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Fur harvesting and predator control provides many benefits to our area and economies. Fur is a renewable resource. The economic benefit to our state is substantial. Many families rely on fur money to help make ends meet. Harvesting fur and predators also helps our friends the livestock producers minimize losses. Yes, the benefits are many.
As with anything these days, we have critics. Western South Dakota Fur Harvesters Association promotes trapper education for trappers of all ages. We are especially interested in our young trappers and hunters. We promote and recommend the “Best Management Practices” developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency in conjunction with National Trappers Association and many state trapper organizations. This research resulted in recommended trap size; trap design and anchoring methods for the most humane methods of harvesting each species.
Working closely with these organizations helps keep us informed of any issues that may be of interest to our membership. Some of the items we monitor are public land use and access, anti-hunting and trapping concerns and anything political that may affect our interest.
We have and encourage dialog with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks representatives and meet with them each spring to discuss fur harvesting and trapping related issues. We also attend GF&P commissioner meetings when necessary.