Predator hunting has a bevy of benefits that keep hunters engrossed in the pursuit. First, it’s downright exciting. I challenge anyone to say “ho hum” when a beady-eyed coyote is bearing down on them. Second, it’s a pursuit that easily fills offseason months when other seasons are closed and if you wish you can pursue predators year-round in many locales, especially coyotes. It also helps keep predators in check with prey densities. Deer population dynamics are particularly prone to predator pressure so hunting predators aids in sound wildlife management goals.
All of these are worthy reasons to continue the chase, but have you also considered one element that drives society: money? It’s been a long time since predator hunters have seen fur values at levels where you could actually make a buck from your efforts, but recent auctions have verified there is money in fur once again. Although prices fluctuate, overall fur prices have been somewhat depressed in recent years. The recent North American Fur Auction in Toronto this past February is evidence enough that you may want to set aside more time for predator hunting next fur season.
According to the NAFA “prices increased 50 percent to 70 percent over February 2012 levels.” A Montana friend of mine confirmed that as well. He averaged $52 on coyotes and get this…are you sitting down? He averaged $1,200 on bobcats! Bobcats from the central section of the nation didn’t average as high, but the demand for top-grade bobcat pelts continues to stun sellers in the northern regions of their range.
Buyers from Hong Kong, China; Russia and Greece topped the foreign visiting market for the recent NAFA sale, but fashion buyers were very active from Europe and even North American markets. “In all of the long haired articles throughout our wild fur sale, the trimming trade was very active. This reflects the popularity of fur trim on all types of outerwear,” reported NAFA.
Coyotes at the NAFA sale averaged nearly $94 for good Western pelts. Red fox averaged nearly $66 and gray fox came in at an average of $46. If you have a lot of raccoons around (and who doesn’t) then you may want to consider some nighttime pursuits next year as they sold at an average of $31.
This is good news for fur sellers and for predator hunters as a whole. Sure you’d still predator hunt even if fur sales were in the dumps. Nevertheless, the top prices being offered today can help pay for a tank of fuel, a new riflescope or even a nice gift for your significant other. I know one thing for sure next year. I’m setting more time than ever aside for fur gathering.