It’s nearing the time where you need to decide whether you’re going to sell those remaining furs in your skinning shed or sit on them and hope for a better market. Like investing in the stock market, every move becomes a gamble. Is the energy sector going to be in demand or should you stick with reliable choices such as a Jim Cramer certified nod to Ford? The same is true of fur sales. Sometimes it’s best to meet with the fur buyer in the Walmart parking lot and take quick cash for a frozen carcass. In recent years, fur gambles have paid off and waiting to drop a pile of fur into an auction environment has been lucrative.

Recent auction results from the North American Fur Auctions provide a peek into the future and, like the stock market, it’s a gamble.

Except for wild red fox, nearly every other auction category pulled back and didn’t sell the entire inventory. Red fox is still experiencing a high demand for trim and the top price paid was $54 with the low dropping all the way down to approximately $13.

Raccoon pelts were still struggling to find market placement and many of the pelts were taken off the auction due to the low price. Prices ranged from a high of $26 to a low of nearly $12. Beaver also struggled and many pelts were withdrawn due to a high price of $20 and a low of approximately $11.

So what’s the shining star? It’s something most of you find passing in the night in your backyard. Coyotes sold well mainly due to the strong demand from the international fashion and trim trade. In January, western, heavy coyotes sold 100 percent at a NAFA auction with help from Italy, Hong Kong, France and Canada markets.

Top-quality hides peaked at $240 while the lower grades bottomed at approximately $38. With prices like that it might be worth considering a trip north of the border or at least to the Rocky Mountains to nab a few top hides next season. Will this coyote trend continue? More auctions are slated in April. It’s up to you to see if the wait is worth the gamble.

For updated information on fur sales, visit the North American Fur Auctions site at www.nafa.ca. It’s a good way to track the fur market and to see if you’re getting a real deal from the fur buyer parked at the upper end of the Walmart parking lot. Good luck!