I had the pleasure of attending a fur harvest management conservation course recently. Head Instructor Stewart Frerotte along with his young students were involved with one of the ten lessons required for fur bearing trap line and fur management program.
The Fur Harvest, Fur management and Conservation Course is a mandatory perquisite to complete before licensing for all first-time Ontario Trappers. The Fur Institute of Canada and Ontario Fur Managers Association sanction this course.
Once qualified through active participation in trapper education, research and development, they can be certified.
Trappers demostrating the best possible methods of capture are used in the harvesting of fur bearers.
While the management of a trap line is a year-round activity, the commercial trapper will capture all fur during the late fall and winter, as the fur is prime.
Out-of-season trapping occurs only when measures are necessary to control problem wildlife. This often becomes a full time occupation when there are no natural predators.
Government wildlife agencies, conservation groups like Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (OFAH) and the Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) and especially trappers are the first line of defence when wildlife disease, habitat change or wildlife population drop. Todayâ€™s government has slashed funding that enabled conservation officers or biologists to venture out into the field.
In this class of students aged from seven to seventeen it was all enthusiasm and intent concentration when Stewart demonstrated setting a trap.
Me ,,, I listened for that SNAP!
Perhaps it’s time for the Provincial Government and it’s outdoor affiliates to sit down and develop an accredited apprentice program in Fur Trapping and Fur Management. An apprentice hunter safety course is available for kids 12 years and up to ensure they are safe and ethical while spending time outdoors with a hunter using firearm or bow.
Why can’t an apprentice program be implimented BEFORE we loose a generation of potential trappers who find it difficult to gain the experience or learn the knowledge essential to become a successful trapper.