This time of year I start to get questions about when does the fur prime up or when should I start trapping. In northern ND where I trap, snare and hunt coyotes it seems the best fur is around the middle to late November to the middle of December. Raccoon tend to prime up after November 1st but are not the best until December. Red Fox seem to be getting better in December and hold later in the winter as compared to coyotes. Muskrat can be all of over the place as a fall muskrat can be graded spring and a spring muskrat can be graded fall.. Mink in northern ND are really nice and seem to be okay in December and hold fur later as well. When I first started to trap I found various primeness charts indicating when fur fully prime. Over the years I have found those charts vary greatly depending on where the animals reside. For instance coyotes in northern ND are good longer than the coyotes in southern ND just 150 miles away. So when it comes to primeness in your area take good notes over a period of a couple years and you will start to see patterns as to when your fur is prime.
I start trapping around October 15th. Why? Because the weather is nice, farmers are done with field work and there isn't any snow yet!!! Also I put up my own fur so I can sell a not as prime put up coyote and still make pretty good money versus selling early trapped coyotes on the carcass. Adults coyotes in my neck of the woods tend to be pretty good by November 1st. So if I can get a few the last few weeks of October and beat the weather I figure that is a win!!
As always your region of the state or country is going to differ from other locations. You just have to figure out what is best and go for it.
Until next time...