Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

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2023 Illinois trapping calendar


Buyers inspect fox pelts during a past fur sale. This year’s ITA sale is set for February in Strasburg. Photo courtesy of Bill Key

Our annual guide for those who chase furbearers

By Kent Weil

Contributing Writer

The general trapping season is winding down, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things for trappers to do.

Planning for next season, for example. Looking ahead is part of what keeps trapping alive. Following are some important dates for Illinois trappers in 2023:

Feb. 15: The general trapping season ends. That includes bobcat, coyote, red and grey fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, mink, muskrat, badger, and weasel.

Feb. 18: The Illinois Trappers Association will be holding its annual fur sale at the Krile Auction house in Strasburg. Doors open at 7 a.m., and the auction will start around 9 a.m. This may be your best bet this year to realize the best price for your fur.

For more information, contact ITA President Ryan Rule, 309-368-2523, or bhfdto@gmail.com.

March 20-22: Fur Harvesters Auction. First wild fur auction of the season. Check FHA website for fur pickup routes.

March 31: The extended season for beaver and otter ends. This is it for trapping until the fall opener on Nov. 10. Trapping licenses expire, too. To legally hold any untanned fur, trappers will need to purchase a new license by the end of the day.

April 16: Last receiving date for Fur Harvesters Auction’s May sale.

May 26-28: Fur Harvesters Auction’s second and last wild fur sale of the year.

June 22-24: The Fur Takers of America will hold its 55th Annual Rendezvous at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 503 North Jackson Ave., Jefferson, Wisconsin. The smaller of two conventions, the FTA is known for its tight-knit camaraderie. For additional information, see the FTA website.

July 27-29: The National Trappers Association will hold its 64th Annual Convention at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds, 2401 12th Ave North, Escanaba, Michigan. Escanaba has proven particularly welcoming for trappers, so look for this convention to be no different. Check out the third annual Kids Cave while you are there – it’s proven to be a huge hit. For more information or vendor reservations, contact Bryan Nelson at bnelson@nationaltrappers.com or call 540-435-4849.

Aug. 26: Since we are in Illinois, we must mention the open house for the largest trapping vendor in the state, Volkers Trapping Supplies, in Pearl City. Details are not yet available, but the annual Open House will be an all-day event with free home-cooked food, demonstrations, give-aways, and a world of trapping supplies. For more information, watch the Volkers Trapping Supplies website.

Sept. 1: Unless something changes with the spring legislative session (unfortunately that is always a possibility), applications for the 2023-24 bobcat trapping and hunting season may begin being submitted – online only. Likely, DNR will again issue 1,000 permits via lottery. Cost for the application for a bobcat permit was $5 (nonrefundable) last year, with a $4 processing fee.

My advice whenever applying for any licenses or permits are to clump them together as much as possible as the $4 processing fee applies to each total transaction, not per individual license or permit.

Sept. 30: Application for the 2023-24 bobcat hunting and trapping season closes. Applicants who are successfully drawn in the lottery will receive their permit in the mail, usually by mid-October. Last year, all applicants who were not drawn received an email stating that fact. You can also check your permit status on the DNR website.

Oct. 6-7: The Illinois Trappers Association will hold its annual convention at the Macon County Fairgrounds in Decatur. Typically one of the last conventions of the year, this is often your last chance for by supplies without shipping or sales tax – and at convention prices to boot. The convention also will feature demos from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, as well as trapper education.

For more information, contact ITA President Ryan Rule, 309-368-2523, or bhfdto@gmail.com.

Nov. 10: The 2023-24 trapping season opens.

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