MN Dept of Natural Resources

DNR Report Winter 2022

Members of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) furbearer management committee met to discuss questions for an upcoming trapper’s opinion survey with representatives of the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA) and Minnesota Forest Zone Trappers Association (MFZTA) in Brainerd in late September. The 2022 trapper’s opinion survey will be mailed beginning early next year to a random sample of people who have purchased a trapping license in the recent past. The sample of license purchasers does not include youth trappers due to data privacy issues. Results of the survey will likely be available next summer. The DNR last conducted an opinion survey of trappers in 2014. Discussion of survey questions included furbearer zones, nonresident trapping, and bag limits and seasons for registered furbearers. Representatives from both groups provided excellent suggestions to improve and clarify survey questions. A second draft of the survey that incorporates their comments is currently being reviewed by members of both groups. In addition to the survey, meeting attendees also discussed regulation changes for the longer term that could provide additional trapping opportunities while simplifying regulations and reducing conflicts with other outdoor enthusiasts. A subset of members from each of the state’s trapping organizations agreed to continue discussions with the goal of developing proposals for eventual review and public input. The DNR thanks both the MTA and the MFZTA for their cooperation and willingness to assist with this critical work. If you are one of the trappers selected to respond to the survey, please participate. Your opinions are very important!
By the numbers… Each year, MN DNR conducts a fur price survey of in-state fur buyers, who are required to purchase a fur buyer’s license. Preliminary results from this survey show what everyone already knows — pelt prices were low for many species again last season. Based on results so far, the average price paid for a muskrat was $2.82; a raccoon was $4.41; a bobcat was $55.38. Male fisher and marten were $26.61 and $28.91, respectively. The results of this year’s survey will be posted online this winter. Sales of all trapping licenses, including lifetime license renewals, totaled 6,453 for 2021, down slightly from 2020 but near the average for the past five years.
Ask the DNR – Since this is the first DNR report for the MTA newsletter in quite some time, we will start with a question that has been asked a few times over the years:
Why don’t you need a trapping license to sell beaver castor?
Castor is considered epidermal tissue (flesh) and therefore can be possessed, transported, bought, and sold by any person. Like muskrats, raccoons, rabbits and hares, the flesh of lawfully taken beaver may be bought or sold at any time. A statute change in 2007 also allowed flesh of lawfully taken beaver, muskrat, raccoon, rabbits, and hares to be transported out of the state.
Got a hunting, trapping (or even fishing) regulations question you have never had time to ask? Here’s your chance – send them to . He will work with DNR experts to get them answered in this space.
Jason Abraham
MN DNR Representative to the MTA
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