Higher pelt prices please trappers
Fur trappers in the Thunder Bay area and around the northwest are thrilled with the recent rise in fur prices — and they're hoping the trend will continue.
At last weekend's fur auction in North Bay, beaver and fox fur sold for 60 per cent more than last year.
Murray Monk has worked his trap line northeast of Nipigon for more than three decades. He said the improvement in prices couldn't come at a better time.
"I think it's going to be more of a continuous trend — not just a surge," he said. "With the price of gas we have to get better prices."
Monk said much of the demand for fur is coming from China and Russia. The growing demand is good news for fur prices, which have been volatile. In recent years, fur prices have been on the low side — so Ontario trappers have had to work extra hard to make ends meet.
Mark Downey, CEO of the Fur Harvesters Auction, said the change is remarkable.
"Things like red fox, last year, were $23 and change (per pelt)," he said. "This year, guys from Ontario and eastern Canada … averaged $53 to $54, overall."
Monk speculated that, as long as there are places in the world that are cold, fur will be in fashion — and in demand.