Yukon trapping dying out, despite record high fur prices

A trapper in Old Crow, Yukon, says despite record fur prices, trapping is a dying lifestyle.

Living off land will become less viable, says trapper

A trapper in Old Crow says despite record fur prices, trapping is a dying lifestyle.

Prices at the spring North American Fur Auction hit record highs across the board last month.

Joel Peter, 69, missed the winter sale because of a lack of snow and cold weather. But he was pleasantly surprised when he got his cheques from the spring sale.

"Very, very good. Couldn't believe it. The prices were never like that before," said Peter.

Peter is one of a handful of people who still ‘spring out’ in Crow Flats, trapping muskrats from April to June.

The job takes preparation, as trappers must mark the animals’ food sources in December and January.

"You don't have those then you can't be able to set any traps. It's very hard to find in March."

Joel Peter, a trapper from Old Crow, Yukon, said he was pleasantly surprised when he got his cheques from the spring fur auction. (Google)

However, Peter said that even with the high prices, it won't mean more people heading onto the land this month as ratting season begins in the Old Crow area.

Peter says younger people have not been trained for that lifestyle.

"Everything changing and people change, too. Young people are changed a lot today and they're concentrating on high wages and going to school or taking trade… they were raised up in Old Crow, but school was important so they're unable to go out on the land like me when I was growing up," said Peter.

Peter figures that living off the land will become less viable, and the way of life will slowly die as the older generation passes on.