Utah Trappers Association President's Page

ATTENTION Utah Trappers Association Members:

Since the recent UTA fur sale, there have been questions and accusations leveled at the officers of the UTA.

Questions about the fur prices paid primarily for bobcat pelts and accusations of the UTA being in “Cahoots” with the fur buyers in fixing prices.
I am going to put this in plain English. That is pure bullshit!

The UTA fur sale was organized in the 1980’s to give the trappers/members within the UTA the best prices possible by making it so the buyers bid and be competitive against one another. It has never changed. You as a fur harvester have the opportunity to place a minimum bid on your furs so that if that minimum is not reached by the buyers, your fur will not be sold. The UTA provides you with the means to receive the most for your furs via competitive bidding by buyers. Past that it is between you the fur harvester and the buyer.

Always keep in mind that issues like the strength of the American dollar has much to do with the prices paid for furs, especially when the fur market is worldwide. When the dollar gains in strength, foreign currency loses in purchasing power and that is the case presently.

There are other issues that determine fur prices as well. The grade of the bobcat pelt being placed on the market, the manner in which the fur is put up and how nice it looks has a lot of bearing on fur prices that the trapper receives. Apparently some think because they harvested bobcats they will receive top dollar for their fur. There are many factors involved in prices for bobcats. One of the primary issues is how well one puts up and dresses his/her furs. That is not controlled by the UTA nor the buyer. That lays squarely upon the shoulders of the individual fur harvester.

This unusual winter has had some bearing on the grade of furs being taken as well. There were (I believe) a number of furs that were not of the quality of past years primarily due to the warmer winter we are experiencing with no snow.

I myself had two bobcat pelts harvested in December that brought $61.00 and $63.00. I was greatly disappointed but I am sure as hell not going to blame my fellow officers for the pricing. I realize from many years in the past that the fur market is crazy and it fluctuates greatly in any given year. That has been the case this year.
There have been many years where trappers were lucky to receive over $100.00 for any of their bobcat pelts. We have no more control over fur prices than we have control over the strength of and purchasing power of the American dollar.

So please do not accuse the UTA officers of being part of the fact that you the trapper did not receive the money for your furs that you thought you should. I am just as disappointed in what I received as any of you are.

I would like to see every trapper/fur harvester receive top dollar for their furs. I want to receive top dollar for my furs but know I am not always going to do that. I have seen years where the top cat in the sale has brought less than $100.00. I have also seen years where the top price paid for bobcats boggled my mind because of how high it was.
Our fur market depends greatly upon other countries in the world.

Please know the UTA officers are now as they were when this fur sale was first organized in 1984 and 85 in that we want you the Utah fur harvester to get the very best prices for your fur that you possibly can. That is why it has continued since those first years. To help you realize and receive the best prices possible for your fur.

Al Robb


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