Fur trapping in the North is on the rebound. COVID-19 and lower fur prices have greatly impacted the industry.
The pandemic saw a decrease in the number of trappers on the line, and a drop in fur tables, translates into less furs and opportunities to sell.
”In the last four years, since COVID hit, everything kind of went down for the northern trappers. They kind of stayed home,” said Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association Acting President Barry Carrier. “The fur-buyers, we didn’t have anything happening for three years.”
A last minute fur table in Prince Albert and a second opportunity in Thompson weren’t as successful as Carrier had hoped. He described trappers as struggling, with an early snow impacting the ability for trappers to get out.
“The biggest struggle over the past couple of years is that we’ve had early snowfalls,” explained Carriere. Lakes and muskeg are taking longer to freeze, causing further delays.
However trappers are starting to see fur prices increase, as beaver, lynx and marten are all promising. One of the greater concerns facing the industry is attracting more people.
“I don’t want to say trapping is coming to an end. We’ve got to find a way to restore it. Find a new way to rejuvenate our future trappers in Saskatchewan,” Carriere said.
Northern Trappers will gather Friday and Saturday in La Ronge for annual meetings, the first in several years. Carriere expects the Association to discuss key issues impacting the industry, but also elect a new Association Board.
(Photo courtesy of Facebook.)