On this page you will find a variety of links that are helpful to trappers, both beginner and experienced.
I'll start by listing national and state trapper's associations. These are some of the best resources, especially if you can get to a convention and meet some fellow trappers, they should be happy to show you the ropes and help you along. At conventions there will be demonstrations as well as trapping supply dealers, so they are really a great place to get a big dose of trapping how to. Supporting these associations is also a major way to keep trapping alive. There are alot of people out there that do not understand trapping or wildlife management. Because of that trapping is almost constantly under attack from anti trappers who want to make trapping illegal. Joining and participating in these organizations gives trappers a united voice in standing up for a regulated management technique that is sustainable and provides a renewable resource, trapping.
National Trappers Association
State Trapping Associations
New Jersey Trappers Association
State Trapping Regulations
Use the map below to help find your state's trapping regulations. Not all state's trapping regulations are easy to find, and may be buried somewhere among the hunting regulations but these links should help to get you where you need to be. Also be sure to check on the licensing regulations too, as most states require a separate trapping license.
Trapping Best Management Practices
Most industries these days have Best Management Practices or BMPs for short. These BMPs are methods that have been tested and are recognized as being best practices for the industries that they pertain to. As surprising as it may be to some people, there are BMPs that have been tested and approved for trapping furbearers. These methods have been approved by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and have been tested by subject matter experts, including government officials, conservation groups, and even trappers. The project began 20 years ago, in 1996, and is quite extensive. The BMPs are species specific and list a variety of commonly used traps that passed the testing. To date there have been 22 BMPs produced.
When testing the BMPs there are five criteria that are tested with each trap:
· Animal Welfare
The traps selected to be tested are based on surveys to determine what traps are commonly used by trappers. Once the traps are selected, they are tested in the field by experienced trappers, during regulated trapping seasons. Data is recorded for every catch and wildlife veterinarians perform necropsies on the captured animals to look for any trap related injuries.
I wanted to bring up these BMPs because it is a great starting point for a beginning trapper. It is quite easy to access this information to see what traps are recommended for different species, and this is all highly scientific, reputable data.
I also wanted to discuss BMPs because I’m sure there are people out there who are not familiar with these studies. And there is a lot of misinformation regarding trapping. This is researched, peer reviewed data. Its highly credible, and looking at the extent of testing that has been done thus far, there has been a lot of money spent on ensuring this equipment is suitable for use. Just the fact that one of the main criteria is Animal Welfare, should be an indication to the public that trappers aren’t blood thirsty heathens. We are conservationists, we trap because we love wildlife and know that there are benefits to actively managing wildlife populations. We also appreciate that fur is a naturally renewable and sustainable resource.
Trapping is a regulated activity, closely monitored by state and federal wildlife officials. And trappers seek to harvest animals in the most humane and effective way possible. Regulated trapping has been used to protect threatened and endangered species such as sea turtles, whooping cranes, and black footed ferrets, to name a few. Trapping has also been used to restore wildlife populations, such as river otters.
Trapping is a part of our heritage, and I am proud to continue the tradition, and to do so in a legal, ethical, and sustainable manner.
Below you will find links to all BMPs that have been completed thus far along with a link to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Furbearer Management page.
So far as trapping supply dealers go, there are hundreds, and most of them are very good to deal with. I'll list a few here that I've personally had dealings with, if you get a chance to go to a convention there will be some dealers set up selling there. That's a great place to talk to some of them personally and get a good feel for them and their business.
In my opinion Minnesota Trapline Products is one of the best companies you can deal with. They have great prices, are always super friendly and helpful, and produce a top quality line of Made in the USA products, their MB or Minnesota Brand products. They are top notch!
Other companies that I've had good dealings with is Dobbins Products, coincidentally they have a really good forum at Trapperman.com that is well worth checking out, lots of good information there. I've also dealt with Mark June Lures and Schmitt Enterprises, and wouldn't hesitate to deal with just about any of the trapping supply dealers. Alot of it boils down to convenience, if there is a dealer near you then that is probably who you are going to do business with.
Selling your fur
There are some options for selling your fur locally, either to a fur buyer, a supply dealer that also buys fur, or an auction hosted by your state association. There are also some, what I would call "regional" fur buyers. I've never done any business with Groenewold but if you are in the upper mid west they may be worth checking out, there are others that advertise in trapping magazines that you can check out.
The option that I use is shipping your fur to one of the big auction houses, the two main ones are North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) and Fur Harvesters. These companies also put alot of time and effort into promoting the fur industry and educating the public about the benefits and sustainability of trapping.
Of course there are also a variety of publications that center around and educating the reader about trapping. These include- Trapper and Predator Caller, Fur Fish Game, Trapper's World, American Trapper, and Trapper's Post to name a few. Many a trapper, myself included, cut their teeth on trapping by flipping the pages of these magazines gleaning every tidbit on each page. There is alot of information about trapping online these days, but there is still a wealth of information and entertainment in these magazines.