Official Site of the National Trappers Association
Official Site of the National Trappers Association

National
Trappers Association

Protecting Wild Things and Wild Places

Defending Our Heritage

We Are Committed

To defend and promote the safe and ethical harvest of furbearing mammals and to the preservation and enhancement of their habitats.

We Encourage

The development and usage of the most effective and humane trapping techniques available.

Education
Education
Top name trappers provide demonstrations at each convention to help trappers of all ages improve their trapping techniques.
Research
Research
The reintroduction of the otter in the U.S. is an example of the partnership between trappers and wildlife managers.
Legislation
Legislation
The NTA lawyers & lobbyists assist many states with introduced legislative bills which are detrimental to trappers.
View Your State
Your State
Click the map to view what's happening in your state. Most are affiliated with the NTA helping us all work together.
Highlights of the 2019 National Trappers Association Convention

Fisher

Trapping Facts
Quick Facts About Trapping

There are more wild furbearers in the United States today than there was 100 years ago.
There are no furbearing animals in the United States or Canada which are endangered or threatened by fur harvesting today.
Millions of North Americans depend on fur harvesting for their livelihood. These people have a vested interest in protecting the natural environment.
Nothing is wasted in the production of a wild fur garment. Furbearers provide food, organic fertilizer, medicines, and other biodegradable products.
Conversely, synthetic materials exhaust our limited supply of oil and other non-renewable resources.
Sound wildlife management programs ensure the necessary supply of natural wild fur for today's needs and those of tomorrow
About NTA

The National Trappers Association is committed to defending and promoting the safe and ethical harvest of furbearing mammals and to the preservation and enhancement of their habitats.
Fifty-one state trapping affiliates make up the core of the national organization representing thousands of fur harvesters from every portion of the country. The National Trappers Association and its members continue to research and encourage the development and usage of the most effective and humane trapping techniques available.
Furbearers, like other managed wildlife species, thrive and are far more diverse today then 100 years ago. The reintroduction of the river otter throughout America’s river systems is just one example of the successful partnership between trappers and wildlife managers.
The National Trappers Association continues to defend our American Heritage and the sound management of all wildlife for the future enjoyment and use by all sportsmen of North America.
We thank all members and organizations for their dedicated support.
Destroying the Myth
This NTA produced video explodes the heart of the anti-trapping strategy by exposing it as false. Click video to view.
Membership Specials
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Cumberland's Northwest Fleming Traps Funke Trap Tags Fur Hat World Fur Source
Glacier Wear Hilltop Outdoor Supply Kaatz Bros. Lures Mark June Lures Minnesota Trapline
Montgomery Fur Murray's Lures Northern Trapping Papio Creek Schmitt Enterprise
Sheepskin Town SKF Fur Trapper's World Volker's Trapping Supplies Wildlife Control Supplies
Moyle Mink & Tannery
Snake River Trappers
Upper Snake River Trappers of Idaho

NTA Director
Mike Murdock
1130 E 1800 N
Terreton, ID 83450
T: 208-716-0377
E: mikemurdock95@gmail.com

HSUS Statement #1

Trapped animals can suffer from thirst and starvation; they may die as a result of exposure to the elements or predation. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: DNR regulation stipulates that traps set in uplands and non-tidal wetlands must be checked once per calender day. This frequency prevents or severely limits the probability of these occurrences. Any person that would violate this regulation would also violate trap prohibition regulations.
The fundamental economic realities of commercial trapping also discourages these occurrences. The margin of profit in commercial trapping is relatively small. Every consecutive day that an animal is in a trap, that trap is non-functional and cannot capture additional animals. In effect, if a trapper allowed this to occur they would be jeopardizing potential revenue.

HSUS Statement #2

The steel-jawed foothold trap has been declared "inhumane" by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the World Veterinary Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: These organizations characteristically represent domestic small animal health care providers. The very nature of their professions predetermines that they typically examine only worse case scenarios involving trapped animals. It can be logically assumed that few examinations would be requested for un-injured animals captured in foothold traps.
Animal health care professionals that specialize in wildlife health issues clearly support trapping and the use of foothold traps to manage health concerns in free-ranging wildlife populations.

HSUS Statement #3

Animals still alive when the trapper checks the trapline are killed by bludgeoning or stomping or, less often, by strangulation or shooting. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: Portions of this statement reinforce the inherent value of foothold traps. foothold traps are live-restraining devices and the animals are "still alive", thus affording the opportunity to release or harvest captured animals. Although not aesthetically pleasing, blunt force trauma (bludgeoning) and shooting are recognized as humane euthanasia techniques by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Trapper education provides information on humane techniques to put an animal down
Raccoon Roundworms

Raccoon Roundworms

Baylisascaris, an intestinal raccoon roundworm, can infect a variety of other animals, including humans. The worms develop to maturity in the raccoon intestine, where they produce millions of eggs that are passed in the feces. Released eggs take 2-4 weeks to become infective to other animals and humans. The eggs are resistant to most environmental conditions and with adequate moisture, can survive for years.

People become infected when they accidentally ingest infective eggs in soil, water, or on objects that have been contaminated with raccoon feces.

When humans ingest these eggs, they hatch into larvae in the person's intestine and travel throughout the body, affecting the organs and muscles.

Anyone who is exposed to environments where raccoons live is potentially at risk. Young children or developmentally disabled persons are at highest risk for infection when they spend time outdoors and may put contaminated fingers, soil, or objects into their mouths. Hunters, trappers, taxidermists, and wildlife handlers may also be at increased risk if they have contact with raccoons or raccoon habitats.

Infected raccoons have been found throughout the United States, mainly in the Midwest, Northeast, middle Atlantic, and West coast. Infection rarely causes symptoms in raccoons. Predator animals, including dogs, may also become infected by eating a smaller animal that has been infected with Baylisascaris.

Raccoon Roundworms Signs & Symptoms - Nausea, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of muscle control, blindness, coma.

HSUS Statement #4

Body-gripping traps (steel-jawed foothold traps, snares, and Conibear traps) cause severe distress, fear, and pain to both wildlife and pets. Body-gripping traps slam closed on and grip tightly an animal's leg or other body part. As a result, animals can suffer lacerations, broken bones, and joint dislocation. As the animal struggles to get free, he/she sometimes chews off a leg to escape or breaks teeth by biting the metal trap. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: The correct terminology and classification of trap types includes 3 different categories. The first category is 'live-capture restraining devices' that allow the release or harvest of trapped animals. foothold traps are included in this category. The second category is 'killing' devices that result in a near instantaneous death for trapped animals. This category includes Conibears and other brands of body-gripping traps. The third category includes traps that can function either as 'live-capture restraining devices' or 'killing' devices dependent on how and where they are set. Snares are included in this category.
Since Conibears and other body gripping "killer' traps are designed to provide a near instantaneous death via force applied directly below the base of the skull, the likelihood of extraneous injury, and/or self mutilation is extremely low. When snares are used as a 'live- capture restraining device they function in a similar manner to a dog collar and leash. Therefore, the likelihood of extraneous damage and/or self mutilation is also extremely low. Highly structured and replicated studies have repeatedly shown that foothold traps are the only efficient, practical, selective, humane, and environmentally benign 'live-capture restraining device' currently available for many furbearer species.
By design, capture devices used to reintroduce extirpated species or augment Threatened and Endangered populations have to ensure minimal damage probabilities to target animals. foothold traps have been used almost exclusively to capture and re-establish red wolves, gray wolves, mexican wolves, lynx, and river otter.

HSUS Statement #5

Body-gripping traps are indiscriminate. They victimize any animal unfortunate enough to trigger them. Animals caught include protected species such as eagles, kit foxes, fishers, and wolverines, as well as family pets. The majority of smaller animals (birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc.) unintentionally caught in traps die or must be destroyed because of serious, disabling injuries. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: The selectivity of foothold traps has been documented in studies conducted by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 21 states. The capture of thousands of furbearers resulted in non- target capture rates as small as 3% of total captures, and included no threatened and endangered species. foothold traps are live-capture restraining devices that experience minimal injury rates, and allow release of captured animals. Over 4,000 river otter captured predominately in foothold traps have been released in reintroduction projects in 18 states.
Traps pose no realistic threat to human safety. An exhaustive investigation of trapping incidents in the U.S. during the last twenty years could only document 3 cases of injury to the public that resulted from regulated trapping. All of these injuries were considered minor.

HSUS Statement #6

Commercial trapping is not a "wildlife management tool". There are no bag limits and no limits on the number of traps that can be set. Trapping activity is driven by the price of pelts, not by the need to manage wildlife populations. Some fur-bearers (coyotes for instance) have natural fertility and breeding controls when not disturbed by humans, while others (such as muskrats) experience natural boom-and-bust cycles. (Humane Society of the United States)

Factual Rebuttal: The professional wildlife conservation community universally endorses traps and trapping as critical and essential wildlife management tools. The Wildlife Society and the International Association Of Fish and Wildlife Agencies are the largest international organizations representing professional wildlife conservation employees and governmental wildlife agencies. Both organizations have issued policy statements that strongly support the role commercial trapping plays in achieving wildlife management objectives.
Harvest season length, bag limits, permissible size and types of traps, and total number of traps permissible per trapper, are all considered during the development of management strategies for individual species. Population growth characteristics of some species require strict harvest regulations that include bag limits and limiting the number of traps per individual. Conversely, harvest and population characteristics of other species require liberal regulations to meet prescribed furbearer management objectives.
All wildlife populations possess inherent bio-feedback mechanisms that eventually limit population densities. Most species can exhibit classic 'boom and bust cycles'. The reproductive capabilities of coyotes, muskrats and many other furbearers allow non-regulated populations to increase at exponential rates until they approach and/or surpass the carrying capacity of their respective ecosystems (boom). When this occurs, competition for limited resources compromises the health of the entire population. At that time, the weakened condition of these animals allow density-dependent mortality factors such as starvation, disease, and social strife, to decimate entire populations (bust). Oftentimes, the health of the entire ecosystem including all aligned wildlife species and the public are also negatively impacted by these inflated furbearer populations.
Regulated commercial trapping manages populations by moderating the extremes of 'boom and bust' cycles. This results in stable populations of healthy animals that are in balance with the biological carrying capacity of their ecosystems and the cultural carrying capacity accepted by the general public.
Learn more about some of the most commonly trapped furbearers in the United States by clicking on the photos below.

Beaver Fever (Giardiasis)

Giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis) is a diarrheal illness caused by a one-celled, microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia). Once an animal or person has been infected with Giardia intestinalis, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in the stool. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time.

During the past 2 decades, Giardiainfection has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (found in both drinking and recreational water) in humans in the United States . Giardia are found worldwide and within every region of the United States.

The Giardia parasite lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. Millions of germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Giardia is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite.

Beaver Fever Signs & Symptoms - Diarrhea, gas, greasy stools, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach or nausea/vomiting, dehydration.
Beaver Fever
Furbearer

What is a Furbearer?

Technically, the term furbearer includes all mammals, all of which, by definition possess some form of hair. Typically, however, wildlife managers use the term to identify mammal species that have traditionally been trapped or hunted for their fur. Furbearers are a diverse group, including both carnivores (meat eating predators) and rodents (gnawing mammals). Most are adaptable species ranging over large geographic areas. A few animals that are normally hunted or trapped primarily for their meat or to reduce agricultural or property damage may also be considered furbearers if their skins are marketed.
Fur

Fur Facts

Most furbearers possess two layers of fur: a dense, soft underfur that provides insulation and water-repellent qualities; and an outer layer of longer, glossy guardhairs that grow through the underfur, protecting it from matting and abrasion. A fur is said to be prime when the guardhairs are at their maximum length and the underfur is at its maximum thickness. Fur generally becomes prime in midwinter when the coat is fresh and fully grown; the timing for primeness may vary somewhat depending on species, location (latitude) and elevation.
Fur Industry

Fur Industry

Furs are generally tanned, trimmed, and sewn into garments, rugs, blankets and ornaments, and sometimes dyed in a variety of colors and patterns. Furs are also used in fishing lures, fine brushes and other products. Some furs are shaved, and the hair processed into felt for hats and other garments.
The fur trade is tightly regulated by state, national and international governing bodies. These regulations cover everything from animal welfare to environmental impact.
Renewable Fur

Renewable Resource

Fur is a renewable resource (naturally replenished), a product of long traditional use, valued by many for its beauty, durability, insulative and natural qualities. Fur is only one of many values that people ascribe to furbearers. People have continuously used furbearers in North America for clothing, food and religious ceremonies for the past 11,000 years.
The sustainable use of renewable natural resources is based on the fact that most species of plants and animals produce more young than their habitat can support to maturity.

Furbearers

Technically, the term furbearer includes all mammals, all of which, by definition possess some form of hair. Typically, however, wildlife managers use the term to identify mammal species that have traditionally been trapped or hunted for their fur. Furbearers are a diverse group, including both carnivores (meat eating predators) and rodents (gnawing mammals.

Fur Facts

Most furbearers possess two layers of fur: a dense, soft underfur that provides insulation and water-repellent qualities; and an outer layer of longer, glossy guardhairs that grow through the underfur, protecting it from matting and abrasion. A fur is said to be prime when the guardhairs are at their maximum length and the underfur is at its maximum thickness. Fur generally becomes prime in midwinter when the coat is fresh and fully grown; the timing for primeness may vary somewhat depending on species, location (latitude) and elevation.

Fur Industry

Furs are generally tanned, trimmed, and sewn into garments, rugs, blankets and ornaments, and sometimes dyed in a variety of colors and patterns. Furs are also used in fishing lures, fine brushes and other products. Some furs are shaved, and the hair processed into felt for hats and other garments.
The fur trade is tightly regulated by state, national and international governing bodies. These regulations cover everything from animal welfare to environmental impact.

Resources

Fur is a renewable resource (naturally replenished), a product of long traditional use, valued by many for its beauty, durability, insulative and natural qualities. Fur is only one of many values that people ascribe to furbearers. People have continuously used furbearers in North America for clothing, food and religious ceremonies for the past 11,000 years.
Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.

Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample. Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person.

Leptospirosis Signs & Symptoms - High fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus. It may take several weeks or even a few years for people to show symptoms after getting infected with rabies, but usually people start to show signs of the disease 1 to 3 months after the virus infects them. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs, such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive. This is why it is very important to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.

Many kinds of animal can pass rabies to people. Wild animals are much more likely to carry rabies, especially raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes. However, dogs, cats, cattle (cows), or any warm-blooded animal can pass rabies to people. People usually get rabies from the bite of an infected animal. Many animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses are vaccinated against rabies, but you should always wash any bite thoroughly and check with your health care provider about what to do if any animal bites you.

Early Rabies Signs & Symptoms - Similar to flu, discomfort, fever, headache. Don't delay calling the doctor!
Rabies
River Otter Restoration
Successful in AK, MO, TN, KY, IL, IN, NC, IA, WV, NE, NY, OH, PA, CO, MD, AZ, MN, OK & KS
Modern foothold traps (these are the same traps used by public trappers) have been used to successfully capture river otter and release them unharmed into other areas of the United States to restore otter populations.

Capture and Relocate
Lynx reintroduced to some western states were captured by foothold traps in the Yukon, Canada.
Red wolves, Mexican wolves and Grey wolves were captured by foothold traps, examined and relocated to establish new populations. Some are used for captive breeding programs by wildlife officials.
Tick Borne Illness

Tick Borne Illness

Ticks may transmit several different diseases to humans, including Lyme Disease, Southern Tick-Associated Rash, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and more.

Lyme disease is spread by the tiny deer tick. Ticks feed on blood, and infected ticks transmit the disease as they feed. Although the deer tick prefers to feed on wild animals, especially mice, birds, opossum, raccoon, and deer, they will also feed on dogs, cats, livestock, and humans. When people visit or live near deer tick habitats, they run a high risk of contracting Lyme disease. For your own safety, you should become familiar with tick habits and habitats, and you should learn how to prevent tick bites.

Tick Borne Illness Signs & Symptoms - Fever, chills, aches and pains, rash.
Fisher
Fisher Range
Fisher Tracks

About the Fisher

Martes Pennati
Order - Carnivora
Family - Mustelidae
Fisher are woodland animals, and among the most effective predators on land. They are also the fastest American animal in trees. Females are less than half as big as males, yet command higher fur prices due to an extremely soft and silky fur. Also known in areas as fisher cat, black cat, tree fox or pekan, fisher have been known to follow traplines, destroying the catches before the trapper arrives. Destruction of woodlands and high fur prices caused population declines up until the 1940's, but protection and reintroduction's have encouraged good fisher populations in many suitable habitat types.

Fisher Fast Facts

• Fisher can measure 36 inches or longer and males can weigh up to 14 pounds.

• They have 38 teeth including four canine teeth.

• Fisher mate 6-8 days after giving birth and delayed implantation makes gestation nearly one year, with 1-4 young in the litter.

• Fisher are considered among the most effective predators on land and can live up to 10 years.

Description

Fisher are usually dark brown in color. Males oftentimes have a lighter grizzled coloration on the face, head and over the shoulders. The longer guard hairs in the fur are 1 1/2 to 2 inches on the body and 1/2 inch longer on the tail. The fur on males is much coarser than on the females and both are darkest on tail and legs. Two small, white patches of fur are found in the front armpit areas.
Males may measure 36 inches or longer and adult males often weight 10 to 12 pounds. Males rarely weigh more than 14 pounds. Females weigh about 1/3 of the average weight of males and most females are about the size of large mink, although their longer fur makes them appear to be larger. Typical females weigh between 4 and 5 pounds.
Fisher have 38 teeth, including four sharp canine teeth and flat topped molars to aid in chewing. Five toes register in fisher tracks and the inside toes are smaller and placed behind the other four. The fisher cannot retract it's claws and they are usually dulled somewhat by constant contact with the ground and rocks.
A pair of anal musk glands are present on both males and females and their musk is often released when the fisher is frightened or angry.

Fisher Habits

Tracks in the snow are often the only sign easily noticed when fisher are present in an area, as the species is not usually observed in the wild. Fisher are solitary animals throughout most of the year, although snow tracking often indicates that two or more fishers will hunt in parallel patterns. Activity is mostly at night, although it appears that fishers hunt frequently during daylight hours in wilderness habitats.
Male territories are larger than female territories and the sizes of these regularly patrolled areas vary according to the availability of prey species. A 10 square mile territory is typical for a female fisher and males commonly hunt a 30 square mile area. Circuits are irregularly patrolled although fishers travel pretty much in a straight line when they have determined to go to a certain location. Males usually pass through a given area in their territory about once every two weeks. Female circuits in winter usually vary from 3 days to a week.
Both male and female fisher are highly skilled predators and territory relocation are sometimes necessary as fishers are capable of overharvesting prey species. Fisher are aggressive hunters and competition with other furbearers is not only for the same prey species, but by direct contact. Raccoon may be killed by a large fisher in trees or on the ground. Fisher can also catch marten on the ground or in the trees, and usually there is either a good population of fisher or marten but not both. There is strong evidence to suggest that fisher kill significant numbers of bobcat kittens too. Mother bobcats must leave their kittens unattended to hunt and there is no safe place in which to hide a bobcat den from a hunting fisher.
Snowshoe hares are a preferred food and a main reason that fisher like to frequent the dense cedar swamps. With keen senses of sight and smell, fisher often stalk the snowshoe rabbits, but they will trail them as well by scent alone. Red squirrel are a common prey species and fisher also eat mice, rats, voles, and shrews, which are avoided by most predators due to a musky odor. Grouse and ptarmigan are eaten regularly and there are records of fisher killing fox, mink and otters.
Fisher are skilled at killing porcupines. Attacks are to the face of the porcupine as the fisher circles and circles the porcupine who attempts to keep it's back toward the fisher. After repeated attacks to the quill free facial area, the porcupine becomes vulnerable to a throat attack. Porcupine are not safe when climbing trees, as fishers simply attack them from top side. Porcupines may be safe from fisher attacks when they are on branches and facing away from the fisher, or when they are in a position to hide their faces in a crevice or hole. Fisher often clean these skins as clean as if they had been skinned by a man. Fisher droppings often include quills, which seem to pass through the digestive system without ill effects.
Uneaten foods are usually cached for later use by fishers and the species will sometimes deposit their musk on the uneaten portions to discourage other animals. Fisher also eat carrion and substantial amounts of wild berries in season.

General

It was once thought that fisher required mature forests, but the species can thrive in newer second growth forest, favoring large tracts of pine, spruce, aspen, birch and cedar swamps. Good populations are considered to be one fisher per 10 square miles. As the only consistent predator of porcupines, fisher provide a service by controlling this species, as well as the damage that the porcupines inflict upon forests.
Fisher contribute to the overall health of prey species when their densities are light or moderate. Dense populations of fisher create problems for a variety of other species, including other furbearers. Fisher do have to abandon territories as food sources become depleted and less mobile furbearers can become malnourished when competing for the same prey species as fisher.
Predation upon fisher by other predators is not thought to be serious. A lynx or bobcat will rarely kill a fisher and wolves have been known to kill fisher caught out on frozen lakes. Young fisher are killed at times by large owls, eagles and coyotes. The solitary nature and infrequent use of the same dens keeps fisher free of most diseases and parasites. Mange can occur and fisher are also vulnerable to distemper, fleas, tapeworms and nematodes.
Ten years of age is considered old in a fisher.
Young Fisher

Fisher Reproduction

Female fisher mate 6 to 8 days after giving birth to their litters and delayed implantation causes a gestation period averaging 352 days or nearly a year. Breeding normally occurs during late March or early April, and the fertilized eggs do not become attached to the female's uterus until the following January, after which the growth of the litter begins.
One to four young are born in March or April and 2.7 is an average litter size. More females than males are usually born, contrary to most other furbearing species. The young are cared for strictly by the mother fisher and the natal den is usually in a hollow tree although a fisher will use an underground den if a better location is not available. Females usually breed when they are one year of age and males do not breed until they are two years of age.
Copyright © National Trappers Association 2012-2020. All right reserved.
Site by Hawkmtn

National
Trappers
Association

Protecting Wild Things
and Wild Places

We Are
Committed

To defend and promote the safe, ethical harvest of furbearing mammals and to the preservation and enhancement of their habitats.

We
Encourage

The development and usage of the most effective and humane trapping techniques available.