By Steve Weisman
With trapping season quickly approaching its November 1 starting date, Mike Mazur, owner of Northwest Iowa Fur Exchange, has scheduled a “Fall Open House behind Kabele’s Trading Post on Hill Avenue for Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“During the open house, there will be free demonstrations, how-to seminars, a question and answer session with conservation officers from the Iowa DNR and, of course, a free lunch,” says Mazur.
The first seminar will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a how-to session by Kendall Obermeier from Green, IA. A well-known trap maker and owner of NOBS Lures, Obermeier will demonstrate the best ways to set traps.
At 10:30 a.m., nationally known trapper Ron Leggett from Maryland will share ideas on how to dig and set traps to catch both fox and coyotes. Leggett will speak about the importance of location, location, location. “Ron has been the lead instructor at the Fur Takers of America Trapper’s College held each year in Indiana for the past 16 years. He will also bring several of his books and DVDs that will take you on the trapline with him.” Leggett has documented trapping 1220 fox in 90 days and 337 coyotes in 16 days.
The third seminar will be the Q & A session with DNR officers Jeff Morrison and Steve Reighard. “Jeff and Steve will review laws and trapping regulations to make sure everybody understands the laws.”
At 1 p.m., Mazur will take over discussing the fur trends and what’s on the horizon for 2014-15. At the same time, those in attendance can get their trapping supplies, traps and trapping bait. “We have plenty of cut up carp and ground carp for trappers to use for bait,” adds Mazur.
As for the trapping market, Mazur says late prime pelts will bring the best money. “Early fur, obviously, won’t be prime and it will be tough to get much for these pelts. It will pay people to wait for prime pelt.”
Mazur also noted that last year’s mild winters in China and Russia, along with too many ranch mink have left the fur market with a lot of holdover furs. Even so, Mazur believes the number of trappers will continue to be good “because it is a hobby lots of people enjoy.”
Fall colors arriving
To me, there is no truer sign of fall than the turning of the colors. As I look across the landscape here in northwest Iowa, everything is suddenly changing. The foliage seems to be turning by the day. Each year it’s a little different and the timing, brilliance and level of colors seem to vary with each year. If the majority of fall days are clear with cool nights and dry conditions, then the fall colors seem to be just that much more vivid and breathtaking. On the other hand, if we have a lot of rainfall and heavy winds, along with freezing temperatures, then the length and quality of the fall colors can be greatly shortened.
Viewing fall colors can be as simple as going out in the yard, state parks, wildlife areas, county parks, along lakes and rivers and streams.
Above all, don’t wait. Already I am seeing some brilliant reds and oranges on a tree here and there. All of a sudden it will be over. Oh, don’t forget your camera!