Fur trapping continues in North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Fur trapping to some people is analogous to pioneer times. To others, it's still a way of life and the ultimate challenge.

"As a trapper, say I'm out trying to catch a coyote, I need to get it to step on a pan that's only one to two inches big, and I have to know a lot about that animal to do it," said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Dept.

Biologist Stephanie Tucker says there are more than 3,000 fur trappers in North Dakota.

With a wide variety of species in the state, it's an attractive place to trap.

And even more attractive to buy.

"There's strong demand for it, the prices are there, and that makes fur trappers want to go out and target those specials more than they usually target," said Tucker.

This season coyotes are hot on the market. Trappers can get anywhere from 45 to $100 per pelt.

And North Dakotan furs can be found thousands of miles away.

The distance of the North Dakota fur trade hasn't changed much since the 18th century. Back in the 1700s, the fur trade made its way all the way to London. Now in 2017 it continues to have success internationally.

"Think of northern countries like northern Canada, Russia, northern China. They still wear a lot of fur. Because it is the warmest material out there. For their cold climates," said Tucker.

The Game and Fish Department will be holding a Fur Harvester Education Program this summer in Bismarck , Jamestown and Dickinson.

Students will learn about fur regulations, how to set traps, and other basics.