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Local trappers doing it for the love of the sport

By DON HOHLER • Jan 16, 2017 at 11:30 AM

BUCYRUS – Hunter Handshoe said he and his trapping buddies would be hard at it in the fall harvesting muskrats and raccoon if they brought only $1 at the auction.

“It’s obvious we don’t do it for the money,” said the sophomore from Willard High School. “And we do it the old-fashioned way, on foot, not on quads like so many trappers do.”

Handshoe and trapping partners Josh Dove from Plymouth and George Deninger from Willard, along with Handshoe’s father, Josh, tested the Ohio Trappers Association-sponsored auction for the first time. Previously, they shipped their furs north to auctions and hoped for the best.

The three boys had an average year, putting 46 raccoon, 25 muskrat, three mink, two red fox and one opossum on the boards. Their fur was the first to move in front of the half-dozen buyers at the Crawford County Conservation Clubhouse Saturday morning.

It was obvious from the get-go that Handshoe was not going to bulldozed into selling at prices offered by the buyers. He refused sale of the first red fox that went up for bid. But, in the end, he felt he got fair prices for the majority of the fur.

As was expected, light-colored coyote got the attention of the buyers with New Jersey-based Zander & Son buyer Ken Little securing the winning bid on just about everything he thought was premium fur. He paid as high as $29 for an 11 coyote lot but as was expected, shied from most raccoon although he did take a chance on some at as high as $8.50 as well as a couple of cherry red fox for $12.

“The market is such that I have to pick and choose what the firm needs. The muskrat market is the strongest and if I can get them at the right price, I’ll buy most of them,” he said.

The following are the prices he received and those numbers pretty much reflected what all 40 sellers received throughout the course of the day:

13 large muskrat at $6;

4 damaged muskrat at $3.75;

1 red fox at $5

1 female mink at $5.75;

1 large male mink at $6.25;

1 opossum at $.50;

6 AAA-size coon (#1 and 2) at $7.50;

6 AA – size coon (#1 and 2) at $5;

19 XL –size coon (#2) at $6.25;

10 XL – size (#3’s) at 4.50;

Other coon varied between $2 and $4.


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