Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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OH: Trappers could see some changes in 2011-2012

Columbus – Ohio trappers will have some new rules to discuss
when they meet for their annual convention Sept. 9-11 in London,
Ohio.

The Ohio Wildlife Council heard the first reading of proposed rule
changes affecting trappers at its July 27 meeting in Columbus. The
Ohio Division of Wildlife is trying to address the issue of
trappers holding their pelts for sale past the official end of the
season. Under current law, possession of furs is not allowed after
the end of the trapping season for that species. But with fewer raw
fur buyers in the state, many trappers and hunters, adapting to the
way furs are marketed, have been holding furs beyond that date.
Some are waiting until the later fur sales, hoping for a better
price, and some are holding because the pick-up dates to ship to
the Canadian auction houses are not until later in the winter.
Although there have been no problems to date, the DOW says they
need an official cut-off date so they have enforcement
capability.

The DOW is proposing that all legally harvested furs can be kept
until June 15. That date was chosen because it is well after the
last Canadian auction.

But wildlife council member Karen Stewart-Linkhart questioned that
date, stating that many trappers choose to keep pelts beyond that
time for a number of reasons. Some may be collecting enough hides
for a garment, and that could take several years, some might be
unable to properly prepare their catch for shipment by then, and
some could simply want to hold until the next year in the hopes of
a price increase.

Ron Ullif, with the DOW, said that a directive within their rules
allows that. If a hunter or trapper wishes to keep pelts beyond the
legal date, he or she can contact their county wildlife officer and
register their pelts. Ullif said that it is not the intention of
the DOW to prohibit the marketing options of fur harvesters, but
that they need a cut-off date because illegal possession is often
the charge that is used to convict out-of-season poachers.

There was no opposition to the other proposed change to the
trapping regulations. The DOW wants to allow trappers the option of
using their permanent ID number on their trap tags instead of their
name and address. Some trappers in the past have been harassed by
animal rights radicals who have found their traps with all the
contact information on them. The wildlife council will vote on the
proposed changes at its August meeting.

The Ohio State Trappers Association will hold its annual
convention, which is open to the public, at the Madison County
Fairgrounds Sept 9-11. The event opens at noon on Friday, with
indoor dealers, outside tailgaters, and continuous presentations in
the demo area, where trapping experts show how to catch the various
furbearers in Ohio. The general business meeting will take place
Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 10 the demos continue,
along with a trap setting contest, fur handling workshops and a
benefit auction at 6 p.m. The convention closes at noon on Sunday,
Sept. 11. Camping is available on the grounds. For more
information, check the website at www.ohiostatetrappers.org, or
call convention coordinator Chuck Firestone at 330-831-8078.

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