The number of people trying their hand at trapping in Iowa increased by 2,000 each of the last two years, and DNR furbearer biologist, Vince Evelsizer expects the numbers to be up this year too. Trapping includes a wide variety of animals from bobcats to mink. “In the last few years, raccoons have been the number one target animal in trapping,” Evelsizer says.
He says raccoons are probably popular because they are easy to find. “I think it’s a combination of a fairly strong population –other than some distemper problem areas in the state — but overall they are doing well. And the prices have come up on them as well,” according to Evelsizer. Some 19-thousand people bought licenses to trap for furs last year in Iowa.
Evelsizer says most of the trappers are not depending on the furs they bring in to be their main source of income. “A majority of them are hobby trappers I would call it, but there is a percentage of them that do do it as kind of like their full-time fall job,” Evelsizer says. He says many of the recreational trappers do it for the love of the sport, while others just want to earn a little extra spending money.
The furbearing season opened on November 2nd and the season for most species will close on January 31st. See a complete list of the hunting seasons, limits and license fees at www.iowadnr.gov.