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Author Topic: North Western Washington fur grades  (Read 576 times)

Offline Bullytrout

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North Western Washington fur grades
« on: March 01, 2018, 06:58:51 AM »
I know that our cats and coyotes are not the best but How do western Washington furs typically grade?  Are there significant regional differences within western Washington when it comes to fur quality?

Offline wags

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Re: North Western Washington fur grades
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 12:53:48 PM »
Unbeknownst to many people, western Washington has one of the best muskrats in North America. When I was involved with buying them back in the 70's they were marketed mainly to German buyers (if I'm remembering correctly) as "Fraser Valley Muskrats". They have good quality leather, silvery bellies, dark backs and blue underfur. I used to buy 'rats from some guys who trapped places like Lake Tapps and glacial rivers and their 'rats were always the best; no reddish cast at all, very silver bellies, etc.

Another one of our outstanding furbearers are our river otter, great color and huge size.

Western Washington beaver caught later in the season are really good also; very good color underfur.

Coons from Washington always look good to the uniformed guy grading them. The lower half of the coon near the grading window always looks pretty good, but rapidly changes it's characteristics as you move towards the front shoulders. From semi heavy to flatter coat type coon as you move forward; not good.They do have good color though.

Of coarse everyone knows the story about the west side's legendary cats and coyotes.

 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 07:58:58 PM by wags »

Offline Humptulips

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Re: North Western Washington fur grades
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 01:12:45 PM »
 :yeah:
My beaver, otter, rats all beat the averages at NAFA or back when they went to SFE. Raccoon, I never did well on.
I kind of feel cats should be roughly split into four groups in WA from bad to best, Coastal, West Cascades, East Cascades and east of the Columbia.

Mark,
Where do WA marten come out in comparison to others?
Bruce Vandervort

Offline wags

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Re: North Western Washington fur grades
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 07:58:06 PM »
Bruce,
Marten from the Cascade and Rocky Mountains and southwest BC are a much different animal than the typical Alaskan and Canadian marten. The only exception would a tiny portion of NE Washington and northern Idaho and a little portion of Montana.

"Our" marten are called Martes caurina whereas the other marten (the much better ones) are Martes americana. Martens came across the Bering land bridge during two separate epochs. The americanas are thought to have come over first, when the land bridge existed at a earlier time, then the caurinas came over during the most recent land bridge epoch.

Our marten are generally of a more uniform color, a little smaller and not as good of fur quality as the Martes americanas, and ours are usually worth about half as much. Regardless our are still pretty fun to catch and are still one of our most beautiful furbearers.

Offline AL WORRELLS KID

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Re: North Western Washington fur grades
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 10:39:32 AM »
:yeah:
My beaver, otter, rats all beat the averages at NAFA or back when they went to SFE. Raccoon, I never did well on.
Humptulips,

As any Fur Farmer will tell you , "What you feed your animals, will determine the quality of the fur you end up with".

Back in the day when I was working in the Wild Fur Department at The Seattle Fur Exchange. Some of our biggest and best quality raccoons we sold, were caught right in Seattle. They were brought in to us by a kid still in high school. He used to trap Mercer Island by rowboat, using #1 long springs (a size restriction at the time) and being careful to place his sets only under overhanging banks.
 He had an old fishing pole hanging in the front of the boat (as camouflage) and kept all his traps and the raccoons covered up under a tarp in the bottom of his boat. (He said he could see the Folks watching him from the "Mansions" through their Binoculars) and got asked a lot, "You catching anything?"

He would say "Yah, I've caught a few today" but he never let on it was these well fed, back porch, dog food raiding thieves, that he was talking about  :IBCOOL:.
 (Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity and some guts to keep one step ahead of the rest of us.)
It sure paid off for him, bringing in some of the best prices for Raccoon at Auction.
Doug
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 11:07:22 AM by AL WORRELLS KID »
"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."

John Steinbeck

 

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