MISSOULA, Mont. — The demand for fur is on the rise and prices are booming, providing a windfall to Montana trappers who say their industry has hit a 30-year high, according to The Missoulian.
And market indicators suggest the demand – and the prices that follow – will continue to increase as buyers in China, Russia and Korea watch their incomes grow.
“Trappers are seeing an increase in their paychecks in the state of Montana,” said Toby Walrath, president of the Montana Trappers Association. “The market is strong and improving. It’s a good time to be a trapper right now.”
Montana trappers received $2.7 million in income in 2012 from the sale of raw fur, according to the Montana Trappers Association. This year’s state auction also paid out $230,000 for the pelts of prized species, including those monitored by state game officials.
Walrath, who heads the state organization from his Corvallis home, said the money brought in by trappers circulates beyond the trapping community. It extends to taxidermists, in-state furriers, hotels and sporting good stores, such as Wholesale Sports in Missoula, which now sells trapping supplies.