Published January 31, 2010, 12:00 AM

PREDATOR HUNTING FYI

Fox and coyote pelts aren’t worth much these days, but many predator hunters still find ways to use the furs.

By: Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

Selling the furs

Fox and coyote pelts aren’t worth much these days, but many predator hunters still find ways to use the furs.

The best money might come from the predator hunting tournaments, typically one- or two-day events, which have popped up across the region in recent years. The Red River chapter of Pheasants Forever hosted an event Saturday headquartered in Alvarado, Minn.

“Some of the purses, they can do OK,” said Marty Egeland, outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in the Grand Forks area.

As for the furs, “you’re probably not getting more than $5 or $10 if you’re able to get them sold at all,” Egeland said. “You better plan on just doing it for a hobby.”

Leo Marchel, a Grand Forks predator hunter, said he takes the unskinned carcasses he accumulates during the winter to a buyer in Fosston, Minn.

“I know guys that skin them and put the furs up, and I know they get a lot more for them that way,” Marchel said. “Prices aren’t very good, but I hate to just leave them.”

Stuart Bensen, Erskine, Minn., a predator hunter and Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, said he has a full body mount of one coyote he shot. But most of the time, he skins the animals and sends the furs to a tannery in Duluth.

“Furs are worth very little right now,” Bensen said. “They make excellent gifts that are very unique once you get them back.”

Regulations

North Dakota: Residents must buy a $7 Furbearer license and a $1 Fishing, Hunting and Furbearer Certificate or a $32 Combination license that includes Small Game, General Game and Fishing licenses. Licenses aren’t required for residents younger than 16. Hunters from out of state must purchase a $2 Nonresident Fishing, Hunting and Furbearer Certificate and a $25 Nonresident Furbearer and Nongame license. The nonresident license is only good for fox and coyotes. Season for fox and coyotes is open year-round, with no bag limits, and hunting after dark is allowed from Nov. 23 through March 14. Hunting after dark is limited to walking, and hunters must use a predator call. Spotlights or other artificial lights are not Minnesota: Coyotes are classified as unprotected mammals in Minnesota, with no closed season, and residents and nonresidents can take them without a license in any manner except with artificial lights or a motor vehicle. Nonresidents need a small game license ($84.50) to hunt fox, but the $160 furbearer license only is required for nonresidents seeking to take raccoon or bobcat. Fox season is open from Oct. 24 through March 15 day or night except opening day, when hunting can’t begin before 9 a.m. Fox and coyote hunters can use artificial hand-held lights from Jan. 1 to March 15 under the following conditions: while on foot and not within a public right of way, if using a shotgun, if using a calling device, if not within 200 feet of a vehicle.

n More information: North Dakota Game and Fish Department, gf.nd.gov; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, mndnr.gov.

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