

For more information on trapping, please contact your local Fish and Game regional office.

You can also follow the Panhandle Region Facebook page to get regular news and updates.