Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

February 16, 2014

Fur dealers could trap beavers under proposal

LANSING — Licensed fur dealers could trap beavers under legislation recently introduced by lawmakers.

The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association pushed for the legislation that is sponsored by Sen. Thomas Casperson, R-Escabana.

Beavers can be trapped now, but the measure would allow fur dealers to trap, something that has been outlawed at least as far back as the early 1900s.

“It is a law that we don’t need anymore,” said Scott Harbaugh, director for the trapper association’s northern Lower Peninsula region. “It was to keep the fur buyer from adding more beaver to his lot by using the bag limit of another seller, but now we have no bag limit on beaver trapping.”

Before it was removed in 1983, the limit was 25 beavers per person, said Adam Bump, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources bear and furbearer specialist.

DNR officials requested trappers push for a law change.

There are no exact statistics for changes in beaver population, Bump said. They are difficult to track, but the population is now healthy and has grown considerably since the prohibition against fur dealers trapping was made.

“We don’t need a bag limit to appropriately manage the population so it would be an easy way to allow a few more people to get out and trap beavers if they wanted to,” Bump said.

Trapping keeps the population of each animal down so they don’t overpopulate and end up with diseases that can spread to humans, Harbaugh said.

A small beaver pelt can be worth around $20 and a large one about $50, said Dale Hendershot, president of the trappers association.

“Most people just do beaver trapping as a hobby because it is kind of hard to make a living off of it,” he said. “However, those that do make a living off of it trap multiple species and make supplies as well.”

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot