IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - More people are getting into the fur-trapping business as prices soar in the Gem State.
Idaho Fish and Game said the reason is due to the demand in countries like China, Korea and Russia.
Even though some businesses in the U.S. are having a hard time exporting goods to Russia because of the crisis in Ukraine, fur trappers aren't having the same issues. Companies in Canada are buying Idaho furs, acting as middle men and selling them to Russia.
"I got into trapping because my son wanted a raccoon hat, so that is what I did. I kept trapping, and I didn't look it as a way to make money, but now you can," said Brett High, a local fur trapper.
High has been trapping animals since 2006 and sometimes sells his catches at local fur sales.
"It gets more interest in trapping when the prices are up. For years trapping has just been kind of for folks who just want to have fun and not really getting any monetary benefit out of it," High said.
Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game said some furs like coyotes' have doubled in price.
"Right now some of the higher price furs are the bobcats. Bobcats are fairly prolific in our area, and some of the larger males are fetching good prices," Losinski said.
The number of trappers in the Gem State is also increasing. Losinski said Idaho has gone from 1,000 trappers statewide to 2,000. Despite the increase, he said, animal populations haven't declined.
"A new trapper might see dollar signs, but they probably don't have the skill to get out there and trap successfully so there not going to be a big threat on the population," Losinski said.
"Trapping is a renewable resource so as long as you trap wisely and don't trap over harvested areas than you can keep doing it," said High.
Idaho Fish and Game said fur trapping is a legal form of controlling wildlife in the state and is managed by the department. In Idaho you are required to have a license to trap. You can apply for one through Fish and Game. Trapping is allowed on most public lands in Idaho. To find out more information on trapping click here.
Losinski also wanted to warn pet owners about the large number of animal traps that could be on public land because of the greater demand. He said dogs can be attracted to the foothold traps due to the scent and bait. If they get stuck in the traps they can choke to death. To learn how to release your dog from a trap, click here.