MICHIGAN TRAPPING—In what county of Michigan would be the best location for a trapper, and what animals are found there?
As to “what county in Michigan would be the best location for a trapper,” will say that the southern half of the state has but little game in it: still a few mink, foxes, skunks, muskrats and coons may be found there in some places, while in the northern part of the lower peninsula in the sparsely settled parts there may he found more fur bearers, especially foxes, as they seem to be the only ones that are not getting scarce as rapidly as other species are.
Here I wish to observe that all tins talk about the scarcity of fur bearers and its cause, simmers right down to this one single point: There are more being killed than are being produced to take their places, and when less are killed than are produced then of course fur animals will increase instead of diminish.
But to return to the question of best locations. The upper peninsula has quite a lot of fur in it in some localities but it is getting scarcer every year because so many men are busy at trapping because the prices offered for fur are so very high that a little bundle of good fur brings a man quite a nice wad of money, especially if he avoids the local buyer and ships his fur to some fairly honest fur house. Here in this northern part we have quite a lot of foxes and wolves; also some mink, muskrats and skunks, a few bears, lynx (both kinds), fisher, marten and coons (extremely scarce.) If the Mr. Hover is part Eskimo and enjoys a cold climate, deep snow and barren conditions, he might be delighted in being here this winter, for it surely is decidedly cold here in this Lake Superior region. Still, a rugged, healthy man, properly equipped, can get along here in the forest quite well, but I take notice that all of these deer hunters coming here to do some trapping when the hunting season is over, very quickly pull up their traps and get out for home as soon as the winter shuts down on them. I find that when the first of the winter begins, the fur hearers seem to den up and move around very little until they get more accustomed to the cold weather. Now, if Mr. Hover is a tip top fox catcher, he might do some business here; and if he can “get there” on wolves he might hunt up the places where the deer are yarding and operate on the wolves that hang around such places to feed upon the deer. You see, there is more in the capacity or ability of the man than anything else in the business of trapping. For proof I will cite you to Mr. Clarence Birdseye, connected with the Biological Division of the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, that I think is pretty near a pattern for us trappers to copy from—but this is a digression from the question asked about Michigan conditions.
I find that the snow interferes very much in the working of steel traps by light animals such as mink and weasels, for when six or eight inches of snow covers my traps they don’t spring when these small weights travel over them. I believe that in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties there is quite a fair chance to get some fur, but there is not now one-half as much there as there was twenty or twenty-five years ago. The fact is, the fur bearers, except wolves and foxes, are getting thinned out through this region. Still good trappers do quite well here.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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