The Saskatchewan Trappers Association annual convention and show made its way back to Humboldt on March 17 and 18. Humboldt has been the centre for the event in previous years. Members of the association, vendors, and those with interest in the trapping and fur industries caught up on the latest in regulations, processing and marketing news.

Don Gordon is president of the Trappers Association. In addition to the business of the organization, Gordon says there are educational presentations and demonstrations as part of the mix. 

“We try to get families involved,” Gordon says. “We’ve got things for the kids to participate in. We try to hit on education about trapping in the province. Anybody who comes in with questions, we’re here to answer them. As an organization, we speak for the trapping industry in Saskatchewan - that’s directed to the Ministry (of Environment) and the public - what we do, why we do it.”

Trapping is one of the most regulated industries in the province, explains Gordon, and the processes are under continuous scrutiny. From equipment to changes in practice and regulation, the Association provides information to its members and is more than open to inquiries from the public. 

Changes in the marketplace due to circumstances ranging from demand, access, and even the two year pandemic have had an impact in some ways, Gordon notes. One of the key commodities is coyote pelts. 

“We saw an extremely high price paid out for coyote hides over the last number of years. With the demise of the market, primarily due to marketing and manufacturing, prices have dropped right off. Now we have a predator out there in the spotlight once again. Plain and simply, it costs money to access these animals and if they’re not worth anything, it’s tough to get out there and help with that.” 

Burgeoning wildlife populations and changing migratory patterns are on the mind of Environment Minister Dana Skoropad who addressed the group on Friday. Those shifts in both population and range have been of concern to organizations like SARM as well as the Trappers Association. 

Also on hand for the convention was Doug Chiasson, executive director of the Fur Institute of Canada. Chiasson, from Halifax, NS, explained that the Fur Institute is the voice of the country’s fur industry from trappers right up to auction houses, furriers, trap makers and other parts of the chain. 

“We’re here to hear about the issues that folks are facing in Saskatchewan, and also to tell folks here what the Fur Institute is doing as far as pushing back on anti-trapping campaigns that are hurting our trade and our businesses,” says Chiasson. 

Chiasson says they are combatting misinformation and disinformation about the industry that’s been rife over the last few decades. Their mission is to amplify the voices within the industry to help consumers understand that fur is important, sustainable and humane.