The cold winter hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of a traditional land-user from Northern Saskatchewan.

Clifford Ray is the president of the Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association.

He says the year has been a challenge for trappers on a number of fronts.

Out in the bush he says there’s been a lot of air-holes on the ice this year which has caused problems for snowmobiles:

“They get stuck in there for hours and they don’t have the mechanism to pull themselves out and when you get a ski-doo stuck in something like that they carry ten times the weight that they actually have.”

Ray recently returned from a major fur-auction down east.

The sale was a disappointment on certain fronts with offerings of sable and beaver selling at 30% clearance or less in some cases.

Ray acknowledges the prices haven’t been the greatest at times.

But he was still encouraged with the turnout at a fur-buyers table at the Prince Albert Grand Council last December:

“The buyers were there. 134 trappers came from all over to sell their furs you know and it was a successful story because it was the trappers that made it happen.”

He adds trappers have also put a lot of work into recruiting younger trappers for the years ahead.