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Big pike caught in Schroon derby; fur prices on the rise

The Schroon Lake Class of 2012 50-50 raffle was won by Chris Meduri of Schroon Lake and the Fish and Game Club 50-50 raffle was won by Brandon Stuart of Townsend, MA.

Club president Don Sage said the club would like to thank all the volunteers, donators, and contestants who contributed to making this a very successful and enjoyable weekend.

"We invite everyone back to next year's, the 19th derby, held on the first weekend of March, and bring your friends. Hope to see you all next year. Visit us online at www.schroonlakefishandgameclub.com," he said.

Fur prices on the mend

As a kid growing up in the Adirondacks, my mornings before school and my evenings after were consumed with the outdoors. I ran a rather extensive trapline for beaver, otter, mink and muskrat as well as land animals like fox and coyote. It served as a great deterrent to some of the mischief other kids were getting involved in and, at times, proved quite lucrative.

"The best thing about trapping is you'll always have a buck in your pocket," my uncle Ed used to say.

Unfortunately, those days became a thing of the past. Fur prices dropped so low, that I couldn't justify taking the animal for what trappers were being paid. I was never in it for the money, but the fur prices were downright insulting.

It now appears that is changing. Fur prices are slowly climbing closer to what they were 20 years ago. Here is a glimpse at how much fur was selling for on average in February, according to the Fur Harvesters Association.

Muskrat was the real highlight, selling at an $8.50 average. Beaver pelts landed at $21 each with a high of $72 and a low of $14, while raccoon held ranges of $13-$22 based on grading.

Coyote prices came in at the $30-$35 range - a 36 percent increase over last year - and eastern red fox rose noticeably above last season's levels to $31. Grey fox performed well, gaining buyer attention at $20 each.

Otter, one of the most poorly performing pelts over the past few seasons, returned to acceptable pricing at an average of $42. Fisher remained a popular item for buyers, with a typical fur selling at $62.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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