Trapping furs for profit sounds great but can it really be done?
If you've ever harvested a furbearing animal before chances are the thought of making a profit has crossed your mind a time or two.
After all, everyone wants to make a few bucks now and then right?
But can you actually make a profit from trapping?
First and foremost, those of us who trap do not usually do it for the money.
It's a hobby and a passion for the outdoors.
Just like someone who likes to hunt or fish or golf, we do it because we enjoy it, not because we expect to retire off of it.
However, trapping offers something that hunting, fishing or golfing can't do.....something to sell!
Sounds great right?
It sure does, but realistically in the end many of us who trap are lucky just to break even.
A lot of people are amazed when they look in a magazine or online at the current price of fur.
They look at the top lot price given by an auction house and think about all the money they can make by trapping.
But what you may not realize is that the top lot price listed by the auction house is only given for a few select high quality furs, and the average price is much lower.
Sure, if you do everything right a percent or two of your furs might fetch that top dollar price, but in the end you will average a lot less.
The price of traps, lures, gas, fur handling supplies and your time should all be taken into consideration.
In the end when you factor in all of the time you spend preparing your traps, setting them, checking them and putting up the fur, plus all of the equipment you buy and the gas you use, breaking even might even be optimistic.
In the end, trapping is not about the money.
I've spent a lot of time on the trapline and have never worried about how much money I would make at the end of the season.
Sure, if you do it right you can probably make enough to pay for your equipment and maybe buy yourself something extra but it won't be much.
I've spent more nights than I can recall running coonhounds.
While growing up I would spend almost every night in the woods listening to my dogs run.
I would spend all year training the dogs and preparing for the upcoming season.
I had a local buyer where I sold all my furs and I loved every minute of it.
I've had some pretty good dogs and killed a lot of raccoons but I can't say I ever made any money in the end.
The money I made went into equipment, food and other things I needed to continue doing what I loved.
You shouldn't get into trapping for the money but rather for the enjoyment.
Do you consider trapping a hobby or a source of income?
Only in a few rare circumstances do you ever make money off a hobby.
Sure, you can make a few bucks every now and then trapping furs for profit, especially now that the price of furs are on the rise.
Don't let money be the deciding factor in choosing your hobby.
Do it because you love it and enjoy it.
As long as you're out there having fun, the small amount of money you earn in the end is simply a bonus!