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Fur worth same as in 1998

By DON HOHLER • Jan 18, 2018 at 2:00 AM

BUCYRUS – “The die-hards were there. They always are and they always will be.”

Veteran Zander & Sons buyer Ken Little never ceases to be amazed at how the same sportsmen, despite the low prices for the two primary furs, raccoon and muskrats, stay in the woods and water in the fall and early winter.

“I bought 600 of the 1,200 coon presented to the Bucyrus buyers on Saturday,” the Baltimore, Ohio resident said. “The prices were just about the same as last year, $10.50 for the biggest pelts on down to $7 for the double XX lots. There were a lot of grades as usual. Despite the fact that there is a lot of coon held in refrigerators, apparently there is still need for fresh goods.”

Little’s average for the 600 he bought was $4.50.

“Red fox went higher than expected. Eighteen dollars for the cherry reds,” Little recalled. “Pennsylvania reds are bringing in anywhere from $9 to $12. The combination of not enough hides and a lot of hungry buyers sent the price higher than it should have been here.

“Male mink also went high, $12 for the big ones and there really was not much of a drop-off as far as size. They should have went for $7 tops. Again, it was buyers wanting that particular fur,” Little said.

Muskrats averaged $3.25, which was unbelievable considering a single pelt fetched $16 at the 2013 auction. The bottom dropped out of that fur in 2015 and is now down to 1998 prices when rats brought $2.15 and down.

Little bought both possum that went through, paying $1.50 each. They brought $8 in 2014. The skunk pelts averaged $2.

Coyotes held their prices of last year although there was less of them. The best brought $29. The average was about $16.

“The big surprise to me was the number of buyers present,” Little said. “Something like eight of them which tells me those guys are still speculating.

“The bottom line is we bought within 10 pelts of the same number we bought last year,” he added. “As far as the future, there was not enough fur caught this year to drive the prices either way. They say two years yet. I hope they are right because the sportsmen deserve at least a break-even price.”

The next stop for Little will be in Jeffersonville for the second of three Ohio State Trappers Association auctions. (The last one is in Kidron.) From there it has stops in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before a trip to the Zander Furriers home base, the Elizabethtown, N.J. area.

The following are the highest price paid for an individual pelt on Jan. 6 along with high and near average for other selected years for pelts at the January Ohio State Trappers Association auctions. Also shown is the total money earned by the sportsmen for that particular January sale.

Pull-out box:

2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2010 2007 1998

Coyote $29-$16 $40-$23 $25-$12 $47-$16 $40-$17 $9-$5 $15-$6 $11-$7.50

Mink-Male $12-$8 $8.50-$5.75 $12-$7 $27-$16 $30-$16 $12-$7 $30-$15 $11-$7.50

Mink-F-M $5 - $5 $6.75-$5.10 $8.50-$7 $16-$12 $17-$9. $9-$4.50 $18-$12 $7.-$5.25

Muskrat $4.50-$3 $5.10-$3 $9.00-$6 $13-$9 $16-$9 $6.20-$5 $10-$6 $2.$1.30

Possum $1.50 $2.25-$1.60 $6.50-$3 $8-$3.75 $5.25-$3 $4.50-$1 $4-$2.50 $2.10-$1.

Raccoon $10.50-$5 $12.-$5 $14-$8 $30-$16 $30-$15 $12-$6 $26-$7 $16.-$7

Red Fox $18-$12 $40-$28 $27-$10 $65-$51 $49-$32 $14-$11 $25-$8 $14-$11

Skunk $2.00 None Sold $3-$2.75 $16-$10 $6.75 $7.50 $12.-$9 $7.50

Total Sale Est.$9,000 $12,984. $15,988. $26,805. $33,182 $3,704 No Report $6,473

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